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Business Strategy For The Social Sector: In Praise Of Economist Sharon Oster's 6 Forces Model

Business Strategy For The Social Sector: In Praise Of Economist Sharon Oster's 6 Forces Model
Forbes
By William F. Meehan III and Kim Starkey Jonker
Published: August 13, 2018

To succeed, must nonprofit leaders treat their organization as rigorously as a business? Must they heed the core lessons of business strategy? Yes, definitely. Or must they recognize that a nonprofit is fundamentally different from a for-profit enterprise? Must they learn to operate in an environment unlike the one that business leaders are used to navigating? Yes, definitely.

Working through that apparent conundrum is central to the task of strategic leadership in the nonprofit sector. High-performance nonprofit organizations, we have learned over many decades of studying them, closely resemble high-performance companies—except for crucial ways in which they don’t resemble companies at all.

Sharon Oster is a pioneer in the field of organizational strategy.HAROLD SHAPIRO

No student of nonprofit management has done more to illuminate this vital truth than Sharon Oster, the Frederic D. Wolfe Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at Yale School of Management and the author of Strategic Management for Nonprofit Organizations: Theory and Cases (first published in 1990), a landmark work that has strongly influenced our own thinking about what enables nonprofits to flourish within their distinctively competitive markets.

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