Forbes: Business strategy for the social sector: In praise of economist Sharon Oster’s 6 Forces model
Originally found at Forbes
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.
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.
Yesterday, Oster received the 2018 Irwin Outstanding Educator Award for Excellence in MBA/Executive Education from the Academy of Management (AOM) at its annual meeting in Chicago. This is one among numerous awards that Oster has earned, and it presents a perfect occasion for highlighting some of her core insights (which Bill also did as part of his remarks and tribute to Oster on Sunday evening for the Irwin Award Ceremony).
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