Editor: Rita S. Mano

Learning Why and How: A Reader in Managing Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations

eBook: US $21 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $88
Printed Copy: US $78
Library License: US $84
ISBN: 978-1-60805-513-5 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-60805-451-0 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2012
DOI: 10.2174/97816080545101120101


Publications on non profit management reflect three main trends. Some books describe the nonprofit experience in different countries focusing on how these experiences reflect the case of a particular organization in its specific cultural context. These case studies provide an interesting, but not representative, documentation of the issues to be discussed. On the opposite end, other books introduce theoretical approaches and conceptual models that investigate the emergence of the nonprofit phenomenon in a comparative way. Finally, some other books focus on developing the understanding and provide the guidelines on specific themes e.g. accountability, change, marketing etc. Learning Why and How, in contrast to the above, accounts for a comprehensive view of the organizational complexity of management in the nonprofit sector.

This e-book provides a systemic view of nonprofit organizations linking micro and macro level aspects of management. It combines sociological, organizational and psychological elements of organization studies and provides an in-depth understanding of various issues and dilemmas among readers, students and executives of nonprofit organizations and civil society.

Indexed in: Book Citation Index, Social Sciences & Humanities, Scopus, EBSCO.


Nonprofit organizations management is receiving a larger and more respectable place in the overall literature on management. As is already well recognized - nonprofit organizations, despite their wide variety, have certain unique attributes, not existing in other types of organizations, namely business and public organizations. They are based, at least in part, on philanthropic resources (financial and human), and as the issue of the ownership of the organization is unclear, they have a governance structure that represents their diverse stake-holders. These attributes, as the book so eloquently demonstrates, create in their turn unique challenges to their managers, who need to address a whole variety of problems unknown to managers of public and business organizations. Furthermore, as nonprofit organizations are not merely a organizational tool to carry out certain collective tasks but have a strong base in participatory democratic theory, as they express the tenet of freedom of association and the right of people to organize around issues of their own concern, managing nonprofit organizations becomes a value-laden task. This aspect is even more pronounced in frameworks where nonprofit organizations work together with business and/or public entities in joint projects, as is more and more the case lately, where the differential identity and orientation of the actors has to be expressed. Thus, in nonprofit organizations the manager has to function on at least two levels. The practical level, where he or she needs to manage budgets, personnel, programs, etc. and a conceptual level where all these activities have to fit within a broader value-base and a belief system that the specific organization subscribes to and tries to promote, which also fits within a larger system of democratic participation.

Functioning as managers in nonprofit organizations or studying this domain calls for a wide range of perspectives, conceptualizations and orientations as well as the ability to integrate them all. The book by Rita Mano does exactly that. Basing herself on theories of organizations and organizational change, management theories and practice and nonprofit theories, the author provides an excellent knowledge infrastructure of the complexities within which the nonprofit manager functions and the kinds of problems and issues he/she has to cope with and solve.

Prof. Benjamin Gidron, Director
Israeli Social Enterprise Research Center (ISERC)
Former Director of the Israeli Center for Third sector Research (ICTR)
Ben Gurion University of the Negev


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