Managing without Profit: Leadership, Management and Governance of Third Sector Organisations: The Art of Managing Third Sector Organisations (3rd ed.)

Nnamdi O. Madichie (Assistant Professor, College of Business Administration, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 3 August 2010



Madichie, N.O. (2010), "Managing without Profit: Leadership, Management and Governance of Third Sector Organisations: The Art of Managing Third Sector Organisations (3rd ed.)", Management Decision, Vol. 48 No. 7, pp. 1154-1155.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The third sector consists of organisations whose primary objectives are social rather than economic – ranging from charities to trade unions, religious and arts organisations, and a host of other advocacy groups – largely driven by a desire to change the world we live in.

However, the discourse only became prominent in the mid‐1990s, a period that coincided with the political philosophy enshrined in the Third Way – a move away from the “left” and “right” to the “centre” of political thought. The concept has been recognized as a partner to public policy formulation – championed by such advocacy groups as Make Poverty History and Stop Climate Change. Along with these were other changes in the manner in which organisations are governed in order to align with the ever‐growing demand for greater accountability in the management of organisations.

Management without Profit, could not have come at a better time and Mike Hudson has indeed made a major contribution to the spread of this latest mantra. From his humble beginnings as an engineering graduate from Durham University in the UK, Hudson has to his credit an MBA from the reputable London Business School as well as over 25 years involvement in management consultancy to multinational corporations in the UK and the US. This puts him in good stead for writing bout management and leadership in businesses. However, discussing these in the context of the not‐for‐profit sector is another matter entirely. For someone that has spent most of his working life consulting for profit‐oriented businesses, writing a text for the other end of the sector must be challenging. However, Hudson succeeds in pulling this task off unscathed.

In the 19 chapters that make up Management Without Profit, Hudson introduces the reader to what leadership, management and the third sector epitomised by various terms, including charity and social enterprise. He also highlights the complexities of managing the third sector defined as the not‐for‐profit sector. Such challenges were endorsed by Baroness Pitkeathley – a founding member of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) and also former chief executive of Carers UK – in the foreword. She explicitly acknowledged that Hudson's account presents a “… Comprehensive guide to managing in the Third Sector”.

The central themes in the text include leadership, management and the third sector. These key concepts are comprehensively addressed in the text, which is also living proof that leadership is not boundary specific as it straddles a range of sectors including even the third sector. Case studies are drawn from a range of sub‐sectors including charity, e.g. Oxfam, consumer groups, animal rights groups and environmentalists. Mike Hudson has definitely shed his engineering background and supplanted it with his over two decade‐long experience in management consultancy.

Hudson kick‐starts the text with what he described as “the re‐discovered sector”. In the first chapter, he deftly provides a historical account of the sector noting its long history of management problems and/or challenges dating back to the days of St Bartholomew's Hospital in 1123 ad to the most recent British Asian Trust in 2009. He ends the chapter with suggestions on where to start making improvements. The issue of governance is analysed in seven other chapters ranging from the structure, through the role, processes and strategies. In chapters three and four for instance, he discusses the need for clarification of the role of governance and how to make these work more effectively. Chapters nine through 13 deal with aspects of management, which is another important element of the text, if by nothing else, by their inclusion the title of the book.

In chapter nine, the significance of management is introduced. The discourse, soon after, moves into reporting on performance, creating flexible management structures and managing strategic partnerships. In chapter 13, Hudson brings in the need to understand the role of change and how to deal with it in an unconventional sector. The concept of leadership also surfaces in 14, where the Hudson outlines the challenges faced by chief executive officers (i.e. CEOs) who are often faced with the dilemma of responding to conflicting stakeholder mandates. These two chapters help readers appreciate the content of chapter 18, which is about managing different types of organisations. In between these chapters, however, Hudson does not fail to emphasise the need to view the organisation as a process – i.e. as a learning organisation (see chapter 17) as well as recognising the significance of the role of people in any management discourse. This latter point is the primary focus of chapter 15 entitled “managing people and teams”. The text is concluded by a chapter on the future of management and leadership in the third sector (see chapter 19 – Glimpsing into the future).

Overall, the connections are clear cut in the text – Leadership, Management (including governance), and the Third Sector are key drivers that would determine the difference between the success or failure of organisations whether for or not‐for profit. This is a very compelling textbook suitable for both academic and practitioner use.

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