Management historians have devoted attention to writer Peter F. Drucker’s thoughts about directing businesses successfully but may have overlooked (or been unaware of) his appreciation of the inherent difficulties in managing public sector organizations effectively. He nevertheless wrote extensively about two highly important components of this sector: nonprofit organizations and the federal government. He was among the earliest observers to recognize the growing significance of nonprofits and the variety of obstacles to their more effective management. He also perceived categories of management problems unique to the ability of the federal government to be run well ‐ a set of external and internal limits. His observations reveal an underlying respect for the role of government and his desire to strengthen it by focussing its missions and priorities on what it must do and what it does best and identifying what it does poorly and should thus delegate to nonprofits and business.
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