In This Review

Effective Management of Social Enterprises: Lessons From Business and Civil Society Organizations in Iberoamerica
Effective Management of Social Enterprises: Lessons From Business and Civil Society Organizations in Iberoamerica
Edited by James E. Austin, Roberto Gutierrez, Enrique Oglias
Harvard University Press, 2006, 150 pp

Traditionally, nonprofit social organizations and private businesses have been seen as operating in distinct realms and with different, even divergent, purposes. This collaborative effort of faculty at the Harvard Business School and at the top business schools in Latin America dissects 40 case studies to argue that the points of convergence are multiple and growing. Nonprofit endeavors (whether of independent civil-society organizations or of entities associated with private corporations) increasingly employ smart management techniques and earned-income activities, while corporations are increasingly broadening their stakeholders beyond shareholders to accept wider social responsibilities. The chapters are professionally organized around the concepts of leadership, strategy, institutional culture, human resources, financial viability, governance, and performance measurement, each extracting valuable lessons for managers of both nonprofit and for-profit enterprises. These solid virtues outweigh the book's imprecise business school buzzwords and exclusive reliance on qualitative case studies over quantitative evidence. It is best to begin with Chapter 10, where the researchers most clearly lay out their key concepts.