In Chapter 2 on objectives we suggested that, while in many respects not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) displayed similar characteristics to the profit-seeking firm, there were fundamental differences between the two types of organisation. As this book is primarily concerned with strategic decision-making in the firm we make no apologies about the overwhelming emphasis on private sector organisations. However, in this chapter we shall attempt to go some way towards redressing the balance by explicitly focusing on the distinctive features, and strategic management issues that are peculiar to NFPs. Other writers have taken a view that NFPs are not sufficiently different from firms to warrant much more than a passing reference to them (see, for example, Johnson and Scholes, 1984). In contrast, we believe that NFPs require special treatment in a book on strategic management, and that to fail to make clear the distinctive features of NFPs is to invite confusion in strategic thinking.
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