Non-Governmental Organizations, Management and Development: 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Non-Governmental Organizations, Management and Development

3rd Edition

By David Lewis


316 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2014-02-18
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Non-Governmental Development Organizations have seen turbulent times over the decades; however, recent years have seen them grow to occupy high-profile positions in the fight against poverty. They are now seen as an important element of ‘civil society’, a concept that has been given increasing importance by global policy makers. This book has evolved during the course of that period to be a prime resource for those working (or wishing to work) with and for NGOs.

The third edition of Non-Governmental Organizations, Management and Development is fully updated and thoroughly reorganized, covering key issues including, but not limited to, debates on the changing global context of international development and the changing concepts and practices used by NGOs. The interdisciplinary approach employed by David Lewis results in an impressive text that draws upon current research in non-profit management, development management, public management and management theory, exploring the activities, relationships and internal structure of the NGO.

This book remains the first and only comprehensive and academically grounded guide to the issues facing international development NGOs as they operate in increasingly complex and challenging conditions around the world. It is the perfect resource for students undertaking studies of NGOs and the non-profit sector, in addition to being an excellent resource for development studies students more generally.


'Professor Lewis has given us an indispensable text on the evolution of management ideas in international development. It is a domain full of tension between the forces of professional management and social activism. Lewis brings an anthropologist's sensibility to this inquiry, showing that the messy realities of development require NGOs to craft new pluralistic models of management.' - Alnoor Ebrahim, Associate Professor, Social Enterprise Initiative, Harvard Business School

'This third edition comprehensively addresses the conceptualization, theory, and practice of NGO management. With the current global trend to delegate public sector tasks to NGOs and allocate vast resources to them, it is more important than ever to understand their roles and how they are managed. This book provides such in-depth and critical understanding in accessible language and illustrated with insightful examples. I strongly recommend this book to students and development practitioners alike.' - Dr. Sylvia I. Bergh, Senior Lecturer in Development Management and Governance, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

'In this thoroughly revised and updated 3rd edition of Non-Governmental Organizations, Management and Development, David Lewis brings an anthropologists' sensitivities to understanding the operation and challenges faced by development NGOs. These important organizations play central, fast-growing, and often controversial roles in fostering equitable development and poverty alleviation throughout the world. Dr. Lewis draws on his detailed knowledge of organization theory and development studies, as well as his considerable practical fieldwork experience, to produce a book that breaks through the conventional categories to offer a highly original and nuanced understanding of this complex and fapidly-evolving field. More than merely a textbook, Non-Governmental Organizations, Management and Development is must reading for scholars and practitioners alike.' - Richard P. Appelbaum, Ph.D., MacArthur Chair in Sociology and Global & International Studies, Co-PI, Center for Nanotechnology and Society, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA

"Management is management’. Maybe, but in the NGO world, where political, social and financial uncertainties are the default position, it isn’t that straightforward. This important and wide-ranging book by a thoughtful veteran of the sector should be essential reading for those who think they understand the management challenges faced by NGOs, including NGO managers themselves.' - Ian Smilie, writer, researcher and consultant on NGOs and international development

'David Lewis has done it again! This is a superb, well-researched, comprehensive and objective portrayal of NGOs, their philosophy, practices and challenges. Yet another significant contribution from him on the discourse and the art and science of development.' - A. Mushtaque R. Chowdhury, PhD, Vice Chair and Interim Executive Director BRAC, Bangladesh

'With the ever increasing complexities in their working environment, managing and leading an NGO can be like groping in a dark jungle. Professor David Lewis' book, Non-Governmental Organizations: Management and Development, provides the much needed guidance and light that NGO managers and leaders have been seeking for so long.' - Chiku Malunga Co-editor NGO Management: The Earthscan Companion, author of Understanding Organizational Leadership through Ubuntu

'Lewis argues that there can be no single approach to understanding the management performance of NGOs. He identifiies three main schools of thought for understanding the management of NGOs: a general management view, an adaptive view, and a distinctive view. As all three make potentially important contributions but also have limitations, Lewis makes the case for a 'composite' model for understanding NGO management.' - Willem Elbers, International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University

Table of Contents

Part I: The Conceptualization of NGO Management 1. Introduction2. Framing NGO Management3. The NGO Management Debate4. Concepts, Histories and Contexts Part II: The Theory of NGOManagement 5. NGOs and the Development Context6. NGO Roles in Development7. Organization Theory, Ambiguity and NGO Management8. Culture and Organization Part III: The Practice of NGO Management 9. Service Delivery, Advocacy, Innovation and Evaluation10. NGOs and the Management of Relationships11. NGOs and the Dynamics of Internal Management12. Conclusion: NGO Management and the Future

About the Author

David Lewis is Professor of Social Policy and Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. A social anthropologist by training, he has degrees from the Universities of Cambridge and Bath. His main interests are the theory and practice of international development, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society, and rural development.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Government & Business
POLITICAL SCIENCE / NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations)
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries

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