Item description for Managing Think Tanks: Practical Guidance for Maturing Organizations by Raymond J. Struyk...
Managing Think Tanks: Practical Guidance for Maturing Organizations by Raymond J. Struyk
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Studio: Open Society Institute
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.3" Width: 6.5" Height: 0.9" Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Release Date Feb 28, 2007
Publisher Open Society Institute
ISBN 9639719005 ISBN13 9789639719002
Reviews - What do customers think about Managing Think Tanks: Practical Guidance for Maturing Organizations?
A must read for think-tank practicioners and managers Apr 5, 2005
This book is written by Dr. Raymond Struyk, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, a leading public policy think-tank based in the United States. It is based on his experience as a technical adviser to several policy think tanks in the Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and is written because there has been no publication on think-tank management before this book was published.
Some of the books' major recommendations are the following: The use of incentives should be encouraged to motivate researchers that have made significant accomplishments for the think-tank and to maintain their interests to continue working for the think-tank. The incentives could be both in cash and non-cash forms, such as: sponsorship to attend training courses and international conferences abroad, opportunities to make presentations and meet key policymakers, etc.
As the size of think tanks grew, researchers should be encouraged to specialize and think tanks might want to create several research focuses. At the same time, relations between researchers and management should be made as collegial as possible and the creation of complex hierarchy and large bureaucracy within the think-tank should be avoided.
To ensure think-tanks to maintain its credibility and reputation, good quality control is essential. It is suggested that drafts of research outputs should be peer-reviewed, both within the think-tank and by hiring outside reviewers. In addition, think-tank should make a comprehensive communication strategy to communicate its message to its audience, whether they are policymakers, the public, the media, etc.
Think tanks should make a regular review of its work program and fundraising strategy. The creation of a strategic plan is encouraged, but it should be made before a think-tank is facing a crisis and should be made based on extensive discussion with different stakeholders within the think-tanks: research and support staffs, major donors, board members, etc. In addition, think-tanks should diversify its funding sources, especially by seeking funds from the private sector and by "commercializing" some of its products and expertise, particularly those where the think-tanks are well-known of. For instance, a think-tank specializing in the forecasting the macroeconomic outlook of a country could sell this service to the private sector/corporations.
Dr. Struyk's recommendations in this book were very useful for every organization that called themselves public policy think tanks, especially those that are in the second-stage and are trying to make a transition to a more established think-tank. We believe that the book is highly relevant to us at our institute today. The recommendations given by Dr. Struyk are very useful for us as we move ahead and we hope that some of them could be adopted within our think-tank.
Of course, there are a few issues in think-tank management that we wish could be elaborated further in this book. For instance, many developing countries think-tank are highly dependent on funds from official developing countries agencies, which are often project-oriented, short-term in nature, have bureaucratic reporting requirement, and often failed to take into account the long-term goals of the think-tanks receiving the funds. In the West, most think-tanks received the bulk their support from private foundations and individuals that tend to be more long-term in nature, less intervening and bureaucratic, and are often more respectful of the interests and goals of the think-tank they fund. We wish that there were a discussion in this book on how developing countries' think tanks could gain access to these private foundations and individuals. Unfortunately, this was not extensively discussed in the book.
However, despite such shortcomings, we believe that this book should be read by all think-tanks managers, researchers, donors, and other stakeholders. The advice and recommendations of the book are very practical and based on the author's experiences working with numerous policy think tanks. Thus, they could be easily adapted by other think tanks throughout the world, regardless in which countries the think-tank is located (developed and developing countries) and regardless whether the think-tank is recently established or whether it is already a long-established and highly reputable think-tank. So, we should start reading it and hopefully, we could act to implement some of the recommendations of the book within our own organization.