New book offers practical guidance for think tanks on global management practices

By 07/10/2013

Following on from his original and highly succesful “Managing Think Tanks”, Raymond Struyk is set to launch as new book in 2014 called Improving Think Tank Management: Practical Guidance for Think Tanks, Research Advocacy NGOs and their Funders.

Becoming a highly effective think tank requires more than just producing quality research and having robust policy engagement. High-performing think tanks seeking to improve development policies, conditions and discourses, also need to exhibit and engage in strong management practices.

In this new installment Struyk aims to support such practices by presenting insightful support for global think tanks to become resilient policy-influencers by giving sufficient attention to the nuts and bolts – covering staff productivity, finances, knowledge capture, M&E, quality control – on top of  their day-to-day research and communication functions.

While other resources exist, these are often scattered and disparate.  Moreover, there are living examples of think tanks working effectivelybut their experiences are not being shared. With an eye on these challenges, Improving Think Tank Management will be the only systematic, inclusive and integrated source of guidance for think tanks.

The new publication will retain the general structure and strengths of “Managing Think Tanks” but will also include important adjustments outlined below.

  1. Additional Coverage: The book will draw more concrete and actionable insights and case studies of improved management functions and practices from think tanks in regions where developing and transition economies dominate. These resources will combine with further information drawn from prominent think tank resources (blogs, articles and events), programs (Think Tank Initiative and Global Development Network-administered projects) and interviews.  While the topics on management will not be expanded beyond that in “Managing Think Tanks”, there will be significant additions within several areas.
  2. Reorientation: On each topic, there will be actionable takeaways on strong practices for think tanks and lessons for funders to make it easier to quickly identify key points.
  3. Contemporary support and contribution: With a robust dissemination strategy including event launches, blogging, social media, and a contest seeking additional case studies, the book will continue to collect contemporary feedback and examples of strong management practices.

Improving Think Tank Management’s goal is to demonstrate that improvements to management are possible and carry significant rewards, while negligence is only a recipe for looming disasters. The book will be published in 2014 and has been generously funded by the William and Hewlett Foundation for widespread dissemination and possible translation into different languages.

For more information:


[1] This title is a comprehensive revision and reorientation of the 2006 second edition of the widely used and respected Managing Think Tanks: Practical Guidance for Maturing Organizations

“Image courtesy of [Messaging for Engineering]/http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13463“.