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Social Sector | Stanford University | Powell, Walter W. | 2011

The aim of the course is to offer greater insight into how nonprofit, private and public organizations differ in terms of their goals and capabilities. Primary attention is directed to the role of nonprofit organizations and their distinctive missions and strategies. In particular, we examine the “nondistribution constraint” and how it shapes the purpose and behavior of nonprofits. We focus on a variety of fields—health care, social services, culture, higher education—where there is substantial competition and overlap among organizations from different sectors. We will read some of the key theoretical treatments regarding the choice of institutional form, as well as recent research and cases. Students will learn through readings, class discussion, and development of a research paper that addresses questions of institutional form and organizational performance.