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Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement (Jossey Bass Public Administration Series) Hardcover – September 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0787901417 ISBN-10: 0787901415 Edition: Revised

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Product Details

  • Series: Jossey Bass Public Administration Series
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; Revised edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787901415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787901417
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,023,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"In the revised edition of Strategic Planning for Public and Non-Profit organizations, John Bryson has taken a first-rate organizational resource to a higher level. The new material in change, implementation, and leadership complements his detailed and practical discussion of planning techniques and processes. This book is now the complete guide for strategic management in public and non-profit organizations." —James L. Perry, Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, and editor, Handbook of Public Administration

"When I'm asked for advice on strategic planning for government or nonprofits, the very first resource I recommend is John Bryson's book. It is a must-have tool for anyone working toward the common good." —Beverly Stein, chair, Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, Portland, Oregon

"Bryson's book is an extremely useful and lucid introduction to strategic planning. It will open the door for many people to a new and more productive way of preparing for the future than rlying on conventional planning and management techniques." —Judith Innes, Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning, and director, Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California, Berkeley

"Strategic planning for Public and Non-Profit Organizations is already a classic, and the new revised edition reconfirms John Bryson's place as the international leader in the field." —Paul C. Light, Director, Public Policy Program, The Pew Charitable Trusts

"Bryson's book presents a ver thoughtful and thorough approach to strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations. It's an extremely useful reference and guide." —Bryan Barry, Director, Services to Organizations, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

"John Bryson's work illuminates the path to sound strategic planning for those of us in government who want to improve the quality and lower the cost of public services. Bryson's insights also serve as an excellent guide to transforming seemingly immutable constraints into opportunities. His emphasis on the link between strategic planning and leadership is right on the mark." —David R. Riemer, Chief of Staff to the Mayor, Milwukee, Wisconsin


“John Bryson provides the tools leaders need to guide organizations and collaborations through a strategic planning process. His third edition should be required reading for anyone leading a nonprofit or public organization.”
--Terri Barreiro, director, Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship, Saint John’s University, and former vice president for Community Impact of the Greater Twin Cities United Way.

“John Bryson’s book is an immensely valuable resource for leaders, professionals, researchers and other participants in public and nonprofit settings. Anyone professing competence in public and nonprofit management needs to know what Bryson says about strategic planning.”
--Hal G. Rainey, Alumni Foundation Distinguished Professor, School of Public and International Affairs, The University of Georgia, and author, Understanding and Managing Public Organizations, Third Edition

“The arrival of a new edition of this authoritative and highly usable book is very good news. Bryson explains strategic planning systematically and clearly in this valuable work.”
--Judith E. Innes, Professor of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley

“John Bryson’s book has quickly become the classic guide for making better decisions – and getting better results. The third edition introduces new concepts, like managing for results and creating public value, while maintaining the powerful, disciplined thinking of previous editions. It is an indispensable guide for anyone seeking to cope with the growing challenges of managing the tough environment of the public and nonprofit world.”
--Donald F. Kettl, Professor of Political Science and Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin – Madison; author, The Transformation of Governance: Public Administration for Twenty-First Century America and The Global Public Management Revolution

“If you are committed to the future effectiveness of your organization and the people it serves, this is the key resource book for you. John challenges our strategic thinking on the one hand, whilst providing us with practical tools to deliver meaningful strategies and plans on the other.”
--Irene Hewitt, chief executive, The Beeches Management Centre for Health and Personal Social Services, Belfast, Northern Ireland

"The new edition of Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations brings two needed gifts to this field: An excellent summary of the principles and theory behind leading and managing in a strategic way, and a solid process and great set of tools, which leaders and future leaders can use to make their institutions more responsive and effective."
--Bryan Barry, principal consultant, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation Center for Communities, St. Paul, MN --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

John M. Bryson is a professor of Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis. He consults widely on leadership and strategic planning with public, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations in the United States and abroad. He is the author of Strategic Planning for Not-for-Profit Organizations (1994) and Successful Strategic Planning: A Guide for Nonprofit Agencies and Organizations (1993).

Customer Reviews

The reading material was very dry, making it a pain to follow.
N. Wright
It also details how to implement the planning process and includes specific tools and techniques to make the process work in any organization.
Excellent public sector response to what we normally see as a business model for strategic planning.
Thomas H. Kemp PhD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I certainly liked this book a lot, but I didn't love it. Ergo, it gets a 4 star rating. If you want a detailed account regarding strategic planning, then read this book. It is well documented and clearly organized. Unfortunately it is boring!

The author is a college professor whose expertise is strategic planning in the nonprofit and government sectors. It certainly is normal to see a college professor take a subject and break it down into tiny parts and then build a textbook around describing how the tiny parts all fit together. In the case of this book, the author has broken the subject of strategic planning into tiny parts and called the combination of the tiny parts the Strategic Change Cycle ("SCC"). To see his nice diagram of the SCC turn to page 33 of the text.

After letting the reader see what the SCC is, the author then takes the rest of the book to explain the diagram and how all of its parts fit together. There are three sections to the book:

1. Understanding SCC

2. Key steps to using SCC

3. Managing the SCC process

Each chapter has a summary at its end. Someone who wants to get through the book as quickly as possible will start by reading each chapter's summary and then go back and skim through each of the chapters. Much of the content is common sense, so it shouldn't take all that long to read. However, there will be sections where you will probably want to slow down and digest in depth some of the material.

Leaders must be effective strategists if nonprofits are to be successful. And leaders use strategic planning and its set of concepts, procedures and tools in order to make their nonprofits successful.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Tansu Demir on September 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have read this invaluable book to better understand the strategic planning process in public and nonprofit sector organizations and I can say proudly that I reached my objective. I think that the most important aspect of this book is that it distinguishes the planning process in public sector organizations from that in the private sector organizations very clearly. The basic concepts in planning process such as Mission, Vision, Objectives, Resources were explained correctly. If you think that a great majority of books in the field of strategic planning are very abstract and confusing, you must read this. I strongly reccommend.
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38 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Strategic planning for nonprofits is my area of interest and this book is the best ever written guide for practitioners, consultants, and researchers interested in the process and implementation of strategic planning in nonprofit (and public organizations). Dr. Bryson's wealth of knowledge and experience are in clear abundance for readers of this treasure.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Elijah Chingosho on October 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a dry but business-like book that presents all the essentials of strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations. The book is well organized with concepts well explained. The book provides comprehensive coverage of the practical planning techniques and processes for those working for the common good. The author correctly highlights the critical importance of the link between strategic planning and leadership. John Bryson presents a useful planning process called "the Strategy Change cycle" which is a handy model successfully used in some public and nonprofit organizations.

This is a thoughtful, useful and helpful reference and guide book for those working in government, social workers or managers in non-governmental organizations. After reading the book, you will be clear about the differences between strategic planning process in the private sector and in the public and not-for-profit organizations. You will also learn how to reduce the costs of providing services whilst improving the quality of those services.

The book is well illustrated with insightful examples which will help practitioners learn about successful strategy formulation and implementation.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robin R. Beavers on May 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book for strategic management course. Along with the workbook, this textbook is a good resource for those developing and implementing strategic plans in public service and nonprofit organizations. It outlines and details valuable information to help public admininstration leaders use effective strategic plannig and implementation techniques.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A&D on December 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The English word "strategy" is derived from the Greek strategos, "general of the army." Strategoi, elected political leaders, provided "strategic" advice on battle management to win wars rather than "tactical" advice on troop management to win battles. Given these origins, strategic planning focuses on outcomes rather than outputs and on how to achieve outcomes rather than how to define the outcomes.
Strategic planning's origins per se, as used in the public sector, can be traced to the late 1950s and early 1960s. The U.S. Department of Defense began to look for better and more useful ways to plan for its long-term needs while at the same time achieving cost savings. The advent of the Planning-Programming-Budgeting-System (PPBS) began what was to blossom into a series of varying strategic planning and budgeting systems.
The strategic planning is a process of developing a long-term plan to guide an organization, for example, a state agency, department or commission, towards a clearly articulated mission, goals and objectives. It is a process of assessing where an organization is presently, ascertaining the challenges and opportunities that present themselves, and determining what destination is most desirable and how to get there.
In the private sector, success measures relate to the profitability of the company. However, measuring performance in public sector organizations can often be difficult. Government managers can seldom measure success of strategic objectives in monetary terms; instead, they must frequently measure success in terms of the percentage increases and decreases.

This book features the Strategy Change Cycle - a proven planning process used by a large number of organizations.
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