The subject of think tank governance and management rarely gets the attention that the fields of research and communications receive. However, poor governance arrangements and limited management capacity are most likely to explain any shortfalls in research quality and communication impact. Executive director transitions can put the survival of the think tank at risk if the governance is not strong enough. And even well-designed fundraising campaigns can fail to deliver their objectives if an organisation’s management is unable to cope with the sudden increase in funds and responsibilities.
This short course is composed of two modules that discuss the governance and management of think tanks and policy research organisations. This topic encompasses many aspects: governing bodies, boards, senior management and line management, fundraising and the allocation of funds, communications, human resources, finance experts, and more.
This course focuses on two crucial elements: boards and the management of research teams. In the first module, the trainer discusses three main types of boards and the roles they play within organisations. In the second module, the trainer focuses on research team structures and line-management within research teams and projects.
The background note produced for this course explores these issues further and gives readers access to further resources.
Selected articles and resources:
- On Think Tank Series: Think tank governance and management
- Struyk, R. (2017) Managing consultants on think tank research projects. On Think Tanks Best Practice Series
- Struyk, R. & Poldi, T. (2017) Ensuring you are hiring qualified research staff: Guarding against CV padding. On Think Tanks Best Practice Series
- Struyk, R. (2018) Structuring off-site staff training. On Think Tanks Best Practice Series
- Struyk, R. (2018) Donors’ best financial practice in granting to think tanks. On Think Tanks Best Practice Series
- Struyk, R. (2018) Monitoring costs on research projects: Often a challenge for senior managers. On Think Tanks Best Practice Series