Exploring Competition in the Not-for-Profit Sector: The Case of Education in the United States

John D Branch


Collaboration, not competition, is often considered the appropriate ideology for the not-for-profit sector, stemming from a belief that competition is a characteristic of markets. Consequently, competition is often demonised, discounted, or disregarded by not-for-profit leaders. This article argues, however, that competition is largely misunderstood by not-for-profit leaders. It aims to rectify this misunderstanding by exploring competition in the not-for-profit sector. Specifically, it illuminates the nature of competition by outlining Shelby Hunt’s Resource-Advantage Theory of Competition. It then examines the implications of competition in the not-for-profit sector, by mapping the Theory to the not-for-profit sector, using the case of education in the United States.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijld.v12i4.20555


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