Date of Award

8-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

Abstract

In today’s 24/7 globally interconnected world, effective leaders are needed more than ever. As organizations face new economic and competitive challenges, leadership qualities, characteristics, and behaviors may need to adapt to the new reality. This study examined the entrepreneurial behavior of leaders in nonprofit membership associations and analyzed how an entrepreneurial orientation (EO) is manifested in these organizations. Using an emergent mixed-methods methodology, this study surveyed nonprofit CEOs and board chairs to collect data on the viability and application of the three-part framework of an entrepreneurial orientation: innovativeness, ability to accept risk, and being proactive. Findings indicate that nonprofit leaders are at least as entrepreneurial as their for-profit counterparts and that higher EO scores are strongly associated with increased entrepreneurial activity. Results suggest that EO behavior in nonprofit organizations is not limited to business-like behaviors such as financial undertakings or competitiveness, but can also be observed and measured in other NPO activities.

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