Abstract-Schmidt-CEOs of CA Enviromental Orgs

Chief Executive Officers of California Environmental Organizations: A Study of Personal Values Congruence with Organizational Mission

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TITLE Chief Executive Officers of California Environmental Organizations: A Study of Personal Values Congruence with Organizational Mission
 
RESEARCHER Christine Marie Schmidt
Master of Nonprofit Management
University of San Francisco
Master’s Thesis: May 1999

OBJECTIVE
To investigate whether CEOs of California environmental organizations were personally committed to their organizations' missions as demonstrated by (1) past and present activities in their personal lives that indicated personal values similar to those espoused by the organization and (2) their intent to stay with their organization.

METHODOLOGY
California environmental organizations were chosen from the National Environmental Directory Project's Harbinger File, a database maintained by Global Action Information Network, and stratified by budget size. Of the 300 organizations sampled, with 163 returning surveys (response rate = 54%); however, the usable sample size was 133 (44% response rate).

KEY FINDINGS
"People who feel that the organization's values are important and share them as their own are more likely to work for their organization and the environmental movement for a long period of time. Stronger values congruence, in fact, explained 27.9 percent of the variance of the 'intent to stay' question" (p. 92). "Lower ratings on 'intent to stay' were associated with CEOs who report very actively making donations to their organizations and encouraging their peers to contribute and volunteer, than for CEOs who engaged in fewer of these behaviors" (p. 92). No generalizations could be made about the impact of organizational size and the amount of CEO behavior that indicates values congruence. The higher a CEOs values congruence score, the more important the organization's environmental mission was in the CEO's decision to accept his/her current position. However, the opposite finding was indicated with regard to "environmental commitment" activities of CEOs. High values congruence CEOs also rated more highly on mission-oriented skills (e.g., knowledge of environmental issues).

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