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Nonprofit Governance: Exploring Leadership Practices and Demographics of Local Education Foundation Boards

Marva L. Berry

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TITLE: Nonprofit Governance: Exploring Leadership Practices and Demographics of Local Education Foundation Boards
 
RESEARCHER: Marva L. Berry
School of Education and Organizational Leadership
Indiana Wesleyan University
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: April, 2012

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between leadership practices and the impact of gender and positions on local education foundation boards of nonprofit organizations.

METHODOLOGY
The population for this study was members of 63 Local Education Foundation (LEF) boards located in Indiana. One hundred and six agreed to participate (response rate = 26%) by completing the Leadership Practices Inventory and provided demographic data. The typical respondent was female (59%), Caucasian (90%), between the ages of 40-64 (77%), college graduate (38% plus 50% with a graduate or professional degree), employed in the corporate sector (39%), not a board officer (56%), with two-four years of board service (42%), serving on two-three boards (48%), and with previous board experience (57%). Internal reliability (Cronbach alpha) for the LPI in this study was .936.

KEY FINDINGS
No significant differences were found on any of the leadership practices on the basis of gender. Similarly, no significant differences were found for any of the five leadership practices on the basis of board position (officers vs. non-officers).

The author concludes:
Further utilization of the LPI instrument to analyze BoD leadership practices, along with a strategy of board development activities such as new member orientation, annual retreats, access to resources and tool of improvement could provide greater awareness to boards on the practices that can add value to their board service experiences and organizational achievements” (p. 170).


 

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