An Observational Study of Leadership Dysfunction in Nonprofit Governance

An Observational Study of Leadership Dysfunction in Nonprofit Governance

Raymond John Kayal Sr.
DOI: 10.4018/IJRLEDM.2019010104
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This case study shows how observational research explained behaviors in the volunteer board of directors of the Good Sisters of Guardian Angels, a faith-based community service organization. This article presents a review of the literature and experiential information relating to human and organizational behavior and boardroom best practices. The study shows how the mix of status and personality characteristics with opposing motivational forces resulted in boardroom balkanization and high turnover. In response to the research questions, personal observation, notes, communications, and public records were used to gather the data which were analyzed and compared inferentially for behaviors prejudicial to group harmony. This study used third-party participant observation to examine decision-making behavior in forming a model of reality and moral reasoning reflective of the ethical dilemmas faced by study participants. The findings suggest that greater care should be given to board member nominations to more closely align with the organization's mission.
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Limitations And Delimitations

As the researcher, I had total control over the research design, and my perceptions influenced the selection of documents and their analyses. Although helpful for mitigating judgmental data selection, the use of a third-party observer was innately limited by participant bias making accuracy uncertain. The subjective nature of this study used a broad application of research sources relating to individual and group behavior and made few allowances for current debate. The researcher’s limited industry-specific experience was a delimiting factor. Also, the extent of participant observer reliance bound and reduced the study’s trustworthiness and increased outcome bias. Even with these limitations and delimitations, the results of this study are significant enough to warrant broader examination and consideration. To place these findings in context, it is useful to first explore relevant background.

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