To read this content please select one of the options below:

Founders, leaders, and organizational life cycles: the choice is easy – learn or fail!

Joseph C. Santora (School of Business and Management, Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, New Jersey, USA.)
James C. Sarros (Acting Head of Department, Department of Management, Monash University, Caulfield, Australia.)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




The purpose of this article is to provide executives and other organizational leaders with a six‐stage organizational life cycle and its components at each stage.


This article uses the case study method to show the impact of the organizational life cycle on the founder of a nonprofit organization who over time lost the drive and desire to remain competitive.


Founders and organizational leaders who fail to understand the consequences of not remaining vigilant will cause their organizations to suffer the consequences.

Practical implications

Leaders will learn about the issues associated with an organization's life cycle, and will be shown strategies that can be implemented in order to deal with these issues.


This article informs leaders about the importance of learning the steps in the organizational life cycle to help them avoid failure.



Santora, J.C. and Sarros, J.C. (2008), "Founders, leaders, and organizational life cycles: the choice is easy – learn or fail!", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 12-15.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles