This article aims to provide founders, executive directors, and board members with a case study of a nonprofit executive director who, as a result of his refusal to “let go” of the organization he founded, created serious problems for his successor and role confusion for staff and organizational stakeholders.
This article uses the case study method to illustrate a problem founders of nonprofit organizations can create, when they take an active role within the organization after retirement.
Despite all the good outcomes and accomplishments attributed to founders, this article argues that founders can create irreparable harm to organizations when they remain active in the organization following the appointment of a successor. Despite the difficulty and personal and psychological connection to the organization, founders should allow the organization to develop and grow under the direction of the successor.
Founders, executive directors, and board members can all learn from this case by developing and implementing appropriate executive succession strategies.
This article informs founders of nonprofits about the potential harm they can create for the organization and its stakeholders by continuing to govern after retirement.
Santora, J., Sarros, J. and Esposito, M. (2012), "Old founders never die, they just fade away: or do they?", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 8-10. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777281211189100Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited