The purpose of this paper is to explore how chief executives of 20 nonprofit organizations construe and prioritize the skills they use to perform typical leadership tasks.
The in-depth interview protocol used in the study is based on the Repertory Grid Technique, which elicits assumptions, beliefs, and values of respondents without imposing the researchers’ implicit frame of reference.
The interviews generated 285 skill constructs. Respondents in this study report that they utilize a mix of technical, interpersonal, and conceptual skills. Interpersonal skills, especially communication and trust building, appear to be particularly prevalent among the many skills used by executives to perform their leadership tasks.
Because this is an exploratory study, its findings cannot yet be generalized to other contexts. Therefore, the paper concludes with some propositions for further research.
The study may have implications for the design of curricula to prepare people to assume leadership positions in nonprofit organizations.
This study uses a distinctive methodology to elicit from nonprofit leaders their assumptions and beliefs about the skills they use to perform leadership tasks. In this respect, the findings are grounded in the frames of reference of the subjects, not those of the researchers.
Kearns, K.P., Livingston, J., Scherer, S. and McShane, L. (2015), "Leadership skills as construed by nonprofit chief executives", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 36 No. 6, pp. 712-727. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-11-2013-0143Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited