Human Resource Management in the Nonprofit Sector

Human Resource Management in the Nonprofit Sector

Passion, Purpose and Professionalism

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Cary L. Cooper

This impressive book assembles the latest research findings and thinking on the management of voluntary/nonprofit sector organizations and the effective utilization of both paid staff and volunteers. The authors expertly look into the challenges faced by this sector and the growing role that it plays in society. They review HRM in the voluntary sector and discuss the challenges of bringing about best practices, as well as suggesting how to improve leadership of voluntary/nonprofit organizations.

Chapter 4: Reviewing the literature on leadership in nonprofit organizations

John C. Ronquillo, Whitney E. Hein and Heather L. Carpenter

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour, public management, politics and public policy, public administration and management, public policy


An acute focus on the leadership of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) is unquestionably merited under the constant change that these organizations are subject to. The success or failure of the start-up, maintenance, opera- tions and sustainability of NPOs is largely correlated to the leadership core executives and boards of directors _ and their ability or inability to execute their responsibilities in a way that gives their respective organ- izations the stability they need to serve those who benefit from their services (Golensky, 2011; see also Heimovics et al., 1995; Young et al., 1993). In the wake of global recession, the paucity of resources available to nonprofits has logically forced leaders to exercise the most creative and innovative of their abilities to procure the funding necessary to recruit and retain talented employees and to serve their clientele.The scope of this chapter is to review the literature on leadership in nonprofit organizations, the bulk of which will focus largely on select literature that has been produced over the past two decades. Literature has been drawn from various sources, including popular press publications as well as scholarly articles that span various disciplines. Though the scope of the chapter is simple, a challenge is clearly present in that the concept of leadership is very subjective and its literature voluminous, such that the profusion of nonprofit leadership literature is impossible to cover in a single chapter.

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