Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Janice Kelly

Second Supervisor

Carla Smith


Despite the predictions of a nonprofit leadership shortage and concerns for internal leadership development, succession planning for executive level leaders has uncertain level of use within the nonprofit sector. The problem: the sector has limited interest, intent, and understanding of the impact of succession planning and therefore remains ill-prepared to engage in leadership succession planning. This study examined what relationship, if any, exists between intent and actual engagement in succession planning activities. A Likert-scaled tool was developed to obtain the opinions of board members of (501(c)3) organizations with annual revenues of no more than $5 million providing services in the NYC borough of the Bronx. Framed in the theory of planned behavior, or TPB, and the leadership pipeline model, Spearman’s rho correlation and additional bivariate regression analyses of the response data were inconclusive in determining that a relationship exists between board intent and actual engagement in succession planning activities; and that organizational size (in annual revenues) is not positively associated with engagement. Covariables or moderating effects of board tenure or board role could not be supported. Due to low response rate, study replication is recommended.

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