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Exploring board perspectives on non-profit executive turnover

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This article explores what non-profit executive turnover looks like from the perspective of who is responsible for managing these turnover events – the voluntary board of directors. Boards operate with prescribed responsibilities but varying capacities to fulfil their duties. Non-profit professional literature has offered instruction for boards managing executive turnover events, but there has been little empirical study investigating how boards actually fulfil this critical responsibility. Using surveys and interviews, the research study on which this article is based engaged the boards of non-profits operating in the United States that had recently experienced executive turnover. The findings are instructive about the actual functioning of boards and offer new insights about how and why board management of executive transitions may stray from the prescribed ideal. The findings highlight the importance of board capacity and the implications of board–executive relations for the board's management of executive turnover.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: July, 2017

This article was made available online on May 9, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Exploring board perspectives on non-profit executive turnover".

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  • Voluntary Sector Review publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, accessible papers on third sector research, policy and practice. It is an invaluable cutting-edge resource for all those researching or working in the fast-growing voluntary, community and wider third sectors.

    The journal covers the full range of issues relevant to voluntary sector studies, including: definitional and theoretical debates; management and organisational development; financial and human resources; philanthropy; volunteering and employment; regulation and charity law; service delivery; civic engagement; industry and sub-sector dimensions; relations with other sectors; social enterprise; evaluation and impact. Voluntary Sector Review covers voluntary sector studies from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. The journal includes work from the UK and Europe, and beyond, where cross-national comparisons are illuminating. With dedicated expert policy and practice sections, Voluntary Sector Review also provides an essential forum for the exchange of ideas and new thinking.

    Rigorous and stimulating, Voluntary Sector Review is an indispensable tool for everyone who values empirically-grounded, theoretically-informed and policy-relevant reviews of the future direction of the voluntary sector.

    Editors: Nick Acheson (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland), Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde, UK), Rob Macmillan, (University of Birmingham, UK)

    The journal is published in association with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and a print copy of the journal is a membership benefit.

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