Leadership Capacity of Nonprofit Social Service Organizations in Alberta

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Society relies on nonprofit organizations to provide essential services to marginalized populations and advocate for public policy; yet, service providers are constantly being challenged by funding competition, increasing demand for services, and leadership shortage. This qualitative multi-case study provides insights gathered from Alberta nonprofit executive leaders (n = 9) as to how they leverage their own leadership capacities for their social service organizations and also build organizational leadership capacity. Nonprofit leaders from organizations in the western Canadian cities of Calgary and Edmonton were interviewed. Six major themes and three sub-themes emerged. Participants brought a wide range of education and experience to their roles; they invested in themselves through lifelong learning, and they were the best fit for the organization they led. These executive leaders did not subscribe to any specific leadership styles, but made important decisions for their organization based on its vision and mission. Study participants were cognizant of their strengths and believed that emergent leaders should hone their entrepreneurial mindset and strive to be future-focused. Although leadership training is important to develop future leaders, inadequacies do exist in current training models, according to the study participants. Current training does not provide potential candidates the opportunities to build leadership capacities through experiential learning and mentorship, two components that the executive leaders in this study believed to be crucial to the success of future leaders.
Nonprofit executive leaders, leadership capacity, leadership experiential learning, mentorship
Doan-Nguyen, M. (2021). Leadership Capacity of Nonprofit Social Service Organizations in Alberta (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca.