Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Business Administration

Advisor

John House

Abstract

A sustainability plan of an organization is useless without effective leadership in its design and execution. The purpose of this case study was to explore strategies that church leaders having at least 7 continuous years of organizational fiscal sustainability and leadership used to ensure fiscal sustainability. The study included 8 face-to-face and 2 phone interviews with 4 senior pastors, 3 associate pastors, a treasurer, a finance committee chair, and a certified public accountant who lived in the Akron, Ohio area along with a review of documents including a leadership meeting agenda and financial committee meeting agenda, provided by study participants. The transformational leadership theory was used to frame this study. Audio recordings were transcribed and analyzed along with interview notes and publicly available documents to identify themes regarding strategies used by church leaders to successfully achieve fiscal sustainability. Data analysis consisted of coding, thematic analysis, and key word analysis, which resulted in 4 major themes: mentoring strategies, where a pastor might get some good advise from someone knowledgeable about fiscal sustainability; training strategies on subjects like planned giving; education strategies on the use of websites and social media tools to improve the effectiveness of fundraising activities; and the importance of choosing the right leadership style as a strategy in improving fiscal sustainability. These strategies may contribute to social change if they are used by pastors and other church leaders to ensure fiscal sustainability in their organizations. Social implications may include increased attention on the varied benefits of sustainability and their adoption by individuals, businesses, organizations, governments, and society.