Date of Conferral







Patricia Fusch


Empirical data have not adequately revealed current methods of nonprofit leadership in a way that reflects shared leadership in the nonprofit sector leaving nonprofit organizations (NPOs) at a disadvantage in relation to understanding and describing leadership effectiveness. Using a conceptual framework that incorporated organizational theory, shared leadership theory, path goal theory, transformational theory, leader member exchange, and fund development theory, this mini ethnographic study was conducted to explore the effect of leadership styles in shared leadership situations and the impact of matched and unmatched leadership styles on NPO funding performance. With the use of purposeful sampling to conduct the study, the participants represented 5 community partner NPOs in the New York City area with 20 or fewer employees and average annual funding of $600,000 or more during the previous 3 years. The data analysis of interviews, observation, journaling, member checking, and document review and analysis were performed through hand coding using an inductive analytical method to identify patterns and themes. The study results indicate that matching leadership styles of executive and senior leaders such as leader member exchange and path-goal development are directly related to a team-oriented culture that is essential for the longevity and effective performance of non-profit organizations. Based on the findings, shared leadership promotes a culture of positive social change through building honesty and integrity, which in turn can help nonprofit organizational leaders improve funding programs and stakeholder interest. Ultimately shared leadership benefits the social needs of society by enhancing the services to the beneficiaries who receive the NPO programs.