Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Marilyn Simon


Many leaders of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) lack strategies to replace leaders who leave the organization. An organization is in jeopardy of survival without an effective leadership development and succession planning strategy. The purpose of this single case study was to explore strategies NPO leaders use to develop future generations for leadership roles within the organization. Data were collected from face-to face semistructured interviews with 4 executives and 2 directors of a NPO in Texas and a review of documents including organization manuals, organizational charts, the employee handbook, and a management-in-training course. The human capital theory and succession theory were used as the conceptual framework for this study. Yin's 5-step process guided the data-coding process, and member checking was used to validate transcribed data. Data analysis consisted of coding, thematic analysis, and key word analysis, which resulted in 4 major themes: the need for a formal succession plan, removal of barriers to succession planning, investment in human capital, and practices and processes for succession planning. The implications of this study for social change include contributing to the organization's stability and profitability, which might allow the organization to provide services for the community and continue the development of human capital. Nonprofit leaders can benefit from the findings of this study by developing sustainable practices and improving strategies to implement succession planning.