An exploratory study of strategic leadership in churches

An exploratory study of strategic leadership in churches Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to extend the notion of strategic leadership, that which has been primarily applied to for profit organizations, to nonprofits, specifically the church setting. Design/methodology/approach – The research employs a case study methodology and draws primarily upon qualitative data collected from interviews and observation. Findings – The findings reveal that over the past several years, the organization and its members have undergone a number of incremental and more radical changes. Much of this change has been attributed to the vision and leadership style of the current leader. Four key themes illuminate the processes and content of change under this strategic leader, including unsettlingly the status quo, model of shared leadership, shared vision and culture of community and learning. Research limitations/implications – The findings are based upon one case study site and this limits the generalizability of the research. In addition, exposure to the organization was limited to short periods of time on‐site and the sample size was relatively small. Practical implications – Achieving success in nonprofits requires leaders to have an intimate understanding of the complex nature of stakeholder relations and measuring success needs to be multi‐dimensional in nature and linked directly to the mission and context of the organization, rather than based solely on generic measures. Originality/value – There is limited research to date that examines the applicability of leadership theories that have been traditionally applied to for profit and public sector organizations to nonprofits. The research extends the notion of strategic leadership from the for profit setting to nonprofit organizations generally, and more specifically to the church setting. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Leadership & Organization Development Journal Emerald Publishing

An exploratory study of strategic leadership in churches

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Volume 34 (7): 23 – Sep 20, 2013

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0143-7739
DOI
10.1108/LODJ-08-2011-0081
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to extend the notion of strategic leadership, that which has been primarily applied to for profit organizations, to nonprofits, specifically the church setting. Design/methodology/approach – The research employs a case study methodology and draws primarily upon qualitative data collected from interviews and observation. Findings – The findings reveal that over the past several years, the organization and its members have undergone a number of incremental and more radical changes. Much of this change has been attributed to the vision and leadership style of the current leader. Four key themes illuminate the processes and content of change under this strategic leader, including unsettlingly the status quo, model of shared leadership, shared vision and culture of community and learning. Research limitations/implications – The findings are based upon one case study site and this limits the generalizability of the research. In addition, exposure to the organization was limited to short periods of time on‐site and the sample size was relatively small. Practical implications – Achieving success in nonprofits requires leaders to have an intimate understanding of the complex nature of stakeholder relations and measuring success needs to be multi‐dimensional in nature and linked directly to the mission and context of the organization, rather than based solely on generic measures. Originality/value – There is limited research to date that examines the applicability of leadership theories that have been traditionally applied to for profit and public sector organizations to nonprofits. The research extends the notion of strategic leadership from the for profit setting to nonprofit organizations generally, and more specifically to the church setting.

Journal

Leadership & Organization Development JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 20, 2013

Keywords: Churches; Leadership; Nonprofits; Religious organizations; Strategic change; Strategic leadership

References

  • Effective ministerial leadership
    Butler, D.; Herman, R.

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