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Betwixt and Between the Board Chair and Executive Director Dyadic Leadership Role Perceptions Within Nonprofit Organizations

Melissa A. Mathews


This article presents the results of a study examining dyadic leadership role perceptions of board chairs and executive directors of community-based nonprofit organizations. The research was structured as a multiple case study analysis involving 17 single cases of 34 board chair and executive director pairs. This study was informed by role theory, which is relevant to inquiry concerned with board chairs’ and executive directors’ interpretations of their leadership roles within dyads. The findings of this study reveal new dimensions regarding board chair and executive director leadership role perceptions within dyads and advance an understanding of inter-dyadic dynamics. This research also underscores the complexity of nonprofit leadership with potential influences of individual characteristics on board chair and executive director dyadic leadership role perceptions.

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board chair; executive director; dyad; leadership; role; nonprofit

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