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News: Research

Research Study on the Leadership of Boards

Wednesday, January 24, 2018  
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This survey represents the second phase of
ground-breaking research on the leadership of boards by the
Alliance's Governance Affinity Group.

The Governance Affinity Group is looking for board chairs, other officers and committee chairs to complete the survey by March 2018.

The first phase of research, the widely-acclaimed Voices of Board Chairs study, investigated the roles and preparation of nonprofit board chairs, surveying 635 board chairs across the U.S. 

Not only is there very little research that investigates board chair leadership, but there is even less about other pivotal leadership roles within boards such as the officers and committee chairs. 

For phase two, the Affinity Group will contribute to the governance field by answering these questions: 
  • What are the ways that boards use officers and committee chairs to provide leadership?
  • How are they selected and prepared for their roles?
  • Is the traditional model of the single person board chair unrealistic?
  • How do board officers/committee chairs share leadership and what are the models of shared or distributed leadership within boards?
  • To what extent does diversity and inclusion influence the selection and succession planning of chairs and other board leaders?
We are asking for your help in distributing this national survey to board officers and committee chairs in the U.S. and Canada. Please forward this email and distribute the survey to your networks!
Thank you for distributing this important survey
and for helping to advance the field of governance!
Board Leadership Research Team: Judy Freiwirth, Psy.D.; Mike Burns, M.A.; Gayle L. Gifford, M.S.; Mary Hiland, Ph.D.; Diane Fletcher, B.A.; and Ann F. Cohen. 

The Alliance's Governance Affinity Group, a network of capacity builders, funders and researchers, provides a forum to forward creative thinking in the field of board governance and development, including the generation of new approaches and models for community-based organizations.  Through the development of original research and new approaches, The Affinity Group promotes research-based practice. The Affinity Group seeks to not only advance the field, but also to increase the knowledge base, generative thinking, and consulting skills of its members. 

For more information about this survey and joining the Governance Affinity Group, contact Judy Freiwirth, Psy.D., Affinity Group Chair.