University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Strategic leadership, change and growth in not-for-profit, membership-based, value-driven organisations

Andrews, Scott ORCID: (2023) Strategic leadership, change and growth in not-for-profit, membership-based, value-driven organisations. Journal of Organizational Change Management. ISSN 0953-4814

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Purpose – This research paper takes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing from empirical data, to explore
the relationship between organisational change management and strategic leadership to promote growth in
value-driven, membership-based organisations through a qualitative multi-case-based analysis and to provide
a discussion on the philosophies and practices of leadership teams which underpin successful organisational
change within such not-for-profit organisations.

Design/methodology/approach – Each participating organisation had 700þ members, had previously
experienced prolonged periods of auditable membership growth and employed distinctly different
organisational models to facilitate growth. A qualitative multi-case study approach was adopted informed
by 32 interviews with eight leadership teams. A thematic analysis provided a comparative review of responses.

Findings – All case study organisations emphasised the significance of strategic leadership teams and clearly
communicated vision and flexible organisational structures as central to their strategic planning and
subsequent growth. This builds on previous research which has explored organisational change in not-forprofit organisations and strategic leadership in not-for-profit organisations, which explores the strong linkages
between the roles and functions of strategic leadership, organisational structures designed with the adaptive
capacity to manage continuous and convergent change and their impact on sustained growth. Such linkages
are more specifically supported by extended tenure of office for those in senior leadership roles, clear
delineation of roles and responsibilities, the adoption of an outward growth-oriented focus and adaptable
structures that encourage wider participation in leadership and management functions for the fulfilment of the
organisation’s mission. Most significantly, these organisations plan with change and growth in mind.

Practical implications – The findings of this research have transferable value to other not-for-profit,
membership-based, value-driven organisations as well as other faith-based organisations, which will help to
provide future linkages between leadership structures, decision-making and organisational design and its
impact on the not-for-profit organisations’ capacity for sustained growth.

Originality/value – This research challenges previous conceptions on UK church growth trends and
observes that all the case organisations presented different organisational structures which were intentionally
designed, context specific and developed by leadership teams with sustained growth in mind. Results from
psychometric testing of participants confirmed that senior leaders of large value-driven organisations that
have demonstrated a capacity for sustained growth are consistently likely to exhibit leadership characteristics
which demonstrate a balanced capacity for personal humility and a committed resolve or professional will,
which is also reflected in a pragmatic-type leadership style, building on previous psychometric testing research
in this context.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Staff and students at the University of Worcester have access to the full-text of the published version via the UW online Library Search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: case study, church growth, not for profit, continuous change, convergent change, strategic leadership, membership-based
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
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Copyright Info: © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited
Depositing User: Scott Andrews
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2023 09:02
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2023 09:02

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