Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 2006


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program for Education Leaders (IDPEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Leanne Roberts

Committee Member

Harold R. Ott

Committee Member

Judith A. Smith


change in leadership, Leader Values, Nonprofit Leadership, nonprofit management, Organizational Change, organizational culture


An ethnographic case study approach of a Pennsylvania non-profit organization was used to develop an understanding of leaders' values as they relate to organizational culture and organizational efficacy using testimony of organizational leaders and followers as well as organizational documents. Past Executive Directors, the current Executive Director, past Chairpersons of the Board of Directors and a random sample of Leadership Council members were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide to answer the following research questions:

How, if at all, do the values of a leader affect the organizational efficacy?

How, if at all, do the values of a leader affect the organizational culture?

What happens to organizational efficacy when there is a new leader?

What happens to organizational culture when there is a new leader?

Subjects were asked to participate through a mass mailing. Chairpersons of the Board of Directors and Leadership Council completed a return card to indicate their interest to participate. The informed consent procedure covered areas deemed appropriate by Duquesne University--title, investigator, advisor, source of support, purpose, risks and benefits, compensation, confidentiality, right to withdraw, summary of results and voluntary consent. Each interview was audio taped and professionally transcribed. The researcher compiled field notes. Pseudonyms were assigned to participants for confidentiality. The researcher treated all participants with respect and dignity. No harm came from the choice to participate or not. Forty years of information from the Board of Directors' minutes and twenty years of the non-profit's newsletter as well as the archival scrapbook was analyzed and coded. The following themes emerged from the study: External customer relationships contribute to change; Appointed leaders' values not sole determinant for change; Leaders' modeling of values promotes change; Leaders' effectiveness enhances organizational culture and change; Care and respect for client and community; Honesty and dedication to mission; Funding challenges are not an obstacle to efficacy; Congruency of values between leaders and followers key to morale and culture.