Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Policy and Leadership

First Committee Member

Christopher Stream

Second Committee Member

Jessica Word

Third Committee Member

Robert Randolph

Fourth Committee Member

Helen Neill

Number of Pages



Horror stories of ineffective nonprofit organization management arise in the media far too often. When these stories emerge, the public demands accountability from those responsible. Ultimately, accountability rests with the fiduciaries of the organization. For nonprofit

organizations in the United States, fiduciary responsibility and accountability reside with the board of directors.

Board governance has been widely studied in the for-profit sector. Due to the critical nature of the work nonprofits perform, there has been an increasing effort to study board governance in nonprofit organizations. Employing in depth interviews, with both executive

directors and board members, checks and safeguards such as contracts, performance review, and monitoring were examined. What began as an exploration of two-competing theories (Agency Theory and Stewardship Theory), resulted in the unmasking of the subtlety of effective governance (both contractual and socio-relational), the illusory promises of formalization, and a novel application of Kingdom’s Multiple Streams Approach (MSA) in nonprofit board governance.


board development; board governance; board of directors; governance; leadership; nonprofit


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Public Administration | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Public Policy