Publication Date

1996

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Paul Ventura

Abstract

This capstone paper, "Change Management in U.S. Nonprofits: A Staff-Centered Approach," focuses on the U.S. nonprofit in this time of turbulent economic and social change and the effects of organizational change on nonprofit staff. The primary question is: How do U.S. nonprofits help their employees adapt to change? Data was gathered from nonprofit capacity-building organizations, such as consultants, researchers and membership associations, through the use of questionnaires and interviews. Questionnaires were sent to participants predominantly through email and responses were kept anonymous.

Conclusions drawn from the data and change management literature resulted in four main findings. These findings are: (1) change is an inevitable and an omnipresent aspect of working in a U.S. nonprofit; (2) supporting staff through organizational transition is important and essential to a smooth change process; (3) U.S. nonprofit managers and/or leaders do not act sufficiently in supporting staff through change; and (4) there are identifiable common characteristics of a change management process which is staff-centered and assists staff through a change transition. The four elements of supporting staff, which create the foundation for any successful change process, are involvement, training, communication and realism.

The data within this study may assist nonprofit managers in a current design or plan for their own organization's change process, as well as add validity to the necessity of supporting staff during a transition. The literature incorporated throughout this study supplies many theories on organizational change stages or phases and may inform a nonprofit employee on how they are affected emotionally and in relation to their work during any type of personal change.

Disciplines

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Human Resources Management

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