Succession of Leadership Position in Non-governmental Organisations: Case studies

Janusz Reichel



Purpose: The issue of succession in non-governmental organi-sations is very weakly represented in the scientific literature. There is also a lack of discussion on that topic in Polish literature. There exist studies on succession in large companies and family businesses, as well as organisations that allow to analyse easily the impact of succession on their performance (e.g. sport clubs). The aim of the paper is to fill the gap in literature and thus in knowledge and understanding of succession processes in non-gov-ernmental organisations.

Design/methodology/approach: The literature studies showed the need for qualitative research in this field mainly in the form of case studies with concrete succession stories from organisa-tions. The applied method is a multiple case study with elements of the grounded theory approach. Qualitative case studies have been developed based on interviews with CEOs from Polish NGOs.

Findings: The results of the research presented in the paper are the beginnings of theorizing on succession in non-govern-mental organisations in Poland. The synthesis of the collected research material is presented and delineates further research directions.

Research and practical limitations/implications: Conducted case studies provide contextual knowledge about the course and environment of succession processes in NGOs. However, the col-lected material from case studies does not allow generalizations and references to the entire population of the examined type of organisations.


Originality/value: The study on succession in non-governmental organisations is quite unique in the scientific literature devoted to the succession (missing specially specific case studies from NGOs) and almost completely unique in Polish literature. A meth-odological novelty lies also in an attempt to combine the case study method with elements of the grounded theory approach.

Paper type: Research paper.


succession; non-governmental organisations; qualitative research; case study; Poland

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