Publication Date

Spring 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Randy Capps (Director), Tricia Jordan, Dean May, and R. Brent Wright

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


This reality-oriented inquiry investigates chief executive officers’ experiences of board training within 501(c)(3) nonprofit acute care hospitals. This study provides an insight into the practices, barriers, and drivers of board training. Katz’s (1955) skillsbased leadership model serves as the theoretical framework for this study. The model suggests leadership skills are not innate but can be developed through training. This qualitative study includes nine in-depth interviews with chief executive officers to acquire a rich description of the phenomenon of interest throughout nine 501(c)(3) nonprofit acute care hospitals.

A constant-comparative analysis and inductive analysis are employed to develop six themes related to board training: (1) training is multi-faceted, (2) training is a team approach, (3) time is a scarce commodity, (4) healthcare is exceedingly complex, (5) fiduciary duties are wide in scope, and (6) trained board members often are engaged board members. The research findings provide meaningful information for chief executive officers, senior level healthcare executives, board chairs, and board members interested in developing and refining practices of board training. Likewise, this study has implications for academicians with research interests concentrating on nonprofit leadership, nonprofit governance, and board development.


Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership | Higher Education Administration