The purpose of this qualitative case study is to examine succession planning while applying the relay race model of succession. The study focuses on the value of effective succession planning and the issues that must be addressed to develop an effective succession process. To conduct the study, the researcher identified human resources professional and board members of small nonprofit organizations in Michigan to participate in this study. The data collected was analyzed using a 4-step data analysis method consisting of organizing the data based on codes and/or themes, searching for responses that specifically answered the research questions, searching for comparisons in the data collected and applying the theoretical perspective to the research. Using this data analysis procedure, the researcher was able to identify which factors of the relay race model of succession were important for succession effectiveness. In addition, the researcher was able to explore the experiences of human resources professionals and board members to gain an understanding of what matters most when planning for succession. The results showed that some elements of the relay race model of succession were critical for nonprofit succession while others were not equally important. Additionally, the data revealed differences between the views/experiences of board members and human resources professionals. The results of this study may help nonprofit leaders develop and/or improve succession plans for their organizations.
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