Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Dr. Tracy Kizer

Second Advisor

Dr. Greg Marshall

Third Advisor

Dr. Kimberly Jentsch


not-for-profit, CEO, transformational leadership, social enterprise, risk-taking, entrepreneurial behavior


US Not-for-Profits (NFPs) are fragile, and during the COVID-19 pandemic many had to close programs, cut services, or close their doors. They need diversified revenues beyond traditional charitable or government support. This study investigated the relationships between a transformational leadership style of the NFP CEO and the influence of entrepreneurial behavior on social enterprise creation, and on social enterprise self-efficacy in a post-hoc analysis (replacing social enterprise self-efficacy as the dependent variable). The moderating effects of risk-taking propensity were also investigated. The theoretical underpinnings of this study included both transformational leadership theory and an entrepreneurship framework. Results from the analysis reflected that a transformational leadership style (of the NFP CEO) has a significant positive relationship to entrepreneurial behavior, and to social enterprise creation. There is support in the analysis that indicates that the NFP CEO with a transformational leadership style is most likely to be entrepreneurial and to provide the leadership and inspiration that can result in social enterprise creation, helping the NFP to meet mission and money goals. The NFP CEO with a transformational leadership style who has high risk-taking propensity, will be more likely to create a social enterprise than the NFP CEO with a transformational leadership style with low risk-taking propensity. This is an important topic as there is limited research regarding the transformational leadership style of the NFP CEO and its relationship to social enterprise creation. NFPs are in need of identifying recurring, unrestricted sources of revenue to support their critical work.