Expatriate To National Leadership Succession In The Non-Profit Sector In Thailand
expatriate to national transitions in lower income or emerging economies
Business Administration, Management, and Operations
Leadership succession in the for-profit and non-profit sectors has been studied at great length, yet there is little information on expatriate to national transitions in lower income or emerging economies. This research explores the factors that influence expatriate to national leadership succession in the non-profit sector in Thailand. Qualitative, in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with expatriate, ethnic Thai, and ethnic tribal non-profit leaders. Content analysis was used to extract and examine the data. Results indicate that plans for expatriate to national succession must occur simultaneously with the start of the non-profit, and these plans should be a part of an organization’s strategic priorities and sustainability review. Succession evokes a number of fears for local staff and deeply conflicting emotions for expatriate leaders, but not talking about succession fosters other fears and significant anxiety. Non-profits with expatriate leadership (and their boards) should clarify their intentions regarding succession and take the time needed to provide the training and capacity building necessary to develop and support local leadership. Re-framing succession is necessary in this cross-cultural context. Shared leadership is preferred as non-profits move towards full local leadership and increased local funding of programs. The latter includes the organized pursuit of fund-raising within Thailand and in other countries throughout Asia.