Connecting Group Dynamics, Governance and Performance: Evidence from Minnesota Charter School Boards

Monday, October 7 2019 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Bolton Hall, Room 294

  • Doug Ihrke, Helen Bader Institute (HBI) for Nonprofit Management, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM)
  • Mike Ford, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and HBI Faculty Affiliate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

In this presentation, we build on the existing literatures on small group dynamics and public and nonprofit organizational performance by exploring the link between small group dynamics, governance, and performance on Minnesota nonprofit charter school boards. The goal is to give nonprofit charter school boards a path to improve outcomes through improved governance. Originally collected survey data from nonprofit charter school board members is linked with hard measures of performance from the Minnesota Department of Education, and used in a path analysis predicting charter school math and reading proficiency levels. We find that boards exhibiting low-levels of negative group conflict are more active in key governance areas, and that active governance is linked to increased student outcomes. We conclude that nonprofit charter school boards can increase their organizational performance by taking steps to reduce board conflict.