Leadership as Interpreneurship: A Disability Nonprofit Atlantic Canadian Profile

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Leadership as Interpreneurship: A Disability Nonprofit Atlantic Canadian Profile


  • Mario Levesque Politics & International Relations, Mount Allison University, Canada


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Abstract:  The entrenchment of the neoliberal state and rise of populist leaders has marginalized the role of voluntary organizations in society. This presents significant challenges for nonprofit leaders in economically challenged areas as it erodes their ability to protect and serve vulnerable populations. Attention turns to maintaining hard fought gains at the expense of making progress. Yet doing so requires new skills and leadership styles to manage organizational change where innovation and transformation are key. Based on 42 qualitative interviews with disability nonprofit leaders in Atlantic Canada, our study aims to characterize this transformation. Using Szerb’s (2003) key attributes of entrepreneurship that distinguish between entre-, intra-, and interpreneurs, we find disability leaders have become interpreneurs. We find a strong emphasis on networked service delivery underscoring shared goals, risks and responsibilities, and resources. For disability leaders, cultivating relationships and strong communication skills are essential. In the face of populist desires for state retrenchment, we question how long this collective response can hold given ongoing economic challenges.

Keywords:  Atlantic Canada; disability nonprofits; interpreneur; leadership

Published:   5 March 2020


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v8i1.2505


© Mario Levesque. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.