Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


School of Business

First Advisor

Dr. Paul Shelton, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathy Milhauser, DMgt.

Third Advisor

Dr. Tim McCorry, Ph.D.


Nonprofit organizations often lack the critical resources needed to operate and remain sustainable. Institutional pressures such as government policy, community needs, and public and private competition can strain the operations of nonprofits (Krause et al., 2019). When institutional pressure occurs, NPOs may not be able to strategically respond due to the lack of access to resources. This study draws on the work of Oliver’s Frameworks (Oliver, 1991) to characterize a strategic response. The study identifies the gap in the literature on the role of intellectual capital in strategic response to institutional pressure. Through a series of interviews, data were transcribed and analyzed. The study found an informal use of intellectual capital in the strategic response of YMCAs during the first six months of the New York State Policy that Assures Uniform Safety for Everyone order, also known as PAUSE (, 2020). Through the lived experiences of eight YMCA senior leaders, four core themes were discovered, providing a deeper understanding of the nonprofit strategic response.