Grassroots Associations

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Grassroots Associations is a comprehensive review and critique of empirical and theoretical research on grassroots, nonprofit and voluntary organizations.

David Horton Smith examines in depth the distinctive nature and characteristics of a previously under-studied area which includes such groups as Alchoholics Anonymous, community-environmental action committees and church Bible study groups. He addresses: group formation, structure, process, leadership, and life cycle change; effectiveness; the influence such associations have on society; the future of grassroots associations, which he sees as integral to a postmodern society moving towards participatory democracy, self-determinism and individual choice.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803959927
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 5/11/2000
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Key Abbreviations in This Book ix
Foreword x
Preface xiii
Part I Toward A Round-Earth Paradigm for the Voluntary Nonprofit Sector
Introduction 3
Nonprofit-Type Classifications 4
Chapter 1 Definitions and Metaphors 7
The Connotative Definition of Grassroots Associations 7
Some Broader Background on the Study of Associations 10
The Astrophysical Dark Matter Metaphor 12
The Mapmaking Metaphor and the Flat-Earth VNPS Paradigms 13
Toward a Theory of Voluntary Altruism: Key Definitions 15
Conclusion 28
Chapter 2 Revising Flat-Earth Maps: The Rest of the Voluntary Nonprofit Sector 33
Numbers of Associations and All Nonprofits 36
People and Roles 45
Time and Behavior 53
Money and Property 55
Conclusion 60
Part II The Distinctive Nature of Grassroots Associations
Introduction 67
Chapter 3 Formational Characteristics 71
The Basic GA Founder Choices 71
Conclusion 88
Chapter 4 Internal Guidance Systems 91
Moderate Amounts of Ideology 92
Adequate Incentives and Satisfaction 95
Secondary Importance of GA Incentives and Roles 103
Conclusion 103
Chapter 5 Internal Structure 107
Internal Structure 107
Conclusion 123
Chapter 6 Internal Processes 127
Internal Processes 127
Conclusion 146
Chapter 7 Leaders and Environments 149
Leadership 149
GA Environments and Their Relationships to GAs 163
Conclusion 164
Chapter 8 Life Cycle Changes 167
Definitions 167
Increasing Complexity in Work Organizations, Including National Associations, With Age 169
Complexity and the Life Cycle of GAs 171
Causes of Complexity in GAs 173
Alternatives to Complexity in GAs 178
Other Factors Related to the Age of GAs 181
Conclusion 192
Chapter 9 Impact and Effectiveness 195
GA Impact 196
GA Effectiveness 206
General Effectiveness Studies 209
Conclusion 211
Part III Theoretical Paradigms and Conclusions
Introduction 215
Chapter 10 Flat-Earth Paradigms and a Round-Earth Paradigm Outline 217
Metaphors and Paradigms for Understanding the VNPS 217
Overview of Flat-Earth VNPS Paradigms 219
Outline of a Round-Earth Paradigm of the VNPS 238
Rating My Own Success in Following the Round-Earth Paradigm 240
Conclusion 241
Chapter 11 Some Conclusions and Forecasts: The Advent of Homo Voluntas 243
Long History of the VNPS 243
One Nonprofit Sector or Two? 244
Using a Balanced Round-Earth Paradigm of the VNPS 245
One Contrarian Conclusion: No Financial Crisis for the VNPS as a Whole 246
The Role of Volunteer Groups in Society 248
The New Social Scientific Discipline of Voluntary Action Studies: 50 to 100 Years Away in the Future 250
Policy Recommendations 250
Past and Future Trends in VG Prevalence 251
Determinants of VG Prevalence Growth Worldwide 252
Expansion of Voluntary Role Choices in the Future, Especially in Postindustrial Societies 254
The Voluntary Century and Volunteer Millennium: The Advent of Homo Voluntas 259
Appendix A Description of the (Largely North American) Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action 263
Appendix B Creating a Local Nonprofit Sampling Frame Including Grassroots Associations: An American Example 267
A Multimethod Comprehensive Sampling Frame Creation Strategy for Nonprofits 268
Cleaning the Data 273
Other Countries 274
Conclusion 275
Appendix C Methodology of the Smith One-Suburb Study 279
References 283
Index 321
About the Author 342
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