Communications Project

Document Type:Dissertation
Name:Paul B. Welleford
Title:Leadership in A Community-Based, Nonprofit Organization: Total Action Against Poverty Roanoke, Virginia
Degree:Doctor of Philosophy
Department:Center for Public Adm and Policy
Committee Chair: Larkin S. Dudley
Committee Members:Gary Wamsley
James Wolf
Reginald A.T. Shareef
Robert Dale
Keywords:leadership, nonprofit, organization, socialization, culture
Date of defense:April 2, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work for Virginia Tech access only.
After one year release worldwide only with written permission of the student and the advisory committee chair.


Although there is an inexhaustible interest in leadership, research continues to escalate. One arena of study which has been neglected is leadership in the nonprofit sector. The intent of this dissertation is to see how the leader influences the effectiveness of his organization. Also, organizational culture and socialization will be examined to see if these elements are at the disposal of the leader of this community-based, nonprofit organization to enhance organizational effectiveness. The site for this study is the community-based, nonprofit organization known as Total Action Against Poverty of Roanoke, Virginia (TAP), a Community Action Agency. The Executive Director's role is examined to see how his leadership maintains and enhances this effective nonprofit organization. Whether his leadership nurtures a synergy among the leaders via his influence upon the organizational culture and socialization processes is of particular interest to this study. The question is whether there can be found any conscious recognition of a specific or unified organizational culture and process of socialization, and further, whether there is any evidence that either is intentionally influenced by the leadership. The research design follows the case study methodology. Archival records are reviewed, and qualitative data are gathered from interviews with TAP leadership personnel and individuals who volunteer their services to the organization. The interview questions relate to: leadership influence, the organizational culture and socializtion. Other related data used for further documentation are promotional publications written by the organization's staff and local newspaper articles about the organization. Speeches and writings by the core leaders of TAP are also reviewed. These data provide a vital resource of comparison among the primary actors of the TAP organization, For analysis of data, the computer software program, WordCruncher, is used.

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