• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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.


Adherents to the paid-staff nonprofit flat-earth paradigm usually ignore the internal structures and processes of grassroots associations (GAs) by omitting GAs generally as a special type of nonprofit. Alternatively, such scholars and practitioners sometimes implicitly assume that the internal structures and processes of GAs are roughly similar to the structures and processes of paid-staff voluntary groups (VGs) without empirical data to support this. Or, the adherents to this flat-earth VNPS paradigm just ignore the internal structures and processes of GAs because they believe that such phenomena are too informal to stand up to careful research scrutiny.

My round-earth VNPS paradigm, by contrast, suggests examining in depth how GA structures and processes can be similar to or different from paid-staff VG structures and processes. So far, ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles