• 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.

Introduction
Introduction

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, ...

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