• 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.

Formational Characteristics
Formational characteristics

In this chapter, I review the generally thin literature on what I call “formational characteristics” and give my own theoretical perspective on each choice. These choices relate to aspects of a grassroots association (GA) that I hypothesize need to be decided initially by the founders or soon after formation so as to pursue the process of GA formation/launching successfully. They are not necessarily the result of conscious choices, but they occur by default nonetheless if a group is to be formed as or is to become a GA.

I take as a given here that there is at least one founder—one leader who is interested in forming some type of group for whatever reasons. Rock (1988) argues correctly that an organization comes about ...

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