• 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.

Internal Structure
Internal structure

This chapter continues discussing research regarding the special and distinctive nature of grassroots associations (GAs) relative to work organizations, especially paid-staff voluntary groups (VGs). As in the prior chapters, it is based on GA research rather than on much-needed but missing comparative research that samples both GAs and other types of groups such as work organizations and households/families in the same study using nearly identical research methods. This chapter focuses on GA “internal structure,” which involves the ways in which GAs are set up in lasting ways. Some of these aspects of structure are specified in legal documents such as GA constitutions or bylaws and letters of understanding from taxation agencies or national associations. Other aspects are strongly embedded in the norms ...

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