BUILDING COMMUNITY-LED DEMOCRACY: NAVIGATING THE PITFALLS OF OLIGARCHY IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PARTICIPATORY ORGANIZATION
This qualitative, inductive single case study examines how an early-stage participatory organization generates participation from its members. This research focuses on the patterns of interaction between staff and the organization’s membership base to uncover four strategies which staff use to generate participation amongst members. Contrary to previous scholarly research, this study finds that control can be used to instantiate democracy when it functions to safeguard core organizational values and when it is tethered by other counterbalancing strategies that are more measured in their approach to generating participation, intentional in transferring authority to beneficiaries or purposeful in involving members in aspects of organizational decision-making normally reserved for staff.
control; oligarchy; participatory organizations
Tolbert, Pamela S.
Industrial and Labor Relations
M.S., Industrial and Labor Relations
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis