Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding interest group strategies: A case study of civic leaders collaborating with local government
by Nomberg, Robert I., Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2009, 155; 3337345
Abstract (Summary)

This study was designed to examine the formation of an informal organization of business and civic leaders and the lobbying strategies they employed to affect public education policy at the local government level.

The data for this exploratory qualitative study consisted of key actor interviews and archival document analysis. The sample for the interviews consisted of participants within the business and civic group and local policymakers.

As a result of the in vivo coding process, this researcher determined that the members of the business and civic group were motivated to join the informal organization because of the following reasons: accountability, performance, group identify, and workforce.

To determine the lobbying strategies used by the business and city leaders, the author coded for Emerson's (2007) ten lobbying strategies: (a) grassroots membership for policy activism, (b) personally contacting key legislators by the organization's leaders and lobbyists, (c) engaging in political activism, (d) incorporating language specifically geared for the majority political party, (e) choosing bill sponsors, (f) expressing thanks, (g) communicating before subcommittees, (h) presenting the organization's positions honestly and with factual data, (i) developing policy alliances with likeminded organizations, and (j) incorporating language derived from the federally mandated No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. One additional lobbying strategy, raising the issue, was discovered.

Two theoretical associations initially guided this dissertation. French and Raven's "Bases of Power" was used as a framework to understand how power and influence affects the relationship between people and Kingdon's three policy streams were utilized to conceptualize the effectiveness of the group's policy making attempts.

The triangulation of data revealed that the civic and business coalition's sole intent was to reinstate an appointed school board in "Vernington." The results indicated that seven of the ten lobbying strategies employed by the group were geared toward instituting the governance change by building consensus among the group and lobbying the mayor and president of the city council. Although a public lobbying and grassroots phase was discussed by many members of the organization, the strategies were never implemented resulting in a colossal rejection of their suggested policy change.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Howerton, Everett B.
Commitee: Emerson, Joseph T., Magill, Cheryl C.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Educational Administration and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 69/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational administration, Public administration
Keywords: Business, Civic leaders, Interest groups, Lobbying, Local government, Mayor, Reform
Publication Number: 3337345
ISBN: 9780549923480
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