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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A whirlwind of change: The transformation of the United States population demographics and the impact on the future of nonprofit trade associations and professional organizations
by Faulkner, Michael L., Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2006, 287; 3255217
Abstract (Summary)

This study examined the future impact of the transformation of the U.S. population demographics, primarily because of recent immigration patterns, on the future of not-for-profit trade associations and professional organizations. The study examined attitudes, beliefs, and plans of 442 chief executive officers (CEOs) and senior executives of U.S. voluntary membership groups, company-based trade associations, and professional organizations. The purpose of the study was to identify current and future plans of these associations for including diversity population segments as active participants in their organizations.

Thirty-four studies of participation in associational activities were conducted since 1950 but none included empirical work on the specific topic of not-for-profit business trade associations adopting participation by diversity population segments, particularly immigrants.

The critical literature on population demographics impacting not-for-profit organizations was reviewed, including membership participation from historic, diversity segment, and organizational perspectives. Five theoretical concepts were reviewed concerning decision theories of why people join associations: social capital theory, rational choice theory, neo-Tocquevillian theory, the social movement/special interest concept, and the institutionalism concept.

A quantitative descriptive research survey questionnaire was developed and mailed to a sample frame of 4,200 CEOs constituting a random selection from a population of 24,417 associations acquired from Associations Unlimited. Descriptive and correlative statistics were used to organize, describe, and analyze the data. Thirty-six figures, tables and charts display the results.

The key data indicated that 68% of the association executives did not agree that population changes, particularly those changes brought on by immigration, would affect their organizations. Furthermore, 88% of the respondents indicated that they had no plans to willingly encourage the participation of diversity population segments now or in the future.

The results are consistent regarding the type of participation, such as membership and volunteer recruitment, event participant, staffing, and recruitment of board of director candidates. Professional organization executives, on the other hand, reported slightly more tolerant opinions than did trade association executives and were more likely to report that they planned to encourage diversity participation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McKelvie, William
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 68/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, Public policy, Social structure, Demography
Keywords: Demographic transformation, Nonprofit, Population demographics, Professional organizations, Trade associations
Publication Number: 3255217
ISBN: 978-1-109-93397-0
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