Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Nonprofit organizations and the environmental policy outcomes: A systematic inquiry into the role of different types of nonprofits to influence the processes and outcomes of environmental policy
by Imam, Amna, Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2009, 267; 3368703
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation breaks new grounds by investigating the role of different types of nonprofits in influencing the environmental policy outcomes. It explores the role of environmental ethics of nonprofits in their influence on environmental policy outcomes. Using Environmental Response Inventory (ERI) survey instrument (McKechnie, 1974), it empirically approximates the values for the environmental ethics of five types of nonprofits (environmental, fraternal, professional, religious and social services). It shows that social services nonprofits which are slightly more ecocentric than other types of nonprofits are significantly related to reduced levels of air pollution over time at the local level. The efforts of environmental NPOs at the state and federal levels seem to support and are supported by the implementation efforts of social services NPOs at the local level to improve environmental quality.

On the methodological front, this research employs the amount of carbon monoxide in air as the dependent variable and a measure of policy outcomes. Developing a comprehensive empirical model which includes most of the variables indicated by the literature to impact air quality, as well as the nonprofits at the local level, it shows that nonprofits are significantly related to levels of carbon monoxide pollution in air at the local level. Using a time series model extended over 5 years, it demonstrates that social services nonprofits in particular are strongly related to the improvement in carbon monoxide pollution in air at the zip code level.

Although ample literature exists on the role of nonprofits in policy formulation, not much is reported on the role of nonprofits in policy implementation. Drawing from the policy implementation theories of top-down (Mazmanian and Sabatier, 1989) and bottom-up (Lipsky, 1980), this research demonstrates, using data from Southern California, that nonprofits employ different combinations of both top-down and bottom-up channels of influencing policy implementation at the individual level. At the network level nonprofits of different kinds use the strategies of collaboration, confrontation and networking with public agencies to influence policy implementation. The differences in strategies of different types of NPOs are attributable to the differences in the emphasis of their service delivery and advocacy efforts.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Banerjee, Tridib
Commitee: Craik, Kenneth, Mazmanian, Daniel, Meshkati, Najmeddin
School: University of Southern California
Department: Planning/Public Administration
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Public administration, Environmental science, Urban planning
Keywords: Environmental policy, Environmental psychology, Nonprofit, Nonprofit sector, Policy outcomes
Publication Number: 3368703
ISBN: 978-1-109-29497-2
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