Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Affairs and Administration


As community service agencies become increasingly responsible for the provision of numerous social benefits relevant to the advancement of the social welfare of communities, the effective performance of their governance boards becomes an important aspect of a policy of privatization. This dissertation examines the role of these boards in contemporary human services and community development, and the important functions they serve in the effective transfer of social products, goods, and services from the public to nonprofit sector.

The author introduces the idea of board development as an imperative for community service boards to embrace in order to strengthen their service roles in an increasingly important nonprofit sector. The dissertation integrates organizational and community development concepts into a theoretical perspective that presents the community service board as a complex governance system with institutional, functional, performance, and lifespan dimensions. The author postulates that the integration of these dimensions within a community service board will produce a strong sense of board identity that is essential to the advancement of organizational mission and purpose.

The dissertation links the theoretical content of board development to more practical considerations including specific strategies and tactics for supporting board development, and for developing individual board members. For example, the author explores the board development mission and the role of the board development committee in the advancement of the institutional, performance, and functional aspects of the governing authority of an agency. And, the author also explores the leadership of board members and their contribution to the advancement of board development. The dissertation culminates in an examination of the board development cycle in which a community service board identifies its own developmental needs, and addresses these needs through group processes and planning.

The dissertation incorporates vignettes, narratives, examples, and observations taken directly from board development projects the author undertook with a variety of community service agencies. The material will support the work of consultants, board members, and agency administrators with a commitment to the development and advancement of community service boards.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access