Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Donald C. Weaver

Second Advisor

Dr. Edsel Erickson

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Warfield

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Carol Sheffer


The purpose of the study was to design and field test a model for collaborative long-range community planning. A model was designed on the basis of research found in the literature, tested in a community setting, and evaluated regarding its effectiveness.

The problem delineated for the study was the lack of collaborative long-range planning in our society, particularly at the community level. A review of the literature in this field indicated that although long-range planning is considered to be important, it is seldom practiced successfully. The study's response to the problem was to design and field test a model which could be used to assist leaders in putting planning theory into practice more effectively.

A model designed by Shahan (1979) for use in a theological school was adapted for use in a community setting. The adapted model was implemented in an actual planning project in the community of Three Rivers, Michigan, a community characterized by rapid growth. The model was evaluated through the use of a prepared questionnaire which was administered to those who participated in the planning effort.

The results of the testing of the adapted planning model were very positive. The majority of those who participated in the implementation of the model ranked every stage, step, and factor in the adapted model as being above average or higher in importance and/or effectiveness.

Especially noteworthy were the very high ratings given to the process components most emphasized in the research literature--namely the importance of involving an outside facilitator and the necessity of involving politicians in the actual planning process. High ratings were also given to the importance of preliminary planning, the use of an on-site coordinator, the collaborative style of leadership, and the use of the consensus method.

Optimum conditions for implementation of the adapted model were discussed and recommendations were made regarding the steps by which the model should be implemented, including suggestions for assimilation of additional components into the model if desired.

As a result of the implementation and evaluation of the adapted model, the author concluded that the model was effective in the setting in which it was tested and that it could be used with assurance by others in similar settings.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access