Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Affairs and Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Matthew S. Mingus

Second Advisor

Dr. Heather Carpenter

Third Advisor

Dr. Janice Maatman


Corporate model nonprofit, mission specific behavior, multi-site, alignment, multi-level organization


This study seeks to provide a body of knowledge and application of research to the national nonprofit audience. The focus is to study conditions that could lead to better alignment between regional staff understanding and implementation of the national expectations, by identifying alignment behaviors in five indicator areas. These indicators are fundraising, mission delivery, volunteer engagement, HR/operations, and PR/external communications.

Research in the areas of nonprofit structure design, motivation, and mission alignment continue to be significant to the sectors maturity and distinction. Corporate model nonprofit organizations structure is unique to other nonprofits within a local community. Understanding the corporate model design better illustrates the obstacles to and advantages of aligning knowledge and behaviors with headquarter expectations.

The context of this research is a comprehensive case study of a national corporate model nonprofit. A three phase data collection process was used. First, understand national expectations of the senior leadership team. Second, illustrate the perceptions of alignment from the direct-report management. Third, survey all staff to seek to understand perceptions within the entire organization about alignment and the causes/effects using the five alignment indicators. The study revealed that alignment is caused by a shared understanding of the indicator expectations and clear information dissemination allows each level of the organization to demonstrate behaviors that are aligned. This causal relationship is understood through the theoretical application of resource dependency and reflexivity theory within all three phases of the research.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access