This study is a communications network evaluation of the organizations in the Twin Cities opposing the current Iraq War. The theoretical framework, testable hypotheses, and research questions drew from social network, social movement, empowerment, and group facilitation scholarship. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses that relationships existed between the independent variable `facilitation management' (including the facilitation functions of: logistical arrangements for communications, social support, participatory discussion, conflict resolution, and participatory decision-making) and the dependent variables trust and coordination. These relationships were confirmed, though facilitation management had a larger effect on coordination. The study also investigated how concentrated responsibility was for the various facilitation functions among the network members. Facilitation functions that were found to be more concentrated (logistical arrangements (including: organizing and information dissemination), participatory discussion, and participatory decision-making) were considered facilitated in the network.
Data were collected for this study in three phases. A background questionnaire collected information about the organizations that were represented in this study, as well as the study participants' perceptions of whether they felt that their network was expanding or contracting over the year prior to the study. A primary questionnaire was then utilized to collect data concerning the study participants' demographic information, their perceptions of their facilitation functions, trust, and coordination, their perceptions of their accomplishments and challenges, their perceptions of the worthwhileness and effectiveness of their activities, and their perceptions of the network's context over the previous three-month period. Finally, the study participants were invited to a focus group meeting to discuss their impressions of the research process and the study's findings, after they were given a report detailing the findings and insights that emerged from the literature review. The report included a discussion of findings coming from formative evaluation questions designed to determine specific ways that the communications network could be enhanced. Thus, this study was also a form of action research that accorded with the principles of empowerment theory.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. April 2010. Major: Social Work. Advisor: C. David Hollister. 1 comnputer file (PDF); xiii, 445 pages, appendices A-G. Ill. (some col.)
Hansen, Toran Jay.
The effects of facilitation management on interorganizational coordination and trust in an Anti-Iraq War political advocacy nonprofit network in the Twin Cities..
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