The structure that builds the movement
Author(s)Goldenberg, Alex (Alexander Nicholas)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
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Many community organizing groups want to expand their effectiveness exponentially. Based on my experience one of the things that seems to be holding them back is frustrations group leaders express about the ambiguity of their roles. As an anthropologist and community organizer I have always paid attention to organizational structure and often saw these frustrations as related to the structure of organizations and their leadership. This study is an effort to understand the link between organizational structure and effectiveness. I investigate this link by looking at what an organization does to achieve one of its goals, leadership development, and analyze how its structure enables it to achieve this goal. The organization I study is City Life/Vida Urbana which is located in Boston and fights against evictions from post foreclosed homes. Building off of City Life's understanding of leadership development I developed a framework for understanding and evaluating deep leadership development. This framework shows how systematically paying attention to listening and dialogue in particular sites uncovers evidence of the development of self, relational and systemic knowledge. This study uses an ethnographic method that focuses on organizational meetings. This method shows how meeting components like the setting, participants and speech style, and combinations of these components in the planning and execution of a meeting, all influence leadership development outcomes. Once City Life's leadership development outcomes have been explained, I explain their organizational structure by analyzing these outcomes through the lens of organizational theory. This analysis reveals how their structure operates and which structural components enable and disable deep leadership development.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2010.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 110-111).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.