Representational roles of nonprofit organizations in policy advocacy

Date
2014-01-29
Language
American English
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Ph.D.
Degree Year
2012
Department
School of Liberal Arts
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Indiana University
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Abstract

This research explores what roles nonprofits play in political representation by applying the concept of the representational role to nonprofits. The representational role consists of representational focus and style. Representational focus shows those whom nonprofits aim to serve: members, constituents, or the general public. Representational style denotes the ways nonprofits advocate for their focal groups: the delegation, trusteeship, and educational styles. The survey and regression analysis results demonstrate that nonprofits serving their members are most likely to convey their members’ voices directly to policy makers: the delegation style. In contrast, nonprofits advocating for their constituents are likely to pursue what they independently identify as the interests of their constituents: the trusteeship style. Finally, nonprofits speaking for the general public are most likely to work toward educating the general public: the educational style. These results suggest that nonprofits play different roles in political representation, depending on the types of their focal groups.

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Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
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