ERIC Number: ED334050
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug-14
Reference Count: N/A
Rural Community Viability and Leadership Patterns.
Pinkerton, James R.; Brown, Ralph B.
This study uses a comparative analysis of 17 northwest Missouri communities to determine the relationship between viability of rural communities and: (1) leadership patterns; (2) specific aspects of community development organizations; and (3) community organizing strategies. Populations of the communities range from 1,000 to 2,500. Based on such measures as population change, sales tax revenue, and high school enrollment change, an index of viability was constructed for each of the 17 communities, and the communities were ranked based on this score. Communities at the extremes in the array of viability were selected as sites for a comparative analysis of leadership characteristics and network patterns. Informed people in the communities listed leaders in 19 categories. Leaders were rated and top scorers were interviewed. Membership on community development boards was associated with community viability. All leaders had significant external social networks, but the size of a leader's internal network with other leaders in the community was positively associated with high viability. No support was found for the hypothesis that community development organizations achieve greater community viability by recruiting specific occupational groups for officers and directors; however, bankers and news related professions were found to play a key role in community viability. In a particular small viable community, it was found that mobilization and community action took place through leaders of key business organizations, and community-wide support was sought only after an issue was addressed and sanctioned by these influential people. (KS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Community Viability; Missouri; Small Towns
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meetings of The American Sociological Association (Washington, DC, August 11-15, 1990).