Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

The Relationship of Leadership Quality to the Political Presence of Civic Associations

  • Hahrie Han (a1), Kenneth T. Andrews (a2), Marshall Ganz (a3), Matthew Baggetta (a4) and Chaeyoon Lim (a5)...
Abstract

Member-based civic associations, or citizen groups, have two crucial roles in American democracy. They advocate for members' interests in the public arena, but also operate as Tocquevillian “schools of democracy” linking citizens to politics and equipping them with the skills of democratic citizenship. Yet scant research has examined the interrelationships of these two roles. Does the work that civic associations do in developing democratic participants enhance the work they do advocating for members' interests in the public arena? We bring together two previously disparate strands of research on civic associations by arguing that a key factor affecting the political presence of civic associations is leadership quality. We focus on the relationship of leadership quality to political presence, using data from a unique 2003 study of 226 local entities of the Sierra Club. We show that organizations with more skilled and committed leaders have higher levels of political presence. This contrasts with previous research that has focused primarily on community context and resources as explanatory factors. This study shows that political presence is related to the extent to which leaders develop their skills and demonstrate commitment to the organization.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Amenta, Edwin, Caren, Neal, Chiarello, Elizabeth, and Su, Yang. 2010. “The Political Consequences of Social Movements.” Annual Review of Sociology 36.
Amenta, Edwin, Caren, Neal, Olasky, Sheera Joy, and Stobaugh, James E.. 2009. “All the Movements Fit to Print: Who, What, When, Where, and Why SMO Families Appeared in the New York Times in the Twentieth Century.” American Sociological Review 74.
Andrews, Kenneth T. 2001. “Social Movements and Policy Implementation: The Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and the War on Poverty, 1965–1971.” American Sociological Review 66.
Andrews, Kenneth, and Caren, Neal. 2010. “Making the News: Movement Organizations, Media Attention, and the Public Agenda.” American Sociological Review 75.
Andrews, Kenneth, Ganz, Marshall, Baggetta, Matthew, Han, Hahrie, and Lim, Chaeyoon. 2010. “Leadership, Membership, and Voice: Civic Associations That Work.” American Journal of Sociology 115 (4).
Andrews, Kenneth T., and Edwards, Bob. 2004. “Advocacy Organizations in the U.S. Political Process.” Annual Review of Sociology 30.
Barakso, Maryann. 2004. Governing Now: Grassroots Activism In The National Organization For Women. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Barkan, Steven E. 2004. “Explaining Public Support for the Environmental Movement: A Civic Voluntarism Model.” Social Science Quarterly 85.
Bauer, Raymond A., Pool, Ithiel de Sola, and Dexter, Lewis Anthony. 1963. American Business and Public Policy. Boston: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Baumgartner, Frank, Berry, Jeffrey M., Hojnacki, Marie, Kimball, David C., and Leech, Beth L.. 2009. Lobbying and Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Baumgartner, Frank, and Leech, Beth. 1998. Basic Interests. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Bernstein, Marver H. 1955. Regulating Business by Independent Commission. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Berry, Jeffrey M. 1999. The New Liberalism: The Rising Power of Citizen Groups. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.
Boyte, Harry. 2004. Everyday Politics: Reconnecting Citizens and Public Life. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Burns, James Macgregor. 1978. Leadership. New York City: Harper and Row.
Burstein, Paul, Einwohner, Rachel L., and Holllander, Jocelyn A.. 1995. “The Success of Political Movements: A Bargaining Perspective.” In The Politics of Protest, ed. Jenkins, Craig and Klandermans, Bert. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Clemens, Elisabeth. 1997. The People's Lobby. Chicago: University of Chicago Pres.
Dalton, Russell. 1994. The Green Rainbow: Environmental Groups in Western Europe. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Eisinger, Peter. 2002. “Organizational Capacity and Organizational Effectiveness Among Street-Level Food Assistance Programs.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 31.
Fiorito, Jack, Jarley, Paul, and Delaney, John Thomas. 1995. “National Union Effectiveness in Organizing: Measures and Influences.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 48 (4).
Fishkin, James S. 1997. The Voice of the People. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Frank, David, Hironaka, Ann, and Schofer, Evan. 2000. “The Nation State and the Natural Environment over the Twentieth Century.” American Sociological Review 65.
Fung, Archon. 2003. “Associations and Democracy: Between Theories, Hopes, and Realities.” Annual Review of Sociology 29.
Fung, Archon. 2006. Empowered Participation: Reinventing Urban Democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Gamson, William A. 1990. The Strategy of Social Protest. Homewood, IL: Dorsey.
Ganz, Marshall. 2000. “Resources and Resourcefulness: Strategic Capacity in the Unionization of California Agriculture, 1959–1966.” American Journal of Sociology 105 (4).
Ganz, Marshall. 2009. Why David Sometimes Wins: Leadership, Strategy and the Organization in the California Farm Worker Movement. New York: Oxford University Press.
Ganz, Marshall. 2010. “Social Movement Leadership.” In Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice, ed. Nohria, Nitin and Khurana, Rakesh. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Gormley, William T. 1982. “Alternative Models of the Regulatory Process: Public Utility Regulation in the States.” Western Political Quarterly 35 (3).
Grossman, Gene M., and Helpman, Elhanan. 2001. Special Interest Politics. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Hackman, Richard. 2002. Leading Teams: Setting the State for Great Performances. New York: Harvard Business School.
Hammer, T. E., and Wazeter, D. L.. 1993. “Dimensions of Local Union Effectiveness.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 46.
Hansen, John Mark. 1991. Gaining Access, Congress and the Farm Lobby, 1919–1981. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Heclo, Hugh. 1978. “Issue Networks and the Executive Establishment.” In The New American Political System, ed. King, Anthony. Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute.
Heinz, John P., Laumann, Edward O., Nelson, Robert L., and Salisbury, Robert H.. 1997. The Hollow Core: Private Interests in National Policy Making. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Herman, Robert D., and Renz, David O.. 1998. “Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness: Contrasts Between Especially Effective and Less Effective Organizations.” Nonprofit Management and Leadership 9:2338.
Herman, Robert D., and Renz, David O.. 2000. “Board Practices of Especially Effective and Less Effective Local Nonprofit Organizations.” American Review of Public Administration 30.
Herman, Robert D., and Renz, David O.. 2004. “Doing Things Right: Effectiveness in Local Nonprofit Organizations, A Panel Study.” Public Administration Review 64.
Jacobson, Gary C. 1999. “The Effect of the AFL-CIO's ‘Voter Education’ Campaigns on the 1996 House Elections.” Journal of Politics 61 (1).
Johnson, Erik W. 2008. “Social Movement Size, Organizational Diversity and the Making of Federal Law.” Social Forces 86.
Kalleberg, Arne L., and Moody, James. 1996. “Human Resource Management and Organizational Performance.” In Organizations in America, ed. Kalleberg, Arne L., Knoke, David, Marsden, P.V., and Spaeth, J.L. London: Sage Publications.
Kalt, Joseph P., and Zupan, Mark A.. 1984. “Capture and Ideology in the Economic Theory of Politics.” American Economic Review 74.
Kenny, Christopher, McBurnett, Michael, and Bordua, David. 2004. “The Impact of Political Interests in the 1994 and 1996 Congressional Elections: The Role of the National Rifle Association.” British Journal of Political Science 34 (2).
Key, Valdimer O. 1956. Politics, Parties, and Pressure Groups. New York: Thomas Crowell Co.
Knoke, David. 1981. “Commitment and Detachment in Voluntary Associations.” American Sociological Review 46 (2).
Knoke, David. 1990. Organizing for Collective Action: The Political Economies of Associations. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.
Kollman, Kenneth. 1998. Outside Lobbying: Public Opinion and Interest Group Strategies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Langbein, Laura. 1993. “PACs, Lobbies, and Political Conflict: The Case of Gun Control.” Public Choice 75.
Laumann, E.O., and Knoke, David. 1987. The Organizational State. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Levine, John M., and Moreland, Richard L.. 1998. “Small Groups.” In The Handbook of Social Psychology, ed. Gilbert, Daniel, Fiske, S. T., and Lindzey, G.. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Long, J. Scott, and Freese, Jeremy. 2006. Regression Models for Categorical Dependent Variables Using STATA. College Station, TX: Stata Press.
Lowi, Theodore. 1969. The End of Liberalism. New York: Norton.
March, James G., and Simon, Herbert Alexander. 1958. Organizations. New York: Wiley.
McCarthy, John D., and Wolfson, M.. 1996. “Resource Mobilization by Local Social Movement Organizations: Agency, Strategy, and Organization in the Movement Against Drinking and Driving.” American Sociological Review 61.
McCarthy, John D., and Zald, Mayer N.. 1973. The Trend of Social Movements in America: Professionalization and Resource Mobilization. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.
McFarland, Andrew S. 1984. Common Cause: Lobbying in the Public Interest. Chatham, NJ: Chatham House Publishers.
Meyer, David S., and Tarrow, Sidney. 1998. The Social Movement Society: Contentious Politics for a New Century. Lanham, MD: Rowman Little Field.
Minkoff, Debra C. 1995. Organizing for Equality: The Evolution of Women's and Racial-Ethnic Organizations in America, 1955–1985. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Moe, Terry. 1980. The Organization of Interests: Incentives and the Internal Dynamics of Political Interest Groups. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Nohria, Nitin, and Khurana, Rakesh, eds. 2010. Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Press.
Perrow, Charles. 1986. Complex Organizations: A Critical Essay. New York: Random House.
Pfeffer, Jeffrey, and Salancik, Gerald R.. 1978. The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependence Perspective. New York: Harper & Row.
Polletta, Francesca. 2006. It Was Like a Fever: Storytelling in Protest and Politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Putnam, Robert. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick, and Bloemraad, Irene, eds. 2008. Civic Hopes and Political Realities. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Rogers, Reuel. 2006. Afro-Caribbean Immigrants and the Politics of Incorporation. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Rothenberg, Lawrence S. 1992. Linking Citizens to Government: Interest Group Politics at Common Cause. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Salisbury, Robert H. 1969. “Interest Representation: The Dominance of Institutions.” American Political Science Review 78.
Schlozman, Kay Lehman, and Tierney, John T.. 1986. Organized Interests and American Democracy. New York: Harper and Row.
Schofer, Evan, and Fourcade-Gourinchas, Marion. 2001. “The Structural Contexts of Civic Engagement: Voluntary Association Membership in Comparative Perspective.” American Sociological Review 66.
Scott, W. Richard. 1998. Organizations: Rational, Natural, and Open Systems. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Selznick, Philip. 1957. Leadership in Administration: A Sociological Interpretation. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Shaiko, Ronald. 1999. Voices and Echoes for the Environment: Public Interest Representation in the 1990s and Beyond. New York: Columbia University Press.
Shipan, Charles, and Lowry, William. 2001. “Environmental Policy and Party Divergence in Congress.” Political Research Quarterly 54 (2).
Sirianni, Carmen, and Friedland, Lewis. 2001. Civic Innovation in America: Community Empowerment, Public Policy, and the Movement for Civic Renewal. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.
Skocpol, Theda. 1992. Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Skocpol, Theda. 2003. Diminished Democracy: From Membership to Management. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.
Skocpol, Theda, and Fiorina, Morris P., eds. 1999. Civic engagement in American democracy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press and Russell Sage Foundation.
Skocpol, Theda, Ganz, Marshall, and Munson, Ziad. 2000. “A Nation of Organizers: The Institutional Origins of Civic Voluntarism in the United States.” American Political Science Review 94 (3).
Smith, Richard. 1995. “Interest Group Influence in the U.S. Congress.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 20.
Soule, Sarah A., and King, Brayden G.. 2006. “The Stages of the Policy Process and the Equal Rights Amendment, 1972–1982.” American Journal of Sociology 111.
Steiner, Ivan. 1972. Group Process and Productivity. New York: Academic Press.
Strolovitch, Dara. 2007. Affirmative Advocacy: Race, Class, and Gender in Interest Group Politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Tarrow, Sidney. 2005. The New Transnational Activism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Thompson, J. 1959. “Strategies, Structures, and Processes of Organizational Decision.” In Comparative Studies in Administration, ed. Thompson, J.D.. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Truman, David B. 1951. The Governmental Process: Political Interests and Public Opinion. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Verba, Sidney, Schlozman, Kay Lehman, and Brady, Henry. 1995. Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American Politics. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Wageman, Ruth, Hackman, Richard, and Lehman, Erin. 2005. “Team Diagnostic Survey, Development of an Instrument.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 41 (4).
Walker, Jack L. Jr. 1991. Mobilizing Interest Groups in America: Patrons, Professions, and Social Movements. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Weick, Karl E. 1969. The Social Psychology of Organizing. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.
Wilcox, Clyde. 2000. Onward Christian Soldiers? The Religious Right in American Politics. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Wilson, James Q. 1973. Political Organizations. New York: Basic Books, Inc.
Wohlbrecht, Christina, and Hero, Rodney. 2005. The Politics of Democratic Inclusion. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Wong, Janelle. 2006. Democracy's Promise: Immigrants and American Civic Institutions. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Young, McGee. 2008. “From Conservation to Environment: The Sierra Club and the Organizational Politics of Change.” Studies in American Political Development 22 (2).
Zukin, Cliff, Keeter, Scott, Andolina, Molly, and Jenkins, Krista. 2006. A New Engagement? Political Participation, Civic Life, and the Changing American Citizen. New York: Oxford University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
  • URL: /core/journals/perspectives-on-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed