Familiar organizational theories often do not fit comfortably when applied to community-level associations or small, local, nonprofit organizations. In Smallville, Carl Milofsky empirically and theoretically studies the organizational dynamics involved in this common American model. Organizations functioning within a community are usually treated as separate units, but when they all exist in the same place and tend to be made up of the same people who are living out different aspects of their identities in various settings, a new analytical paradigm is required. Milofsky's study culminates in the formulation of an innovative way of understanding this phenomenon-an essential, pioneering theory of "transorganizations."
Publisher: University Press of New England
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 567 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm
"This is a neat book. Grounded in his study of eight voluntary, grassroots organizations in Smallville, Milofsky shows that their participants are linked in a network of shared values, community obligations and a shared history together from which they derive their sense of community. In this way, they have become 'transorganizations, ' a key concept that Milofsky introduces to make sense of their overlapping purposes and embeddedness in the same community. This book opens our eyes to the creative strategic possibilities that can be seen in the re-birth of local, voluntary and grassroots associations developing all around us." --Joyce Rothschild, Professor, School of Public & International Affairs, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
"Smallville represents an important contribution to furthering understanding of the dynamics and practices of community organizations."--Community Development Journal
"The book is easy to read, explores in fairly rich detail its cases, and provides nonsociological readers or students with a peripheral introduction to a wide range of sociological literatures by way of extensive endnotes. One key, almost self-evident, point is clearly amplified throughout: nonprofit organizations are not 'autonomous systems' and are powerfully shaped by community stakeholders. Taken as a whole, the cases stand out as demonstrating the limitations of conventional 'evolutionary' models of voluntary engagement that conceptualize a secular trend within any given 'movement' from activist engagement toward organizational forms that are more like 'classical bureaucracies.'"--American Journal of Sociology