Organizational challenges of community associations: applying nonprofit research to real-world problems

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Can voluntary and nonprofit research be helpful for local community associations (CAs) seeking to respond to organizational challenges and problems? This paper builds on a study of an organizational crisis in an English CA to explore this question. The events which precipitated and prolonged the crisis seemed inexplicable to outside observers. Yet the study found that much of what occurred could be explained in the light of earlier theories and research. The paper concludes that voluntary and nonprofit scholarship, as well as generic organizational theories, has the potential to be helpful for community association members and activists in anticipating and responding to organizational problems. But scholars need to do more to disseminate existing research findings; to make them accessible and to adapt them to the distinctive needs and real world problems of community associations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-813
Number of pages18
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Issue number4
Early online date7 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • community associations
  • nonprofit research
  • voluntary sector research
  • organizational problems
  • real world problems
  • organizational crisis
  • research dissemination
  • application of research to practice explanatory theory
  • organizational change


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