Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Dr. William C. Bosher Jr.


Nonprofit housing organizations primarily exist to address the housing needs of low-income residents, whose housing needs are not sufficiently met by the public or private housing market. NHOs are very similar to private corporations in their size, productivity and commitment to the “bottom line.” However, unlike private firms, NHOs are “mission driven” instead profit-driven corporations. The development of affordable housing in the nonprofit housing sector requires a myriad of financial and non-financial resources. As competition for financial resources intensifies many organizations are adopting strategies as a means to not only reduce organizational uncertainty and sustain them, but also increase or maintain organizational capacity. The evolution of the role of nonprofit organizations coupled with market pressures such as attracting investment, competing for clients, and retaining and hiring skilled employees shapes the need for them to adopt market culture strategies (Salamon, 1999). A key strategy of market culture is collaboration (Frost and Sullivan, 2006). This dissertation study was designed to examine interorganizational relationships between nonprofit housing organizations in the Richmond Metropolitan area, and the influence of organizational characteristics, environmental conditions, and resource availability on an organization’s Level of Collaboration. Furthermore, the study examined the attitudes and perceptions of executive directors of collaboration. The primary research question is: Do nonprofit housing organizations display identifiable patterns of relationships with each other? This study contributes several important findings to furthering the understanding of collaboration within the nonprofit sector, and the relationship between organizational characteristics, environmental conditions, and resource availability and an organization’s Level of Collaboration (interorganizational relationships). Study findings convey that the examination of the network itself using social network analysis is a useful tool for examining relationships and identifying opportunities for collaboration. For this network it revealed that the organizations interact on an informal basis as well as identified the prominent actors are in the network. The findings of this study suggests that there are two key factors that influence nonprofit organizations establishing relationships interorganizational learning and personal characteristics.


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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2013