Date of Graduation
The purpose of this qualitative research study (Yin, 2003) was to understand National Heritage Areas (NHA) evolution as interorganizational domains and to explore the role of the National Park Service (NPS) as a NHA federal partner. Information gained from literature reviews of the management sciences and partnership theory led to the development of an a priori model of the evolutionary stages of NHAs? interorganizational domain development. An emergent model was then elaborated and specified using data from case study analysis (Yin) of the developmental histories of five NHAs. Purposeful sampling (Patton, 2002) was used to select five NHAs sites and key experts at each site were asked to participate in semi-structured interviews (Patton) to identify evolutionary stages in NHA interorganizational domain development, to identify any key turning points in the evolution, and to explore the role of the NPS as a federal partner. The results show that NHAs move through five stages of interorganizational domain development: organizing, implementing, role-setting, institutionalizing, and redirecting. The stages are dynamic, iterative, and cyclical in nature. Leadership, staff, and funding changes were identified as key turning points along with other internal and external forces that propel the domain through the stages. The role of the NPS changes from one of planning and technical assistance through the NPS regional office to one of project partner on the local level with local NPS units. The findings from this research project extend management sciences and partnership theory. On a practical level, this research informs managers and decision-makers about the nature of NHAs as interorganizational domains and allows them to make informed and effective management decisions.
Martin-Williams, Susan, "National Heritage Areas: Developing and specifying a model of interorganizational domain development, and, Exploring the role of the National Park Service as a federal partner." (2007). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9364.