Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Title

Exploring Inter-Organizational Relationships Between Park and Recreation Agencies With Wounded Warrior Programs and Community Service Organizations

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.S. in Sport and Recreation Administration

First Advisor

Kim R. Beason

Second Advisor

Michael A. Dupper

Third Advisor

Don Rockey

Abstract

Public recreation departments are funded primarily by tax dollars and over the past thirty years the percentage of funding needed to operate quality recreation programs has steadily decreased and threatened the quantity and quality of programs offered. Presently, park and recreation agencies partner with community entities to offset funding reductions and to offer new and/or ancillary programs. Importantly, partnerships must provide mutual benefits to be successful and the antecedents and factors of inter-organizational relations (IOR) are important to discover. The purpose of this study was to determine factors that might predict IOR between park and recreation agencies with Wounded Warrior (WW) Programming, and community service organizations. IOR was measured as the ability and willingness to share manpower, resources, and funding among Park and Recreation Directors and CEO's of community service organizations. Independent variables included military connectedness, patriotism, medical assistance available, community size, quality of life, knowledge of WW programming, shared philosophical orientations, cooperation barriers, and organizational goal congruence. Participants for the study included the CEO's of nineteen community-based Wounded Warrior partnerships that completed a survey exploring IOR. The survey instrument was validated using Cronbach's Alpha and validity was improved after administering a pilot test. The response rate included 250 surveys, or 22%. The data collected was analyzed using independent t-tests, bivariate correlations (Pearson r and Sig. 2-tailed) to determine whether to accept or reject study hypotheses. A Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) was performed to determine if any of the independent variables were predictors of IOR. Of the variables, MLR revealed that an organizations ability to provide resources for specific WW medical conditions (PTSD, severe burns, amputations, etc.) was significant at (p?.05). A Hierarchal Cluster Analysis (Ward's Method) provided typological analysis that identified groups of partners with similar traits of IOR. Results of the study revealed that of the three measures of IOR, human resources were most likely to be shared in a WW partnership. Future studies should concentrate on establishing a framework for building partnerships between park and recreation departments and community service agencies. This study revealed five new measures of IOR which can be used to explore future IOR. The five new measures were named appropriately by the researcher as Sponsorship, Donation, and Cost Partners (SDCP), Recreational Facility and Equipment Partners (RFEP), Indoor Facilities Partners (IFP), Program Operation Partners (POP), and Specialized Assistance and Credentialed Partners (SACP).

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