Date of Award


Degree Name

Communication Studies


College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Robert Bookwalter

Second Advisor

Linda Spatig

Third Advisor

Edward Woods


The current research is an ethnographic case study of one collaborative community group that worked toward solving complex problems related to early care and education in their community. The methods used consisted of conducting in-depth interviews and observations, recording and transcribing group meetings, and collecting documents that furthered understanding of the group. The research questions addressed were related to the nature of the relationships among the members, leadership enactment in the group, and how they created positive outcomes and overcame obstacles they faced. Several themes emerged related to each question, confirming and extending current understanding of collaboration and collaborative leadership. Special attention was paid to the role of the coordinator of the group. This study has many implications for future research on collaboration, leadership, cultural studies, gender, motivation, decision-making and problem solving, and many other issues related to group dynamics.


Community leadership - Appalachian Region.

Group decision making - Appalachian Region.