Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Communication and Information

Major Professor

Candace L. White

Committee Members

Candace L. White, Sally McMillan, Moonhee Cho, Christopher T. Stripling


Issues management concepts and processes have been traditionally studied within corporate contexts. Using the tools and best practices of the qualitative paradigm, this dissertation explores the extension of issues management into the nonprofit context through the multi-vocality of nonprofit executives, managers, and board members. The findings suggest that these nonprofit decision makers are employing an abbreviated issues-management process, that nonprofit executives are acting as issues gatekeepers, that nonprofit decision makers value issues management as a tool for integrated public relations and future crisis avoidance, and that nonprofit decision makers approach social issues divergently based on age and experience. The findings of this research provide preliminary data for future conceptual and practical explorations of truncated issues management processes, and further provide a pathway for future research on nonprofit stakeholder issues perception.

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