Date of Award

Spring 1987

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Nina W. Brown

Committee Member

Robert H. MacDonald

Committee Member

Judith S. Shapiro

Committee Member

William Cunningham

Committee Member

Donald Myers


The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of role and function of trustees and chief professional officers (CPOs) in non-profit, human services agencies that are members of the United Way of South Hampton Roads. Thousands of volunteer hours are expended annually in serving on boards of directors in the Hampton Roads area. These trustees who serve are legally accountable for the agencies, and have certain duties prescribed by their by-laws. However, role confusion and conflict exist over specific duties of trustees.

Responsibilities of for-profit board members were divided into four areas: management--control and oversight; adherence to legal prescriptions; consideration of stakeholders' interests; and consideration of stockholders' interests. Within these four areas were grouped trustees' responsibilities as found within the body of literature on non-profit agency administration.

A survey, in questionnaire form, based on the literature and discussion with United Way managerial staff, was developed and administered to trustees and CPOs (N = 130) of the 13 agencies designated for study. Stepwise discriminant analysis was used to determine those variables which would most discriminate between least effective and most effective trustees. The analyses produced three functions that correctly classified 67 percent of trustees (N = 117): Organizational Awareness, Shared Managerial Responsibilities, and Trustee Administrative Duties. The null hypotheses, that there were no significant differences between most effective and least effective trustees, were not supported.