Date of Award

Winter 1979

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Urban Studies

Committee Director

Roger S. Richman

Committee Member

Leonard I. Ruchelman


The process of community decision making has been examined by many theorists in the field of political science. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the case of Brown and Root, Inc., a marine fabrication industry that hoped to construct a large plant in the rural town of Cape Charles, Virginia. The industry underwent a lengthy decision-making process before a final decision was made.

This case was selected because a wide variety of factors affected the ultimate outcome of the decision-making process. Because the decision-making process covered a five year time span in this case, it includes more factors than some decisions. Therefore, it allows the researcher to examine many factors in decision making while studying a single case. The case study is presented in a chronology, compiled from written records of the case and personal interviews. The findings of this case were compared to the findings in the literature reviewed to determine which factors influenced the decision-making process in this case.