Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Administration

First Advisor

B.J. Reed

Second Advisor

Christine M. Reed

Third Advisor

Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado


This dissertation explores the impact of community culture on the success of cross-sectoral collaboratives addressing homelessness in Omaha, Nebraska, and Portland, Oregon. A comparative case study approach is used to build theory about how the environment helps to make conditions conducive or challenging to collaboration between government, business and nonprofit organizations. The concept of community culture is operationalized by including three interrelated factors - social capital, community power, and political history - to assess the two cities. Omaha is a model of a private sector community culture, high in bonding social capital, where central control of decision making and elite support has traditionally been the sign of a successful collaboration. Portland is a model of a public sector community culture, high in bridging social capital, where decisions are legitimized by using appropriate processes, with a history of pluralism and citizen participation, and where elected officials or public administrators have served as the leaders of a successful collaboration.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Copyright 2008 by Patrick McNamara

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."