Date of Award:

12-2008

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Advisor/Chair:

Douglas B Jackson-Smith

Abstract

Declines of sage-grouse (Centrocercus spp.) across the western United States have prompted the formation of numerous collaborative stakeholder partnerships, known as local working groups. These voluntary groups create and implement local sage-grouse management plans and projects, often in the hopes that their efforts may help avert a federal Endangered Species designation for the bird. Using a mail survey of participants in 54 local working groups, I examined the importance of psychological ownership in working group dynamics. Psychological ownership is conceptualized as a latent, multidimensional variable consisting of responsibility, control, and caring elements. Multiple regression analysis showed early-stage group success, representative membership structures, older group age, and respondent identity and presence during group formation to be significantly related to feelings of ownership in group work. The results also showed that psychological ownership is a strong predictor of group success at the project implementation stage, when other variables were controlled.

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