Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sociology and Anthropology


This study investigates factors that may explain regional council operative goal effectiveness. Regional council operative goals are viewed as the critical tasks and activities performed by the council. Three regional council policy council roles and three professional staff activities represent the dependent variables. Regional council effectiveness on these roles and activities is evaluated by local government officials.;Three models of organizational effectiveness, the operative goal, systems resource, and participant satisfaction, are used to develop an explanation of regional council effectiveness. Together, these models suggest that regional council operative goal effectiveness is an outcome of resources exchanged between regional councils and their constituencies. Local governments contribute resources such as information, time, and money to regional councils in exchange for regional council technical assistance, especially in the form of help with local grants and planning. The models also suggest that regional council effectiveness is dependent on local official satisfaction with council assistance and the extent to which local governments use alternate sources to technical assistance.;Research arguments were tested using data from 12 regional councils, 86 county board chairpersons, and 167 municipal majors. Indicators of resources exchanged had positive and significant effects on regional council effectiveness. Local official satisfaction with regional council technical assistance also had signficant effects. A modest negative relationship was found between local government utilization of alternatives and regional council effectiveness. The importance of indicators varied with shift of focus from policy council effectiveness to professional staff effectiveness.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Gary David Nelson



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

136 pages

Included in

Sociology Commons