Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Communication

Committee Chair

John R. Baldwin


The ultimate aim of sustainable community development is to produce, promote, and preserve community well-being. When community developers are unable to effectively articulate and actualize this aim, the individuals and communities they serve needlessly suffer, especially those in poverty circumstances, homelessness, and other forms of destitution. In this thesis, I explore the communication between organizational leaders, their collaborative partners, and participatory community members as a vital component of sustainable community development. This study addresses the lack of a comprehensive set of communicative strategies for community developers to produce sustainable change and well-being for all. I conducted twenty-five in-depth interviews with professionals working in areas of community development in a Midwestern city in the United States. The resulting communication practices are organized into themes corresponding with the research questions exploring communication and sustainable community development as it relates to (a) articulating purpose, (b) communicating collaboratively, and (c) incorporating community members. Specific methodological, theoretical and practical implications of this study are discussed.


Page Count


Included in

Communication Commons