Title

Sense of Community Responsibility in Community Collaboratives: Advancing a Theory of Community as Resource and Responsibility

Publication Date

2014

Journal

American Journal of Community Psychology

Volume

54

Issue

3-4

First Page

229

Last Page

242

Abstract

This paper contributes to the growing body of scholarship aimed at advancing our understanding of the experience of community by empirically investigating sense of community responsibility (SOC-R) in relation to traditional measures of sense of community (SOC) and indices of satisfaction, engagement, and leadership in interorganizational collaborative settings. Findings support the proposition that, although both are related to the experience of community, SOC and SOC-R emphasize different aspects of that experience and operate under different theoretical mechanisms of influence. SOC emphasizes community as a resource which was found to be a more salient aspect in differentiating those who will be more or less satisfied with their experience. In addition, SOC was found to predict general participation in a community collaborative. SOC-R emphasizes the experience of community as a responsibility which appears to be a stronger predictor in explaining higher order engagement requiring greater investment of time and resources. Even more importantly, this study indicates that SOC-R is uniquely equipped to help us advance models of community leadership. As such, it represents an important contribution to expanding our understanding of the factors that drive members' willingness to give of themselves toward collective aims.

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