dedicated to developing a specialized body of kn
owledge enabling MBOs to deliver more meaningful and transformative experiences to their members.

Our Work

A systems perspective is used to study and develop a more comprehensive body of knowledge for the association management profession.
The following three tracks guide the Institute's research efforts:

Emergence & Development
Looking historically at when & how
these organizations emerge
offers valuable insight.


Analyzing their growth & development
helps to define important
patterns & trends.


Documenting organizational
benchmarks provides insight into
productive processes & practices.


Assessing the validity of seemingly
contemporary obstacles allows
the opportunity to identify
alternatives that can
produce desired results.


Structure & Function 

Examining the effectiveness of existing infrastructure and operations against a "relation-centered" management model provides an alternative for volunteer and staff leaders interested in increasing member satisfaction.

The first phase of the Institute's current Research Initiative: Restoring Purposeful Pathways: Defining the Role of Membership-based Organizations in Advancing America's Potential offers an initial model to initiatve discussion and further refinement.

The findings were generated by examining the following essential research question:

What must associations look like & how must they operate in order to deliver meaningful & transformative experiences
to all their members?

Our Indeed Relevant working papers outline a theoretical framework, set of
universal principles, and a draft model to begin discussion.


Membership & Community
Understanding community development practices is essential to building an active & engaged membership.
Discovering how to blend these practices with sound business practices not only strengthens the "relation-centered" management model but ensures a meaningful & transformative membership experience.
The second phase of the Institute's Research Initiative: Restoring Purposeful Pathways Through Member Engagement is underway. An Advisory Group is now reviewing and shaping the project. An additional working group is focusing greater attention on the research design. Expect announcements soon.
The essential research question remains
the same.
For more information, click here.  

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