Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
The purpose of this study was to determine ways to increase participation of members in Computer User Groups. The problem addressed was that a small select group, less than ten percent, in the Parsons Apple/Macintosh Users Group was doing ninety-five percent or more of the work. If this scenario does not change soon, the overworked and overburdened select few may suffer burnout and quit. Case in point, Joplin, MO, had a large Computer User Group, but about seven years ago, it vanished when the select few refused to serve anymore. The same process of decay and erosion has happened in other community organizations. The first objective was to find out why only a select few acquire the burden. The second objective was to determine how more members could be induced to help with the work. Surveys were designed and administered to eight User Groups across the nation, including Amiga, Apple II, Macintosh, WinTel (MS-DOS) groups. This study indicates that as many non-volunteering members are serving in leadership positions as volunteering members. One disturbing result is that the boards of the User Groups are failing to design and give descriptions of jobs to the membership when they announce these positions. It was discovered that introducing mandatory service as part of membership requirements should not adversely affect membership numbers. It was also discovered that the introduction of a mentors hip program in each Computer User Group could be a very positive method of promoting members into leadership positions.
Engels, Alan, "A Study of Voluntary Participation in Computer User Groups" (1995). Electronic Thesis Collection. Paper 38.