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Board Diversity, Stakeholder Representation, and Collaborative Performance in Community Mediation Centers


Beth Gazley is an assistant professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University–Bloomington. Her research addresses voluntarism, intersectoral collaboration, and management. She is coediting a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Policy on the Minnowbrook III conference.

Won Kyung Chang is a visiting researcher in law and society in the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University. She received a joint doctoral degree from the Maurer School of Law and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. Her research focuses on public perceptions of the justice system and systemic developments affecting those perceptions.

Lisa Blomgren Bingham is the Keller-Runden Professor of Public Service in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University–Bloomington. She has authored more than 80 articles and book chapters addressing conflict resolution, public law, collaborative governance, and collaborative public management.


Does board diversity or representativeness influence organizational performance? Though it is understudied in both the public and the nonprofit sectors, learning more about this critical subject can enhance organizational performance within highly collaborative settings. Community mediation centers, which rely on multiple public and private resources to meet their programmatic objectives, provide excellent case studies for analyzing the impact of different kinds of interorganizational linkages on organizational performance. A multitheoretic view incorporating agency, resource dependence, and stakeholder perspectives is employed through a national sample and a two-stage analysis using a logic model to test the cumulative impact of board characteristics and interorganizational relationships on organizational outcomes. Organizations’ collaborative capacity depends on several kinds of boundary-spanning activities, including network ties, revenue sources, and the number of stakeholder groups represented on the board.