Constructing a tree for community leaders: Contexts and processes in collaborative inquiry

S. Darius Tandon, L. Sean Azelton, James G. Kelly, Debra A. Strickland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This paper presents collaborative research between a university-based team and a grass roots community organization on the south side of Chicago. The purpose of the work is to document the nature of community leadership as expressed by members of the host organization. Using a semistructured interview, 77 community members nominated by the host organization were asked about various aspects of their community work. Qualitative analyses of interview text generated a set of 56 codes concerning different aspects of community leadership as reported by grassroots leaders. These codes were subsequently grouped together into five conceptually linked dimensions of community leadership. A "leadership tree" that simultaneously analyzes and visually displays each of these five dimensions of community leadership was created. Implications of the methodology used to create the leadership tree are discussed for the salience of qualitative methods in community research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-696
Number of pages28
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Community leadership
  • Ecological research
  • Participatory research
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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