Date of Award

Fall 11-19-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Linda Williams

Second Advisor

Dr. Nicholas Richter

Third Advisor

Dr. Keith Larick



Stakeholders’ Perception of the Organizational Culture, Leadership, and Community Factors That Have Led to the Barn Theater’s Sustainability in Porterville, California

by Mary Shaw

Purpose: This qualitative, phenomenological research study was designed to describe the lived story of the stakeholders of the Barn Theater in Porterville, California.

Methodology: This study allowed the lives of the participants to be explored in order to determine what themes or patterns within organizational culture, leadership, and community factors contributed to the sustainability of the theater. The population of the study was 80 community theaters in California that are registered with the American Association for Community Theaters. The research sample included 14 purposively selected stakeholders of the theater. An interview process was completed, transcripts were transcribed, and data were coded using NVivo software. Care was taken to ensure reliability and validity of the interview process and coding of the data.

Findings: The findings indicated that organizational culture, leadership, and community factors of the theater have led to its sustainability. Volunteers and mentoring were noted as organizational cultural factors. Shared leadership and interpersonal relationship skills were identified as important leadership factors. The unique value of the theater to the community, sense of belonging, and the ability to influence others through the medium of theater arts were identified as important community factors.

Conclusions: The Barn Theater is a model for other community theaters because of its emphasis on organizational culture, leadership, and sense of community. Community theaters need to recruit high-caliber volunteers who are passionate and share the common goals about the art. It is also crucial for mentoring programs to be established. Leaders must receive training to complete their jobs effectively. A welcoming community atmosphere must be created where volunteers feel that they belong, have an emotional connection, have influence over the decision-making process, and where their personal needs are being met.

Recommendations: Leadership training in the areas of communication skills, problem solving, strategic planning, conflict management, and mentoring must be implemented with the board of directors at the theater. In addition, an extensive outreach program that brings youth into the community is crucial to it sustainability for generations to come. Finally, the theater must obtain historical landmark status in order to secure federal financial support through grants.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.