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From Evangelism to General Service: The Transformation of the YMCA

Mayer N. Zald and Patricia Denton
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 8, No. 2 (Sep., 1963), pp. 214-234
DOI: 10.2307/2390900
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2390900
Page Count: 21
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From Evangelism to General Service: The Transformation of the YMCA
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Abstract

This analysis of the organizational character of the YMCA focuses on factors leading to the successful transformation of a welfare organization. It is argued that the organization's broadly stated goals and unrestricted clientele encourage a wide diversification of programs and target populations. Federated structure leads to decentralized decision making, and to control by local elites. Since YMCA professionals do not have a well-defined ideology, and since the organization is linked to an enrollment economy, the organization is highly responsive to the needs of its relatively integrated and typically middle-class clientele. Possible role dilemmas stemming from the organization's structure are discussed.

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