Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Lawrence R. Frey

Second Advisor

Leah M. H. Sprain

Third Advisor

John M. Ackerman

Fourth Advisor

Robert T. Craig

Fifth Advisor

Bruce E. Goldstein


This applied communication research study employed the bona fide group perspective to study how members of a public administration task group, the Resilient Boulder Working Group (RBWG), processed contributions that they solicited from other groups. Focusing on members’ talk during group meetings, the findings from the study suggested that RBWG members’ talk closed the group’s borders off to contributions solicited from other groups. Despite a mandate from the group’s funder (100 Resilient Cities) for the group’s borders to be open, the group closed its border and enacted a “container” model of groups, which created barriers to accomplishing the group’s goal of employing a resilience-thinking process. The results led to (a) identification of the ease with which a bona fide group can isolate itself, (b) a process model for groups seeking to enact resilience thinking that positions group members’ talk as being integral to the process, and (c) recommended practices that members can employ to align their group’s talk with their group’s goals, including being open to other groups and to processes of resilience thinking.

Included in

Communication Commons