Theses and Dissertations


The Ohio State University is a top tier research institution and the Barnett Center is proud of that research and the students who produce engaging, relevant documents that are submitted in support for an academic degree. The thesis marks the end of a master’s program while the dissertation signifies the end of a doctoral study. Ohio State has agreements with two organizations, OhioLINK and ProQuest/UMI, that store and provide access to Ohio State theses and dissertations. These links are provided for your convenience to explore the topnotch research executed at The Ohio State University. Below are two examples of some great research:

Charles Calhoun Thesis

Nonprofit Organizational Sustainability in Bounded Contexts: A Case Study on an Appalachian Arts Organization

Charlie Calhoun was a Barnett Center and Arts Policy and Administration graduate student who organized an event called Crossroads of Enterprenuership and Research: An Appalachian Arts while writing his thesis in the spring of 2017: Nonprofit Organizational Sustainability in Bounded Contexts: A Case Study on an Appalachian Arts Organization.

His thesis was an exploration into the realities of organizational management and sustainability for Appalachian arts organizations and non-profits. Using a single selective sociological descriptive case study of an Appalachian arts organization, Charlie gathered data pertaining to the processes of fundraising and community engagement. Along with this data gathering comes a post-industrial retrospective of Appalachia history and a self-reflection of his identity and voice as an Appalachia to establish a bounded Appalachian context. Literature concerning community engagement, fundraising and organizational theory was considered to further develop his lens. All of this was executed in the hopes of discovering an organizational model that would best equip Appalachian and other disenfranchised and disadvantaged arts and culture organizations and institutions to become and/or remain successful and impactful parts of their communities (retrieved from OhioLINK). For the full thesis visit this link.

Crossroads of Enterprenuership and Research: An Appalachian Arts Recap

Various internal and external social, political and economic factors have left the Appalachian region, stretching from upstate New York to northern Georgia and Mississippi, in flux. These factors not only leave their mark on the landscape and the communities therein, but also on the many arts organizations and non-profits operating in the region. So where does this leave the idea of arts administration and entreprenuership in Appalachia?

Event goers joined leaders of arts organizations in the Appalachian regions of Ohio and Kentucky and Ohio State researchers whose work focuses on Appalachian issues to discuss the nature of arts administration and entrepreneurship in the region. Arts Administrators shared their experiences of leading organizations and researchers provided insight into the cultural, socioeconomic and policy issues affecting Appalachia. This conservation served as a bridge-building exercise between the two fields.

Event speakers included: Anne Stephens, Arts Director of the John P. Stephens Cultural Arts Center and Agent for Fine Arts (Univ. of Ky.) Cooperative Extension Service in Greenup County, Kentucky; Ben Fink, Creative Placemaking Project Manager, Appalshop, Inc., Kentucky; Dr. Cassie Patterson, Assistant Director of the OSU Center for Folklore Studies; Dr. Christine Ballengee Morris, Professor in Arts Administration, Education and Policy and Founding Director of the Multicultural Center at Ohio State; and Charles Calhoun who spoke on his thesis findings.

Jason White Dissertation

The State of Entrepreneurship Across The Ohio Arts Sector: Generating nascent data for informing arts entrepreneurship education and practice

Another example is the work of Dr. Jason White. Jason was a Barnett Fellow and a member of the Think Tank at The Barnett Center. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Arts Administration, Education and Policy in 2016. Jason's dissertation was titled The State of Entrepreneurship Across The Ohio Arts Sector: Generating nascent data for informing arts entrepreneurship education and practice.

In his abstract, Jason writes: Researchers from around the globe have long evidenced entrepreneurship; broadly defined in the literature as the organizing of organizations; usually analyzed through an economic lens and frequently evidenced by way of for-profit business ownership, legal incorporation and/or organizational development. For over half a century of rapid growth in the academic field, the study of entrepreneurship has aided students, researchers, practitioners and policy makers in initiating both business and organizational development within various fields and sectors of human society. However, perhaps due to the prevailing view of entrepreneurship as the establishment of a new for-profit business, the preference for an economic lens of analysis, and to the absence of a national sectoral frame for the arts, entrepreneurship researchers have yet to conduct empirical research evidencing entrepreneurship as it occurs across a defined arts sector. Given the absence of the arts sector as a research focus within top tier entrepreneurship journals, there is a need for researchers to conduct empirical entrepreneurship research for the purposes of informing arts entrepreneurship education and practice. To address this need, the study lays a foundation for comparative analysis of (1) owner/founder demographics, (2) entrepreneurial characteristics, (3) entrepreneurship practice and (4) venture trends and tendencies in a defined arts sector. After generating the data for analysis, I analyze the data through the lens of a conceptual framework, utilizing key findings as a catalyst for guiding and informing research directions for the future (retrieved from OhioLINK). For the full dissertation, visit this link.