First Advisor

Bruce Gilley

Term of Graduation

Spring 2023

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Affairs and Policy


Public Affairs and Policy




Public Admministration, Public Participation, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement, Transportation



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 184 pages)


Major urban public transportation agencies in the United States are often under pressure to engage stakeholders in order to improve both the legitimacy and effectiveness of their transit systems. Based on qualitative methods of directed content analysis, this dissertation answers three related questions: (I) How do internal organizational qualities affect stakeholder engagement? (II) How do external socioeconomic factors affect stakeholder engagement? and (III) Does stakeholder engagement lead to better performance? Using a most similar comparative case study design, this research studies stakeholder engagement in five major urban public transportation agencies (Denver, Oklahoma City, Seattle, Portland, and Memphis). It demonstrates the importance of both internal organizational capacity and external socioeconomic factors to carrying out effective stakeholder engagement. It raises questions however about the conditions under which stakeholder engagement improves system performance. Finally, this research introduces a new tool called the Organizational Stakeholder Engagement Rubric (OSER) as an evaluative tool for the examination and analysis of organizational qualities and their expressed organizational stakeholder engagement practices.


©2023 Tyler Joseph Wolfe

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