Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The thesis here abstracted was written under the direction of Dr. Donald G. Anderson, approved by Oswald M. Hager and Courtney F. Schley as members of the examining committee, of which Dr. Anderson was chairman.

This thesis describes the operations and activities of the Better Business Bureaus. Information was largely compiled from the bulletins and publications of the National Better Business Bureau. The data which pertained to North Dakota was obtained through a survey of local chambers of commerce.

The idea of a Better Business Bureau originated in a meeting at Boston in 1912, when a group of interested and dedicated businessmen established the National Vigilance Committee. The National Vigilance Committee, which later became the National Better Business Bureau, was formed to investigate cases of alleged misrepresentation in national advertising. Subsequently, local committees were formed to eliminate fraudulent business practices on the state and local level. Later, the Association of Better Business Bureaus was formed to co-ordinate the operations of the national and state organizations.

There were no local Better Business Bureaus operating in North Dakota in 1966. The citizens of North Dakota received a measure of protection against fraud and other unfair business practices through the National Better Business Bureau’s Community Protection Program. The Community Protection Program has been conducted by local chambers of commerce who have paid dues to the National Better Business Bureau. In return the Community Protection Program has provided member chambers with bulletins which discuss fraudulent business practices. The local chambers have used this information to warn consumers and business firms about those undesirable activities which are believed to pose a local problem. This assistance to local residents represents the principal service of North Dakota chambers affiliated with the National Better Business Bureau.