Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Dale Brethower

Third Advisor

Dr. Patrick Jenlink


The purpose of this study was to determine what style of management was used by different office furniture manufacturers and whether or not a participative style of management affected organizational productivity. Organizational productivity was defined by factoring together the yearly sales and the financial stability for the organization, as defined by Dun & Bradstreet.

The five hypotheses studied were:

1. The higher the educational level of the organization's management is, the more likely they are to use a participative style of management.

2. The older an organization is, the less likely they are to use a participative style of management.

3. The older an organization's managers are, the less likely they are to use a participative style of management.

4. Organizations that use a participative style of management are more likely to be smaller in size than organizations that use a rigid style of management.

5. Organizations that use a participative style of management will have increased productivity that will result in increased financial stability.

Likert's Profile of Organizational Characteristics was sent to 673 executives of 120 companies listed in Dun & Bradstreet's Million Dollar Directory, as having the Standard Industrial Classification code of 2521 or 2522. Additional demographic data were collected on the respondent's age, sex, educational level, their place in the organizational and the age and size of the organization (number of employees and buildings). A total of 162 replies was received back and ordered into response groups from executives within the same organization.

No conclusions could be drawn about the first, second, third or fifth hypotheses. The analysis of the fourth hypothesis, that smaller organizations are more likely to use participative management, revealed a positive relationship; however, this would be interpreted as the larger the organization is, the more likely it would be to use participative management, the opposite of the original hypothesis.

An analysis of the difference between the responses by female and males within the same organization showed that females, in organizations where a female was the top executive, responded in nearly the same manner as their male counterparts. Females in organizations where males were in the top executive positions gave responses that were substantially different Gower) than their male peers.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access