Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. David Cowden

Second Advisor

Dr. Carol Sheffer

Third Advisor

Dr. Raymond Alie


Businesses spend millions of dollars each year on selection and placement of personnel, on training, and on organizational development activities. Each one involves the learning processes of the individual; the effectiveness of these activities is dependent upon the receptiveness of the individual learner or worker to the specific activity. The purpose of this study was to verify if certain occupational groups demonstrated particular learning styles and productivity preferences and to determine if there were systematic differences among the occupational groups and the magnitude of those differences. Members of nine different occupational groups working in a branch facility of a Fortune 500 corporation were selected for the investigation.

The investigation was conducted using two instruments, the Gregorc Style Delineator (GSD) and the Productivity Environmental Preference Survey (PEPS). The GSD measured four variables which were learning style channel descriptors; they were concrete/sequential (CS), abstract/sequential (AS), abstract/random (AR), and concrete/random (CR). Strength or weakness in each of these variables categorized the subjects to be assessed by learning style. The PEPS assessed degree of preference for 20 different variables from the areas of environmental preference, emotionality, sociological needs, and physical needs.

Differences between occupation groups on each of the measures were found. People within occupational groups demonstrated common patterns of learning style and productivity preference. However, there was only very slight correlation between learning style and productivity preference.

Based upon the results of the study, there seems to be reason to believe that group analysis information could be provided which would increase effectiveness of workers through creating matches between worker learning style and occupational requirements or, at least, in providing adaptation skills for employees in unmatched situations and in providing data for training design, selection and placement criteria and strategies, and selection of organizational development activities.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access