Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Dale Brethower

Second Advisor

Dr. Norman Peterson

Third Advisor

Dr. R.W. Malott

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study was conducted to determine the effects of employee participation on job satisfaction and productivity. A small group of hourly employees (5-7) from a package sort and load operation worked with management to identify, analyze, and solve performance problems. Four employee participation interventions were examined: 1) group problem solving of sorting performance, 2) individualized problem solving of loading performance, 3) general participation on job satisfaction, and 4) general participation on overall productivity. The results indicated that the participation program was effective in improving job satisfaction, group performance, and individual performance. The program was not effective in improving overall productivity. The study indicated that the process of participation, in itself, is not the critical factor for successful participative management. The results demonstrated that the intervention was effective only when it followed a precise problem-solving/ change strategy for specific behaviors and problems.