PERCEPTUAL PATTERNS OF INVOLVEMENT MANAGEMENT AND EFFECTIVENESS IN PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION

Open Access
Author:
Bowling, Christopher A.
Graduate Program:
Public Administration
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
May 18, 2006
Committee Members:
  • Jeremy Plant, Committee Chair
  • Cynthia Z M Mara, Committee Member
  • John M Trussel, Committee Member
  • Steven Ames Peterson, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • organization theory
  • involvement management
  • participatory management
  • organization design
  • higher education
Abstract:
The limitations of the traditional hierarchical method of organizing have been documented in the public administration literature. Criticisms include; inefficiencies, goal displacement, de-personalization of employees and customers, and the lack of innovation. Involvement management has been offered as a solution to address some of these organizational ills. Involvement management can be viewed as an umbrella concept that encompasses many different management approaches. The core concept is that positive organizational outcomes will result when a wider number of employees are actively participating in making meaningful decisions. One specific model of involvement management has been developed by Edward Lawler. His model is predicated on building organizations utilizing techniques that distribute the elements of involvement management (power, rewards, information, and knowledge) throughout the organization. The current research project takes Lawler’s High Involvement management model and adds a new concept to it, namely organizational commitment. The model is then tested in a traditionally more participative setting to investigate the proposition that effective organizations will naturally have power, rewards, information, knowledge, and organizational commitment present at all levels. An exploratory research effort was designed to test three hypotheses by surveying employees at four public higher education institutions that are a part of a large Northeastern independent university system. Though exploratory in nature, the findings provide strong support for the relationship between organizational commitment and the elements of involvement management, but little support for the link between organizational effectiveness, organizational commitment and the elements of involvement management.