Relationships between worker participation in work management and characteristics of healthy personality

Material Information

Relationships between worker participation in work management and characteristics of healthy personality
Santavicca, Gary, 1952- ( Dissertant )
Landsman, Ted ( Thesis advisor )
Grater, Harry A. ( Reviewer )
Seiler, Gary ( Reviewer )
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
Physical Description:
vii, 134 leaves : ; 28 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Goal setting ( jstor )
Labor ( jstor )
Modeling ( jstor )
Motivation ( jstor )
Personal adjustment ( jstor )
Personality psychology ( jstor )
Psychological counseling ( jstor )
Psychology ( jstor )
Regression analysis ( jstor )
Statistical discrepancies ( jstor )
Counselor Education thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Counselor Education -- UF
Job satisfaction ( lcsh )
Labor -- Psychological aspects ( lcsh )
Management -- Employee participation ( lcsh )
Personality ( lcsh )
Working class -- Psychological aspects ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


The Profile of Organizational Characteristics (POC), the California Test of Personality (CTP) and demographic questions were completed by 257 non-managerial employees in five similar plants of a large manufacturing organization. Four of the plants instituted formal participative management systems in recent years, the other was managed traditionally . A pattern of small but significant positive relationships was found between subjects' healthy personality characteristics, assessed by the CTP, and reported experience of participation, assessed by the POC. However, no relationships were found between subjects' reported experience of participation and length of exposure to a formal participation system. Therefore, no relationship could be inferred between formal participation systems and employees' healthy personality. Regression analyses were used to determine which of six specific areas of experienced participation assessed by the POC (including conditions of leadership, motivation, communication, decision making, goal setting and control) could best predict each healthy personality subscore on the CTF . Of the six areas, participative goal setting and motivation conditions appeared most often as strongest predictors of personality subscores. No relationships were found between subjects' reported desire for participation, assessed by the POC, and length of exposure to a formal participation system nor were subjects' reported experience of participation and desire for participation associated. However, the total subject group's mean score for desire for participation was very high (3.5 on Likert's continuum of Systems 1 through 4). The relatively small relationships found between experienced participation and healthy personality adjustment are consistent with the component role of work environment within the total environment to which people adjust. It cannot be concluded from this study that participation promotes healthy personality. However, the results indicate that participative conditions were highly desirable to the non-manager subjects, and that if those conditions had a causal impact on personality adjustment, it likely was a favorable impact. Future research is recommended to identify clearly the direction of causation in relationships between participation and healthy personality .
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1984.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 126-133).
General Note:
General Note:
Statement of Responsibility:
by Gary Santavicca.

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The writer wishes to acknowledge the support and

assistance of several people in the completion of this

dissertation. Dr. Donald Jewell and The Mescon Group

provided an essential liaison with the business

organization from which subjects were drawn. Special thanks

go to the many individuals from that organization who

served as subjects and as coordinators of procedures.

Dr. Ted Landsman has been a most supportive doctoral

chairperson. His continuing service in that capacity, in

spite of his retirement from teaching, is greatly

appreciated. Dr. Gary Seiler and Dr. Harry Grater also have

provided valued help and encouragement as doctoral

committee members.

Personal friendship, empathy, and quite a few

technical suggestions were provided by Dr. Andres Nazario.

Jim Watson offered many kindnesses and indulgences as the

writer disrupted much of his routine in the final weeks of

dissertation effort. Finally, deepest appreciation and

affection are reserved for Yvonne Benz, for innumerable

reasons both related and unrelated to the writing of this




ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................... ii

ABSTRACT ........................................... v


I INTRODUCTION ... ................ ............. 1
Background of the Problem ...... ......... 2
Need for the Study ....................... 7
Research Questions ....................... 10
Rationale ............................... 10
Significance of the Study ............... 12
Definition of Terms ....... .............. 13

Healthy Personality ... ................ 15
Work Qualities Associated with Healthy
Personality ........................... .. 27
Worker Participation in The Management
of Work ............................... .. 36
Further Evidence of Relationship of
Participation and Healthy Personality 53

III RESEARCH METHOD ............................. .. 57
Research Design ......................... .. 57
Research Hypotheses ..................... .. 58
Subjects ................................ .. 59
Procedures .............................. .. 61
Instrumentation ......................... .. 62
Analysis of Data ......................... 70
Limitations of the Study .. ............. 73

IV RESULTS ........... ............... .......... 77
Description of the Sample ................ 77
Findings Related to the Null Hypotheses 82
Summary ................................. 102

RECOMMENDATIONS .......... ...... ............. 104
Discussion of Findings ................... 105
Conclusions ............................. 118
Recommendations ......................... 120


QUESTIONS ................................. 123

PANEL ..................................... 125

REFERENCES ......................................... 126

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .................................. 134

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Gary Santavicca

April 1984

Chairperson: Ted Landsman
Major Department: Counselor Education

The Profile of Organizational Characteristics (POC),

the California Test of Personality (CTP) and demographic

questions were completed by 257 nonmanagerial employees in

five similar plants of a large manufacturing organization.

Four of the plants instituted formal participative

management systems in recent years, the other was managed


A pattern of small but significant positive

relationships was found between subjects' healthy

personality characteristics, assessed by the CTP, and

reported experience of participation, assessed by the POC.

However, no relationships were found between subjects'

reported experience of participation and length of exposure

to a formal participation system. Therefore, no

relationship could be inferred between formal participation

systems and employees' healthy personality.

Regression analyses were used to determine which of

six specific areas of experienced participation assessed by

the POC (including conditions of leadership, motivation,

communication, decision making, goal setting and control)

could best predict each healthy personality subscore on the

CTP. Of the six areas, participative goal setting and

motivation conditions appeared most often as strongest

predictors of personality subscores.

No relationships were found between subjects' reported

desire for participation, assessed by the POC, and length

of exposure to a formal participation system nor were

subjects' reported experience of participation and desire

for participation associated. However, the total subject

group's mean score for desire for participation was very

high (3.5 on Likert's continuum of Systems 1 through 4).

The relatively small relationships found between

experienced participation and healthy personality

adjustment are consistent with the component role of work

environment within the total environment to which people

adjust. It cannot be concluded from this study that

participation promotes healthy personality. However, the

results indicate that participative conditions were highly

desirable to the nonmanager subjects, and that if those

conditions had a causal impact on personality adjustment,

it likely was a favorable impact. Future research is

recommended to identify clearly the direction of causation

in relationships between participation and healthy



The most nearly dominant single influence in a man's
life is probably his occupation. More than anything
else, perhaps, a man's occupation determines his
course and his contribution in life. . Indeed,
there is no other single characteristic that tells so
much about a man and his status--social, intellectual,
and economic--as does his occupation. A man's
occupation not only tells, for each workday, what he
does during one-half of his waking hours, but it
indicates, with some degree of accuracy, his manner of
life during the other half. (Edwards, 1943, p. xi)

The most important part of the quality of life is the
quality of work. (Work in America, 1973, p. vii)

The job and the identity of the person are often the
same. If maintenance and enhancement of the self is
the basic need, then the job one holds is the basic
self for most people. (Jourard & Landsman, 1980, p.

The study introduced in this chapter focuses on

relationships between certain qualities of work and

characteristics of workers' personality adjustment. The

first section of this chapter explores background factors

and concludes that the study is warranted. The second

section explains the need for the study in terms of gaps in

the literature which the study has addressed. Research

questions addressed by this study are listed in the third

section. The next sections present the researcher's

rationale and possible uses of the study. Terms are defined

in the final section of this chapter.


Background of the Problem

This section summarizes background in theory and

social conditions regarding the problem which was studied.

Work has been a factor in personality theories, and

personality has been a factor, usually imlicit, in theories

of work organization. Changes in social attitudes toward

work have parallelled developments in scientific theory. In

recent decades, both scientific and lay observers have

described trends toward depersonalization and powerlessness

of workers. However, recognition of the untapped potential

of human resources in organizations and concern for

employee growth and satisfaction may be leading to new

trends: loosening of traditional work roles and increased

employee participation in management of work.

Work: An Important Factor in Personality

The sheer volume of time most adults spend at work

suggests that the experience of work is of major importance

in the experience of life. As a general factor, work has

played a prominent role in many theories of personality

development. For example, Freud (1949) held that ability to

love and do productive work are the healthy manifestations

of harmony among id, ego and superego. Erikson (1968, pp.

122-128) considered resolution of the "industry versus

inferiority" conflict to be a critical developmental

achievement. Recognizing a vital relationship between work

and self, Super (1963) based his theory of career


development on self-concept theory. Maslow (1970), Herzberg

(1966), and Argyris (1957) developed major theories which

address connections between work and personality.

Personality in Organizational Management Theory

Researchers outside the field of personality

development have studied work and work environments over

the years. By the 1920's, a growing body of literature had

established a science of organizational management. Most of

these efforts aimed to improve the productive effectiveness

of organizations based on assumptions of a rational

economic healthy human nature and ideal hierarchical

authority structure of work organization (e.g., Taylor,

1911; Weber, 1947). Efforts which followed were based on

growing doubts about the assumption of rational economic

healthy personality. Studies paid closer attention to

workers' adjustment to work, aiming to identify manager

behaviors which would improve workers' morale and

willingness to comply with organizational demands (e.g.,

Roethlisberger, 1941). In recent years, this line of

research has come to view the person at work as a more

complex, whole person, interacting with the social and

technical work environment in complex ways. Within the past

two decades, a growing number of studies have explored

human processes and outcomes in organizational forms other

than the traditional hierarchical, autocratic form

(Galbraith, 1977).


Recent Social Attitudes Toward Work

The evolution of formal theories about work and

organizations has reflected some important trends in social

thought and social conditions. The stark contrast between

democratic political ideals and autocratic management of

work organizations has been cited as a philosophical

catalyst for the organized labor movement of the past

century. While this movement has resulted in a

predominantly adversarial system of labor-management

relations in this country, other Western nations have

pursued more collaborative labor-management systems (Wall &

Lischeron, 1977). Evolving concepts of human rights have

led to demands for satisfying work as well as a paycheck.

Greater levels of educational achievement have produced

abilities and expectations which seek expression in more

challenge and responsibility. Increasing affluence has

created a social climate in which ideal work is viewed less

as a means of survival than as a means of fulfilling a

range of human needs (Work in America, 1973).

Work and Nonfulfillment

In Human Values and Work in American Life (1964), C.

Gilbert Wrenn stated his doubt that work, as experienced by

most of his contemporaries, contributed positively to

identity. He believed that diminishing opportunities for

creativeness and human expression at work impaired the

worker's ability to meet the need for meaning and


significance in life. Referring to traditional

hierarchically structured, autocratically managed

organizations, Argyris (1957, p. 66) described several

"basic incongruencies between the growth trends of a

healthy personality, and the requirements of the formal

organization . which are much more congruent with the

needs of infants in our culture." Journalism, art, poetry,

music and cinema, as well as scholarship have addressed

what has seemed for many people to be a prevalence of

dehumanizing work.

Participation: A Means of Humanizing Work?

Argyris and other theorists hold meaningful

participation in the management of work to be a powerful

factor in the well-being of the individual, and

consequently in a greater capability of the organization to

benefit from the individual (Blake & Mouton, 1961; Hackman

& Oldham, 1980; Herzberg, 1966; Likert, 1967; McGregor,

1960). Participation is viewed as a way to increase the

amount and accuracy of information useful to employees at

all levels and to instill in participants a sense of

ownership of work practices (Hackman, 1976). Increased

control over one's own work, better understanding of the

purposes and results of one's efforts and greater personal

commitment to one's role appear to be participation

outcomes which can impact both individual and organization

in positive ways. With important qualifications,

participative conditions have been shown to be positively

related to employees' ownership of change (Coch and French,

1948; Seeborg, 1978), self-control of work activity

(Tannenbaum, 1962), commitment to work-related goals

(French, 1950), reduced absenteeism (Lawler & Hackman,

1969), innovation in making decisions (Duncan, 1971), and

both work effectiveness and job satisfaction (Coch &

French, 1948; Fisher, 1981; Jenkins & Lawler, 1981; Lawler

& Hackman, 1969; Likert, 1967; Marrow, Bowers & Seashore,

1967; Roberts, Miles and Blankenship, 1968; Seeborg, 1978;

Walton, 1972).

A "Quality of Work Life" Movement

A movement to improve both productivity and the

well-being of individuals has gathered a growing number of

adherents from business, government and academic settings.

Burck (1982, p. 57) describes what is termed quality of

work life or QWL as:

a powerful movement . to reexamine and, as
necessary, break with old managerial assumptions and
formulas. Today's executives are confronting the
knowledge that the business system they mastered is no
longer the world-beater it used to be. They are
considering options--some inspired by the
Japanese--that are more flexible and participative
than the rigid hierarachies they grew up in. These
alternative organizations take a long-run view of
corporate self-interest, and are guided by a sense of
common purpose that motivates all who work within
them . this kind of effort is most broadly
described as the process of expanding the
responsibility and influence of rank-and-file
employees. It assumes that people want to work
together in common purpose, and it challenges the
sharp distinction, inherent in classical Western
industrial organization, between the actual work of
producing goods or services and the planning and


coordination of that work. Today's employees, it
holds, are able and willing to participate more fully
in management decisions at all levels, and the
organization that does not let them do so not only
turns them off but also wastes valuable intelligence.
(p. 57)

Participation and Healthy Personality

If, as the literature suggests, work is an important

factor in healthy personality, and participation is a

potent factor in the experience of work, it appears

possible that participation at work can have an important

impact on characteristics of an individual's personality.

Need for the Study

Is Participation Related to Healthy Personality?

Relatively few studies have attempted to identify

relationships between participative work conditions and

characteristics of adjustment to life beyond the work

environment. Sometimes, healthy personality characteristics

have been inferred from measured job-related attitudes and

behaviors. For example, Hackman & Lawler found that holders

of jobs high in variety, autonomy, task identity and

feedback (job features common to participation measures)

scored high in job satisfaction measures which Argyris

(1973) pointed out were related to feelings of worthwhile

accomplishment, self-esteem and personal growth.

While participative conditions and job satisfaction

have been linked in many studies, several other studies

have linked job satisfaction with healthy psychological and

physical characteristics beyond the work setting. In a

review of job satisfaction literature, Locke (1976, p.

1328) cited studies showing what he termed "spillover"

relationships between job satisfaction and attitudes toward

life, self and family; indices of mental health; reported

physical symptoms (fatigue, shortness of breath, headache,

sweating, ill health) and mortality from heart disease.

A growing body of literature attests to relationships

between participation and satisfactory experience of work,

and between work satisfaction and healthy adjustment to

life outside the work setting. This study addresses an

important gap in the literature by exploring relationships

between workers' experience of participative conditions and

several characteristics of healthy personality.

Who Wants to Participate?

Some studies have shown that participation is not

always positively associated with worker performance and

satisfaction and other desirable outcomes (French, Israel &

As, 1960; Vroom, 1959). Hulin and Blood (1968) provided

evidence that not all workers value jobs which provide them

with opportunities for psychological growth. This evidence

usually is found among employees at the lowest and

traditionally least participative levels of organization.

Conclusions of these and similar studies have raised

two major issues. First, it has been pointed out that

participation has more impact when it is task related and

that the worker must perceive it to be meaningful rather


than token (Hackman, 1976; Wall & Lischeron, 1977). Also,

participative practices initially may elicit suspicion and

resistance to change when they are introduced into an

autocratic environment to which the worker has become

accustomed (Lawler & Hackman, 1969). Approaches used to

assess employee participation generally have neglected

these two issues. This study addresses these issues.

Need to assess subjects' own experiences. First, many

studies of employee participation have measured it in terms

of managers' behaviors or statements, or researchers'

judgments regarding participative climate in the

organization. These approaches fail to tap employees' own

experiences of participation. In contrast, this study

obtained employees' reports of their own experiences of

participation related work conditions.

Need to consider subjects' exposure to participation.

Second, most related studies have not considered the

possible impact which length of exposure to participative

conditions might have on employees' subjective experiences

and attitudes toward participation. Lawler (1976) suggested

that after experiencing participation, persons' preferences

may change in favor of it; but he found little research

which tested this view. If Lawler's hypothesis is correct,

desire for participation as well as experience of

participation should be positively related to length of

exposure to participative practices. This study

addresses Lawler's hypothesis by considering employees'

desire for participation as well as experience of

participation in relation to the time (if any) since their

plant implemented a formal participative management system.

Research Questions

The needs for investigation described in the preceding

section provide the basis for the following research

questions addressed in this study. Reasoning related to

these questions and methods for approaching them will be

presented in the third chapter of this proposal.

1. Is there a relationship between the length of time

individuals are employed under a formal participative

management system and their experience of participation?

2. Is there a relationship between individuals'

experience of participation and their characteristics of

healthy personality?

3. Is there a relationship between the length of time

individuals are employed under a formal participative

management system and their desire for participation?


Public health and primary prevention of illness are

areas of growing concern in the field of psychology. This

trend is based on the recognition of opportunities for

promotion of physical and psychological health and the

immense costs of ill health and secondary treatment

interventions. The quality of human environments,


including work environments, is a vital focus for primary

prevention interventions (Albee, 1982; Michael, 1982).

Psychologically oriented research and interventions are

gaining currency within a growing "quality of worklife"

movement (Lawler, 1982).

The counseling profession has a well established

identification with efforts to promote healthy personality

development and actualization of human potentials, through

the practice of consultation as well as counseling

(Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, 1973;

American Psychological Association, 1981). This

identification is quite consistent with the concerns of

primary prevention and quality of worklife. Skills and

practices of counseling professionals are considered very

appropriate for application within work organizations

(Cristiani & Cristiani, 1979; Leonards, 1981). Recently,

the counseling literature has begun to include models and

strategies regarding modification of organizational

environments to promote human growth and well-being (e.g.,

Cochran, 1982; Paul, 1982; Conyne, 1983).

The rationale for this study derives from the contexts

of a recognized need for primary prevention interventions,

the importance of organizational environments to human

well-being, and the relevance of healthy personality theory

and consultation practice in the counseling profession.


Significance of the Study

This study has several implications of possible

interest to the general public, counselors and other

professionals who might engage in consultation with

organizations, organization researchers, and organization

managers. If relationships exist between participation and

healthy personality characteristics, empirical support is

lent to a growing popular belief in the merits of

participative management. Participation is an

organizational attribute which could be emphasized in

consultation, organizational administration, and public

health policy.

Certain characteristics of healthy personality appear

to be associated with experience of participation while

others are not. Certain healthy personality characteristics

are of particular interest to work organizations (e.g.,

those which are believed to be relevant to performance

motivation and adjustment to specific conditions and values

prevalent in the organization) and to society (e.g., those

believed to be associated with positive contributions to

family and community). While this study does not address

particular organizational or societal values, it does

attempt to identify personality attributes most strongly

associated with the participation experience.


Definition of Terms

1. Healthy personality characteristics:

Characteristics of persons' adjustment which are commonly

associated in the literature with absence of pathology,

sense of well-being and development of personal potentials.

Healthy personality typically appears to be defined in

terms consistent with constructs of higher level human

needs--those concerned primarily with psychological

security and enhancement rather than physiological

requirements. Healthy personality characteristics to be

measured in this study with the California Test of

Personality (CTP) (Thorpe, Clark & Tiegs, 1953) include

Self-reliance, Sense of Personal Worth, Sense of Personal

Freedom, Feeling of Belonging, Freedom from Withdrawing

Tendencies, Freedom from Nervous Symptoms, Social

Standards, Social Skills, Freedom from Anti-social

Tendencies, Family Relations, Occupational Relations,

Community Relations, general Personal Adjustment, general

Social Adjustment and Total Adjustment.

2. Participation: Individuals' opportunities to exert

influence in the management of their work, e.g., setting

goals, planning and controlling work, sharing significant

information, making decisions, and working interactively

with others to perform these functions. In this study,

participation was assessed with the Profile of

Organizational Characteristics (POC) (Rensis Likert


Associates, 1978) in terms of persons' perceptions of

characteristics of their work and work environment which

enable them to influence the management of their work.

3. Participative management system: A program of

policies and actions implemented by an organization to

promote employee participation in the management of their

work. In this study, one variable was the period of time

(if any) subjects have been exposed to a participative

management system formally implemented in their plant.


Literature from four topic areas related to this study

is reviewed in the four major sections of this chapter:

healthy personality, work qualities associated with healthy

personality, worker participation in work management, and

further evidence of participation-healthy personality

relationship. Literature from these topic areas supports

the line of reasoning that characteristics of healthy

personality can be identified, that certain qualities of

work are consistent with development and maintenance of

healthy personality, and that participation combines

several healthy qualities of work and may promote healthy


Healthy Personality

This section presents various views of healthy

personality and identifies commonalities among these views.

Particular consideration is given to contributions from

humanistic psychology which is especially concerned with

models of healthy personality. Assessments of healthy

personality, including the CTP, are discussed.

Healthy Personality and Humanistic Psychology

The working definition of healthy personality in this

study is based largely on the influence of humanistic



psychology on a great deal of thought and practice within

the field of counseling. Shaffer (1978, p. 2) quotes an

explanation from the charter statement of the American

Association of Humanistic Psychology.

Humanistic psychology is primarily an orientation
toward the whole of psychology rather than a distinct
area or school. It stands for the respect for the
worth of persons. . As a "third force" in
contemporary psychology, it is concerned with topics
having little place in existing theories and systems:
e.g., love, creativity, self, growth, organism, basic
need-gratification, self-actualization, higher values,
being, becoming, spontaneity, play, humor, affection,
naturalness, warmth, ego-transcendence, autonomy,
responsibility, meaning, fair play . and related

According to Shaffer, this "third force," sometimes

loosely termed a humanistic-existential-phenomenological

tradition in psychology, began largely in rejection of what

were seen as prevailing tendencies in psychology toward

reductionistic, deterministic and pessimistic

conceptualizations of the person. Clinical practice was

seen as preoccupied with deficiency and pathology, and

neglectful of growth and positive potential. The humanistic

movement emphasized holistic conceptualizations of the

person, who has freedom as well as constraints, and who has

potential to improve adaptive abilities and enhance

experience of life well beyond the point of mere absence of

pathology. Thus, healthy personality and qualities of

environments which facilitate healthy personality

development have been primary concerns of this movement.

Defining Healthy Personality

Any definition of healthy personality necessarily

involves certain problematic judgments and assumptions.

While somewhat consensual definitions of unhealthy

personality have been devised, Szasz has pointed out the

political, judgmental nature of even these definitions.

In medical practice, when we speak of physical
disturbances we mean either signs (for example, fever)
or symptoms (for example, pain). We speak of mental
symptoms, on the other hand, when we refer to a
patient's communications about himself, others, and
the world about him. . The statement "X is a
mental symptom" involves rendering a judgment . a
covert comparison or matching of the patient's ideas,
concepts, or beliefs with those of the observer and
the society in which they live. (1963, p. 13)

Definition of healthy personality or unhealthy

personality is not a simple issue. However, it is an issue

which confronts those who attempt to help others develop

qualities which enable them to manage life more

successfully. Counseling practices, including consultation,

are based on explicit or implicit conceptualizations of

healthy personality. Many public policies at governmental

or institutional levels also are directed toward objectives

which assume various characteristics of healthy emotional

and intellectual condition.

While there is no universal agreement on what

constitutes healthy personality, there are quite a few

personality related characteristics which commonly are

described in the literature as evidence of healthy

function. Humanistic theorists have addressed healthy


personality perhaps the most extensively in the literature;

however, other schools of theory have addressed healthy

personality often in similar ways.

Humanistic, psychodynamic and behavioral views of

healthy personality will be reviewed. There are three

purposes for this review. First, the common themes among

the many authors' views suggest that some degree of

consensus exists regarding the nature of healthy

personality. Second, these common themes can be seen to be

consistent with the instrument selected to assess

personality characteristics for this study. Third, several

of these themes appear to be very relevant to human

outcomes which have been associated with various qualities

of work, as will be discussed in subsequent sections of

this chapter.

Humanistic Views of Healthy Personality

While there are differences attributed to them,

humanistic, existential and phenomenological schools of

theory share a primary concern for psychological experience

and its unique and irreducible meaning to each individual.

Several theorists are identified with more than one of

these schools and the schools are sometimes considered

together under the more general label of humanistic


Abraham Maslow has been one of the most influential

writers in the areas of healthy personality. Maslow studied


the conditions under which people seemed able to develop in

optimal ways (Maslow, 1970). For Maslow, personality is the

manner in which the person attempts to fulfil certain

categories of human needs. Persons who are not preoccupied

with attempts to satisfy more basic, prepotent needs, may

seek to fulfil a higher level need to self-actualize

personal potentials. The self-actualizing, healthy

personality is described by Maslow as more efficient in

perceptions of reality and comfortable in relations with

reality, accepting of self, spontaneous, simple, natural,

problem centered rather than self-centered, appreciative of

solitude, capable of high degree of autonomy, fresh in

appreciation of life experiences, close in relationships to

others, democratic in relationships with others, ethically

discriminating, creative, and resistant to excessive

enculturation, among other qualities.

Ted Landsman has argued that psychologists have been

too guarded in identifying the healthy personality (Jourard

& Landsman, 1980). He describes as a "beautiful and noble

person" one who has clear perception, and who respects,

loves and enjoys self, environment and others. Healthy

personality develops as a result of both positive

experiences and negative experiences (from which the person

has learned and grown), both solitude and authentic

dialogue with others, and from transcendent

experiences--unexpectedly high level achievements.


Richard Coan describes "the optimal self" which he

derived from a factor analytic study of a substantial body

of personality assessment data (Coan, 1974). Coan found

five main modes of human fulfillment which related to

efficiency (functional competence, autonomy, commitment to

projects), creativity (openness and novelty in

experiencing), inner harmony (like for self and

appreciation of solitude), relatedness (compassion,

genuineness and receptiveness with others), and

transcendence (unity with a larger whole--nature,


Rogers (1959) describes what he terms a fully

functioning person: open to experience, not defensive in

responding to life events, idea of self is congruent with

experiences, idea of self is not fixed or rigid, evaluates

self by own senses rather than others' standards,

unconditionally likes and accepts self, flexible and

creative in dealing with new experiences, in touch with own

feelings, and accepts others with basic attitude of

positive regard.

Allport (1961) identified six criteria of mental

health based on his review of literature: sense of self

which extends to areas outside of self, ability to relate

warmly to others in both intimate and nonintimate contacts,

fundamental emotional security and self-acceptance,

realistic perception and coping skills, objective about

self, and philosophy which provides a unifying direction to


Yamamoto (1966) compared postulates of several other

theorists including Shoben, Jahoda and Combs, who have

written about the psychology of healthy personality. Shoben

identified healthy personality characteristics of

self-control, personal and social responsibility,

democratic social interest, and possession of values and

standards. Jahoda discussed accepting attitudes toward

self, growth and self-actualization, integration, autonomy,

perception of reality, and environmental mastery. Combs

emphasizes openness to experience, positive self-view,

identification with others, and rich and available

perceptual field.

Jourard and Landsman (1980) summarize that existential

views of healthy personality relate primarily to human

ability to choose: taking responsibility for actions;

making decisions; and seeking to transcend the determining,

limiting effects of handicaps, stress, biological impulses

and social pressures. Mischel (1976) summarizes the

phenomenological view of healthy personality in terms of

awareness of self, openness to experience, personal

genuineness, and quest to actualize potentials.

Psychodymamic Views of Healthy Personality

Descriptions of healthy personality attributes are

mentioned or implied in psychodynamic and related


ego-psychology constructions of personality. For Freud

(1949), the goal of therapy is rational choice and control,

or effective ego function, which is seen as threatened by

the internal conflict between impulsive id and the

restrictive, guilt-inducing superego. Harmony among the id,

ego and superego leads to the healthy personality

manifestations of love and work.

Erich Fromm (1947) believed that character traits

develop from experiences with others and that psychological

growth tendencies can result in positive attributes such as

tenderness, ability to love, desire for freedom, and

striving for truth and justice.

Erikson (1968) implicitly defined qualities of healthy

personality when he identified eight developmental stages,

each construed as a potential conflict between an unhealthy

tendency to fixate or regress and a healthy tendency to

master new learning and apply more adequate behaviors to

changing life demands. The optimal outcomes of these stages

can be described as basic trust and optimism, sense of

control over self and environment, sense of purpose,

competence, well defined sense of self in relation to

others, commitment and sharing, productivity and concern

for humanity, perspective of life and satisfaction with


Behaviorist Conceptualization of Healthy Personality

Of the various schools of psychological thought,

behaviorism may be the least concerned with constructs of

personality, healthy or unhealthy. The primary focus of

behavioral psychology is observable behavior and the

environmental contingencies associated with particular

behaviors. However, characteristics of healthy function are

implicit even in behavioral theory. According to Jourard

and Landsman (1980):

Healthy personality, according to a behavioristic
view, calls for competence and self-control--the
ability to suppress action that no longer yields
positive reinforcers, and to learn action that is
successful in attaining the good things. Such rapid
adaptability is mediated by the ability to discern the
contingencies, or rules implicit in nature or in
society, according to which needs are gratified and
dangers averted. (p. 26)

Mischel (1976, p. 248) states that the objective of

behavioral therapy is "to increase the individual's

independence and competence as rapidly as possible so that

external control of his behavior by the therapeutic regime

can be reduced quickly and ultimately terminated."

Assessment of Healthy Personality

Several common themes are apparent in the various

characterizations of healthy personality reviewed in

previous subsections. Perceptual receptivity and

competencies for self-control and independent function are

qualities which appear most often. Acceptance of self and

experiences, positive value for self and others, capability


of intimacy, flexibility in responding to social and other

environments, and efforts to enhance competence and quality

of experience are other frequently mentioned qualities of

healthy personality.

Assessments of healthy personality necessarily are

based on models or beliefs regarding specific healthy

personality attributes. While models and beliefs vary

across schools of psychological thought and individual

theorists, the common themes might serve as bases for

assessment of healthy personality. Few general personality

assessment instruments have been developed for use with

subject groups who are essentially free of pathology. The

CTP is one such instrument, developed from a review of

psychological literature which dealt with healthy

personality adjustment. Because of several advantageous

features, the CTP will be used in this study. The CTP and

alternative measures of healthy personality will be

described in the following paragraphs.

California Test of Personality. According to the

authors, the CTP was designed to assess "the status of

certain highly important factors of personality and social

adjustment . that defy appraisal or diagnosis by means

of ordinary ability and achievement tests" (Thorpe, Clark &

Tiegs, 1953, p. 2). The authors go on to define personality

as they intend it to be assessed with the CTP.

From one standpoint, the use of the term personality
is unfornate. Personality is not something separate
and apart from ability or achievement but includes


them; it refers rather to the manner and effectiveness
with which the whole individual meets his personal and
social problems, and indirectly the manner in which he
impresses his fellows. . The California Test of
Personality is organized around the concept of life
adjustment as a balance between personal and social
adjustment. Personal adjustment is assumed to be based
on feelings of personal security and social adjustment
on feelings of social security. (Thorpe, Clark &
Tiegs, 1953, pp. 2-3)

The CTP is composed of two sections, Personal

Adjustment and Social Adjustment, each with six component

subsections. Personal Adjustment subsections include

Self-reliance, Sense of Personal Worth, Sense of Personal

Freedom, Feeling of Belonging, Freedom from Withdrawing

Tendencies and Freedom from Nervous Conditions. Social

Adjustment subsections include Social Standards, Social

Skills, Freedom from Anti-social Tendencies, Family

Relations, Occupation Relations and Community Relations.

The authors state that these subsection names "are not

names for general traits. They are rather groupings for

specific tendencies to think, feel and act" (p. 3).

Usefulness of the CTP as a measure of healthy

personality characteristics has been demonstrated by the

authors and the many researchers who have used the CTP in

studies. The several editions of the Mental Measurements

Yearbook and Tests in Print include citations of 502

studies employing the CTP (Buros, 1977). The CTP's

qualities of simplicity, directness, relative brevity and

ease of administration seem most appropriate for the

population and context of this study. Its readability is at


a sixth grade level according to a readability formula

devised by Fry (1968). CTP subsections relate to personal

characteristics commonly understood by people who are not

familiar with personality theory. Its stated intention is

to be responsive to relatively changeable states of

adjustment. One specific use for which its authors

recommend it is assessment of employee adjustment to work

environment conditions. The CTP appears to be unique in

offering this combination of features considered desirable

for this study. The development, validity, and reliability

of the CTP and its use in this study will be discussed

further in the next chapter.

Other healthy personality instruments. There are

several other instruments which are concerned primarily

with characteristics of healthy personality, but which were

considered less appropriate for this study. The Personal

Orientation Inventory (POI) (Shostrum, 1964) has been used

in a large number of studies to assess characteristics

related to self-actualization. The POI was not considered

as desirable as the CTP for use in this study because the

range of characteristics addressed is not as wide as that

of the CTP, the subsections relate to personal

characteristics which require considerable and complex

definition by the author, and the test items are neither

simple nor direct in wording. The California Psychological

Inventory (CPI) (Gough, 1956) was developed largely from

the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and

intended primarily for use with nondisturbed populations.

While the CPI appears to be one of the instruments used

most extensively in research and clinical assessment, it is

quite lengthy even in its shortened form. Many other

published instruments are available for use to assess only

single characteristics of healthy personality.

Other forms of healthy personality assessment.

Characteristics of healthy personality might be assessed by

interview or observational methods. However, special

expertise would be required for their use; validation of

the methods would need to be performed; and the methods

would be more disruptive and less acceptable to the work

organization cooperating in this study.

Work Qualities Associated with Healthy Personality

The preceding section reviewed conceptualizations of

healthy personality. Many similarities are evident, even

between views associated with different schools of theory.

Some themes which appear common among conceptualizations of

healthy personality relate to self-regard, regard for

others, qualities of interpersonal relationships, and the

development and use of competencies. These themes often are

discussed in terms of human needs or motives which go

beyond the basic requirements for biological maintenance,

and which often are called higher level or higher order



It appears that most contributors to the literature

concerning workers' psychological health have discussed the

importance of opportunities for workers Lo satisfy higher

level needs. One prominent theorist discusses the

relationship of work and psychological health in terms of

classes of on-the-job reinforcers which he distinguishes

according to their abilities to satisfy higher level needs

(Herzberg, 1966). It is beyond the scope of this review to

consider the various theoretical constructs of needs and

motivation and reinforcement. However, the following

discussion will be served by the use of these terms as they

are applied in the theories concerning relationships

between work qualities and healthy personality.

This section will review the conclusions of several

authors regarding the importance of higher level need

satisfaction and the related concept of intrinsic

reinforcement for the psychological health of the worker.

Qualities of organization and work which have been

associated with higher level need satisfaction and

intrinsic reinforcement will be presented.

Importance of Higher Level Need Satisfaction

Goldstein & Lanyon (1975, p. 335) cite the case of a

British worker who was convicted of destroying an extremely

expensive machine by throwing a piece of metal into it.

After drilling 74 holes into flywheels every working hour

for ten years, he explained, "try to imagine doing that


job, day in, day out, for ten years. I began to find the

working conditions terrible . boredom." The authors'

discussion is typical of many others' observations that

psychological needs for achievement, self-esteem and

self-fulfillment seem difficult for most people to satisfy

in contemporary industrial environments. The authors placed

the blame for these conditions with the legacy of

"scientific management" founder Frederick Taylor, who

expounded the merits of simplifying and specializing jobs

to such a degree that little was required of workers beyond

routine performance. While Taylor believed his efforts

would serve humanitarian ends by allowing workers to earn

greater incomes with greater ease, he took little account

of human needs beyond the basic security needs which money

could best help to satisfy.

Herzberg (1968) identified a similar problem among

highly skilled white-collar workers. He studied a group of

computer programmers and found that most were bored and

dissatisfied with their jobs, despite relatively high

salaries and benefits. After an initial period of

challenge, most of these persons found their work to be

routine and dull.

Kahn (1973, p. 39) reported results from a large

survey of workers in a variety of industries as to whether

they would choose the same occupation again. Percentages of

respondents answering affirmatively are as follows.

University professor 93
Mathemetician 91
Physicist 89
Biologist 86
Chemist 86
Lawyer in law firm 85
School superintendent 85
Skilled printers 52
Clerical workers 43
Paper mill workers 42
Skilled auto workers 41
Skilled steel workers 41
Textile workers 31
Unskilled steel wmpkers 21
Unskilled auto workers 16

It appears from this list that jobs with higher social

status are associated with higher satisfaction of workers.

However, these jobs may have other qualities which are

associated with degree of jobholder satisfaction and

possibly with the social status ascribed to the jobs as

well. Kahn observed that the order of positions on the list

appears to be associated with the degree of control over

daily work activities which the job affords the jobholder.

Control over work enables the jobholder to influence the

kind of activity performed, to vary it in ways consistent

with personal interests and abilities, and to take more

personal credit for results--it is seen to provide more

opportunities for personal satisfaction through work.

Intrinsic Reinforcers Satisfy Higher Level Needs

Herzberg (1966) has distinguished between on-the-job

reinforcers which are extrinsic and reinforcers which are

intrinsic to the actual work experience. Pay and benefits

are seen as extrinsic to the experience of work and most

likely to reinforce job protecting behaviors. On the other

hand, responsibility and control over one's work, perceived

achievement and recognition are experienced as intrinsic to

the actual performance of work and most likely to reinforce

work performance behaviors.

Because intrinsic reinforcers are most closely

associated wkth actual work activity, Herzberg maintains

that the intrinsic reinforcement properties of the work

determine the work's meaning for the person. Herzberg's

studies have found that workers in fact report greater

concern with intrinsic rewards than extrinsic ones,

particularly if extrinsic rewards are perceived to exist

already at relatively high levels.

Herzberg relates his concepts of extrinsic and

intrinsic reinforcements to Maslow's distinction between

basic needs (physiological maintenance and safety) and

higher level needs (affiliation, self-esteem and

self-actualization). Maslow stressed the importance of

higher level need fulfillment for high level human

functioning or healthy personality, and he held that higher

level needs become more potent as basic needs are met

(1970). Following Maslow's reasoning, Herzberg holds that

above a certain level, extrinsic reinforcement (which is

associated with basic needs) does little to increase

overall satisfaction. Intrinsic reinforcement, he believes,

is most likely to fulfil self-esteem and particularly


self-actualization needs by providing sense of

accomplishment and opportunity to use and develop


Desire to Satisfy Higher Level Needs--Based on Opportunity

Along with other researchers, Herzberg (1966) found

that persons whose jobs offer much opportunity for

self-expression report more concern for rewards associated

with higher order needs than do persons whose jobs are more

routine and strictly defined. Alderfer (1972) proposed

certain interrelationships which rationalize the results of

these studies. In Alderfer's model, the less a need is

satisfied, the more its objects will be desired; the less a

higher order need is satisfied, the more lower need objects

will be desired; and the more a need is satisfied, the more

higher order need objects will be desired.

Alderfer's propositions are consistent with Maslow's

view that lower level needs are prepotent, but Alderfer's

propositions go further to suggest that persons with little

opportunity to fulfill higher order needs at work may

become increasingly concerned with objects of lower level

needs. Argyris (1973, p. 149) explains "if we hypothesize

that employees tend to be aware of and adapt to reality, it

follows that they will tend to seek out those satisfactions

that are possible, even though they may prefer others." He

goes on to cite several studies in support of this

reasoning, including one by Goldthorpe, Lockwood, Bechofer


and Platt, "which concluded that workers consciously chose

to devalue their interest in intrinsically satisfying work

because so little of it was available," in Argyris's words

(p. 156).

Formal Organization Limits Higher Level Need Satisfaction

The central theme of Argyris's theory of personality

and organization (1957, 1973) is that basic incongruencies

exist between the needs of a mature personality and the

requirements of formal organization. Argyris used the term

formal organization to refer to the traditional

organization form with pyramid shaped hierarchy of strictly

defined authority and channelled communication. Argyris

explains the problem.

If the principles of formal organization are used as
ideally defined, employees will tend to work in an
environment where (1) they are provided minimal
control over their workaday world, (2) they are
expected to be passive, dependent, and subordinate,
(3) they are expected to have a short time
perspective, (4) they are induced to perfect and value
the frequent use of a few skin-surface shallow
abilities and, (5) they are expected to produce under
conditions leading to psychological failure. All these
characteristics are incongruent to the ones healthy
human beings are postulated to desire. (1957, p. 66)

Argyris lists several characteristics which he states

are those ideally attained by adults in the course of

healthy personality development: relative independence,

autonomy, relative control over their immediate world,

developing many abilities, developing a few abilities in

depth and developing a longer time perspective (1953, p.

142). Argyris explains that the problem with formal


organizations lies in their intentional tendencies to

centralize information and power and to specialize work.

Because of these tendencies, persons are required to seek

expression of needs that are more representative of the

developmental levels of children than of adults.

Argyris makes several predictions based on this logic

and cites studies which support each prediction.

To the extent that there is an incongruency between
the needs of individuals and the requirements of a
formal organization, the individuals will tend to
experience (1) frustration, (2) psychological failure,
(3) short time perspective, and (4) conflict. The
predictions can be made more specific by defining the
possible formal organizational factors . (1) the
lower one goes down the chain of command, the less the
control and the fewer the abilities that may be used
by an employee; (2) the more that leadership is
directive, the more dependence or the less control the
employee will tend to experience; and (3) the more
managerial controls are unilateral, the more
dependence or the less control the employee will tend
to experience. . How may individuals adapt or cope
with such conditions? The alternatives are (1) to
fight the organization by trying to redesign it and
gain more control by, for example, creating a union;
(2) to leave the organization permanently or
periodically; (3) to remain in the organization but
leave psychologically; to become uninvolved,
apathetic, indifferent; to reduce the intrinsic
importance of work; or (4) to increase the pay-offs
from meaningless work. (1973, pp. 144-162)

Work Qualities Promoting Higher Level Need Satisfaction

Various studies offer evidence that certain qualities

of work may promote higher level need satisfaction. Perhaps

the most renowned of these studies are those at Western

Electric's Hawthorne plant (Roethlisberger, 1941) which

began as studies of the impact on productivity of such

factors as rest breaks and incentives. When productivity


and morale were found to increase in association with

nearly every researcher intervention, however, the focus of

study turned to worker attitudes. The researchers and

managers concluded from the studies that productivity and

morale could be improved simply by giving favorable

attention to workers. More recently, authors have

vehemently disagreed.

This . was not the product of incentive or breaks,
nor of paternalism or experimental euphoria . .
instead, the test-room workers participated in the
creation of of a new work setting in which they could
exercise authority and self-control, learn and earn
additional income, and form their own community. The
Hawthorne studies are testimony to working people's
expressiveness and to its rational and creative
manifestations. (Mirvis, 1980, p. 483)

Not until the late 1950's did studies of employee

satisfaction systematically consider the psychological

importance of the work itself and the employees'

responsibility and discretion in performing work. In his

review of literature on job satisfaction, Locke (1976)

cites many researchers whose studies in recent years have

stressed the importance of work attributes including

opportunity to use one's valued abilities, opportunity for

new learning, creativity, variety, difficulty, amount of

work, responsibility, clear performance goals, control over

work methods and pace, complexity, and recognition for work


Hackman and Lawler (1971) performed an extensive study

of job characteristics associated with employee


satisfaction and identified four core job features which

were most strongly associated with satisfaction of higher

level needs: variety, autonomy, task identity (appreciating

the task's contribution to an overall purpose), and

feedback regarding work outcomes. These core features are

consistent with Herzberg's concept of intrinsic

reinforcement and Argyris's description of healthy adult

personality attributes, and they contrast sharply with

Argyris's description of conditions common for most

employees in formal organizations.

Findings of these and other studies led to study and

application of participative management systems as possible

means of improving employees' psychological responses to

work and their effectiveness at work, for the mutual

benefit of employees and work organizations.

Worker Participation in the Management of Work

Many authors have written about participative

management practices and associated employee reactions.

Several of these were cited in the first chapter.

Participative conditions appear to have a potent impact on

the quality of work as it is experienced by employees. This

section will review research conceptualizations of

participation, its conceptualization in this study,

organization models which relate to participation, Likert's

model of participative management, and assessments of


participation including the Profile of Organizational

Characteristics (Rensis Likert Associates, 1978).

Research Conceptualizations of Participation

The nature and degree of workers' participation in the

management of their work constitutes a central organizing

concept. However, the term participation has a variety of

specific meanings to its many researchers. Participation

has been discussed interchangeably with related terms such

as industrial democracy, worker self-management, power

equalization, autonomous work groups, and democratic

leadership. It has been conceptualized and assessed in

broad and narrow ways. It has been studied within paradigms

which come from disciplines of psychology, sociology,

economics, political science and law.

Pleading for improved conceptual order in the study of

participation, Dachler and Wilpert (1978) observe that four

defining dimensions apply: 1) underlying values,

assumptions and goals of participative practices; 2)

contextual boundaries of participation implementation; 3)

scope of outcomes of participation; and 4) operational

properties of participation. While it is beyond the scope

of this review to explore fully each of these dimensions,

they will serve to structure the following discussion of

ways participation has been conceptualized in the



1. Underlying values, assumptions and goals.

Participation has been seen as worthy of attention because

of its relationship to political, ecomonic and psychological

conditions. Democratic theory and values contribute to the

rationale of many authors (e.g., Pateman, 1970). For

example, democratic principles are seen to be inconsistent

with traditionally autocratic management practices (Wall &

Lischeron, 1977). While economic participation is a

defining element of socialism, Marx discussed the relation

between people and their means of production in terms of

impact on all aspects of their lives in his theory of

socialism (Caute, 1967). Participation is studied by many

who seek to improve organizational productivity; typically

the same authors are concerned with participation's

relationship to personality development and quality of life

(e.g., Argyris, 1973; Lawler, 1982; Likert, 1976). These

rationales overlap considerably, and most authors have

addressed more than one.

2. Contextual boundary levels. Contextual boundary

levels--societal, organizational, work group, or

individual--help to determine how potentials for

participation will be conceptualized. At the societal level

there are customs which may affect values and goals for

participation. For example, collaborative labor-management

systems are found in most Western and several non-Western

nations, but these vary considerably in forms and goals


(Trist, 1977; Wall & Lischeron, 1977). Societies which have

mostly autocratic social institutions are observed to offer

infertile conditions for implementation of participation in

work organizations (Pateman, 1970). At the organization

level, the particular production technologies may constrain

or enhance the potential for participation (Trist, 1981).

At the work group level, there are patterns of

interpersonal dynamics which interact in complex ways with

work group management (e.g., Roethlisberger, 1941). And at

the level of the individual, perceptual, motivational,

emotional and intellectual processes may affect the

potential for participation by way of workers' ability and

desire to participate (e.g., Vroom, 1959).

3. Scope of outcomes. Participation also is

conceptualized in terms of the levels at which outcomes are

studied. Just as participation is affected by qualities of

its various contextual boundary levels (society,

organization, groups within organization, and individuals),

it has effects at each of these levels. Interpretations of

studies and judgements regarding the worth of participative

practices necessarily are made in reference to one or more

of these levels of focus.

4. Operational properties. There are several

operational properties of participation which vary across

theories and investigations. Formality--participation may

be formally instituted by law, contract or management


policy, or it may be an informal practice based on norms of

social units, or it may involve some combination of these.

Implementation approach--a participative system which is

imposed on persons is likely to be perceived in very

different ways from one which participants develop (Wall &

Lischeron, 1977). Compliance--in the third chapter,

consideration will be given to a distinction between

opportunity to participate and requirement to participate.

Distribution of influence--Pateman (1970) distinguishes

between full, partial and pseudo participation (according

to the weight which a party's influence carries in actual

decisions). Importance of issues--Dachler and Wilpert

(1978) point out that participation may be confined to

insignificant issues or extend to critical issues.

Organizational level of issues--Wall and Lischeron (1977)

distinguish between immediate participation (in matters

regarding workers' actual work and work conditions) and

distant participation (in matters of more general

organizational concern). Directness of involvement--Wall

and Lischeron also discuss the distinction between direct

(personal) and indirect (representative) participation. A

final property of participation which varies across studies

is its social range--personal autonomy at work could be a

form of individual participation, while members of

autonomous work groups participate interactively.


Conceptualization of Participation in This Study

The four defining dimensions of participation

considered above will serve to describe participation as it

is conceptualized in this study. The conceptualization of

participation in this study relates to the participative

management system implemented by plants from which subjects

were drawn for this study and the instrument used to assess

subjects' experience of participation.

Assumptions, goals and values of participation in this

study are related to a primary concern with human

development rather than political or economic views.

Productivity is a concern to the degree that it expresses

or supports human development.

The most important contextual boundary levels of

participation conditions in this study are the plant and

work group levels. Participative systems have been

instituted plant-wide, but subjects were queried regarding

their experience of participative conditions in their

immediate work environment. Possible outcomes were studied

at the individual level, including subjects' experienced

and desired degrees of participation and their personality


Several operational characteristics describe the

nature of the participative system under study. It will be

partially formalized by plant-wide policies, but informal

to the extent that work groups set many tacit norms. The


decision to increase and support participation was imposed

on plants under study, but plant managers and work groups

have flexibility in deciding specific practices. First level

employees have opportunity to participate, but they can

limit their participation if they choose. First level

employees personally participate in most work management

issues which apply directly to their work groups, and their

views are represented informally in various management

issues beyond their work groups. Small work groups form the

social range for participative interaction. Work teams are

used to facilitate resource sharing and overlap of


Role of Participation in Three Organizational Paradigms

There are many models of organization with various

forms and purposes. Most organization models fall within

three broad paradigms: hierarchical or bureaucratic, human

relations or custodial, and socio-technical. These three

paradigms respectively represent an evolution of thought

regarding organization purposes, functions and outcomes.

The evolving role of participation can be described within

the framework of the three paradigms.

Hierarchical or bureaucratic paradigm. The

bureaucratic model of organization was articulated by the

German sociologist Max Weber (1949). His early publications

and those of Frederick Taylor (1911) spelled out such

principles as hierarchical distribution of authority,


vertical chain of command, division and specialization of

labor, and span of supervisory control. Much early research

was based on bureaucratic theory in which contemporary

conceptualizations of participation could not be applied.

According to this model, decision making authority is

vested in individual managers who direct subordinates'

activities to implement decisions. These arrangements were

believed to offer optimal conditions for delineation of

responsibility and assurance of performance. This model of

organization relies on autocratic exercise of authority and

its advocates generally assumed that subordinate employees

had little desire and little qualification to accept

responsibility beyond following clear and specific orders

(McGregor, 1960).

Human relations or custodial paradigm. After the

Hawthorne studies (Roethlisberger, 1941), many organization

theorists began to consider the importance of social

systems within organizations. The validity of hierarchical

organization principles was not seriously challenged, but

people within organizations were seen to be concerned

mostly with social affiliation and to group informally and

behave in ways to obtain social reinforcement. A school of

thought took shape, conceptualizing the organization in

terms of community or family. In this model, hierarchy

remained intact and authority remained centralized; but

managers were advised to be friendly, to concern themselves


with subordinates' personal lives, to respond to the wants

of subordinates and permit more social interaction at work.

Morale surveys and global satisfaction measures have been

common organization assessments associated with this

approach. This "human relations" or "custodial" view of

organization is attributed to the preliminary, partial

interpretations of studies of social processes in which the

meaning of work itself to persons was not as yet fully

considered (Davis, 1968; Miles, 1965).

Sociotechnical paradigm. The complexity of

interrelationships between social factors, work factors and

individual reactions in organizations began to come to

light with studies which recognized some important

correlates of employees' control over their work. Lewin

(1953) reported studies done during World War II regarding

processes and merits of group approaches to decision

making. Coch and French (1948) and French (1950) reported

studies which showed that increased acceptance of changes

in work procedures, commitment to work goals, and personal

satisfaction with work were associated with employees'

participation in decision making. In 1951, Trist and

Bamforth focused on the impact which technology can have on

the well-being and effectiveness of social systems within

work organization. They reported a change in coal mining

technology which broke up the work of existing

semi-autonomously functioning work groups and created


specialized, noninteracting individual roles, resulting in

considerable decrease in productivity and satisfaction

(despite the supposedly advanced state of the new

technology). Further work by Trist and others has led to a

comprehensive "socio-technical systems" view of

organization function and the realization that

organizations' choices regarding design of work itself can

have a major desirable or undesirable impact on the total

social-technical interrelationship (Trist, 1981). Applying

individual and social psychology theories and general

systems theory, the socio-technical approach seeks to

implement social systems and technical systems which

"jointly optimize" the use and benefit of each (p. 43).

Trist describes the socio-technical perspective as a

new paradigm which will replace the old paradigm of

technocratic bureaucracy in the following specific terms.

The predominant influence of technological over human

considerations is replaced by joint optimization. Instead

of being treated as an extension of the machine, the person

complements the machine. The person is a resource to be

developed rather than an expendable spare part. Tasks are

grouped according to multiple, broad skills rather than

broken into simple, narrow units. Organizations are to have

few levels of hierarchy. Collaboration replaces

competition. Consideration is given to purposes of members

and society as well as organization purposes. Commitment


replaces alienation. And innovation will replace risk

avoidance (1981, p. 42). Increased participation of

employees at all organization levels is considered a

central and driving force in these trends. While these

changes may appear to constitute a utopian wish list, the

specific changes, as well as mutually supportive linkages

between them, are substantiated by considerable research.

Evidence of all of the trends listed by Trist is appearing

even in the popular literature (e.g., all of these trends

are reported in "The New Industrial Relations," feature

article in Business Week, May 11, 1981).

Likert's Model of Participative Management

Participative practices and conditions are essential

considerations in organizations designed according to

socio-technical principles. Likert (1967, 1976) presents a

model of participative management which focuses on the

human system within a work organization. Although Likert's

model primarily is concerned with organizational social

systems, the model is consistent with a broader

socio-technical view. The POC, used in this study to assess

participation, is derived from Likert's model.

Likert classifies organization management systems into

four stages in the evolution of applications of power:

exploitive authoritative, benevolent authoritative,

consultative, and participative group. In most of his

writings, these are called simply Systems 1, 2, 3, and 4.


Likert explains and advocates the participative group

system of management, System 4.

In comparison with the management systems used by most
firms today, System 4 is a more highly developed and
complex system and represents a more advanced social
evolution. . Consideration for others and
relatively high levels of skill in personal
interaction, group problem solving, and other group
functions also are present. These skills permit
effective participation in decisions on common
problems. Participation is used, for example, to
establish organizational objectives which are a
satisfactory integration of the needs and desires of
all the members of the organization. . Members of
the organization are highly motivated to achieve the
organization's goals. High levels of reciprocal
influence occur. . There is a flow from one part
of the organization to another of all the relevant
information important for each decision and action.
(1976, pp. 17-18)

Likert's Systems 1-4 are depicted in terms of points

along continue regarding a number of important conditions

related to participation. These are presented in elaborate

form in his books, but a summary view of these continue may

be gleaned quickly from the POC itself. These continue

relate to conditions of leadership, motivation,

communication, decision making, goal setting, and control.

At the System 4 level, these variables are described as

follows: leadership is based on mutual confidence and trust

and frequent use of others' ideas; motivation is through

involvement, teamwork and widespread sense of

responsibility; communication is in all directions and it

tends to be accurate and accepted; decisions are made at

all levels with involvement of persons whose work is

affected; goals are set by group process and accepted by


those who must meet them; and control is based on widely

shared responsibility and accessibility of information.

As described in a previous section, there are many

ways in which participation can be conceptualized and many

participation properties which apply in widely varying

degrees across investigations of participation. Fairly

narrow criteria have been used as indications of

participation in many studies. Likert's broad System 4 view

of participative organization incorporates several factors

which may have important implications for workers' personal

experience of participation. Likert considers three factors

essential for effective participation in a work

organization: supportive relationships, group processes and

performance goals.

Supportive relationships--quality of participation.

Likert stresses the need for supportive relationships which

build and sustain the individual's sense of personal worth.

Without this attitudinal quality of the work environment,

other participative conditions may be construed as

meaningless or manipulative. Conditions of mutual trust and

confidence are critical for participative behaviors such as

open sharing of information, giving and taking criticism,

challenging assumptions, suggesting new methods, seeking

help, risking innovation, and others.

Several authors have written about the need for

managers, especially at the top of organizations, to adopt


and promote organizational philosophy consistent with

desired participative practices if these practices are not

to be undermined by tendencies to compete and distrust

(e.g., Ouchi, 1981; Peters & Waterman, 1982). Participation

which equates with true involvement is suggested to

"require supervisory commitment to employee involvement, a

basic trust in employees, and the willingness to take

apparent risk . when trusting employees" (Sorcher,

1971, p. 21). Miles and Ritchie (1971) assessed

supervisors' consultative behavior and supervisors'

confidence in employees. Both were found to be positively

related to employee satisfaction, and confidence in

employees was the stronger element of the two factors. The

same authors also refer to growing evidence that

experimentation with participation results in increased

supervisor confidence in employees. The authors conclude

that the quantity of participation is less important than

its quality, and they note that quality typically is not

considered in participation studies.

Group participation--resource sharing and consensus.

Likert also emphasizes work group forms of participation.

Groups are seen to offer the opportunities for simultaneous

consideration of several individuals' views and other

advantages associated with group dynamics. Group

interaction enables integration of goals and plans and

formation of consensus important for building commitment to


common purposes. Trist (1981) holds that participative work

teams are an integral element in the design of work because

they permit a de-specialization of work, overlap of

knowledge and abilities, and flexibility of roles. This

"redundancy of function" (p. 9) between individuals helps

to build a common knowledge base, shared sense of

responsibility and mutual understanding of persons' roles

and purposes. It also increases the potential variety of

activities which a person may choose to learn and perform.

Performance goals--task related participation.

Performance aspirations also are an important element of

Likerts' participative system. Without them, a

participative system might help persons meet social

affiliation needs, but it will not adequately address needs

to use and develop abilities and to achieve through work.

Additionally, Likert reasons that any work system without

performance aspirations, in the long run, will fail as a

system and no longer offer a context in which even social

or more basic needs can be met. In Likert's System 4,

performance aspirations are manifest in task relevant

interactions which lead to agreement on goals and methods,

shared sense of responsibility and mutual assistance.

Assessment of Participation

Participation has been assessed in studies in

different ways. It appears typically that employees have

been asked to respond to a few direct questions relating to


participative conditions of interest. Some researchers have

based their assessment of employee participation on

managers' reports. Other researchers simply have assumed

that participative conditions exist when a system designed

to promote participation has been implemented. There are

very few participation assessment instruments which have

been well validated. Interview assessments were considered

too time consuming and disruptive for the organization

cooperating in this study. Observational methods could not

tap individuals' subjective experiences regarding

participation. Likert's Profile of Organizational

Characteristics was considered to be the most suitable

means for assessment of employees' experience of

participative conditions in this study.

Profile of Organizational Characteristics: Purposes,

composition and reasons for use in this study. The POC is a

published, brief pencil and paper tool for assessment of

respondents' perceptions of a number of features of their

work and work environment which relate to participation. It

has undergone validation study and data is available

regarding its reliability. It has readability at the

seventh grade level, according to a formula used to

evaluate reading material (Fry, 1968). The POC has been

used successfully with a wide range of employee groups

(Likert, 1967, 1976). It yields two primary scores relating

to an experienced level of participative conditions and a


desired level of participative conditions. The instrument

requires five to ten minutes to respond to the items which

address conditions of leadership, motivation, communication,

decisions, goals and control.

The POC is based on Likert's model of organizational

systems. There are many organizational models with

important differences relative to Likert's. Several of

these appear to be more inclusive and perhaps more advanced

in their considerations of various factors which affect

individual and organizational processes and outcomes.

However, work management participation is a particularly

central and well-treated focus in the Likert model.

In contrast to various other models and measures of

participation, Likert's consider participation in a fairly

broad sense. Participation is viewed as something

participants must perceive to be meaningful and related to

the work itself if it is to be of merit. It is seen to

require participants' perception of sincere and

facilitative leadership rather than manipulative or closed

leadership. Participation is viewed as applicable in a

variety of organizational situations including the ways

decisions are made, goals set, work planned, problems

solved, communications shared, and processes controlled.

Items in the POC seem to be worded so that they will

be answered positively if the respondent perceives that

participative conditions afford opportunity for


involvement, even if that respondent has not taken full

advantage of the opportunity. This quality of the POC might

yield high scores for persons who have been able to

function in their work settings at a chosen level of

participation with which they are most comfortable.

Conversely, the same quality might yield low scores for

other persons who function at an objectively higher level

of participation but desire more participative

opportunities than they perceive to be available to them.

While this quality suggests that it will be difficult to

give a specific behavioral, operational definition to POC

data, it does seem to permit a sound assessment of

perceived conditions relative to a particular participative

system ideal--one which seeks to engage persons in

participation to the full extent of their ability and

desire to participate. This feature of the POC was

considered an advantage for its use in this study.

The next chapter includes a description of the

development, validation and reliability of the POC and its

application in this study.

Further Evidence of Relationship of
Participation and Healthy Personality

Participative work conditions appear quite consistent

with conditions of healthy personality discussed earlier in

this chapter. Further evidence that relationships may exist

between participation and healthy personality is presented

in the remainder of this chapter.


Allport (1945) explains the importance of

participation for learning. By definition, participation

increases persons" influence over their work environment.

Learning takes place as people observe the results of their

own and others" interactions with their environment.

Learning can result in improved coping, increased

self-esteem and self-actualization--important elements of

healthy personality.

Hackman (1976) notes that group interaction (common to

participative systems) enables persons to create functional

role differentiations between themselves in ways which can

allow people to meet personal needs and increase the use of

personal abilities. Kornhauser (1965) found that the job

characteristic most strongly associated with measures of

jobholders' mental health was opportunity to use abilities

at work.

Self-actualization is discussed by several authors in

connection with increased opportunity to use and develop

abilities under participative conditions (Argyris, 1957;

Herzberg, 1966; Likert, 1967). Margulies (1969) found

relationships between workers' self-actualization (as

measured by Shostrum's Personal Orientation Inventory) and

value, attitude and norm conditions. Margulies derived

these conditions from socio-technical organization theory:

intrinsic work values orientation, mutual concern for task

and social need satisfaction, and behavioral norms set by


the work group rather than formal authority. Theses three

conditions are incorporated in Likert's three criteria for

effective participation which were described previously:

performance goals, supportive relationships and group


Hackman (1976) also suggests that group interaction

may help people master complex roles. Since ambiguous and

conflicting roles have been shown to be associated with

stress in persons, interactive participation may reduce

dysfunctional stress by helping to clarify roles.

Dysfunctional stress also has been associated with lack of

control over environment. Persons with little control over

their jobs have been found to have higher rates of heart

disease than persons who can dictate the pace and style of

their work (Stress: Can we cope?, 1983). Argyris (1973)

describes findings by Gardell that limited worker

discretion and skill level are related to feelings of

psychological stress and alienation. Participation might

allow for management of stress through control over work

and supportive social interaction.

In 1968, Carl Rogers offered his predictions regarding

interpersonal relationships in this country at the end of

this century.

In view of my past prejudices I find it somewhat
difficult but necessary to say that of all of the
institutions of present-day American life, industry is
perhaps best prepared to meet the year 2000. I am not
speaking of its technical ability. I am speaking of
the vision it is acquiring in regard to the importance
of persons, of interpersonal relationships, and of


open communication. . It is becoming increasingly
clear to the leaders of any complex modern industry
that the old hierarchical system of boss and employees
is obsolete. . They will come to value persons as
persons, and to recognize that only out of the
communicated knowledge of all members of the
organization can innovation and progress come. . .
They will be forced to recognize that only as they are
promoting the growth and fulfillment of the
individuals on the payroll will they be promoting the
growth and development of the organization. (pp.


This study explored certain possible relationships

between 1) subject's time employed under a participative

management system, 2) their reported experience of

participation in the management of their work, 3) their

desire for such participation, and 4) various

characteristics of healthy personality. Experienced and

desired participation were assessed with the Profile of

Organizatinal Characteristics (POC) (Rensis Likert

Associates, 1978). Characteristics of personality were

assessed with the California Test of Personality (CTP)

(Thorpe, Clark & Tiegs, 1953).

This chapter is organized into the following sections:

research design, hypotheses, subjects, procedures,

instrumentation, data analysis, and limitations of the


Research Design

This was a descriptive research study, employing a

cross-sectional design and multivariate comparisons among

variables. First, subjects' length of time employed under a

management system designed to promote participation was

considered an independent variable for comparison with two

dependent variables, the experienced participation scores



and the desired participation scores from the POC. This

comparison was intended to determine whether employment

under (and period of adjustment to) a management system

designed to promote participation is related to employees'

reported experience of participation and to their desire

for participation.

Next, subjects' experienced participation scores were

considered independent variables for comparison with their

several CTP scores, considered dependent variables. This

step was taken to determine which, if any, personality

characteristics might be related to subjects' experience of

participation at work.

The cross-sectional design was based on the similarity

of plants from which subjects were drawn. Duration of

formal participative management systems was seen to be a

primary difference across plants. The stepwise procedure is

further explained under the data analysis section of this


Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses, stated in null form, were

tested in this study.

1. There is no significant relationship between the

length of time individuals are employed under a management

system designed to promote participation and their reported

experience of participation as measured by the POC.


2. There is no significant relationship between

individuals' reported experience of participation as

measured by the POC and any of their personality

characteristics as measured by the CTP.

3. There is no significant relationship between the

length of time individuals are employed under a management

system designed to promote participation and their desire

for participation as measured by the POC.


The subjects of this study were first level employees

in five plants of a large industrial organization which

manufactures paper containers. First level employees

include machine operators, material handlers, maintenance

workers and others not formally classified as managers.

Only employees who had completed their 60-day probation

period were included as subjects. Exclusion of probationary

employees was intended to increase the likelihood that

subjects would be familiar with their work and working


This organization is a client of a consulting firm

specializing in organization design. The consulting firm

has assisted the organization in implementing policies and

practices which are intended to promote participation by

employees at all organization levels in the management of

their work. This management system design was completed

eight years ago in one plant, three years ago in another,


two years ago in a third plant, one year ago in a fourth

plant, and the fifth plant still operates under a

traditional management system. The management system in the

fifth plant can be characterized as hierarchical and

autocratic in the internal distribution and application of

authority. While the overall organization is one in which

corporate level managers have elected to secure

organization redesign consultation, it appears to have many

similarities to other organizations in the same industry.

The objectives of redesign of the plants in this

organization are similar to those of Likert's System 4

approach to participative management. Redesign is

accomplished through promulgation of written policies,

institution of new management practices at all levels, and

training of managers in the application of these practices.

Socio-technical principles regarding joint optimization of

human and technical systems within plants serve as the

basis for new policies and practices. Socio-technical

principles of organization and Likert's System 4 are

described in Chapter II.

The plants from which subjects were drawn were

reported by a senior level corporate official to be very

similar in several important dimensions: number of

employees range from 80-110; annual sales volume ranges

from 12-15 million dollars; annual output ranges from 20-25

tons of the same product; average first level employee age


ranges from 40-48 years; average first level employee

education ranges from llth-12th grade; annual employee

turnover is about 2-3%. It was reported that all plants are

independent profit centers with their own manufacturing and

sales organizations; and all plants have histories of

favorable labor-management relations.

Plants were reported to differ on two potentially

important dimensions--racial balance and employees'

residential setting. In two plants, employees live in urban

settings and there is a high ratio of black-to-white in the

racial composition of plant personnel. Employees in the

other three plants live in rural settings and these plants

have small black-to-white employee ratios. Other

demographic differences between plants were reported to be

negligible. Subjects were asked to respond to demographic

questions in the hope that these differences could be

controlled in the analysis of data.


Instructions, demographic questions, the CTP and the

POC were combined in a booklet for each subject. The plant

manager in each plant was given the booklets, along with

standard directions regarding administration procedures.

Subjects completed questionnaire packets in group settings

during work hours at each plant. A one hour period was

ample for nearly all subjects to finish, but additional

time was allowed for those who needed it.


Plant managers will be provided group profiles of the

data in return for their cooperation. The group profiles

are of interest to the managers for assessing employee

attitudes and characteristics relevant to their human

resources selection, training and development efforts.

There was some concern that subjects might perceive an

organizational interest in their personal responses to the

instruments, and that they might tend to respond in ways

intended to create favorable appearance. For this reason,

subjects were assured of strict confidentiality. They were

asked not to identify themselves in any way on their



Subjects were asked to respond to two published

instruments in this study. Instructions to subjects and

demographic questions which accompanied these instruments

comprise Appendix A.

California Test of Personality

The purposes and composition of this instrument and

reasons for its use in this dissertation are provided in

Chapter II of this proposal.

Development and validation of the CTP. The CTP was

developed on the basis of study of over one thousand

specific criteria of healthy personality found in the

literature, many of which were previously validated by

other psychologists according to the authors. A panel of

ten psychologists consulted by the authors evaluated and

classified these criteria to serve as bases for test item

derivation. Items were reviewed by appropriate

professionals to insure that wording was consistent with

the comprehension levels of target groups for each form of

the test. Items which survived then were administered to

about one hundred persons for each test level. Further

revisions were made on the basis of subjects'

understanding, ability to respond and willingness to

respond to test items.

Adult test level items were administered to persons

attending evening classes. Their instructors were given

explanations of the test's content areas and instructions

in rating students. Correspondence between instructors'

ratings and subjects' responses was low, leading the

authors to conclude, after item by item comparison, that

instructors were "simply unable to discover by informal

methods of observation what students think or how they feel

about many things, and the motives for overt behavior are

often misinterpreted." (Thorpe, Clarke & Tiegs, 1953, p. 9)

Factor analysis and multiple correlation studies were done

to insure that each item made a net contribution to the


The authors describe several studies which they

believe support the CTP's validity (p. 7). They mention,

without elaboration, an early study at Syracuse University

which found that the CTP "correlated more closely with

clinical findings than any other personality test." They

describe a study by Albert Ellis in which he concluded that

the questionnaire format may produce more self-revelatory

data than the clinical interview.

Reliability of the CTP. The authors present the

following coefficients of reliability, computed with the

Kuder-Richardson formula, for the test form which will be

used in this study.

Personal Adjustment .93
Self-reliance .81
Sense of Personal Freedom .66
Feeling of Belonging .87
Withdrawing Tendencies .86
Nervous Symptoms .81
Social Adjustment .93
Social Standards .76
Social Skills .70
Anti-social Tendencies .75
Family Relations .91
Occupation Relations .84
Community Relations .77
Total Adjustment .95 (p. 5)

In contrast to personality measures which may attempt

to assess deep seated characterological qualities, the CTP

is concerned primarily with personality related

characteristics which are responsive to developmental

changes in persons as they interact with their changing

environments. The authors therefore consider the reported

reliability coefficients satisfactory for an instrument of

this kind, whereas other types of instruments might be

expected to yield higher reliability indices.


Other studies supporting the validity of the CTP. High

CTP scores have been found to be significantly associated

with indices of healthy personality and absence of

pathology on other personality related measures. High Total

Adjustment on the CTP was correlated with internal rather

than external control on the Rotter I-E scale (Goldstein,

1971); and with congruence between self and ideal self as

assessed with a modified Q-sort, while no relationship was

found between either the CTP or the Q-sort and factors of

age or intelligence (Hanlon, Hofstaetter & O'Connor, 1954).

CTP subscale score on Self-reliance, Sense of Personal

Freedom, Freedom from Withdrawing Tendencies and Freedom

from Anti-social Tendencies were positively associated with

open-mindedness as measured by the Rokeach Dogmatism Scale

(Finnigan, 1971). CTP Personal, Social and Total Adjustment

scores and several subscale scores were correlated with

measures of ethnocentrism (Spilka & Struening, 1956). High

CTP scores were negatively associated with the number of

problems identified on the Mooney Problem Checklist

(Goldman, 1968).

CTP scores have been found to be associated with other

subject characteristics and conditions which researchers

have believed to be relevant to healthy function. Child

abusing mothers showed lower self-esteem on the CTP

compared with non-abusive mothers (Melnick & Hurley, 1969).

Parents of functionally speech impaired children showed low


levels of adjustment on the CTP (Wood, 1946). Members of

problem nuclear families showed lower adjustment than did

members of normal nuclear families on the CTP according to

Mihalopoulos (1971). Health knowledge, attitudes and

practices were associated with favorable adjustment as

measured by the CTP (Buck, 1971).

The CTP is shown to be responsive to training and

therapy which subjects have undergone. Teacher-aides

increased in nine of fifteen CTP scores (with

non-significant increases in four of the remaining scores)

over the duration of a hu"an relations workshop (Darr &

Adams, 1972). College students provided with counseling

increased on the CTP Personal Adjustment score relative to

a control group (Spaights, 1967). Hospitalized tuberoculous

patients who received rehabilitation therapy increased in

CTP Personal and Social Adjustment scores relative to a

control group (Brundidge, 1963).

In some studies using the CTP, unanticipated results

suggested that the instrument might be sensitive to some

subtle dynamics in changes in adjustment. In the above

mentioned study regarding functionally speech impaired

children, Wood found that their mothers showed very high

levels of Social Standards in contrast to the other low

level scores, implying possible excessive expections and

pressures applied to their children. While sensitivity

training in intern teachers was associated with increases


in most of the CTP scores including general Personal and

Social Adjustment, decreases were found in Family and

Occupational Relations and Sense of Personal Worth. This

led the author to interpret that subjects reassessed some

of their life circumstances in more negative but possibly

more candid ways as a result of the training (Lantz, 1969).

CTP review panel consulted for this study. The CTP

remains popular as a research tool and recent studies

appear to support its continued use in the manner for which

it was developed. However, a panel of psychologists and

educators with extensive practice and research experience

with personality instruments was consulted for critique of

the CTP and its use in this study. All panel members

believed that changing social conditions have not

substantially affected the relevance of the test. All

agreed that the qualities of the CTP mentioned in the

previous chapter appear to make it particularly appropriate

for this study. Panel members are listed in Appendix B.

Profile of Organizational Characteristics

The purposes and content of the POC and reasons for

its use in this study are described in Chapter II.

Development, validation and reliability of the POC.

Likert developed the POC based on his model of organization

management systems to assess the extent to which employees

perceive their organizations to provide participative

conditions. This model is discussed in the previous


chapter. Likert describes several studies which provide

evidence of the POC's validity for assessment of

organizational conditions (1967, 1976). High aggregate POC

scores are associated with high levels of various measures

of productivity, reduced material waste, fewer grievances,

measures of peer leadership quality and teamwork, and

increased satisfaction in organizations. Likert reports a

rank order correlation between POC scores and performance

data of .61 for a manufacturing firm (1976, p. 88). An

unpublished document from Rensis Likert Associates reports

a .93 correlation between POC scores and sales among

salespersons in a Swedish firm. Increases in POC scores are

associated with organization change efforts undertaken to

increase various participation related conditions.

Some minor modifications were made in the POC to

improve its ease of administration, so various results

which are cited by Likert and others in the literature are

not obtained with an identical instrument. However,

reported results, including reliability coefficients, are

fairly consistent from study to study. Likert (1967, p.

117) reports the POC to have a split-half reliability

coefficient of .98 using the Spearman-Brown formula; the

Rensis Likert Associates document reports POC split-half

reliability coefficients between .90 and .96 for the

several slightly variant POC forms.


Personal telephone communications with Raymond Seghers

of Rensis Likert Associates were held to discuss

modifications of the POC. Seghers explained that the

changes were not believed to alter the overall nature or

validity of the instrument. He also advised that in this

study, the POC question wordings should be changed slightly

in order to gain respondents' perception of their immediate

environment rather than of the larger organizational

environment since the individual rather than the

organization is the primary focus of the study. Also, it

was agreed that only the endpoints on the Likert Scale

response continue should be labeled, so that results could

be analyzed with parametric statistical methods which

assume equal response intervals. Seghers stated that these

modifications are consistent with the conventional

application of the instrument. These recommendations were

followed in the study.

Other studies supporting the validity of the POC. The

POC has been used by other researchers in several other

studies which offer evidence of its validity. The Rensis

Likert Associates document describes a study by Nogradi

which found significant moderate correlations between the

POC and separate measures of organizational commitment and

job involvement. Nogradi also found that managers whose

staffs scored high on the POC had perceptions of their own

managerial behaviors which were more congruent with


employees' perceptions of the managers' behaviors than did

managers of low scoring staffs.

According to Nogradi, most managers saw themselves as

participative leaders whether or not their staffs saw them

as such. Therefore, use of the POC to assess employee

perceptions of their own working conditions, as this study

has done, appears likely to yield a more meaningful picture

of their participation experience than would an assessment

of managers' perceptions of employees' working conditions.

In a study of industrial plants in Yugoslavia, high

scores on the POC were associated with greater confidence

by managers in their staffs, felt freedom of employees to

talk to higher level mangers, more frequent seeking and use

of ideas from lower level employees, and use of

productivity and cost related data by lower level units for

self-guidance (Mozina, Jerovsek, Tannenbaum and Likert,

1976). Additional studies have employed the POC to

distinguish perceptions between faculty and non-faculty

employees regarding current and likely future conditions at

a college (Pesuth, 1976), and to identify relationships

between participation and work satisfaction among lower

level corporate managers (Norton, 1976). Both of these
studies yielded significant results.

Analysis of Data

The reported similarities among plants permitted a

cross-sectional approach to tests of hypotheses one and


three. In these analyses, data were considered separately

for subjects from each plant. In data analyses testing

hypothesis two, data were considered for all subjects as a

total group. Therefore, data were analyzed in two steps.

In the first step, data were considered separately for

subject groups from different plants to determine whether

subject response patterns might be associated with duration

of the formal participation systems, which varied across

plants. Only data from the four plants with participation

systems implemented within the past three years were

considered. Nearly all current employees in these four

plants were on the job before participation systems were

introduced. In the other plant, many subjects were hired

following implementation of the participation system eight

years ago. Selection issues might contribute confounding

variability in this group in ways not affecting other plant


Pearson product-moment correlations were derived to

determine the strength of possible relationships between

subjects' length of employment under a management system

designed to promote participation and their reported

experience of participation as measured by the POC; and

between the length of employment variable and their

reported desire for participation as measured by the POC.

If such relationships were found, it was reasoned, they

would be due largely to the influence of the independent


length of employment variable on the dependent variables,

experienced and desired participation. This directional

influence could not be inferred if the plants had

significant turnover in employment, because persons might

join or leave the plant based on their anticipations or

experiences regarding the participative management system.

However, the low turnover in the plants suggested that the

length of time variable, in fact, might function as a truly

independent variable.

In the second step, data were considered for all

subjects as a total group. Correlation methods were used to

determine the strength of possible relationships between

subjects' reported experience of participation and their

various personality characteristics as measured by the CTP.

No assumptions could be made regarding direction of

influence between these variables if relationships were

found in this step. Either variable might have influence on

the other, or exogenous variables might influence both CTP

and experienced participation scores.

This approach to data analysis has the merit of 1)

discovering possible relationships between experienced

participation and personality characteristics (in the

second step of data analysis), and 2) allowing the

possibility of inference that subjects' experience of

participation and any associated personality

characteristics might be promoted by the participative


management system where they are employed (from the first

step of data analysis).

If there were a positive association between desire

for participation and the length of employment variable, it

would be reasonable to infer that employment under a

participative management system might promote employees'

desire for participation, according to the same logic used

in the previous paragraph. This inference would suggest a

possible explanation for several previous studies,

discussed in the preceding chapter, which found that many

employees in non-participative work settings do not report

a desire for participation opportunity.

In connection with the tests of hypotheses two,

regression analyses were performed to identify which

specific areas of experienced participation could best

predict each personality adjustment score.

Pearson correlation and regression subprograms of SAS

were used in computer assisted analysis of data. Alpha

level of 0.05 served as the criterion of statistical

significance for all tests of hypotheses.

Limitations of the Study

Directionality of causation. Despite subject selection

precautions and data analysis approaches described in this

chapter, directions of causation cannot be asserted with

complete confidence from correlations in this study. A

longitudinal study or an experimental study could provide a


much stronger basis for inferences regarding direction of

influence than the cross sectional design of this study

could permit. However, these approaches were not feasible

because of the increased demands for time and the

disruption of work which would they would impose on the

organization under study.

Internal validity. A possible limitation to internal

validity also is posed by the design of this study. The

variable of length of employment under a participative

management system was measured a plant-wide basis, because

the systems were implemented on plant-wide bases, and

nearly all subjects were on the job prior to redesign of

plant management (this was desirable to minimize

confounding variability due to selection issues). Data from

four plants were considered in testing hypotheses one and

three, thus there were four respective values for the

length of employment variable. It is possible that plants

are characterized by important distinctions not known to

this researcher and these differences could interact with

the other variables which were measured in this study. Even

though plants were selected for their reported similarities

(described previously in this chapter), results of

demographic questions presented in the next chapter

indicate more differences among plants than were expected.

The limitations described above are typical of those

found in field study research, given many constraints


typically imposed by field conditions. However,

disadvantages common to such studies are seen to be

balanced by the realistic context of study which is most

appropriate for meaningful generalization of results (Isaac

& Michael, 1971).

External validity. The study's external validity is

limited by characteristics of subjects and their

organizations. Only first level employees in plants of a

large manufacturing organization in a particular industry

were included as subjects. Subjects were those who were

willing to complete materials. Subjects hold positions at

the same level of organization and use similar kinds of

skills--they also appear to have numerous demographic

differences from the general population. Generalizations of

results to persons at other organization levels and in

other industries should be made with caution.

Instrumentation. Some drawbacks of the instruments

already have been mentioned. Questions on the CTP can be

answered in ways which appear favorable because they are

fairly direct and transparent. However, direct and

transparent questions were considered desirable for this

study in order to minimize resistance of subjects who could

perceive indirect questions as threatening, and who may not

have high reading comprehension levels. The assurance of

confidentiality was hoped to lessen any tendency of

subjects to fake healthy responses. Finally, brevity and


minimum disruption of work were important criteria in

selection of the CTP and POC for use in this study,

although other kinds of measures or multiple measures might

yield more valid assessments.


The purpose of this study was to assess the

relationships between individuals' experience of

participation in the management of their work and various

healthy personality characteristics. Responses to the

Profile of Organizational Characteristics and the

California Test of Personality were collected from

non-managerial employees in five plants of a large paper

container manufacturing organization. Correlation

coefficients were computed to analyze these relationships

between personality variables and participation variables.

Regression models were developed to assess the

contributions of several areas of experienced participation

to each personality variable.

This chapter includes a description of the sample used

in this study, the results of data analyses testing the

three stated hypotheses, and the results of the regression


Description of the Sample

All nonmanagerial employees in the five plants were

asked to complete instrument packets provided to them. So

that subjects would be likely to be fully familiar with

their work settings, individuals on the job less than 60


days were not included as subjects. Out of 431 eligible

individuals, 257 turned in completed protocols. While

response rates varied significantly among the five plants,

three were roughly comparable. In two plants the response

rate was considerably lower. The general managers of these

plants judged that low response was due to employees'

negative feelings toward previous research projects which

had been performed at those plants. Response rates by plant

are provided in Table 1.



Eligible employees 96 93 83 87 72 431

Subject respondents 82 62 60 25 28 257

Response percentage 85 66 72 28 38 60

Four demographic questions were included on protocols

for comparison of subject groups between plants. The data

show that there are major differences on each demographic

variable among the subject groups from the five plants.

These demographic results also were compared to population

estimates for demographic characteristics of the total

labor force in the United States, drawn from census data

(U.S. Bureau of Census, 1982). The largest difference

between the subject sample and the U.S. labor force is in

the proportions of the sexes. Males comprise approximately

57% of the labor force and 95% of the subject sample. The

subject sample in this study is several years older than

the U.S. labor force population. About 40% of U.S. workers

are under 30, compared to 17% of subjects. The education

levels of U.S. workers are more widely dispersed than those

of subjects. In the U.S. labor force, about 15% have 8th

grade or less education and about the same percentage have

four years or more college education--for the subject

group, the percentages at those extremes are 8% and 2%,

respectively. The proportion of high school graduates is

about the same for this sample (72%) as for the U.S. labor

force (70%). While white workers make up 87% of total U.S.

workers, 66% of this sample classified themselves as white

(all classifications other than black totaled 73% of the

sample). Subjects' demographic data are summarized in Table

2 in percentage form.

Results from the California Test of Personality

yielded scores for Total Adjustment, Personal Adjustment

with six related subscales, and Social Adjustment with six

related subscales. The subject group in this study can be

described further by comparing their scores with the norm

data reported by the instrument's authors (Thorpe, Clark &

Tiegs, 1953). While the authors did not report the scores

of the norm group, they provided scoring keys for

percentile ranking of subjects relative to the norm group.




Time on job
60 days--3 years 6 5 7 16 0 6
3 years--8 years 37 11 15 12 50 22
Over 8 years 57 84 78 72 50 71
Less than 30 years 30 8 10 12 18 17
30 years--39 years 22 47 58 64 43 43
40 years--49 years 23 27 22 16 25 23
50 years and over 24 18 10 8 14 17
Education (highest
level completed)
8th grade or less 10 15 3 8 4 8
10th grade 23 15 17 20 25 20
High school 45 45 68 44 64 52
Some college 15 21 10 28 7 16
2 year college degree 4 3 2 0 0 2
4 year college degree 4 2 0 0 4 2
Hispanic 10 2 0 0 4 4
Black 14 60 2 68 11 27
White 74 31 97 32 85 66
Asian 2 0 2 0 0 1
Other 1 7 0 0 0 2

Note: Data are percentages of plant totals for each
demographic variable, rounded to nearest integers.

CTP results indicate that subjects, considered as a

total group, have average to low average levels of

adjustment in most of the areas tapped by the instrument.

However, group mean scores for subscales dealing with sense

of personal freedom and sense of belonging fell between one

and two standard deviations below the norm mean. None of

the subject group mean scores was above the 56th percentile

of the norm group. Mean scores of the total subject group

are reported in terms of percentiles relative to the norm

group in Table 3.



Total Adjustment 40
Personal Adjustment 33
Self-reliance 40
Sense of Personal Worth 49
Sense of Personal Freedom 18
Feeling of Belonging 26
Freedom from Withdrawing Tendencies 37
Freedom from Nervous Symptoms 50
Social Adjustment 45
Social Standards 54
Social Skills 56
Freedom from Anti-social Tendencies 32
Family Relations 48
Occupation Relations 45
Community Relations 44

While Profile of Organizational Characteristics data

for many firms have been published, no POC data have been

presented in the form of normative samples for comparative

purposes. The POC was developed to assess employee

perceptions of working conditions in connection with

planned interventions to improve management practices.

Likert (1967, 1976) found that firms identified as

participative by POC results also were high in measures of

employee satisfaction and productivity.

According to Likert's model already described in

Chapter II, POC scores near level 4 suggest that

participative management practices are prevalent, scores

near level 3 suggest consultative practices, scores near

level 2 suggest benevolent authoritative practices and

scores near level 1 suggest exploitative authoritative

practices. POC items relate to practices and conditions in

areas of leadership, motivation, communication, decision

making, goal setting and control. These component groupings

of POC items are discussed in Chapter II. As a total group,

subjects' POC scores indicate that they perceive the

management of their work to fall between benevolent

authoritative and consultative on this continuum, but they

desire it to fall between consultative and participative.

Table 4 presents POC results for the total subject group.

Standard deviations of mean scores fell between 0.5 and 0.8

while individual scores ranged from the extremes of 1 to 4

on all items.

Findings Relating to the Null Hypotheses

Three hypotheses were postulated for this study. The

hypotheses pertain to relationships among the variables

regarding characteristics of healthy personality

adjustment, experienced and desired levels of participation

in management of work, and length of time employed under a



Overall experience of participation 2.4
experienced leadership conditions 2.4
experienced motivation conditions 2.3
experienced communication conditions 2.4
experienced decision making conditions 2.1
experienced goal setting conditions 2.4
experienced control conditions 2.3
Overall desire for participation 3.5
desired leadership conditions 3.5
desired motivation conditions 3.6
desired communication conditions 3.4
desired decision making conditions 3.5
desired goal setting conditions 3.5
desired control conditions 3.5

management system designed to promote employee


Hypothesis one: There is no relationship between the
length of time individuals are employed under a
management system designed to promote participation and
their reported experience of participation as measured
by the POC.

Hypothesis one was to be tested by obtaining Pearson

correlation coefficients relating the length of time of

subjects' employment under participative management systems

in their plants to their experienced participation scores

on the POC. Data from four of the five plants were used to

test this hypothesis. The fifth plant instituted a

participative management system eight years ago and


employee turnover, though small in terms of annual rate,

has been sufficiently large to introduce possible

confounding variables associated with employee selection

and termination. None of the four plants included in data

analyses regarding this hypothesis instituted a

participative management system more than three years ago.

Subjects' experience of participation scores and

length of employment under formal participative management

have a Pearson correlation coefficient of -0.14 which is

not significant at an alpha level of 0.05. Correlation

coefficients also were derived for experienced

participation subscores regarding conditions of leadership,

motivation, communication, decision making, goal setting

and control. While all correlation coefficients between the

time variable and experienced participation subscores

except one unexpectedly were negative in direction, all

were slight and statistically nonsignificant. These

correlations are presented in Table 5.

To control for subject differences in demographic

variables, correlations were obtained separately by

subjects' age, education and race. None of these

correlations were statistically significant. Therefore, the

data failed to permit a rejection of the null hypothesis.

Hypothesis two: There is no relationship between
individuals' reported experience of participation as
measured by the POC and any of their personality
characteristics as measured by the CTP.




Overall experienced participation -0.11(ns)

Experienced participation subscore
regarding leadership conditions -0.12(ns)

Experienced participation subscore
regarding motivation conditions -0.06(ns)

Experienced participation subscore
regarding communication conditions -0.14(ns)

Experienced participation subscore
regarding communication conditions -0.08(ns)

Experienced participation subscore
regarding goal setting conditions -0.002(ns)

Experienced participation subscore
regarding control conditions -0.009(ns)

Hypothesis two was tested by correlating subjects'

experienced participation scores on the POC with their

scores on all CTP scales for the total subject sample in

all five plants. Overall experienced participation scores

were found to have small but significant correlations with

the major CTP scales of Total Adjustment (r 0.27),

Personal Adjustment (r = 0.19) and Social Adjustment (r =

0.25) and seven of the twelve CTP subscale scores. Thus

hypothesis two can be rejected. Correlations between

personality scale scores and overall experienced

participation are given in Table 6.



Total Adjustment 0.25***
Personal Adjustment 0.19**
Self-reliance 0.23***
Sense of Personal Worth 0.26****
Sense of Personal Freedom 0.33****
Feeling of Belonging 0.16*
Freedom from Withdrawing Tendencies 0.11(ns)
Freedom from Nervous Symptoms 0.6(ns)
Social Adjustment 0.19**
Social Standards -0.04(ns)
Social Skills 0.18**
Freedom from Anti-social Tendencies 0.18**
Family Relations O.01(ns)
Occupation Relations 0.33****
Community Relations 0.06(ns)


Hypothesis three: There is no significant relationship
between the length of time individuals are employed
under a management system designed to promote
participation and their desire for participation as
measured by the POC.

This hypothesis was tested in the same manner as the

first hypothesis, using data only from the four plants with

participative systems instituted no more than three years


ago. Pearson correlation coefficients were obtained to

explore possible relationships between the time variable

and desired participation scores. This relationship was not

significant for the overall desired participation score nor

for any of the desired participation subscores, thus

hypothesis two cannot be rejected. These results are

presented in Table 7.



Overall desired participation

Desired participation subscores
regarding leadership conditions

Desired participation subscores
regarding motivation conditions

Desired participation subscores
regarding communication conditions

Desired participation subscores
regarding decision making conditions

Desired participation subscores
regarding goal setting conditions

Desired participation subscores
regarding control conditions








Additional Tests Relating to Hypotheses

When the tests for hypothesis three did not establish

a relationship between desire for participation and


exposure to a participative management system, correlation

coefficients were obtained for the relationship between

experienced participation and desired participation. There

also was no significant correlation (r 0.08, p 0.23)

between these variables.

As reported earlier in this chapter, relationships

were found between experienced participation scores and

personality scores. Additional tests were used to analyze

these relationships further. A correlation matrix was

derived to assess relationships between the CTP scales and

the subacores of the POC. Among 72 correlation

coefficients, 30 were statistically significant at alpha =

0.05 with r values ranging from 0.12 to 0.26. To identify

which of the areas of experienced participation (conditions

of leadership, motivation, communication, decision making,

goal setting and control) contributed the most variance to

each personality characteristic, stepwise regressions were

derived for each CTP scale score. Results from the total

and stepwise regression models for each personality

variable are presented in Tables 8 through 22.

The results in Table 8 show from the total model that

combined experienced participation subscores account for 8%

of the variance in Total Adjustment (F 3.08, P > F -

0.0065, R-Square 0.08). Stepwise regression showed that

none of the experienced participation subscores contributed

significantly to the variance in Total Adjustment beyond


the contribution of the goal setting subscore. Experienced

participation regarding goal setting alone contributes 6%

of the variance of Total Adjustment (F = 13.46, P > F -

0.0003, R-Square 0.06).



Total model:

All experienced participation
subscores combined 3.08 0.0065 0.08

Significant variables from
stepwise model:

Experienced participation
regarding goal setting 13.46 0.0003 0.06

Table 9 presents results of the total regression model

which show that all experienced participation subscores

combined account for 8% of the variance in Personal

Adjustment. The stepwise model results indicate that

experienced participation regarding motivation alone

contributes 5% of the variance in Personal Adjustment,

while goal setting and motivation areas together permit the

strongest prediction of Personal Adustment, contributing 7%

of the variance.




Total model:

All experienced participation
subscores combined 3.12 0.006 0.08

Significant variables from
stepwise model:

Experienced participation
regarding motivation 13.22 0.0003 0.06

Experienced participation
regarding goal setting and
motivation 8.51 0.0003 0.07

Table 10 presents total regression results which show

that all experienced participation subscores combined

account for 7% of the variance in Social Adjustment.

Stepwise regression results indicate that experienced

participation regarding goal setting alone best predicts

Social Adjustment, accounting for 5% of the variance.

Table 11 presents total and stepwise regression

results which show that all experienced participation

subscores combined account for 6% of the variance in

Self-reliance, while experienced participation regarding

motivation best predicts Self-reliance, accounting for 5%

of the variance.




Total model:

All experienced participation
subscores combined 2.44 0.027 0.07

Significant variables from
stepwise model:

Experienced participation
regarding goal setting 10.65 0.001 0.05



Total model:

All experienced participation
subscores combined 2.21 0.04 0.06

Significant variables from
stepwise model:

Experienced participation
regarding motivation 10.86 0.001 0.05

Table 12 presents the results of total and stepwise

regression for which Sense of Personal Worth is the

dependent variable. All experienced participation subscores


combined contribute 8% of the variance of this dependent

variable, while experienced participation regarding

motivation alone permits best prediction of Sense of

Personal Worth, accounting for 7% of the variance.



Total model:

All experienced participation
subscores combined 3.04 0.007 0.08

Significant variables from
stepwise model:

Experienced participation
regarding motivation 16.80 0.0001 0.07

Table 13 presents total regression results which

indicate that all experienced participation subscores

combined account for 14% of the variance of Sense of

Personal Freedom. Stepwise regression results show that

experienced participation regarding motivation alone

contributes 12% of the variance while the motivation and

control areas combined account for 13% of the variance.

Table 14 gives results of the total regression model

showing that combined experienced participation subscores

contribute 6% of the variance of Sense of Belonging,




Total model:

All experienced participation
subscores combined 5.46 0.0001 0.14

Significant variables from
stepvise model:

Experienced participation
regarding control 28.11 0.0001 1.12

Experienced participation
regarding control and
motivation 16.43 0.0001 0.13

however, this statistic is nonsignificant at alpha = 0.05.

The stepwise regression results show that the experienced

participation subscore regarding goal setting alone permits

the best significant prediction of this variable,

contributing 4% of the variance.

Results of total and stepwise regression models for

the dependent variable, Freedom from Withdrawing

Tendencies, are presented in Table 15. These results show

that all experienced participation subscores combined do

not permit a significant prediction of the dependent

variable. However, the goal setting subscore alone permits

the best significant prediction, contributing 3Z of the

variance in Freedom from Withdrawing Tendencies.