Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Mark Doggett (Director), Daniel Jackson, Cecile Garmon

Degree Program

Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


Organizational communication research indicates group member participation increases as the legitimate power differences among group members decreases. Lean principles and practices indicate Kaizen Event members will contribute regardless of legitimate power levels, due to member training, education, and the Lean team-oriented culture. Further study is needed to determine if Lean culture and training maximize group member contribution, or if legitimate power levels in Lean environments manipulate participation. The focus of this case study is a central Kentucky Lean manufacturing organization that practiced Lean principles for at least three years and completed a Kaizen Event within twelve months previous to the beginning of the study. The participating organization indicated the legitimate power levels of Kaizen Event members. Kaizen Event members received a voluntary survey consisting of Likert scalescored questions regarding his or her perceptions of level of participation, encouragement and opportunity to participate, comfort in participating, and the degree the group listened to the member. The results of the survey indicated participation in the Kaizen Event groups did not significantly differ among different legitimate power levels.


Architectural Engineering | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Business and Corporate Communications | Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis