Nora Walls

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Kay Payne, Larry Winn


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Degree Program

Department of Communication

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The findings of a survey of participative management in Kentucky manufacturing facilities and its influence on communication, job satisfaction and productivity are reported in this study The literature reviewed indicates that employee involvement programs often have positive effects on communication at all levels of the work environment, on the employees" job satisfaction and on productivity. Surveys were sent to 146, or 20% of the Kentucky manufacturers with more than one-hundred employees Surveys were completed by chief executive officers, plant managers, supervisors, and personnel directors.

Questions included in the survey focused on the kinds of employee involvement programs Kentucky manufacturers used or plan to use; the types of training topics presented prior to, or during implementation, and the primary advantages of such programs, as well as if there was an increase in production and how much. A pilot study, which included ten manufacturers, produced feedback from plant managers to determine if questions were organized well, if they were written clearly, and if more pertinent questions needed to be added.

Analysis of the data revealed that 86% of the respondents use some form of participative management, the most popular being problem-solving groups. The primary reasons for the introduction of these types of programs was to improve quality of product. Respondents indicated that they had experienced positive effects in communication throughout the company, that employees were more satisfied with their jobs, and that they have had an increase in production as a benefit from participative management.


Communication | Organizational Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences