Date of Award

Fall 1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program/Concentration

Urban Services - Management

Committee Director

Gail Johnson

Committee Member

Wolfgang Pindur

Committee Member

Nancy Olivo

Committee Member

J. Taylor Sims

Committee Member

Berhanu Mengistu

Abstract

Current literature is replete with examples of how bureaucracy hinders organizational performance in rapidly changing social, economic, and political environments. The use of a parallel organization has emerged as one approach to transforming traditional bureaucratic structures into high performance work systems.

This study examines a parallel organization created as part of a high performance organization (HPO) model in a mid-Atlantic city. The purpose of the parallel organization is to conduct the work of leadership, which consists of five functions: identifying customer needs and expectations; developing a shared vision and values; integration and stewardship; creating an environment conducive to learning, thinking, changing, and renewing; and enabling, empowering, and energizing employees. According to the HPO model, the parallel organization should lead to participative leadership in the hierarchy because in conducting the work of leadership, individuals at all levels of the organization are involved in processes which determine how work is performed.

The purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which the work of leadership results in employee perceptions of participative leadership. The research hypothesis is that the work of leadership in the parallel organization results in employee perceptions of participative leadership.

A survey of three comparison groups has been used to measure employee perceptions. Group A has had parallel leadership teams for two or more years. Group B has had parallel leadership teams for one year or less. Group C does not have parallel leadership teams. The purpose of the survey is to measure the impact of the work of leadership on employee perceptions of participative leadership. Purposeful sampling has been used in selecting departments for participation in this study. Non-leadership team members and leadership team members in each of the participating departments have been surveyed in order to examine differences in perceptions concerning the work of leadership. Surveys were administered to 990 employees in the mid-Atlantic city (nonleadership team members and leadership team members). There was a 79 percent response rate.

The results of this study suggest that the work of leadership in the parallel organization has resulted in limited employee perceptions of participative leadership.

DOI

10.25777/ntxz-z017

ISBN

9780599652644

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