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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Dennis P. Brennan

First Committee Member

[?] B[?]

Second Committee Member

John R. C[?]

Third Committee Member

Roger L. Reimer

Fourth Committee Member



Purpose. The purposes of this study were several-fold. Each of these purposes contributes to the development of a more clear and comprehensive definition of the concept of "empowering management." First, the study was designed to determine if there is any difference between professional-level employees in human service and private industry organizations in regard to their perceived level of empowerment. The second purpose was to determine whether there is a relationship between professional-level employees' perceived level of empowerment and the level of employment related burnout they reported. A final objective was to determine whether any relationship exists between professional-level employees' perceived level of empowerment and several demographic variables, including: years of experience; number of years with current employer; gender; and status as a supervisor or non-supervisor. Procedures. Surveys were sent to 345 graduates of the Master of Social Work program and 311 graduates of the Master of Business Administration program at Eastern Washington University. The survey instrument consisted of two parts. Part I was a 24-item questionnaire designed for the purpose of this study to measure employees' perceived level of empowerment within their organization. Part II was an adapted version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory. The number of responses analyzed was 247. Statistical analyses included the Pearson product-moment correlation, t-tests of correlation coefficients, and two- and three-way analysis of variance. Findings. The statistical evidence from this study indicated that there is no significant difference between human service professionals and private industry professionals in relation to their overall perceived level of empowerment. The results further indicated that for professionals in either type of organization, an inverse relationship exists between their perceived level of empowerment and their reported level of burnout. An additional finding was that persons who are supervisors tend to report higher perceived levels of empowerment than those who do not supervise others. Regarding the burnout variable, results from the study revealed higher scores on the Personal Accomplishment subscale by private industry professionals than by human service professionals. And finally, it was found that males tended to report higher levels of burnout than females on the Depersonalization subscale.



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