Printer Friendly

Total participation management: toward psychological determinants of subjective well-being at work.


Companies that have implemented the principles of total participation management (TPM) have shown substantial improvement in both human resource and financial indicators (Stocki, Prokopowicz and Zmuda, 2008). Harley-Davidson, the famous motorcycle manufacturer, was on the brink of bankruptcy in the early 1980s, but recovered to become a profitable market leader within the decade. A culture of empowerment enabled employees to become true partners in the business. The organization was transformed from a traditional, top-down model to an open model in which employees were provided with the training necessary to make significant business decisions (Catalyst, 2004). This was achieved through innovative marketing and implementation of just-in-time inventory systems, total quality management using statistical operator control, and employee involvement programs (Kotha & Dutton, 1996). Employee turnover was significantly reduced, as was the rejection rate of motorcycle parts produced (Fessler, 2012).

Southwest Airlines, widely recognized as the most successful United States-based passenger airline, has earned a profit every year of its existence other than its first year of operation and has the lowest employee turnover rate in the airline industry (Smith, 2004). Herb Kelleher, the founding president, and his management team emphasize a relaxed corporate style that provides employees with considerable operational independence. The corporate culture is the one of common goals, shared knowledge, and mutual respect. He answered a question about employee control this way: "A financial analyst once asked me if I was afraid of losing control of our organization. I told him I've never had control and I never wanted it. If you create an environment where the people truly participate, you don't need control. They know what needs to be d one, and they do it. And the more that people will devote themselves to your cause on a voluntary basis, a willing basis, the fewer hierarchies and control mechanisms you need. (Kelleher, 1997)."

Semco, a hydraulic pump manufacturing company in Brazil, is an outstanding example of participatory management. Most of its employees, including factory workers, set their own working hours. All employees have access to the company's financial records and most of them vote on many of the important company decisions (Semler, 1989). CEO Ricardo Semler is probably the world's leading practitioner of Douglas McGregor's (1960) Theory Y, which maintains that people are naturally capable of self-direction and self-control, even in a corporate setting. In general, Semler's radical approach has been successful. An investment of $100,000 in Semco in 1985 would be worth $5,400,000 20 years later. Regardless of the poor political and economic situation in Brazil at that time, when many other large companies bankrupted, Semco has prospered (Fisher, 2005).

Many other companies have benefited from greater employee participation in management. Combs, et al. (2006) conducted a meta-analysis of studies on the effect of high-performance work practices on organizational performance and found a significant positive effect. Empowering employees to leverage their knowledge, skills, and abilities for organizational benefit leads to greater job satisfaction, lower employee turnover, higher productivity, and better decision making (Becker, et al., 1997). Stanley (2005) examined in great detail 40 companies of "The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America" (Levering & Moskowitz, 2004) listed in Fortune magazine. These firms were judged to truly exhibit employee empowerment and a satisfied worker culture. Fourteen financial indicators of the 40 empowered companies were compared to those of the Standard & Poor's 1500 companies and supported the hypothesis that empowered firms will have more favorable financial and investment results than companies lacking this focus.

Literature review

Total Participation Management (TPM) in theory and practice

When analyzing any facet of a company's functioning, it is necessary to start with a determination of its effectiveness. Economic theories have usually defined effectiveness in terms of financial benefits. When talking about total participation management, a more complex approach to effectiveness is required, namely taking into consideration the perspectives of the organization, the community, and the individual. These three contexts of total effectiveness are intertwined, especially because of the main assumption that participation is the cooperative action of every employee perceived as a stakeholder (Zmuda, Prokopowicz and Stocki, unpublished manuscript, p. 5). Unquestionably, the companies mentioned above reached the highest score of that dimension.

In the present research, the individual context is understood to be the subjective, emotional, and cognitive assessment (called subjective well-being) of working in the studied organization. Effectiveness from this perspective is "a complex, multi-faceted positive influence on the organization (leading to its well-being, flourishing etc.) of every stakeholder in the field of its interaction" (Zmuda et al., unpublished manuscript, p. 20).

Total Participation Management (TPM) is a management practice best understood through the prism of Wojtyla's anthropology (1985). The crucial content from the Wojtyla's definition of participation applies to the subject of participation ("the person"); to a kind of action which is not just an ordinary behaviour ("transcendence in the action"); to conditions of performing ("together with others"); and to permanent hallmarks of the person ("own freedom of choice and direction, not conditioned").

Prokopowicz, Stocki and Zmuda (2008, p. 5), reformulating Wojtyla's definition of participation in psychological terms and following Harrison's (1985) assumption that members of the organization are seen as entities involved in the construction of meaning, derived a definition of total participation as the processes of development of all members as individual persons and the communities and systems of which they are members in the process of sense-making, in which the common and individual good is achieved through such processes of social interaction that each person is guaranteed freedom of expressing one's will.

On the basis of this definition, they created the definition of total participation management as the art of harmonizing and organizing processes of management in time and ambient circumstances so that they lead as quickly as possible to total participation (Prokopowicz et al., 2008, p. 5).

This style of management differs from more traditional forms in that employees are more engaged in decision making. They are allowed to set their own and other's salaries, to set the time they come to work, even to set up the furniture in offices. Furthermore, every employee becomes a businessperson (through management training) in order to understand the needs of the whole company. The financial systems, as well as all weaknesses of the corporation, are transparent to the employees. Core values are relevant in every day of the company's existence and they are the key to building trust among clients. Every employee is aware of those values and complies with them in creating the company's culture. Developing one's own competences is strongly supported, although it is optional. Employees do not need to advance up the corporate ladder to lift their financial status because they earn more in accordance with the company's success. As an expression of participation, shares of the company's stock are equally divided among employees (Stocki et al., 2008). Total participation is a proper approach to management, because in order to create favorable work circumstances (with a highly efficient and effective environment) a fully participative organization needs to be supported (Summers and Hyman, 2005)].

Three basic dimensions appear in the value system of total participation management: the employee's share in power, knowledge, and property. These dimensions will be used in the present research instruments to establish the organizational context--the level of participative management in a particular company. They were also pointed out amongst a larger list of variables in the research of Deci, Conwell and Ryan (1989) who wrote about "Satisfaction with personal autonomy" and "Satisfaction with opportunity for inputs" taken from Work Climate Variables. Those seem to be suitable to "Shares in power" from TPM's dimensions because of the subjective nature of the employee's actions. "Pay and benefits" in Deci et al.'s (1989) research fits the third important TPM's dimension "Shares in property". There is no similar dimension corresponding to "Shares in knowledge" listed in their Work Climate Variables.

Current human resource management functions in contrast to the prohuman approach presented by Wojtyla (1985). Nowadays the most common way of managing people is by instrumental conditioning and extrinsic stimulation. If the theory of Wojtyla were to be used in organizations, the practical principles would be: power to all employees, the right to self-determination, cooperation with trust, and treating employees as participants instead of human resources.

Subjective Well-Being (SWB)

According to Diener (1984), the area of subjective well-being has three characteristics:

1) It is subjective; as Campbell (1976) claims, it depends on the experience of the individual.

2) It includes positive measures; it doesn't mean only the absence of negative factors.

3) Its measures comprise an overall assessment of all aspects of human's life.

The subjective perspective assumes that a person evaluates the degree of his state by himself (Deci and Ryan, 2008).

Three constructs are used to operate a definition of subjective well-being: a high level of positive affect, a low level of negative affect, and a high degree of satisfaction with one's life (Deci and Ryan, 2008).

Diener (1984) presented measurements of well-being that could be most useful for the question: Does TPM make people more satisfied? Diener based his considerations on a philosophical perspective, pointing out and linking two components of happiness--affective and cognitive. The first--more popular--is derived from hedonia. This philosophical movement requires a majority of positive affects over negative affects. According to this approach, well-being deals with affective pleasure in someone's life (Watson, Clark and Tellegen, 1988). The second, less known, approach is derived from eudaimonia. From this perspective, the social psychologists define well-being as a result of general life satisfaction judgement (Diener, Emmons, Larsen and Griffin, 1985) and one's own personal life judgement (Shin and Johnson, 1978); so it is a cognitive evaluation. Aristotle, in his empirical approach (translated by Gromska, 1982, p. 25), wrote that eudaimonia is the happiness of living well with the added connotations of success and fulfilment. It was already Aristotle who believed that making the volitional choice of virtue in life is necessary if someone is to achieve eudaimonia, the lasting happiness.

The tradition of happiness studies gives some examples where these two components (eudaimonic--life satisfaction and hedonic--positive/negative affect) were researched together because of their comprehensiveness. Additionally, the two affective (positive and negative) elements were explored as inversely related; they cannot appear together at the same time in one person's experience (Diener and Emmons, 1984). In the current research, psychological well-being is understood in the dual cognitive/affective paradigm.

Taking into account the above considerations and the full context of individual performance, we believe that TPM has an effect on the employee's well-being.

Hypothesis 2: People working in companies with a high TPM level display higher subjective well-being.

Basic psychological needs

Considering people's needs at the workplace, one should refer to the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) of Edward Deci and Richard Ryan (2000a). It focuses on the psychological mechanism that explains the content and the process of goal pursuits (Deci and Ryan, 2000b), but the core of this psychological mechanism is built on three innate, universal, basic, psychological human needs: autonomy, relatedness, and competence.

To fulfil the need of autonomy means "to self-organize and regulate one's own behaviour, which includes the tendency to work toward inner coherence and integration among regulatory demands and goals" (Deci and Ryan 2000b, p. 252). According to Deci, Connell, and Ryan's (1989) experiment in work environment, if the need of autonomy was satisfied by autonomous support, then psychological factors such as well-being, satisfaction, or intrinsic motivation increased. Ryan and Deci (2000b) additionally wrote that volitional autonomy means acting with cooperation, relying on others rather than experience arbitrary decision-making. This meaning seems to be very similar to TPM's term of acting together with a high level of autonomy and also with Wojtyla's sense of meaning and fulfilment in the Act.

To fulfil the need of competence is understood as "to engage optimal challenges and experience mastery or effectance in the physical and social worlds" (Deci and Ryan, 2000b, p. 252). There are some ways to fulfil the need of competence, for example by positive feedback. But there is one condition--the presence of satisfying autonomy (Fisher, 1978).

To fulfil the need of relatedness means "to seek attachments and experience feelings of security, belongingness, and intimacy with others" (Deci and Ryan 2000b, p. 252). Intrinsic motivation is enhanced in situations full of warm and secure relations. According to Ryan, Stiller and Lynch (1994), this postulate could be seen also in schools, while observing relations between a student and a teacher. Ainsworth and Bowlby (1991) concluded that small children need secure maternal relations to undertake an interesting activation and to explore the world.

The Self-Determination Theory postulates that humans are active and growth-oriented in a way to integrate themselves in social structures. Ryan and Deci (2000b) indicate circumstances to which people support their actions with the full sense of choice and with the deep reflection. This definition is reminiscent of Wojtyla's concept of the Act in such terms as "action", "self- determination", "together with others", "freedom of choice and direction", "volitionally or self-conscious". It should be mentioned that if Wojtyla's theory is the basis for total participation management and at the same time Wojtyla's theory corresponds to Deci and Ryan's theory, there is a possibility that a Self-determination theory could help in the analysis of the effectiveness of TPM. From these relations we can derive the next hypothesis.

Hypothesis 3: People working in companies with high TPM display higher basic psychological need satisfaction.

Based on SDT literature, it appears that if three psychological needs (autonomy, competence and relatedness) were satisfied, then the person would exist in an optimal state of mind and health (Ryan and Deci, 2000a). This statement is fundamental for the next hypothesis:

Hypothesis 4: Basic need satisfaction is positively related to subjective well-being.

The Self-Determination Theory could explain whether or not TPM is effective in the pursuit of subjective well-being. Going further, it should be asked whether TPM's employees are satisfied with their need of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. If the answer is "yes", TPM workers should exist in an optimal state of mind and health. This study presumes that workers who are supported by TPM have the opportunity to engage in autonomous work, to feel responsible for the whole process of the company's growth, to utilise and develop their competences, and to work in a solid group with transparent values. Thus they are more active in satisfying their needs and, as a result, they are psychologically healthier and more satisfied with their job. The main hypothesis (H5) is based on three variables. First--whether the organization is managed in a totally participative way; second--whether the basic needs are satisfied; and third--whether employees display higher subjective well-being than in less participative organizations.

Hypothesis 5: People working in TPM companies display higher subjective well-being related to their work, and this dependence is based on the satisfaction with basic psychological needs in those employees.

Deci et al. (1989) claimed that the idea that managers support self-determination is conceptually and philosophically consistent with participative management and vertical extension of work. However, it differs from them, focusing on a manager's interpersonal orientation rather than on decision-making and work design.

However, to begin this analysis, we need to check the basic assumption of significant differences between the three companies studied.

Hypothesis 1: The three investigated companies differ significantly from each other in total participation management.

In conclusion, as the total participative style of management is assessed as an independent variable, it is expected that TPM results in highly satisfied basic needs, that the subjective well-being shows a high level of positive but low negative affect, and that there is high satisfaction with work.

Research methods


Data for this research was provided by 71 employees (7 questionnaires were not completed) in the sales service (stores and individual salespeople) of three major corporations from the cosmetics industry (Company 1: 28 employees; Company 2: 25 employees, Company 3: 18 employees). The managers and salespeople have direct contact with each other--in stores or at group meetings.

The companies were selected from the chosen industry by such criteria as history, popular consumers' opinions, and mission or values declared by the company. The information shown below was collected from official websites of those companies and is presented in the check-list (Table 2). Company 1 presented its quality system and its clear values, e.g. that working with passion, working together, sharing goals, creates greater results and makes the world a better place. This appears to be similar to participative assumptions. Company 2 instead presents itself as the fair company, which applies social responsibility and positive motivation. It seems that this corporation focused more on rules and strategic human resources than on participation. Company 3 supports community trade and long-term trade relationships; it underlines the importance of responsibility, of respect and it is brave enough to sincerely present its weaknesses. Core values are equally relevant in everyday work since the establishment of this company. The management system of this company seems to be the most participative.

These circumstances allowed for the posing of the prediction that those companies differ from each other according to their TPM level.

Hypothesis 1 says that three investigated companies differ significantly from each other in total participation management (TPM). However, there were several differences in activity in survey participation among the involved companies.

Company 1: Almost all employees who were asked agreed to participate in the survey; only three people who were abroad proposed to phone them back later. From 15 sent queries, 12 people filled in the whole questionnaire, the other 16 questionnaires were completed during an employee meeting.

It could be claimed that they were convinced mainly by the argument of the authority of one of the bosses who recommended the survey. Managers (11 persons) from this company tended to be interested in the research. They never refused to answer the questions because of company's regulations, but one of the managers stopped filling the questionnaire when he discovered that the questions are not relevant to his position at work. Subordinate employees (17 persons) were both eager and helpful. They had some questions and doubts, but the argument about anonymity was the key one.

Company 2: Approximately 50% of employees who were asked refused to participate in the survey. From 39 sent queries, 25 people filled in the whole questionnaire. Managers (4 persons agreed) were much more skeptical and tended not to be as interested in the research as were their subordinates. They refused to answer the questions because of company's regulations. It is forbidden for them to talk to anyone about any formal or informal conditions of work. In contrast, their subordinates (21 persons agreed) answered more eagerly, but while talking with the researcher, they looked around to see whether the manager or an assistant was watching. They did not want to spend much time talking with the researcher, because, as they declared, they had plenty of commitments.

Company 3: All of employees who were asked agreed to participate in the survey and what was surprising, 100% of all people who were sent the questionnaire filled it in. What is more, people who completed the questionnaire probably encouraged other people to join in the research, because 18 people filled in the whole questionnaire when only 12 emails were sent. As they said during the phone call, they were convinced mainly by the argument of anonymity. Managers (11 persons) from this company, similar to the subordinates (7 persons) were enthusiastic in helping and more interested in the research than were the managers in the other companies.

The percentage of respondents who stopped answering the questionnaire after a couple of questions came to 9% (7). These questionnaires were not taken into account. Also 8 questionnaires completed in OpenIndex had some empty items because responders treated them as not concerning their work. Those missing data was substituted by averages.

The basic demographic data is presented in Table 1.


A check-list of total participation practices was used as the first instrument. Furthermore, four questionnaires (all with permissions of authors) were used in the main part of this research. All of them were consolidated in one email link with the technical help of online survey software ( Then they were sent to respondents as one compiled questionnaire in order to leave their responses anonymous, while still allowing their data to be compared. At the end of the whole questionnaire, there was a short section identifying data about gender, age, education, the company, job seniority, and the position in the company.


To confirm differences in total participation among the three investigated companies, two measures were used. The check list was designed basing on the practices of total participation management (see Stocki et al, 2008). The list consists of 15 practices the author matched with the particular company. The examples of practices were as follow: "Transparency of weaknesses of the company."; "Core values as the direction indicators and trust builders."; "People in long-term relationships."; "People working together with others." The whole list is presented in Table 2. Information about each company was collected from their official websites, including enclosed reports of values. The companies were divided according to the amount of TPM practices they present on their websites.

OpenIndex[R] was designed by Ryszard Stocki Associates-Transition Consulting as the diagnostic instrument, first for profit organizations (see Stocki et al, 2008), then also for non-profit ones. The current version, the OpenIndex[R] 2009, consists of 21 subscales which include three aspects of total effectiveness: individual, organizational, and social. We adapted two core subscales (Decisions and Transparency) from the original OpenIndex 2009 questionnaire and used them as one scale to measure the level of total participative management in profit organizations. 15 questions were selected. Responses were made on a 5-point Likert-type scale, ranging from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree). There were three additional possibilities to answer apart from measuring (I don't know, I don't understand, It is irrelevant here). The reliability for the TPM scale is alpha = .83.

Subjective Well-Being

Subjective well-being was measured with two methods. Positive affect and negative affect components were measured with Positive Affect Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) designed by Watson, Clark and Tellegen (1988). The Polish translation was based on the English version of PANAS. This 5-point Likert-type scale consists of 20 adjectives of words that describe different feelings and emotions at work. The respondents had to indicate which level of each emotion they experience at work using the answers as follow: Very slightly or not at all; A little; Moderately; Quite a bit; or Extremely. Results were measured in two contrary variables: Positive Affect with 10 items and Negative Affect with 10 items. The reliability for each subscale was as follows: Positive affect alpha = .81; Negative affect alpha = .85.

Work satisfaction was measured with the Work Satisfaction Survey (WSS), built on items designed by Wrzesniewski, McCauley, Rozin and Schwartz (1997). It consists of 5 statements chosen from 18 that most suitably apply to satisfaction with work. Answers express how strong the person agrees or disagrees with each statement. Responses are made on a 4-point Likert-type scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree). This questionnaire consists of the following statements: "If I was financially secure, I would continue my current work even if I stopped getting paid."; "I njoy talking about my work to others."; "My work makes the world a better place."; "I would choose my current work life again if I had the chance."; "I ind my work rewarding." The reliability for the work satisfaction scale was alpha = .84.

Basic Needs Satisfaction

The historical process of designing a Basic Need Satisfaction at Work Scale (BNS-W) contains many versions from job-context research (see Baard, Deci and Ryan, 2004; Deci, Ryan, Gagne et al, 2001; Ilardi, Leone, Kasser et al, 1993; Kasser, Davey and Ryan, 1992). Baard et al. (2004) used a 23-item scale called Intrinsic Need Satisfaction to analyze employees' satisfaction. Deci et al. (2001) used a shorter 21-item scale. BNS-W assessed the level to which people at work feel satisfaction with their three basic needs: their need for Autonomy (7 items), their need for Relatedness (8 items), and their need for Competence (6 items). These three needs are treated as one scale in this article and BNS-W is composed of 21 questions and a 7-point Likert scale. The answers range from 1--Totally Untrue, through 4--Partly True, to 7--Totally True. In the present data set, overall reliability for BNS-W scale was alpha = .94.


At the beginning of the research, a check-list was made to verify differences among companies in the level of total participation management.

The data collection in these studies lasted about 4 weeks and took place via Internet. Participants were sent an email with the link to the Internet survey. Email addresses were collected during conversations while visiting different stores in southern Poland. The other method was to phone individual employees, ask them to fill in the questionnaire, and request an email address. People who answered the query did not have to resend the email because the questionnaire was saved at the end of the process of responding.


Three types of variables could be distinguished:

1) Group variable: Company number 1, number 2, or number 3.

2) Independent variable: the level of total participative management in the particular company.

3) Dependent variables: the level of subjective well-being among employees; the level of three measures of needs' satisfaction among employees. All variables mentioned above are quantitative. The total participative management scale consists of two dimensions from the work environment--decisions and transparency--and constitutes one scale. Subjective well-being consists of three scales counted independently: the positive affect scale, negative affect scale, and work satisfaction scale. Needs' satisfaction consists of three basic needs--autonomy, competence, and relatedness, but in this research, basic need satisfaction is considered to be one scale.

Measuring process

The total participative practices on the check-list were matched with each company. Then they were summed up and the companies were ranked by the number of TPM practices.

Items from OpenIndex[R] 2009, WSS, and PANAS were worded in positive directions, whereas items from BNS-W questionnaire were worded in both positive and negative directions; however, all data was coded in such a way that higher scores were considered more positive.

The level of total participation management (TPM) in each company was computed by averaging the relevant 15 items from Open Index Core 1.0. Higher scores were always more positive. The three means (from each company) were taken under consideration and compared using the Kruskal-Wallis one-way ANOVA. TPM had also a confirmation measured by summing the items on the check-list.

Subjective well-being (SWB) was intended to be aggregated as a global score by summing points from the positive affect scale with the work satisfaction survey, and then by subtracting negative affect points--following the recommendations of Sheldon and Niemiec (2006, p. 3), the procedures of Sheldon and Elliot (1999, p. 486), and Sheldon and Kasser (1998, 2001, p. 1324). Those researchers utilized the PANAS questionnaire and Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). In the present research, instead of measuring life satisfaction, a work satisfaction survey was created consisting of the same number of items as SWLS. Unfortunately in the current research, the subjective well-being scale needed to be divided into three scales (positive affect, negative affect, and work satisfaction), because these three variables have been shown not to load on the same higher order factor (variance accounted only for = 33.64%, the three variables loading .58, .40, .40 or less). Those scales assessed both the emotional and cognitive aspects of subjective well-being in the specific environment of work. As the next step in the measuring process, the three companies were compared by averaging the relevant SWB's subscales using the Kruskal-Wallis one-way ANOVA. At the end, the Spearman correlations were tested between SWB's subscales and OpenIndex.

To establish the level of basic need satisfaction among workers of each company and to compare them using the Kruskal-Wallis one-way ANOVA, points from each item of BNS-W were computed once the necessary reversals had been done. Then the Spearman correlations were tested between BNS-W and OpenIndex.


The analysis utilized descriptive statistic procedures, the Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance, and the Spearman's R correlation, because of skewed score distributions. The summed results of the check-list

showed that company number 1 has 7/15 participative practices, company number 2 presents 3/15 practices, whereas company number 3 shows 10/15 practices. The detailed score is presented in Table 2 and 3.

The results of the first hypothesis concerning differences in total participation management between three corporations are presented below. The means and standard deviations of OpenIndex in each company amounted as follows M = 3.67 (SD = 0.58) and M = 2.97 (SD = 0.76) and M = 3.71 (SD = 0.85). The Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance showed that these differences were statistically significant (H (2, N= 71) = 12.75802, p = .0017)), so further intercorrelations are meaningful. Detailed scores are presented in Table 4 and 5.

The statistical procedures of three subscales of subjective well-being are presented below. The means and standard deviations of positive affect in each company are M = 3.58 (SD = 0.53) and M = 3.25 (SD = 0.60) and M = 3.47(SD = 0.61). The Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance showed that these differences were statistically nonsignificant (H (2, N= 71) = 4.64, p = .0981), thus further intercorrelations with this variable are meaningless.

The means and standard deviations of negative affect in each company are M = 1.43 (SD = 0.35) and M = 1.90 (SD = 0.64) and M = 1.55 (SD = 0.42). The Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance showed that these differences were statistically significant (H (2, N= 71) = 8.98, p = .0112). Detailed scores are presented in Table 4 and 5.

Correlation of negative affect and OpenIndex amounted to R = -0.41, and it was statistically significant (p < .05). Detailed scores are presented in Table 6.

The results of testing the hypothesis that concerns the relationship between total participation management and work satisfaction among employees are presented below. The means and standard deviations of work satisfaction in each company are as follows: M = 2.65 (SD = 0.63) and M = 2.03 (SD = 0.56) and M = 2.93 (SD = 0.53). The Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance showed that these differences were statistically significant (H (2, N= 71) = 22.18, p < .0001). Detailed scores are presented in Table 4 and 5. Correlation of work satisfaction and OpenIndex amounted to R = 0.53 and it was statistically significant (p < .05). Detailed scores are presented in Table 6.

The subsequent results concerning the comparison between total participation management and basic need satisfaction are presented below. The means and standard deviations of basic need satisfaction in each company amounted as follows M = 5.48 (SD = 0.68) and M = 3.76 (SD = 0.90) and M = 5.15 (SD = 0.85). The Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance showed that these differences were statistically significant (H (2, N= 71) = 31.84363, p < .0001). Detailed scores are presented in Table 4 and 5. Correlation of BNS-W and OpenIndex amounted to R = 0.66 and it was statistically significant p < .05. The detailed score is presented in Table 6.

Correlations of basic need satisfaction and subscales of subjective wellbeing are presented as follows. The correlation between positive affect and basic need satisfaction amounted to R = 0.58 and it was statistically significant (p < .05). The subsequent correlation between negative affect and basic need satisfaction amounted to R = -0.61, and it was statistically significant (p < .05). The correlation between work satisfaction and basic need satisfaction amounted to R = 0.68 and it was statistically significant (p < .05). Detailed scores are presented in Table 6.

Finally, analysis was conducted regarding the last hypothesis, which assumed that total participation management is connected with high well-being, and that this connection is based on high satisfaction with basic psychological needs. Employees from Company 3 evaluated their company's management as the most participative; the mean of OpenIndex amounted to M = 3.71. Company 1 attained a little lower mean (M = 3.68). Furthermore, company no. 2 was visibly assessed as the least participative (M = 2.97).

The highest positive affect was in Company 1 (M = 3.58), the second highest in company no. 3 (M = 3.47), and the lowest was in company no. 2 (M = 3.25). The lowest negative affect was in Company 1 (M = 1.43), the second lowest in Company 3 (M = 1.55), and the highest was in Company 2 (M = 1.90). The highest work satisfaction was in company no. 3 (M = 2.93), the second highest in Company 1 (M = 2.65), and the lowest was in Company 2 (M = 2.03). Concerning basic need satisfaction, the highest score (M = 5.48) was displayed by employees from company no. 1, while Company 3 placed lower (M = 5.15). The lowest satisfaction was presented by employees from Company 2 (M = 3.76). Detailed scores are presented in Table 4.


Total Participation Management

The analysis of differences among three cosmetic companies showed that hallmarks of total participative management varied significantly among them. Therefore, Hypothesis 1 was confirmed. Additionally, employees from Company 3 presented their company as the most participative in holistic leading. Next, Company 2 came in at the lowest TPM level according to its employees' estimation. Company 1 was ranked in the middle of participative classification, but it is noteworthy that the TPM mean of this corporation was also high. The same sequence appeared after summing the check-list of TPM practices.

Only after conversations with employees was it possible to draw a conclusion about the management approach to leading the company. Employees from Company 2, who were supported by the lowest participative management, displayed the least interest in participating in the research. The researcher was often referred to the head office by these people. Employees with a lower status were generally uneager to converse, because they claimed to have many commitments to fulfill. They either refused to answer or to give email addresses, or quickly went back to work. They looked around to check if they had been seen by any manager. This might have been caused by managers frightening employees in the past. Among workers from this company, only 25 of 39 people who were sent the questionnaire responded to it. In contrast, the reaction was different in Company 3; the one managed the closest to TPM. In this company, all people who were asked wished to participate in the survey. Similarly, in Company 1, with the second highest position of total participative scores, employees were also enthusiastic in helping with the survey. Here an incentive element was the authority of the high-status, well-known boss. Through the courtesy of this person, the researcher could contact many managers and some directors and subordinates.


The assumption about the positive correlation between TPM and subjective well-being was confirmed in Company 2. The least happy employees work in the least participative company. Their general mood at work is the worst; they feel most nervous, irritable, or afraid. They also estimate their work as least satisfying. What was likewise confirmed, Company 3, with the most total participative management, had the employees who are most satisfied with work. However their mood at work is a little worse than that of Company 1, which had a medium, but still highly participative level.

As the consequence of such results, it can be claimed with high probability that employees in companies which do not apply TPM principles display lower subjective well-being. Furthermore, the statement that TPM companies make their employees happier should be written more carefully; retaining that affective state among those employees was not clearly evident. This ambiguity could be caused by insufficient differences among companies in the positive affect scale. As regards to practice, many people would like to participate in a TPM environment that allows them to work with highest work satisfaction.

Basic Need Satisfaction

The hypothesis connecting TPM with satisfaction with three basic psychological needs (autonomy, relatedness and competence) (Deci and Ryan, 2000a) was confirmed by the quite high correlation. Though this was not so clearly confirmed in the comparison of the three companies, there are some signs that it was very close. Company 1 pointed at 5.48 on a 7-point BNS-W scale (it was the highest score), and 3.67 on a 5-point OpenIndex scale (it was the second, but also high TPM score). Company 3 was the most participative (3.71 on a 5-point scale), but only a little more participative than Company 1, and it achieved a similar BNS-W score = 5.40. The next argument is that the least participative Company 2 has the least psychologically satisfied employees BNS-W= 3.76. From these it follows that three basic psychological needs are probably fulfilled when the person is working in conditions of acting together with others (Wojtyla, 1985), when they share power and knowledge. However further reliable investigations are required.

With the conclusion that total participation management leads to higher work satisfaction and might lead to some aspects of well-being, with quite a high correlation between basic need satisfaction and TPM, we could evoke Summers and Hyman (2005), who maintained that participation should be applied in all facets of company life to gain the highest effectiveness. Unfortunately the hypothesis of complex intercorrelation (mainly the correlation of BNS-W and TPM) was not directly confirmed, even though it was very close. Therefore it is impossible to establish a solid inference about total participation management. The reason could be that none of the investigated companies was officially managed in a totally participative manner.

Limitations and future research

Although the present study provides important data related to the management of employees, the results should be assessed against a number of limitations in the research design. First of all, the research relies on a self-reporting, cross-sectional survey design. Secondly, the sample was rather small. The criterion of random selection was not achieved because participants were asked first if they wanted to participate, then those who agreed had another opportunity to refuse answering the received email. So in such situations, the really active and open employees participated. Sometimes more than 50% within a company refused to answer, sometimes all the people who were asked were eager to help in the research. It is possible that one incentive was the authority of the high-status, well-known boss who recommended responding to the survey. Furthermore, the subjective dimension of the whole questionnaire and the way of collecting data could be also treated as extraneous variables, because respondents might deliberately answer incorrectly, for example, in selecting the company's name or might let somebody else (outside the company) fill in the survey. The researcher had almost no control over the response process. Therefore it is necessary to be careful in generalizing the results to all companies. What also seems to be important is that the instruments of well-being were not reliable enough and not sensitive enough in diversifying the current sample.

It could be fruitful for deeper understanding of total participation management to investigate at least one company which officially claims the uniform application of Total Participation Management (e.g., the companies indicated in the introduction of this article). This solution was not possible in the current research because of specific financial and travel conditions connected with investigating corporations from abroad (ex. USA or Brazil). We tried to choose companies with management styles either similar or totally different from TPM. It would be most appropriate to compare real TPM companies with other, non-TPM companies. With such a sample of TPM-declared companies it would probably be unnecessary to measure the level of TPM, and it would allow for the main focus of attention to be paid to the employees' happiness dimension.

Practical implications

There are some practical applications to the current management environment, but those contributions require a long-term period of general change in thought and should be carefully worded. Subjective well-being is probably connected with the TPM principles (Stocki et al., 2008), especially with autonomous decision-making, which gives the feeling of possessing power and also is connected with transparency of values or organizational strategy. Those conditions of TPM can offer satisfaction from time spent at work, a sense of security due to the possession of some control and support from deep, true relationships. The assumption of Self-Determination Theory (Deci and Ryan, 2000a) was also confirmed in accordance to TPM conditions, though there are some facets requiring further study. Thus TPM could be propagated in companies that wish to take the risk of changing all of management's habits in order to increase the happiness and commitment among employees, simultaneously creating a psychologically satisfied, strong, and reliable team with long-term relationships.


Undoubtedly, nowadays the topic of well-being is very attractive and commercial (Seligman, 2002) as well. It is important to utilize these favorable conditions to collect many scientific suggestions regarding how to lead a company and how to attain individual, organizational, and social effectiveness in one management style. It is a good historical moment for researchers to look for the management approach that satisfies these requirements. The present article tried to show that Total Participation Management with the theoretical base of Wojtyla (1985) is the proper one. Maybe there are some other worthwhile management styles, not yet explored. But this one is ready, has been applied by only a few, and is waiting to be implemented more widely.


Ainsworth, M. S., Bowlby, J. (1991). An ethological approach to personality development. American Psychologist, 46 (4), 333-341.

Arystoteles. (1982). Etyka nikomachejska. (D. Gromska, Trans.). Warszawa, PWN. (Eng. Nicomachean Ethics)

Baard, P. P., Deci, E. L., Ryan, R. M. (2004). Intrinsic need satisfaction: A motivational basis of performance and well-being in two work settings. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34, 2045-2068.

Becker, B. E., Huselid, M. A., Pickus, P. S., Spratt, M. F. (1997). HR as a source of shareholder value: Research and recommendations. Human Resource Management, 36, 39-47.

Campbell, A. (1976). Subjective measures of well-being. American Psychologist, 31, 117-124.

Catalyst (2004). Harley Davidson, Inc.--Optimizing Talent: A Culture of Empowerment. Retrieved from harley-davidson-inc%E2%80%94optimizing-talent-culture empowerment.

Combs, J., Liu, Y., Hall, A., Ketchen, DD. (2006). How much do high-performance work practices matter? A meta-analysis of their effects on organizational performance. Personnel Psychology, 59, 501-528.

Deci, E. L., Connell, J. P., Ryan, R. M. (1989). Self-determination in a work organization. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74, 580-590.

Deci, E. L., Ryan, R. M. (2000a). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78.

Deci, E.L., Ryan, R.M. (2000b). The "what" and "why" of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227-268.

Deci, E. L., Ryan, R. M., Gagne, M., Leone, D. R., Usunov, J., Kornazheva, B. P. (2001). Need satisfaction, motivation, and well-being in the work organizations of a former Eastern Bloc country. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 930-942.

Deci, E.L., Ryan, R.M. (2008) Hedonia, eudaimonia, and well-being: an introduction. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9, 1-11.

Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95, 542-575.

Diener, E., Emmons, R. A. (1984). The independence of positive and negative affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 1105-1117.

Diener, E., Emmons, R., Larsen, R., Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75.

Fessler, C. (2012). Rebuilding the Brand: How Harley-Davidson Became King of the Road. Bloomington IN: Triple Nickel Press.

Fisher, C. D. (1978). The effects of personal control, competence and extrinsic reward systems on intrinsic motivation. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 21, 273-288.

Fisher, L.M. (2005). Ricardo Semler--Won't take control. Strategy + Business, Winter 2005, 41.

Harrison, T. M. (1985). Communication and participative decision making: An exploratory study. Personnel Psychology, 38, 93-116.

Ilardi, B. C., Leone, D., Kasser, R., Ryan, R. M. (1993). Employee and supervisor ratings of motivation: Main effects and discrepancies associated with job satisfaction and adjustment in a factory setting. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 23, 1789-1805.

Kasser, T., Davey, J., Ryan, R. M. (1992). Motivation, dependability, and employee-supervisor discrepancies in psychiatric vocational rehabilitation settings. Rehabilitation Psychology, 37, 175-187.

Kelleher, H. (Spring 1997). A culture of commitment. Leader to Leader. 4, 20-24.

Kotha, S., Dutton, J. (1996). Transformation at Harley-Davidson. Case Study. New York: New York University, Stern School of Business.

Levering R. Moskowitz M. (2004). The 100 Best Companies to Work For. Fortune, 12 January: 56-79.

McGregor, D. (1960). The Human Side of Enterprise. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Prokopowicz, P., Stocki, R., Zmuda, G. (2008) Cognitive theory of total participation management. In: The International Association for Research in Economic Psychology/The Society for Advancement of Behavioral Economics World Meeting at LUISS in Rome, Italy, 3-6 September 2008.

Ryan, R.M., Deci, E.L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78.

Ryan, R. M., Stiller, J., Lynch, J. H. (1994). Representations of relationships to teachers, parents, and friends as predictors of academic motivation and self-esteem. Journal of Early Adolescence, 14, 226-249.

Ryff, C.D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 1069-1081.

Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic Happiness. New York: Free Press. Semler, R. (1989). Managing without Managers. Harvard Business Review, September-October 1989, Reprint #89509.

Sheldon, K. M., Elliot, A. J. (1999). Goal striving, need satisfaction, and longitudinal well-being: The self-concordance model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 482-497.

Sheldon, K. M., Elliot, A. J., Kim, Y., Kasser, T. (2001). What's satisfying about satisfying events? Comparing ten candidate psychological needs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 325-339.

Sheldon, K. M., Kasser, T. (1998). Pursuing personal goals: Skills enable progress, but not all progress is beneficial. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24, 1319-1331.

Sheldon, K. M., Kasser, T. (2001). Getting older, getting better? Personal strivings and personality development across the life-course. Developmental Psychology, 37, 491-501.

Sheldon, K. M., Niemiec, C. P. (2006). It's Not Just the Amount That Counts: Balanced Need Satisfaction Also Affects Well-Being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 331-341.

Shin, D.C., Johnson, D.M. (1978). Avowed happiness as an overall assessment of the quality of life. Social Indicators Research, 5, 475-492.

Smith, G. (2004). An evaluation of the corporate culture of Southwest Airlines. Measuring Business Excellence, 8 (4), 26-33.

Stanley, D. J. (2005). The impact of empowered employees on corporate value. Graziadio Business Review, 8 (1). Retrieved from http://gbr.pepperdine. edu/2010/08/empowered-employees/.

Stocki, R., Prokopowicz, P., Zmuda, G. (2008). Pelna partycypacja w zarzadzaniu-- tajemnica sukcesu najwiekszych eksperymentow menedzerskich swiata. (Eng: Total participation management: The secret of success of the world's greatest management experiments). Krakow: Oficyna--A Wolters Kluwer Business.

Summers, J., Hyman, J. (2005). Employee Participation and Company Performance: A Review of the Literature. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Waterman, A.S., Schwartz, S.J., Conti, R. (2008). The implications of two conceptions of happiness (hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia) for the understanding of intrinsic motivation. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9, 41-79.

Watson, D., Clark, L. A., Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063-1070.

Wojtyla, K. (1985). Osoba i czyn. Polskie Towarzystwo Teologiczne. (Eng. The Acting Person)

Wrzesniewski, A., McCauley, C., Rozin, P., Schwartz, B. (1997). Jobs, careers and calling: People's reactions to their work. Journal of Research and Personality, 31, 21-33.

Zmuda, G., Prokopowicz, P., Stocki, R. (2008). Towards the Model of Total Participation Management: In Search of Wellbeing in a Participative Workplace (Unpublished manuscript). Retrieved from Jagiellonian University, Dept. of Psychology.

Katarzyna Mika *, Ryszard Stocki **, Agnieszka Bozek ***

* Katarzyna Mika, M.A., Medical University of Warsaw, ul. ?wirki i Wigury 61, 02-091 Warsaw, Poland,

** Ryszard Stocki, Professor at SWPS, University of Social Science and Humanities, Department in Katowice, ul. Kossutha 9, 40-844 Katowice, Poland,

*** Agnieszka Bozek, M.A., Wojtyla-Institute--Science Foundation, ul. Smolensk 29, 31-112 Cracow, Poland,
Table 1. Demographic structure of the sample

Demographics      Category      Frequency

Gender             Female          63
                    Male            7
Age                 <25            25
                   26-35           31
                   36-45            9
                   46-55            2
                    >55             1
Education        Elementary         0
                 Vocational         3
                 Secondary         33
                   Higher          30
Company              1             28
                     2             25
                     3             18
Seniority        0-2 years         31
                 3-4 years         28
                 5-10 years         8
                 >10 years          3
Position          Director          5
                  Manager          21
                   Seller          16
                  Cashier           9
               Administration       0
                Self-reliant       16

Table 2. The check-list of total participation management
practices for comparison of the investigated companies

The practice              1         2         3

People working         [check]             [check]
together with

People in long-term                        [check]

All employees          [check]
engaged in
suitably to their

Development balanced                       [check]
with the interest of
the company together
with the person's

Motivational system    [check]             [check]
based on the
understanding of the
sense of their own

Transparency of
financial system.

Transparency of                            [check]
weaknesses of the

Responsibility for                         [check]
oneself, for the
team, and for the

Loyalty and trust      [check]   [check]   [check]
among stakeholders.

The company with       [check]   [check]   [check]
opened borders.

The culture of the     [check]   [check]   [check]
company, not just a
system of

Development of own
competences is

Salary correlated
with the company

Core values as the     [check]             [check]
direction indicators
and trust builders.

Shares of the
company divided
among employees.

Note: 1 = company number 1; 2 = company
number 2; 3 = company number 3.

Table 3. The sum and the percentage of total participative
management practices counted from the check-list for
comparison of the investigated companies

            Company 1    Company 2    Company 3

Practices    7    47%    3     20%    10    67%

Note: There were 15 TPM practices in total (100%) on
the check-list.

Table 4. The quantitative variables and descriptive
statistics (means, minimum and maximum scores, standard
deviations) for comparison of the investigated companies

Variable              Company 1

            M     Min    Max     sd    N

OI         3.67   2.33   4.67   0.58
PA         3.58   2.00   4.60   0.53
NA         1.43   1.00   2.60   0.35   28
WSS        2.65   1.20   3.60   0.63
BNS        5.48   4.05   6.48   0.68

Variable              Company 2

            M     Min    Max     sd    N

OI         2.97   1.33   4.29   0.76
PA         3.25   2.20   4.60   0.60
NA         1.90   1.00   3.40   0.64   25
WSS        2.03   1.00   3.60   0.56
BNS        3.76   2.33   5.57   0.90

Variable              Company 3

            M     Min    Max     sd    N

OI         3.71   2.27   5.00   0.85
PA         3.47   2.50   4.50   0.61
NA         1.55   1.00   2.50   0.42   18
WSS        2.93   2.00   4.00   0.53
BNS        5.15   3.86   6.43   0.85

Note: OI = OpenIndex. PA = positive affect. NA =
negative affect. WSS = work satisfaction survey.
BNS - W= basic need satisfaction.

Table 5. Variables TPM, SWB, BNS-W and Kruskal-Wallis
one-way analysis of variance for comparison of the
investigated companies

Variable     H       p

OI         12.76   .0017
PA         4.64    .0981
NA         8.98    .0112
WSS        22.18   .0000
BNS        31.84   .0000

Note: OI = OpenIndex. PA = positive affect.
NA = negative affect. WSS = work satisfaction survey.
BNS - W = basic need satisfaction.

Table 6. Spearman's correlations of all variables

Variable     1       2       3      4     5

1. OI       --
2. PA      0.57     --
3. NA      -0.41   -0.40    --
4. WSS     0.53    0.58    -0.40    --
5. BNS     0.66    0.58    -0.61   0.68   --

Note: All correlations were significant at the
p < .05 level. OI = OpenIndex. PA = positive affect.
NA = negative affect. WSS = work satisfaction survey.
BNS-W = basic need satisfaction.
COPYRIGHT 2013 Fundacja Upowszechniajaca Wiedze i Nauke Cognitione
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Mika, Katarzyna; Stocki, Ryszard; Bozek, Agnieszka
Publication:Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2013
Previous Article:Technology transfers and knowledge management in developing economies: case study of an Indonesian manufacturer.
Next Article:Differences in perception of the participants in the management process and its real trajectory.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters