Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Business Administration



First Advisor

Daniel W. Kemper

Second Advisor

Jan R. Kniffen

Third Advisor

Laura DeRigne


This thesis will investigate whether empowerment of a workforce has a positive correlation on employee job satisfaction.

Research supports that the automotive industry is continuously focusing on the reduction of structural costs. One area that is commonly focused on is the reduction of manpower, specifically management. As the number of managers are reduced some of the work is being redistributed to the employees. Along with the additional work comes decision making responsibilities.

Although research supports that empowerment has a positive correlation on business results and working environments, it is inconclusive that empowerment has a positive correlation relative to job satisfaction. Since the introduction of empowerment in the mid nineteen eighties, many critics have taken the position that empowerment is not successful in a strong union environment.

The purpose of the present study is to investigate the possibility that within a United Auto Workers environment, empowerment can have a positive affect. Specifically, it is hypothesized that the implementation of empowerment of a UAW workforce will have a positive affect on job satisfaction.

Two hundred UAW employees participated in the study of whom all were male. The subjects were administered the initial survey prior to introduction of the variable, empowerment principals. One group of the subjects were introduced to empowerment while the other group continued to function under traditional style of management.

Results of the study provided statistical data to support that empowerment may have a positive affect on UAW employees. The results were evaluated under three dimensions, people, teamwork and my job. All three dimensions showed a positive correlation to the introduction of empowerment.

Included in

Business Commons