Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Business Administration



First Advisor

Daniel W. Kemper

Second Advisor

Joseph Ancona

Third Advisor

Michael Wood


This thesis will focus on management and the effect of management orientation and style upon work group productivity.

Researchers have attempted to find methods for managers to use to increase employee work output or productivity for decades. As early as the beginning of the nineteenth century industrialists were experimenting with different methods of operation and organization in the hopes of raising output levels and increasing worker satisfaction. In the last fifty years management styles and employee productivity have played an ever increasingly important role in the economy as society has continued to institutionalize its needs and its providers.

This change has led to yet another challenge for top executives in industry who are concerned with the productivity of their organizations and the careers of young employees: to speed the development of managers who will treat subordinates in ways that lead to high performance and career satisfaction. For managers not only shape the expectations and productivity of their subordinates, they also influence their attitudes toward their jobs and themselves.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the possibility that the use of different management systems will increase employee productivity in a modern business setting. Specifically, it is hypothesized that the use of Theory Y management styles in the work place will raise employee productivity levels by a statistically significant amount.

The study's sample group was composed of 10 first-line supervisors and their respective work groups. All of the participants were employed by the same company. The supervisors were administered the Management Orientation Inventory research tool to determine their particular individual management orientation within the three broad categories of Theory X (Traditional), Theory Y (Enlightened) and Theory Z (Emergent). Then, using company supplied productivity reports to indicate work group performance, Pearson r correlational tests were conducted to validate any statistically sound relationship that may exist between supervisor management style and work group productivity.

The results of the study produced evidence that suggests the use of Theory Y based management styles will not improve employee productivity by a statistically significant amount and so the hypothesis should be rejected. However, though the results did not support the original hypothesis, they did support the idea that there is a more productive management style that supervisors could practice.