Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date



The major thrust of this study centered on an examination of the relationship between the type of management system used by the manager of a public research program and the research productivity in the program. It was hypothesized by the writer that the methods and procedures of Likert’s Participative Management System--which research has shown correlates with high productivity--would be found in a highly productive Atomic Energy Commission research program.

For this study, the Lovelace Fission Product Inhalation Research Program was selected as the subject for testing the hypothesis. The fission product inhalation research is conducted by the Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research under contract to the Atomic Energy Commission. The program's organization, objectives, productivity, and self-reflectiveness were analyzed in the thesis. Based on an evaluation of all existing productivity measures, the program was found to be highly productive.

As a part of the thesis, the needs of scientists were compared with the needs of organizations. New theories of managing scientific research programs were analyzed. Rensis Likert’s Participative Management System was examined in detail. It was found that the principles of this system provide for human needs as well as organizational needs. Likert’s Profile of Organizational Characteristics was used as the device for determining the type of management system presently used in the Lovelace Fission Product Inhalation Program as seen by the research staff. The modified profile used in the study contains fifty organizational variables and provides choices of response on a continuum scale corresponding to the characteristics of four different management systems. They are Exploitive-authoritative, Benevolent-authoritative, Consultative, and Participative.

Fifty-six of the personnel from a total research staff of seventy-six were available to complete the questionnaire. They categorized the management system as Consultative for forty-five of the organizational variables, Two interns were seen by them as Participative. Two were rated as Benevolent­authoritative, and one was considered to be Exploitive­authoritative. Therefore, the hypothesis that a Participative system would be found in the program is invalid.

While a Consultative system of management was found to correspond to high research productivity in the program, the writer concluded that further increases in the present high level of productivity might be realized if the methods and procedures of Participative management were fully employed. Many research studies which are described in the literature indicate that the highest productivity was found in those organizations which have Participative management.

The final conclusion of the study was that all public research managers should become aware of Participative management principles and consider the possible implications of these principles for the achievement of high productivity in their programs.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Public Administration

First Committee Member (Chair)

John Mace Hunger

Second Committee Member

Daniel U. Henning

Third Committee Member

Richard N. Hein



Document Type