Katarzyna Mika, M.A., Medical University of Warsaw, ul. Żwirki i Wigury 61, 02-091 Warsaw, Poland, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Ryszard Stocki, Professor at SWPS, University of Social Science and Humanites, Department in Katowice, ul. Kossutha 9, 40-844 Katowice, Poland, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Agnieszka Bożek, M.A., Wojtyla-Insttute - Science Foundaton, ul. Smoleńsk 29, 31-112 Cracow, Poland, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Aiming to determine which management practce has the strongest influence on the subjectve well-being (SWB) of employees, three workplaces were assessed with reference to different levels of total partcipaton management (TPM), an innovatve approach to human resource management. The study examined whether the level of TPM is positvely related with SWB, defned according to Diener’s (1984) affectve and cognitve facets of work. The psychological explanaton of the predicted dependence was the level of satsfacton of three basic needs (autonomy, competence and relatedness) distnguished by Deci and Ryan (2000a). The hypothesis about a positve relatonship between SWB and TPM was confrmed. Results indicate that the least partcipatve company has employees with the lowest subjectve well-being and with the lowest satsfacton of basic psychological needs.


Companies that have implemented the principles of total partcipaton management (TPM) have shown substantal improvement in both human resource and fnancial indicators (Stocki, Prokopowicz and Żmuda, 2008). Harley-Davidson, the famous motorcycle manufacturer, was on the brink of bankruptcy in the early 1980s, but recovered to become a proftable market leader within the decade. A culture of empowerment enabled employees to become true partners in the business. The organizaton was transformed from a traditonal, top-down model to an open model in which employees were provided with the training necessary to make signifcant business decisions (Catalyst, 2004). This was achieved through innovatve marketng and implementaton of just-in-tme inventory systems, total quality management using statstcal operator control, and employee involvement programs (Kotha & Duton, 1996). Employee turnover was signifcantly reduced, as was the rejecton rate of motorcycle parts produced (Fessler, 2012).

Southwest Airlines, widely recognized as the most successful United States-based passenger airline, has earned a proft every year of its existence other than its frst year of operaton 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 operatonal independence. The corporate culture is the one of common goals, shared knowledge, and mutual respect. He answered a queston about employee control this way: “A fnancial analyst once asked me if I was afraid of losing control of our organizaton. I told him I’ve never had control and I never wanted it. If you create an environment where the people truly partcipate, you don’t need control. They know what needs to be done, 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 partcipatory management. Most of its employees, including factory workers, set their own working hours. All employees have access to the company’s fnancial records and most of them vote on many of the important company decisions (Semler, 1989). CEO Ricardo Semler is probably the world’s leading practtoner of Douglas McGregor’s (1960) Theory Y, which maintains that people are naturally capable of self-directon and self-control, even in a corporate setng. 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 politcal and economic situaton in Brazil at that tme, when many other large companies bankrupted, Semco has prospered (Fisher, 2005).

Many other companies have benefted from greater employee partcipaton in management. Combs, et al. (2006) conducted a meta-analysis of studies on the effect of high-performance work practces on organizatonal performance and found a signifcant positve effect. Empowering employees to leverage their knowledge, skills, and abilites for organizatonal beneft leads to greater job satsfacton, lower employee turnover, higher productvity, and beter 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 frms were judged to truly exhibit employee empowerment and a satsfed worker culture. Fourteen fnancial indicators of the 40 empowered companies were compared to those of the Standard & Poor’s 1500 companies and supported the hypothesis that empowered frms will have more favorable fnancial and investment results than companies lacking this focus.

Literature review

Total Partcipaton Management (tPM) in theory and practce

When analyzing any facet of a company’s functoning, it is necessary to start with a determinaton of its effectveness. Economic theories have usually defned effectveness in terms of fnancial benefts. When talking about total partcipaton management, a more complex approach to effectveness is required, namely taking into consideraton the perspectves of the organizaton, the community, and the individual. These three contexts of total effectveness are intertwined, especially because of the main assumpton that partcipaton is the cooperatve acton of every employee perceived as a stakeholder (Żmuda, Prokopowicz and Stocki, unpublished manuscript, p. 5). Unquestonably, the companies mentoned above reached the highest score of that dimension.

In the present research, the individual context is understood to be the subjectve, emotonal, and cognitve assessment (called subjectve well-being) of working in the studied organizaton. Effectveness from this perspectve is “a complex, mult-faceted positve influence on the organizaton (leading to its well-being, flourishing etc.) of every stakeholder in the feld of its interacton” (Żmuda et al., unpublished manuscript, p. 20).

Total Partcipaton Management (TPM) is a management practce best understood through the prism of Wojtyla’s anthropology (1985). The crucial content from the Wojtyla’s defniton of partcipaton applies to the subject of partcipaton (“the person”); to a kind of acton which is not just an ordinary behaviour (“transcendence in the acton”); to conditons of performing (“together with others”); and to permanent hallmarks of the person (“own freedom of choice and directon, not conditoned”).

Prokopowicz, Stocki and Żmuda (2008, p. 5), reformulatng Wojtyla’s defniton of partcipaton in psychological terms and following Harrison’s (1985) assumpton that members of the organizaton are seen as enttes involved in the constructon of meaning, derived a defniton of total partcipaton as the processes of development of all members as individual persons and the communites 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 interacton that each person is guaranteed freedom of expressing one’s will.

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

This style of management differs from more traditonal forms in that employees are more engaged in decision making. They are allowed to set their own and other’s salaries, to set the tme they come to work, even to set up the furniture in ofces. Furthermore, every employee becomes a businessperson (through management training) in order to understand the needs of the whole company. The fnancial systems, as well as all weaknesses of the corporaton, 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 creatng the company’s culture. Developing one’s own competences is strongly supported, although it is optonal. Employees do not need to advance up the corporate ladder to lif their fnancial status because they earn more in accordance with the company’s success. As an expression of partcipaton, shares of the company’s stock are equally divided among employees (Stocki et al., 2008). Total partcipaton is a proper approach to management, because in order to create favorable work circumstances (with a highly efcient and effectve environment) a fully partcipatve organizaton needs to be supported (Summers and Hyman, 2005) .‏

Three basic dimensions appear in the value system of total partcipaton management: the employee’s share in power, knowledge, and property. These dimensions will be used in the present research instruments to establish the organizatonal context -- the level of partcipatve management in a partcular company. They were also pointed out amongst a larger list of variables in the research of Deci, Conwell and Ryan (1989) who wrote about “Satsfacton with personal autonomy” and “Satsfacton 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 subjectve nature of the employee’s actons. “Pay and benefts” in Deci et al.’s (1989) research fts 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 functons in contrast to the prohuman approach presented by Wojtyla (1985). Nowadays the most common way of managing people is by instrumental conditoning and extrinsic stmulaton. If the theory of Wojtyla were to be used in organizatons, the practcal principles would be: power to all employees, the right to selfdeterminaton, cooperaton with trust, and treatng employees as partcipants instead of human resources.

Subjectve Well-Being (sWB)

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

  1. It is subjectve; as Campbell (1976) claims, it depends on the experience of the individual.
  2. It includes positve measures; it doesn’t mean only the absence of negatve factors.
  3. Its measures comprise an overall assessment of all aspects of human’s life.

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

Three constructs are used to operate a defniton of subjectve well-being: a high level of positve affect, a low level of negatve affect, and a high degree of satsfacton with one’s life (Deci and Ryan, 2008).

Diener (1984) presented measurements of well-being that could be most useful for the queston: Does TPM make people more satsfed? Diener based his consideratons on a philosophical perspectve, pointng out and linking two components of happiness – affectve and cognitve. The frst – more popular – is derived from hedonia. This philosophical movement requires a majority of positve affects over negatve affects. According to this approach, well-being deals with affectve pleasure in someone’s life (Watson, Clark and Tellegen, 1988). The second, less known, approach is derived from eudaimonia. From this perspectve, the social psychologists defne well-being as a result of general life satsfacton judgement (Diener, Emmons, Larsen and Grifn, 1985) and one’s own personal life judgement (Shin and Johnson, 1978); so it is a cognitve evaluaton. Aristotle, in his empirical approach (translated by Gromska, 1982, p. 25), wrote that eudaimonia is the happiness of living well with the added connotatons of success and fulflment. It was already Aristotle who believed that making the volitonal choice of virtue in life is necessary if someone is to achieve eudaimonia, the lastng happiness.

The traditon of happiness studies gives some examples where these two components (eudaimonic--life satsfacton and hedonic--positve/negatve affect) were researched together because of their comprehensiveness. Additonally, the two affectve (positve and negatve) elements were explored as inversely related; they cannot appear together at the same tme in one person’s experience (Diener and Emmons, 1984). In the current research, psychological well-being is understood in the dual cognitve/affectve paradigm.

Taking into account the above consideratons 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 subjectve well-being.

Basic psychological needs

Considering people’s needs at the workplace, one should refer to the SelfDeterminaton 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 fulfl the need of autonomy means “to self-organize and regulate one’s own behaviour, which includes the tendency to work toward inner coherence and integraton 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 satsfed by autonomous support, then psychological factors such as well-being, satsfacton, or intrinsic motvaton increased. Ryan and Deci (2000b) additonally wrote that volitonal autonomy means actng with cooperaton, relying on others rather than experience arbitrary decision-making. This meaning seems to be very similar to TPM’s term of actng together with a high level of autonomy and also with Wojtyla’s sense of meaning and fulflment in the Act.

To fulfl the need of competence is understood as “to engage optmal challenges and experience mastery or effectance in the physical and social worlds” (Deci and Ryan, 2000b, p. 252). There are some ways to fulfl the need of competence, for example by positve feedback. But there is one conditon – the presence of satsfying autonomy (Fisher, 1978).

To fulfl the need of relatedness means “to seek atachments and experience feelings of security, belongingness, and intmacy with others” (Deci and Ryan 2000b, p. 252). Intrinsic motvaton is enhanced in situatons full of warm and secure relatons. According to Ryan, Stller and Lynch (1994), this postulate could be seen also in schools, while observing relatons between a student and a teacher. Ainsworth and Bowlby (1991) concluded that small children need secure maternal relatons to undertake an interestng actvaton and to explore the world.

The Self-Determinaton Theory postulates that humans are actve and growth-oriented in a way to integrate themselves in social structures. Ryan and Deci (2000b) indicate circumstances to which people support their actons with the full sense of choice and with the deep reflecton. This defniton is reminiscent of Wojtyla’s concept of the Act in such terms as “acton”, “selfdeterminaton”, “together with others”, “freedom of choice and directon”, “volitonally or self-conscious”. It should be mentoned that if Wojtyla’s theory is the basis for total partcipaton management and at the same tme Wojtyla’s theory corresponds to Deci and Ryan’s theory, there is a possibility that a Self-determinaton theory could help in the analysis of the effectveness of TPM. From these relatons we can derive the next hypothesis.

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

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

Hypothesis 4: Basic need satsfacton is positvely related to subjectve well-being

The Self-Determinaton Theory could explain whether or not TPM is effectve in the pursuit of subjectve well-being. Going further, it should be asked whether TPM’s employees are satsfed with their need of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. If the answer is “yes”, TPM workers should exist in an optmal 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 utlise and develop their competences, and to work in a solid group with transparent values. Thus they are more actve in satsfying their needs and, as a result, they are psychologically healthier and more satsfed with their job. The main hypothesis (H5) is based on three variables. First – whether the organizaton is managed in a totally partcipatve way; second – whether the basic needs are satsfed; and third – whether employees display higher subjectve well-being than in less partcipatve organizatons.

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

Deci et al. (1989) claimed that the idea that managers support selfdeterminaton is conceptually and philosophically consistent with partcipatve management and vertcal extension of work. However, it differs from them, focusing on a manager’s interpersonal orientaton rather than on decisionmaking and work design.

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

Hypothesis 1: The three investgated companies differ signifcantly from each other in total partcipaton management.

In conclusion, as the total partcipatve style of management is assessed as an independent variable, it is expected that TPM results in highly satsfed basic needs, that the subjectve well-being shows a high level of positve but low negatve affect, and that there is high satsfacton with work.

Research methods


Data for this research was provided by 71 employees (7 questonnaires were not completed) in the sales service (stores and individual salespeople) of three major corporatons from the cosmetcs 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 meetngs.

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 informaton shown below was collected from ofcial 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 beter place. This appears to be similar to partcipatve assumptons. Company 2 instead presents itself as the fair company, which applies social responsibility and positve motvaton. It seems that this corporaton focused more on rules and strategic human resources than on partcipaton. Company 3 supports community trade and long-term trade relatonships; 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 partcipatve.

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

Hypothesis 1 says that three investgated companies differ signifcantly from each other in total partcipaton management (TPM). However, there were several differences in actvity in survey partcipaton among the involved companies.

Company 1: Almost all employees who were asked agreed to partcipate in the survey; only three people who were abroad proposed to phone them back later. From 15 sent queries, 12 people flled in the whole questonnaire, the other 16 questonnaires were completed during an employee meetng. 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 questons because of company’s regulatons, but one of the managers stopped flling the questonnaire when he discovered that the questons are not relevant to his positon at work. Subordinate employees (17 persons) were both eager and helpful. They had some questons and doubts, but the argument about anonymity was the key one.

Company 2: Approximately 50% of employees who were asked refused to partcipate in the survey. From 39 sent queries, 25 people flled in the whole questonnaire. Managers (4 persons agreed) were much more skeptcal and tended not to be as interested in the research as were their subordinates. They refused to answer the questons because of company’s regulatons. It is forbidden for them to talk to anyone about any formal or informal conditons 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 tme talking with the researcher, because, as they declared, they had plenty of commitments.

Company 3: All of employees who were asked agreed to partcipate in the survey and what was surprising, 100% of all people who were sent the questonnaire flled it in. What is more, people who completed the questonnaire probably encouraged other people to join in the research, because 18 people flled in the whole questonnaire 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 enthusiastc in helping and more interested in the research than were the managers in the other companies

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

The basic demographic data is presented in Table 1.

Table 1. Demographic structure of the sample
Gender Female
Age <25
Educaton Elementary
Company 1
Seniority 0-2 years
3-4 years
5-10 years
>10 years
Positon Director


A check-list of total partcipaton practces was used as the frst instrument. Furthermore, four questonnaires (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 sofware (www.surveymonkey.com). Then they were sent to respondents as one compiled questonnaire in order to leave their responses anonymous, while stll allowing their data to be compared. At the end of the whole questonnaire, there was a short secton identfying data about gender, age, educaton, the company, job seniority, and the positon in the company.


To confrm differences in total partcipaton among the three investgated companies, two measures were used. The check list was designed basing on the practces of total partcipaton management (see Stocki et al, 2008). The list consists of 15 practces the author matched with the partcular company. The examples of practces were as follow: “Transparency of weaknesses of the company.”; “Core values as the directon indicators and trust builders.”; “People in long-term relatonships.”; “People working together with others.” The whole list is presented in Table 2. Informaton about each company was collected from their ofcial websites, including enclosed reports of values. The companies were divided according to the amount of TPM practces they present on their websites.

Table 2. The check-list of total partcipaton management practces for comparison of the investgated companies
The practce123
People working together with others.  
People in long-term relatonships.    
All employees engaged in decision-making, suitably to their competences    
Development balanced with the interest of the company together with the person’s interest.    
Motvatonal system based on the understanding of the sense of their own work.  
Transparency of fnancial system.      
Transparency of weaknesses of the company    
Responsibility for oneself, for the team, and for the company    
Loyalty and trust among stakeholders.
The company with opened borders.
The culture of the company, not just a system of regulatons.
Development of own competences is optonal.      
Salary correlated with the company success.      
Core values as the directon indicators and trust builders.  
Shares of the company divided among employees.      
Note: 1 = company number 1; 2 = company number 2; 3 = company number 3.

OpenIndex® was designed by Ryszard Stocki Associates–Transiton Consultng as the diagnostc instrument, frst for proft organizatons (see Stocki et al, 2008), then also for non-proft ones. The current version, the OpenIndex® 2009, consists of 21 subscales which include three aspects of total effectveness: individual, organizatonal, and social. We adapted two core subscales (Decisions and Transparency) from the original OpenIndex 2009 questonnaire and used them as one scale to measure the level of total partcipatve management in proft organizatons. 15 questons were selected. Responses were made on a 5-point Likert-type scale, ranging from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree). There were three additonal possibilites 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.

Subjectve Well-Being

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

Work satsfacton was measured with the Work Satsfacton 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 satsfacton with work. Answers express how strong the person agrees or disagrees with each statement. Responses are made on a 4-point Likerttype scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree). This questonnaire consists of the following statements: “If I was fnancially secure, I would contnue my current work even if I stopped getng paid.”; “I njoy talking about my work to others.”; “My work makes the world a beter place.”; “I would choose my current work life again if I had the chance.”; “I ind my work rewarding.” The reliability for the work satsfacton scale was alpha = .84.

Basic Needs Satsfacton

The historical process of designing a Basic Need Satsfacton at Work Scale (BNS-W) contains many versions from job-context research (see Baard, Deci and Ryan, 2004; Deci, Ryan, Gagné 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 Satsfacton to analyze employees’ satsfacton. Deci et al. (2001) used a shorter 21-item scale. BNS-W assessed the level to which people at work feel satsfacton 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 artcle and BNS-W is composed of 21 questons 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 partcipaton management.

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


Three types of variables could be distnguished:

  1. Group variable: Company number 1, number 2, or number 3.
  2. Independent variable: the level of total partcipatve management in the partcular company.
  3. Dependent variables: the level of subjectve well-being among employees; the level of three measures of needs’ satsfacton among employees.

All variables mentoned above are quanttatve. The total partcipatve management scale consists of two dimensions from the work environment – decisions and transparency – and consttutes one scale. Subjectve well-being consists of three scales counted independently: the positve affect scale, negatve affect scale, and work satsfacton scale. Needs’ satsfacton consists of three basic needs - autonomy, competence, and relatedness, but in this research, basic need satsfacton is considered to be one scale.

Measuring process

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

Items from OpenIndex® 2009, WSS, and PANAS were worded in positve directons, whereas items from BNS-W questonnaire were worded in both positve and negatve directons; however, all data was coded in such a way that higher scores were considered more positve.

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

Subjectve well-being (SWB) was intended to be aggregated as a global score by summing points from the positve affect scale with the work satsfacton survey, and then by subtractng negatve affect points – following the recommendatons 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 utlized the PANAS questonnaire and Satsfacton with Life Scale (SWLS). In the present research, instead of measuring life satsfacton, a work satsfacton survey was created consistng of the same number of items as SWLS. Unfortunately in the current research, the subjectve well-being scale needed to be divided into three scales (positve affect, negatve affect, and work satsfacton), 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 emotonal and cognitve aspects of subjectve well-being in the specifc 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 correlatons were tested between SWB’s subscales and OpenIndex.

To establish the level of basic need satsfacton 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 correlatons were tested between BNS-W and OpenIndex.


The analysis utlized descriptve statstc procedures, the Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance, and the Spearman’s R correlaton, because of skewed score distributons. The summed results of the check-list showed that company number 1 has 7/15 partcipatve practces, company number 2 presents 3/15 practces, whereas company number 3 shows 10/15 practces. The detailed score is presented in Table 2 and 3.

Table 3. The sum and the percentage of total partcipatve management practces counted from the check-list for comparison of the investgated companies
 Company 1Company 2Company 3
Practces 7 47% 3 20% 10 67%
Note: There were 15 TPM practces in total (100%) on the check-list.

The results of the frst hypothesis concerning differences in total partcipaton management between three corporatons are presented below. The means and standard deviatons 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 statstcally signifcant (H (2, N= 71) = 12.75802, p = .0017)), so further intercorrelatons are meaningful. Detailed scores are presented in Table 4 and 5.

Table 4. The quanttatve variables and descriptve statstcs (means, minimum and maximum scores, standard deviatons) for comparison of the investgated companies
VariableCompany 1Company 2Company 3
OI 3.67 2.33 4.67 0.58   2.97 1.33 4.29 0.76   3.71 2.27 5.00 0.85  
PA 3.58 2.00 4.60 0.53   3.25 2.20 4.60 0.60   3.47 2.50 4.50 0.61  
NA 1.43 1.00 2.60 0.35 28 1.90 1.00 3.40 0.64 25 1.55 1.00 2.50 0.42 18
WSS 2.65 1.20 3.60 0.63   2.03 1.00 3.60 0.56   2.93 2.00 4.00 0.53  
BNS 5.48 4.05 6.48 0.68   3.76 2.33 5.57 0.90   5.15 3.86 6.43 0.85  
Note: OI = OpenIndex. PA = positve affect. NA = negatve affect. WSS = work satsfacton survey. BNS-W= basic need satsfacton.

The statstcal procedures of three subscales of subjectve well-being are presented below. The means and standard deviatons of positve 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 statstcally nonsignifcant (H (2, N= 71) = 4.64, p = .0981), thus further intercorrelatons with this variable are meaningless.

The means and standard deviatons of negatve 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 statstcally signifcant (H (2, N= 71) = 8.98, p = .0112). Detailed scores are presented in Table 4 and 5.

Table 5. Variables TPM, SWB, BNS-W and Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance for comparison of the investgated companies
OI 12.76 .0017
PA 4.64 .0981
NA 8.98 .0112
WSS 22.18 .0000
BNS 31.84 .0000
Note: OI = OpenIndex. PA = positve affect. NA = negatve affect. WSS = work satsfacton survey. BNS-W= basic need satsfacton.

Correlaton of negatve affect and OpenIndex amounted to R = -0.41, and it was statstcally signifcant (p < .05). Detailed scores are presented in Table 6.

The results of testng the hypothesis that concerns the relatonship between total partcipaton management and work satsfacton among employees are presented below. The means and standard deviatons of work satsfacton 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 statstcally signifcant (H (2, N= 71) = 22.18, p < .0001). Detailed scores are presented in Table 4 and 5. Correlaton of work satsfacton and OpenIndex amounted to R = 0.53 and it was statstcally signifcant (p < .05). Detailed scores are presented in Table 6.

The subsequent results concerning the comparison between total partcipaton management and basic need satsfacton are presented below. The means and standard deviatons of basic need satsfacton 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 statstcally signifcant (H (2, N= 71) = 31.84363, p < .0001). Detailed scores are presented in Table 4 and 5. Correlaton of BNS-W and OpenIndex amounted to R = 0.66 and it was statstcally signifcant p < .05. The detailed score is presented in Table 6.

Table 6. Spearman’s correlatons of all variables
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 correlatons were signifcant at the p < .05 level. OI = OpenIndex. PA = positve affect.
NA = negatve affect. WSS = work satsfacton survey. BNS-W= basic need satsfacton.

Correlatons of basic need satsfacton and subscales of subjectve wellbeing are presented as follows. The correlaton between positve affect and basic need satsfacton amounted to R = 0.58 and it was statstcally signifcant (p < .05). The subsequent correlaton between negatve affect and basic need satsfacton amounted to R = -0.61, and it was statstcally signifcant (p < .05). The correlaton between work satsfacton and basic need satsfacton amounted to R = 0.68 and it was statstcally signifcant (p < .05). Detailed scores are presented in Table 6.

Finally, analysis was conducted regarding the last hypothesis, which assumed that total partcipaton management is connected with high wellbeing, and that this connecton is based on high satsfacton with basic psychological needs. Employees from Company 3 evaluated their company’s management as the most partcipatve; the mean of OpenIndex amounted to M = 3.71. Company 1 atained a litle lower mean (M = 3.68). Furthermore, company no. 2 was visibly assessed as the least partcipatve (M = 2.97).

The highest positve 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 negatve 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 satsfacton 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 satsfacton, the highest score (M = 5.48) was displayed by employees from company no. 1, while Company 3 placed lower (M = 5.15). The lowest satsfacton was presented by employees from Company 2 (M = 3.76). Detailed scores are presented in Table 4.


Total Partcipaton Management

The analysis of differences among three cosmetc companies showed that hallmarks of total partcipatve management varied signifcantly among them. Therefore, Hypothesis 1 was confrmed. Additonally, employees from Company 3 presented their company as the most partcipatve in holistc leading. Next, Company 2 came in at the lowest TPM level according to its employees’ estmaton. Company 1 was ranked in the middle of partcipatve classifcaton, but it is noteworthy that the TPM mean of this corporaton was also high. The same sequence appeared afer summing the check-list of TPM practces.

Only afer conversatons 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 partcipatve management, displayed the least interest in partcipatng in the research. The researcher was ofen referred to the head ofce by these people. Employees with a lower status were generally uneager to converse, because they claimed to have many commitments to fulfll. 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 questonnaire responded to it. In contrast, the reacton was different in Company 3; the one managed the closest to TPM. In this company, all people who were asked wished to partcipate in the survey. Similarly, in Company 1, with the second highest positon of total partcipatve scores, employees were also enthusiastc in helping with the survey. Here an incentve 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 assumpton about the positve correlaton between TPM and subjectve well-being was confrmed in Company 2. The least happy employees work in the least partcipatve company. Their general mood at work is the worst; they feel most nervous, irritable, or afraid. They also estmate their work as least satsfying. What was likewise confrmed, Company 3, with the most total partcipatve management, had the employees who are most satsfed with work. However their mood at work is a litle worse than that of Company 1, which had a medium, but stll highly partcipatve 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 subjectve well-being. Furthermore, the statement that TPM companies make their employees happier should be writen more carefully; retaining that affectve state among those employees was not clearly evident. This ambiguity could be caused by insufcient differences among companies in the positve affect scale. As regards to practce, many people would like to partcipate in a TPM environment that allows them to work with highest work satsfacton.

Basic need satsfacton

The hypothesis connectng TPM with satsfacton with three basic psychological needs (autonomy, relatedness and competence) (Deci and Ryan, 2000a) was confrmed by the quite high correlaton. Though this was not so clearly confrmed 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 partcipatve (3.71 on a 5-point scale), but only a litle more partcipatve than Company 1, and it achieved a similar BNS-W score = 5.40. The next argument is that the least partcipatve Company 2 has the least psychologically satsfed employees BNS-W= 3.76. From these it follows that three basic psychological needs are probably fulflled when the person is working in conditons of actng together with others (Wojtyla, 1985), when they share power and knowledge. However further reliable investgatons are required.

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

Limitatons 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 limitatons in the research design. First of all, the research relies on a self-reportng, cross-sectonal survey design. Secondly, the sample was rather small. The criterion of random selecton was not achieved because partcipants were asked frst if they wanted to partcipate, then those who agreed had another opportunity to refuse answering the received email. So in such situatons, the really actve and open employees partcipated. Sometmes more than 50% within a company refused to answer, sometmes all the people who were asked were eager to help in the research. It is possible that one incentve was the authority of the high-status, well-known boss who recommended responding to the survey. Furthermore, the subjectve dimension of the whole questonnaire and the way of collectng data could be also treated as extraneous variables, because respondents might deliberately answer incorrectly, for example, in selectng the company’s name or might let somebody else (outside the company) fll 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 sensitve enough in diversifying the current sample.

It could be fruitul for deeper understanding of total partcipaton management to investgate at least one company which ofcially claims the uniform applicaton of Total Partcipaton Management (e.g., the companies indicated in the introducton of this artcle). This soluton was not possible in the current research because of specifc fnancial and travel conditons connected with investgatng corporatons 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 atenton to be paid to the employees’ happiness dimension.

Practcal implicatons

There are some practcal applicatons to the current management environment, but those contributons require a long-term period of general change in thought and should be carefully worded. Subjectve 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 organizatonal strategy. Those conditons of TPM can offer satsfacton from tme spent at work, a sense of security due to the possession of some control and support from deep, true relatonships. The assumpton of Self-Determinaton Theory (Deci and Ryan, 2000a) was also confrmed in accordance to TPM conditons, 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 creatng a psychologically satsfed, strong, and reliable team with long-term relatonships.


Undoubtedly, nowadays the topic of well-being is very atractve and commercial (Seligman, 2002) as well. It is important to utlize these favorable conditons to collect many scientfc suggestons regarding how to lead acompany and how to atain individual, organizatonal, and social effectveness in one management style. It is a good historical moment for researchers to look for the management approach that satsfes these requirements. The present artcle tried to show that Total Partcipaton Management with the theoretcal 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 waitng to be implemented more widely.


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