Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Education




Dr V. Schwean


An emerging body of literature has sought to explore the role of variables such as decision-making styles and structural empowerment in predicting job satisfaction in various populations and contexts. This study aimed to advance this knowledge by questioning the predictive ability of structural empowerment and decision-making styles in female registrarial middle managers in Ontario universities. It was hypothesized that when female registrarial middle managers feel empowered, dependent on their decision-making style, they experience high job satisfaction.

An online survey tool comprised of the Conditions for Workplace Effectiveness Questionnaire (CWEQ-I), the General Decision-Making Scale (GDMS), and the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS), each employing Likert-like scales, was distributed to 17 university registrars at Ontario institutions. To enhance clarity for participants, some of the wording used was changed in the questionnaire (i.e., “current state of the hospital" changed to "the current state of the university”).

20 Ontario universities were contacted with 85% indicating their willingness to participate in facilitating the data collection process. From the 17 participating institutions, a total of 29 survey responses were returned with 22 (28.95%) being valid based on the researcher’s criteria. A 28.95% response rate impacts the level of confidence in the findings.

A correlational research design was used to examine the resulting data. Pearson Product Moment correlations revealed a highly significant correlation between structural empowerment and job satisfaction. Two factors on the decision-making scale showed non-significant negative correlations with job satisfaction – avoidant and spontaneous. A multiple regression analysis demonstrated that structural empowerment predicted 77% of the variance in job satisfaction. Decision-making styles contributed an additional 7%. To further substantiate and build on this research, future studies with larger sample sizes are needed.

The outcomes of this study are hoped to provide a basis of understanding that can be used by registrarial offices to develop both professional support systems and areas for focused training for this important group of managers, namely women in registrarial middle management positions. The results of this study can provide opportunities to develop specific staff retention initiatives in addition to ‘progression through the ranks’ career paths for female middle management leaders within university registrarial units.