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Participative Management Profile

by William Bearly and John Jones

The importance of helping leaders explore participative management became apparent as the amount of confusion on the subject increased. Participative Management Profile fills the need to have an inventory that not only clears up the ambiguities but provides simple, straightforward self-assessment and feedback.


Building on the previous research, we chose to create the Participative Management Profile (PMP) as a model-based assessment rather than use empirically-based scaling. In other words, we built a model based on the research and determined scales using the model rather than using statistical analyses. The model that PMP implements is normative; it specifies that under certain conditions there is a "one best way" decision-making mode. The PMP incorporates what we see as the five major aspects of an optimized, decision-making process.

Although the instrument provides a style profile, we believe that style is less important than clear thinking about decisions and sensitivity to the needs of group members. The danger in focusing on style is that the leader will see his/her profile as a set of fingerprints that are difficult to change. We believe that a leader can use any method of decision making well or badly, and the difference comes from his/her analysis of situations and knowledge of probable group member reactions. The PMP emphasizes effectiveness over style.