The purpose of this research was to examine how participation affects employee perceptions of belonging within nonprofit organizations. A mixed-methods design was utilized that included a survey of 24 employees' perception of participation, belonging, and relationship with their supervisor, and 10 semi-structured interviews. A regression analysis showed that participation had a strong positive relationship to workplace belonging and that generally interviewees felt invested in and supported because of their participation. There was also a strong positive correlation between perceived participation and the quality of the supervisor-employee relationship. The main conclusions of the study were participative management affects workplace belonging and may be a signal of a belonging and that the perceived quality of the relationship between supervisor and employee matters to an employee's perception of their ability to participate and belong.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nonprofit organizations -- Employees -- Attitudes; Supervisors -- Rating of; Belonging (Social psychology)

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Miriam Y. Lacey