Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Martha Keniston Laurence

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This is a study of personal decision-making dynamics at multiple levels in an Ontario Home for the Aged, including managers, staff leaders, direct care workers, non-direct care workers and residents. Personnel dyadic units of differential decision-making power were postulated: managers/staff leaders, staff leaders/direct care workers and direct care workers/residents. Weber's bureaucracy, other organizational power literature and chaos theory provide the theoretical frame. Staff completed a self administered questionnaire package which included variants of the Staff Involvement in Decision Making scale (Kruzich, 1989), open-ended and demographic questions. Residents were assisted in completing a similar, but shorter, questionnaire. Cognitively impaired residents' decision behaviours were observed, field notes were transcribed and key informants interviewed. Quantitative analysis included descriptive analyses, correlations, T Tests and multiple regressions. While similar patterns emerged from a visual inspection of means on several demographic and decision variables across personnel groups, T Tests found no significant differences in decision scores between groups in each dyadic unit. However, there were significant differences between direct care workers and the non-direct care workers who were not represented in the care dyadic units. Multiple regression models found that staff decision-making power could be predicted by staff perception of supervisors' decision-making power (greater than 40 %). Finally a fractal-like model is suggested as a tool for analysing decision-making power between dyadic units of staff in long-term care.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season