Doctoral Dissertations


"The purpose of this study is to learn how organizational work unit context, structure, and processes relate to service quality. The theoretical basis for the research is that organizational work units should be structured based on the work that they perform. If the work that a unit performs is highly variable, then the work unit should be structured in such a way as to provide flexibility, that is, few rules and procedures and highly decentralized decision making. If the work that a unit performs is not variable, then the work unit should be structured to provide a non-varying product or service to take advantage of efficiency, that is, many rules and work procedures, and highly centralized decision making. It is hypothesized that, if the work unit is properly structured then the customer will perceive high service quality and if the work unit is not properly structured then the customer will perceive low service quality. Data for this research was obtained from members of the St. Louis District Corps of Engineers. Support was found for Contingency theory's ideas on formalization and centralization that as technology moves from routine to nonroutine, work units adopt a less formalized and centralized structure. In addition, this research showed that the "fit" between a work unit's context and employee hierarchy of authority and the overall mechanistic organic nature has an effect on customer perceptions of service quality"--Abstract, page iii.


Metzner, Henry

Committee Member(s)

Myers, Donald D., 1939-2009
Samaranayake, V. A.
Riordan, Catherine A.
Miller, Richard W., 1945-


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Engineering Management


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

Spring 1997


xiv, 317 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 288-316).


© 1997 Donald Robert Groh, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 7356

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #