Mapping the Road to Empowerment

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership


Department of Educational Administration


Matthew Witenstein


A mutually-collaborative phenomenological action research study, rooted in the organizational values of the Catholic Marianist tradition, which engages empowerment concepts and positive organization theories to create a framework for the evaluation and iterative improvement of student-employing organizations. This study addresses a lack of intentional connectivity within student-employing organizations at the University of Dayton, which results in an organization's inability to capitalize on the successes of their peers. Student employees participated in a series of surveys, focus groups, and interviews, by which qualitative and quantitative data was gathered and reviewed. The results provided insights into the construction of empowering spaces for student employees. Through the student voice, these insights were distilled to create a series of best practices, which have been formatted into documents which will allow organizations to leverage University-wide high performing elements to construct policy and procedures that most fully empower student employees. These documents are customized to the needs of the organization in such a way that they will facilitate the planning and development of next steps, allowing for inherently flexible, iterative, process change.


Business Administration, Educational Leadership, Higher Education Administration, Management, Organization Theory, Organizational Behavior, empowerment, mastery, autonomy, purpose, Characteristics of Marianist Universities, student employment, action research, iterative process change, phenomenology, best practice sharing, organizational behavior, management, leadership, organizational leadership, business administration, positive psychology

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2022, author.