First Advisor

Sheldon Edner

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration -- Management, Self-perception



Physical Description

4, xi, 241 leaves: ill. 28 cm.


Boyatzis has stated that "true" management competencies are characteristics of a manager which differentiate superior from average and below average performance. Boyatzis, however, treats a manager's self-image (self-concept) as a "threshold" rather than a "real" competency. Lafferty's research, which has measured relationships between several lifestyle (self-concept) variables and corresponding organizational behavior, has found that performance differences between average and high performing managers are associated with differences in self-concept construction. The researcher proposes to treat variations in self-concept measurements from managers as indications of their relative management competency. Thisresearch investigates seventeen hypotheses relating to the self-concepts of high performing, mid-level technical managers employed in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The Level 1: Life Style Inventory, developed by Lafferty, was administered to high performing, mid-level managers (118 aerospace technical and 43 non-technical) from nine major Research and Space Flight Centers, and the agency Headquarters, attending a Management Education Program. Measurement of 16 self-conceptand 4 biographical variables were compared and contrasted with self-concept measurements accomplished by Lafferty on samples of engineers, supervisors and mid-level managers.

Three major conclusions are reached. (1) NASA technical managers exhibit an unusual degree of satisfaction when compared with other supervisors and mid-level managers and a self-actualizing management style. (2) The self-concept characteristics of high perfectionism and dependence in NASA technical managers should be studied further, based on Cooke and Rousseau's findings that high measurements in these variables are associated with a greater number of symptoms of strain and Lafferty's findings concerning associations between high measurements of these variables and disfunctional managerial behavior. (3) Evidence is provided by researchers, like Garfield, that while management experience may be significantly associated withself-concept increases in achievement and helpfulness orientations, and self-concept assumptions of these managers may preclude them from significant increases in their self-actualization.


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