A Study of The Impact of Employee Engagement and Empowerment on Performance Management in Nonprofit and Community Theater

Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Committee Chair

Tim Reymann

Committee Member

Bora Pajo

Committee Member

Jeffrey Ferezan


The following study addresses research gaps concerning the impact of employee engagement and empowerment on performance management in non-profit and community theater organizations. Each concept of engagement, empowerment, and performance management addresses the need for communication, support, and encouragement in the organization to achieve the organizational goals. Three theaters in Columbus, Ohio, were chosen to examine the connection between standard business practices in the creative industry and the impact these concepts have on these organizations Through a series of 24 individual semi-structured interviews with a group of staff and volunteers from each of the theaters, the information was gathered to explore the impact of engagement and empowerment on the staff's performance through leaders' and employees' perspectives. The interviews revealed the requirement for staff and volunteers emotional needs to be met to gain the level of productivity and commitment required by the performance industry for a theater to be successful. This revelation led to the development of a potential new theory, the Emotional Fulfillment Performance Theory, influenced by Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory. The study attempts to understand better how common business concepts correlate to the creative industry, specifically performance theater, and provide more research to the performance management fields in an emotionally powered work environment. Future research indicates scholars should look more into professional theaters with the same concept connection, oversaturation of community theaters, and a quantitative study of the same concepts for further findings validation.