Degree Name

MS in Management

First Advisor

John Vogelsang


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between participatory decision-making and commitment at the Hayes Valley Farm (HVF) with the intended purpose of future organizational application. This research project took place between January 2010 and June 2010. The study examined 1) the relationship between the specific form of consent-based participatory decision-making (Sociocracy) practiced at Hayes Valley Farm and employee commitment, and 2) the relationship between inclusion and employee experience of the Hayes Valley Farm participatory decision-making. The study included in-person and online ethnographic interviews with core organizational employees and volunteers.

Results of the investigation reveal that while there is no significant quantitative correlation found between inclusion and the Hayes Valley Farm sociocratic form of participatory decision-making, there is a strong positive Pearson’s linear correlation between employees’ experiences of the Hayes Valley Farm sociocratic participatory decision-making and affective commitment. The study also suggests further research for human-centered organizational design with a focus on how we can design organizations that mimic natural systems that are as regenerative as the ecological systems we depend on.


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Human Resources Management