Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Heather Dillaway

Second Advisor

Krista Brumley


The study examines the nature of workplace power in a Libyan oil company and how is power distributed, managed, and maintained within the structure of this workplace. I also examine how gender and tribal identities affect who has power in the workplace setting. I also look at the types of decisions workers have control over, depending on their rank and status within the organization, time with company, gender and tribal identity. In this proposal, I argue that workplace power is not only about decision making within the company, but it also mirrors larger social and political inequalities in the society at large. The goal of this quantitative study is to examine employee authority and influence within workplace. Specifically, the research objectives are: 1) to describe the standardization of workplace power regarding structural characteristics, as defined by formalization, centralization, and specialization; 2) to investigate the relationship between gender and the ability to make decisions and influence decision making; 3) to examine the relationship between tribalism identification and the ability to make decisions and influence decision making, and 4) to explore work commitment and the ability to make decisions and influence decision making. This study intends to determine which variables explain the most variance in the distribution of workplace power. Data was gathered using a self-administered questionnaire given to a disproportionate stratified random sampling of employees working at Azzawiya Oil Refining Company. The findings show that power is unevenly distributed by gender and women’s power in the workplace remains constrained. Also, workplace power affected by tribal identities. Workers who belong to a powerful tribe can be involved in the process of decision making.

Keywords— , , , workplace power

Included in

Sociology Commons