Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Linda L. Baer


This study investigated the extent to which the structural differentiation and the technology of private industry organizations were related to employee fringe benefits in South Dakota. This was accomplished through the development and testing of a theoretical framework and model which represented the modification and synthesis of Max Weber's theory of bureaucracy and Peter Blau's theory of structural differentiation. Using a mailed questionnaire, data were obtained on measures of structural differentiation, technology, and employee fringe benefits from a sample of the population of all private industry organizations in South Dakota which had 10 or more employees. The measurement of unionization and environment were included in the modeled relationships to test the possibilities for future research. This study established empirical support for the theoretical framework and modeled relationships between structural differentiation, technology, and fringe benefits. More specifically, using univariate multiple linear regression analysis, structural differentiation and technology were found to explain about half of the variation in dependent fringe benefits. The additional factors of unionization and environment did not receive support in this study. Included in this study was the analysis of two subgroups of organizations that were different in employee composition. One subgroup was represented by organizations that were composed of salaried (professional) employees, with no hourly employees reported. The other subgroup exhibited the opposite employment characteristics. When compared, the salaried subgroup exhibited more structural differentiation and substantially explained more of the variation (61 percent) in fringe benefits than the hourly subgroup (23 percent). This finding suggested further support for the associations developed in the theoretical orientation, where increasing levels of bureaucratization, as measured by structural differentiation, were associated with increasing professionalization and fringe benefits.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Employee fringe benefits -- South Dakota

Industrial organization -- South Dakota

Industrial organization -- South Dakota -- Research

Bureaucracy -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University