Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, PhD

Committee Chair

Shuck, Brad

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Immekus, Jason

Committee Member

Immekus, Jason

Committee Member

Alagaraja, Meera

Committee Member

Bergman, Matt

Committee Member

Twyford, Devon

Author's Keywords

psychological climate; employee engagement; wellbeing


Research coalescing around psychological climate, engagement, and wellbeing has been receiving considerable attention in management and HRD literature recently. However, research associated with these variables has generally been limited to for-profit businesses and organizations with little of note done using higher educational institutions. Thus, this cross sectional research study examined the extent to which psychological climate, engagement, and wellbeing are associated with each other in higher educational institutions. The study begins with an overview of how these variables have been identified as being connected with each other in research and practice, as well as discusses context specific factors in higher education (i.e. changing nature of operations and an increasing emphasis on employee wellbeing) that warrant the need for this study. A sample of 259 people employed by institutions of higher education in the United States was surveyed. Using mediation and moderation analyses, the study showed that psychological climate, engagement, and wellbeing are positively associated with each other, and that engagement mediated the relationship between psychological climate and wellbeing. Additionally, results indicated that employee role in higher education (i.e. vii faculty or staff) did not moderate the relationship between psychological climate and wellbeing. Finally, no significant differences in wellbeing were found between faculty and staff. Implications for HRD theory and research, as well as specific recommendations for leaders and administrators in higher education are discussed.