Date of Award

Summer 6-26-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (PhD)


Industrial/Organizational Psychology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Joey Collins

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Lynette Bikos

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Sam K Young


cross-culture, employee engagement, leadership


Employee engagement, the level of connection and enthusiasm an employee has with their organization, is a widely studied variable both empirically and practically within organizations. Despite the variable’s popularity, across the world employee engagement is moderately low. This may partially be due to the fact that a large majority of the research on employee engagement includes only Western samples, therefore limiting the external validity of the findings. The current study aimed to extend the cross cultural employee engagement literature by using a robust sample that is composed of client-facing consultants at a tech company across 22 countries (N = 5,579). More specifically, this study explored how cultural dimensions affect what predicts employee engagement, and to what extent employee engagement is tied to business outcomes (i.e., overtime hours and chargeability attainment). The sample consisted of primarily males (81.16%), across a variety of career stages (analyst to executive). The median tenure of the sample was 2.15 years. The results of this study showed that of the predictors tested, leadership and task variety significantly impacted employee engagement. The relationship between leadership and engagement was very strong; as leadership increased one point, employee engagement increased by .61 points. Task variety also significantly predicted engagement, but in an unexpected way – as task variety increased, employee engagement decreased. Two cultural dimensions moderated to what extent a specific predictor impacted engagement. First, there was a significant cross-level interaction between uncertainty avoidance and task variety; as task variety and uncertainty avoidance increased, engagement decreased. Second, there was a significant cross-level interaction between tenure and time orientation; engagement decreased as tenure and time orientation increased. Finally, regarding the business metrics tested, engagement was significantly and negatively related to both overtime hours and chargeability attainment. Three key pieces of guidance arose from the findings: (a) in order to increase employee engagement, leadership capabilities must be developed, (b) how many hours an employee works overtime should be monitored and reduced when possible, and (c) employee engagement strategies should be culturally specific since what impacts an employee’s engagement is partially explained by the culture they reside in.