Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (PhD)


Industrial/Organizational Psychology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Robert B. McKenna

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Lori Homer

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Emily Pelosi


character, development, investment in others, purpose


Organizations that are intentional about investing in their employees’ development tend to experience an increased positive relationship between leaders and employees, which can help in preventing employee burnout, increase employee satisfaction, support employee learning, increase retention, and overall productivity (Baruch-Feldman, Brondolo, Ben-Dayan, & Schwartz, 2002; Luthans, 2002; Macik-frey, Quick, & Cooper, 2009, Luthans & Avolio, 2003). However, due to cost, time, and scheduling, organizations are often required to make difficult decisions regarding who receives these critical investments (Crane & Hartwell, 2018; Grove & Furnham, 2016, Sherman & Freas, 2004). Some research supports using leaders to invest in employee development (Bucic, Robinson, & Ramburuth, 2010; Jiang, Jackson, & Colakoglu, 2016; Hagen & Gavrilova Aguilar, 2012). The purpose of the current study was to examine the extent to which a leader’s character, focused on being of service to others, impacts the relationship between fulfillment of purpose and a leader’s satisfaction with their investment in others. The sample for the current study included 215 self-identified leaders who were primarily Caucasian (73.9%), equally dispersed by gender, and had an average age of 38. A moderated multiple regression in Hayes (2013) PROCESS macro was used to test the conditional indirect effect of fulfillment of purpose and satisfaction with investment in others, moderated by a leader’s character of service. The model yielded non-significant results (r = .18, R2 = .03, F(3, 211) = 2.35, p =.073). Findings from this study indicate that additional research is needed to understand how a character of service may be leveraged to support the connection between fulfillment of purpose and investment in others.