Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (PhD)


Industrial/Organizational Psychology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Lynette Bikos

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Jorge Lumbreras

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Elizabeth Pavese


Employee engagement, engagement, management, mediation, multilevel modeling, structural equation modeling


Practitioners and academics are keenly interested in employee engagement due to its relationship to beneficial outcomes such as employee health, tenure, job performance, company profit, and more. However, most engagement research is siloed into one of three theoretical frameworks, leading to conflicting evidence and strategic implications for effectively fostering more engagement. This study investigated the redundancy and incremental validity of each theory by analyzing multiple responses from a robust sample of working adults. The sample includes more than 160,000 participants who are performing any job function at one of more than 60 global enterprise companies and across over 20 industries. Measures representing the unique contributions of each theory were developed from a broad survey of work experiences. Multilevel path modeling combined these elements in a 1-1-1 mediation model where each predictor’s relationship to job satisfaction is mediated by engagement. Results indicate that job characteristics and the quality of employer-employee relationships are the strongest predictors (total effects β = .37 and .34, respectively), while personality factors are comparatively small (β = .11). Engagement mediated 40.5% of the total effects from job characteristics, 5.8% from social quality, and 45.5% of personality. These results suggest that the most effective interventions will improve the work conditions and relational quality for job incumbents rather than altering hiring strategies to increase dispositional levels of engagement or satisfaction.

Copyright Status

Additional Rights Information

Copyright held by author.


Copyright Status