Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Fred J. Galloway, EdD, Chair; Afsaneh Nahavandi, PhD, Member; Karen Briggs, PhD, Member


supervisor full-range leadership, organizational climate strength, employee job satisfaction, multi-level modeling


Employee job satisfaction, organizational climate, and supervisor leadership style have long been researched due to their influences on critical metrics for measuring organizational success. While the relationships between these three variables have been investigated, current research suffers from two major issues. First, no existing study has explored the inter-relationships between the aforementioned components within the same model. Second, existing studies are fraught with levels-of-analysis issues that yield findings that are either incomplete or inaccurate. This study addresses these issues by introducing organizational climate strength as a mediating variable (between supervisor leadership and employee satisfaction) and by employing multi-level modeling techniques. A total of 100 full-time staff, administrators, and supervisors across seven departments in a private university completed a 53-question survey measuring the three dimensions of the study. A range of data analysis techniques were conducted, including descriptive statistics, gap analysis, reverse regressions, traditional regressions, and multilevel modeling. Findings from these analyses revealed that the lowest levels of satisfaction and lowest leadership ratings of supervisors came from employees with 1-2 years of service. Additionally, misalignment between employee and supervisor perceptions of supervisor leadership style contributed to lower levels of employee satisfaction. Using traditional regressions, higher levels of Intellectual Stimulation and Individualized Consideration behaviors by supervisors were found to have the greatest positive returns to employee satisfaction. Organizational climate strength was not found to mediate the relationship between supervisors’ leadership styles and employee satisfaction. Furthermore, no statistically significant results were found using multi-level modeling. Practical implications of this study at the research site include specifically addressing the employee experience of those with 1-2 years of service; encouraging self-awareness of supervisors about their leadership abilities (particularly Intellectual Stimulation); and developing the capacities of supervisors to practice Intellectual Stimulation and Individualized Consideration behaviors. Future research can also benefit from this study by utilizing the mediating variable framework, as well as attempting to employ multi-level modeling techniques to the data. Despite a number of limitations, this study not only provides value for specific stakeholders related to the research site, but also makes multiple contributions to the broader literature and research in the field of leadership.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Leadership Studies