Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Fred J. Galloway, Ed.D.; George E. Reed, Ph.D.; Robin McCoy, Ph.D.


Employee commitment, Operational excellence, Organizational climate, Organizational culture


Industries that are traditionally technical and hierarchical present a variety of challenges for today’s leaders, particularly given the rapidly evolving, technology-driven global business environment. In addition, the movement toward more collaborative and horizontal work environments encourages a uniquely collective perspective comprised of individuals who are expected to continually shift between innovation and conformance. Success in the contemporary business environment largely depends on a firm’s speed and efficiency in relation to its competitors, which challenges leaders to not only remain on the cutting edge of their respective industries, but also stay “in tune” with the inner workings of their organizations in terms of culture, climate, and vision. If the pursuit and implementation of operational excellence demands a commonality or unified vision, employee perception is a critical component of this process.

This study focused on a single division within a global energy company that was seeking to identify and evaluate employee perceptions with respect to a corporate vision that emphasized operational excellence (OE). The study administered a survey instrument to which 204 of the division’s 300 employees responded and the subsequent analysis used a series of linear regressions to measure the degree to which each demographic variable was associated with, and could ultimately predict, OE comprehension and engagement. The data showed that business unit and field of study (engineering or construction management) were both positively associated with several of the model’s dependent variables; however, employment tenure, role within the company, and level of educational attainment were not statistically significant predictors. The data also showed that employees from the Public Sector (the business unit with the largest number of employees) were less likely to perceive that current managers actively set and communicate OE expectations.

Subsequent phases of this analysis will help identify organizational structures and management styles that might contribute to (or detract from) this process. Finally, by involving key partners and potential clients in future studies to ascertain the external value of this vision, the organization will be able to shed valuable light on not only the culture of the firm itself, but also its market position within a highly competitive industry.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Leadership Studies