Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Adult Education and Human Resource Development

First Advisor's Name

Dr. Thomas G. Reio, Jr.

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dr. Teresa Lucas

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Melody Whiddon-Willoughby

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dr. Jinlin Zhao

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Employee engagement, discretionary effort, job performance, psychological climate

Date of Defense



This nonexperimental, correlational study examined the relation among job fit,

psychological climate, and employee engagement and discretionary effort and job

performance. An Internet-based self-report survey was administered to a sample of 307

cruise line customer contact center reservation agents. The research hypotheses were

evaluated using correlational and hierarchical regression analytic procedures.

Job fit and psychological climate were linked positively and significantly with

employee engagement and employee engagement accounted for significant variance in

both discretionary effort and job performance. In evaluating the discretionary effort

conceptual model, after statistically controlling for gender, ethnicity and amount of job

experience, the results of the hierarchical regression analysis showed that employees who

reported a positive psychological climate and job fit were more engaged and tended to

report higher levels of discretionary effort. The results were similar for the job

performance conceptual model. In both models, demonstrating a large effect size,

employee engagement was a powerful predictor of the dependent variables.

The implications for organizational and human resource development theory,

research, and practice are pronounced. First, there was strong support for engagement

theory in that there was compelling evidence of its predictive validity. Second, decided

empirical support was found that linked a positive psychological climate and job fit to not

only employee engagement, but also discretionary effort and job performance among call

center workers, an understudied group in the travel industry. Third, there was

considerable practical utility for the findings because it supports HR/D practitioners’

activities that would foster a positive psychological climate and job fit for the sake of

building employee engagement, which consequently would promote greater discretionary

effort and job performance.





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