The U.S. higher education environment is characterized by significant governmental/regulatory scrutiny, increasing competition, decreasing State funding, and demands for professionals to do more with less. In this environment, managers are increasingly expected to take on functions typically associated with traditional human resource roles, in particular the training, development, and retention of employees, often with limited or no access to formalized training resources.

This study predicted that a relationship exists between the perceived managerial coaching behaviors enacted by a direct supervisor and employee engagement among manager-level employees in strategic enrollment management divisions within higher education institutions. The hypotheses predicted this relationship would be positive, and partially mediated by both perceived organizational support (POS) and occupational self-efficacy (OSE).

A quantitative half-longitudinal survey design was employed for data collection. Two pilot studies were conducted prior to the main study, which was executed in coordination with the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). The first phase of data collection completed via an AACRAO 60-Second Survey, and the second was completed by the primary researcher. Structural equation modeling was utilized to analyze the collected data and test the hypotheses. Results indicated managerial coaching and employee engagement were positively correlated, and that managerial coaching influences engagement largely through its positive relationship with POS; OSE was dropped from the final analysis due to ceiling effect issues.

Findings from the study support the efficacy of managerial coaching as a leadership approach in enrollment management, and the importance of its relationship to POS. Implications for theory and future research are discussed.

Date of publication

Spring 5-4-2018

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Andrea Ellinger, Kim Nimon, Jerry Gilley, Sewon Kim


Doctor of Philosophy in Human Resource Development