This research sought to investigate the effect of collective organizational engagement on patient experience in the context of acute-care hospitals. It was hypothesized that CEO perceptions of collective organizational engagement would have a positive direct effect on patient experience when controlling for hospital size and ownership status. Drawing upon Kahn’s (1990) theory of personal engagement, and more recent conceptualizations by Saks (2006) and Barrick, Thurgood, Smith, and Courtright (2015) that employee engagement is a multidimensional construct, this research examined collective organizational engagement as a construct distinct from individual engagement. Collective organizational engagement, as it has been described, is an organizational property that can enhance performance outcomes (Barrick et al., 2015). CEO’s and their leadership teams in acute-care hospitals are eager to improve patient experience scores and other quality indicators as a result of Medicare’s Value-Based Purchasing program (VBP) and as a part of a coordinated effort to improve the quality of the healthcare system in the U.S. (Al-Amin, Schiaffino, Park, & Harman, 2018; Galstian, Hearld, O’Connor, & Borkowski, 2018).

This research study used Barrick et al.’s (2015) collective organizational engagement measure, which is based on Kahn’s theory, as the independent variable. Patient experience, the dependent variable, was an objective measure collected by accessing Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems(HCAHPS) scores from the CMS Hospital Compare data files (Elliott, Cohea, Lehrman, Goldstein, Cleary, Giordano, & Zaslavsky, 2015). To test the hypothesis that guided this research, a quantitative survey study was conducted in two phases: Study 1 and Study 2. The final sample consisted of responses from 60 hospital CEOs in Study 1 and 61 CEOs in Study 2, representing 121 different acute-care hospitals in the U.S. SEM was used to analyze a multiple linear regression model in each study. The findings suggest that CEO perceptions of collective organizational engagement have a direct effect on patient experience, controlling for other predictors. The findings also suggest that hospital size has an effect on patient experience, controlling for other predictors. Implications for theory and for practice in acute-care hospitals, for hospital CEOs, HRD professionals, and U.S. hospital associations are discussed.

Date of publication

Winter 1-14-2019

Document Type

Dissertation (Local Only Access)



Persistent identifier


Committee members

Dr. Andrea D. Ellinger, Dr. Kim Nimon, Dr. Jonathon R. B. Halbesleben


Doctor of Philosophy in Human Resource Development