School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)


Rachel Piferi


online faculty, organizational commitment, online higher education, predictors




Online higher education is a booming industry; however, concerns have been voiced about the quality of online education. As a significant participant in the online environment, the online faculty member plays an essential role in the delivery of quality online education. Yet, research on online faculty and their experience is limited. With high turnover rates and the quality of online education coming into question, this mixed methods study sought to gain a more in-depth understanding of the predictors of online faculty’s organizational commitment. The delivery method of faculty’s previous educational experience as a student, their highest earned degree, employee status, length of employment, perceived organizational support, and leader member exchange as they relate to their organizational commitment were chosen as the predictor variables in this study and assessed through and online survey. A total of 101 online faculty members at a private post-secondary university in the southeast United States participated in this study. A 1-way ANOVA revealed a positive relationship between online faculty’s length of employment and their organizational commitment. Pearson’s r correlations showed a strong positive relationship between perceived organizational support and leader member exchange as they relate to organizational commitment. A follow-up stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that perceived organizational support was the main contributor to online faculty’s organizational commitment. Many quantitative findings were supported by the analysis of the faculty’s qualitative responses, revealing a strong desire for faculty members to be supported in tangible multifaceted ways by their institution and their supervisor.

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Psychology Commons