Date of Award

Fall 12-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Heather M. Annulis

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. H. Quincy Brown

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. John Kmiec

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Dale L. Lunsford

Committee Member 4 School



COVID-19 forced organizational shutdowns across the globe in 2020, sending unemployment levels in the United States to nearly 15%, with approximately 20.5 million Americans unemployed by May 2020 (Falk et al., 2021; Kochhar, 2020). Virtual business meetings became the norm, while some employees experienced job loss and salary cuts (Prochazka et al., 2020). Many employees worldwide became unsatisfied with their work situation and less confident of their capabilities (Ragheb et al., 2020) and have experienced career shock due to the pandemic. Career shock can lead to many adverse effects on individual employees and organizations, including low self-efficacy, and COVID-19 has amplified these effects (Carnevale & Hatak, 2020; Gewin, 2021; Kniffin et al., 2021; Tovmasyan & Minasyan, 2020; Venkatesh, 2020). Low employee self-efficacy impacts job performance and organizational outcomes (Horvitz et al., 2014; Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998).

This study focuses on employee self-efficacy and the characteristics of employees and the organizations they are employed. The purpose of this study was to identify the interaction between personal and organizational characteristics concerning employee self-efficacy. Study results revealed that the interactions analyzed were statistically significant for one set of characteristics and were not statistically significant for three pairs of characteristics. The research identified a statistically significant positive relationship between years of experience and organizational type. The interaction between years of experience and organizational category, education level and organizational type, and education level and organizational category did not identify statistically significant relationships.

As organizations seek to increase employee self-efficacy, results reveal that years of experience, organizational category, and organizational type cannot be viewed as significant factors in self-efficacy. Organizational leaders, human resources professionals, and managers should not focus on years of experience, organizational type, or organizational category when developing programs to impact employee self-efficacy levels. Instead, they should view an employee’s education level as a vital component of their self-efficacy. This study emphasizes the importance of higher education regarding self-efficacy for various organizational categories. Organizations should focus on the educational levels of their employees when addressing self-efficacy concerns and maintain regular self-efficacy assessments to determine the effectiveness of development programs.