Engaged employees have a positive impact on organizational outcomes. In fact, employees who are highly committed to their jobs tend to perform better, and such employees are less likely to quit. Leaders in the workplace have the potential to influence employee work engagement. Different leadership styles might drive employee engagement to different extents. The purposes of this study are twofold: to identify the leadership styles and drivers that lead to engaged employees, and to contribute to the literature of employee engagement in the context of hospitality and tourism. This study used a quantitative method, specifically survey that was distributed to the United States hotel employees through Amazon M-Turk. The survey measures employee level of engagement using UWES and leadership styles using MLQ in addition to 18 drivers of engagement and 10 demographic questions. This study found that ‘fairness’ was evaluated as the most valuable driver to make employees feel engaged at work. The findings of this study showed that there is significant relationship between transformational and transactional leadership behavior and employee engagement whilst significant negative correlation was found between the perceived passive/avoidant leadership and employee engagement. Discussion, implications, limitations, and future research are presented.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Hotels--Employees--Attitudes; Hotel management--Research; Employee motivation; Leadership

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Hospitality-Tourism Management (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Hospitality and Tourism Management (CET)


Jerrie Hsieh

Advisor/Committee Member

Muhammet Kesgin

Advisor/Committee Member

Karthik Namasivayam


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes