Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Health Promotion, Education and Behavior

First Advisor

Ruth P Saunders


Background: Individual motivation, organizational climate, organizational identification and network participation influence the application of continuing professional education (CPE). Evaluations of the National Public Health Leadership Institute (PHLI) demonstrate that graduates develop professional networks external to their home organization and are involved in public health systems changes. This exploratory cross-sectional study examines 1) the role of organizational identification as PHLI alumni and home organization climate in PHLI graduate participation in external professional networks developed through the PHLI and 2) the role of organizational identification as a PHLI alumni and participation in external PHLI alumni networks developed through participation in PHLI on changes in public health policies (laws), programs, organizations and systems. Methods: An internet-based survey was administered to the 141 graduates of the 2008-2011 classes of PHLI to assess individual motivations to attend PHLI (professional knowledge, professional advancement and compliance with authority), home organizational climate (involvement, autonomy, supervisory support, innovation and flexibility, outward focus and clarity of organizational goals), network participation, identification as a PHLI alumni, and public health systems change. Associations between these variables determined using multiple regression and logistic regression analysis. Results: Network Participation - Individual motivation and organizational climate variables may account for 31.6% of variability in network participation scores, with climate variables showing differing significance based on organization type. Network identification and the motivational factor of professional knowledge contribute to overall network participation and PHLS-focused network participation following graduation from PHLI. A significant (p < .05) difference exists in network identification scores between men and women, however, with network participation increasing as network identification increases among men. Women's network participation increases with decreased network identification. Public Health Systems Change - Sex is a significant (p < .05) predictor of reporting high public health systems change; males demonstrate a negative relationship with high public health systems change status (B = -1.812, OR = .163) and are less likely than women to report high systems change status. Supervisory support exhibits a positive relationship with high public health systems change status (B = 1.856; OR = 6.396; p < .10). A statistically significant model predicting public health systems changes status (χ2 (3, N=63) = 8.067, p < .05) included the factors of network participation and the organizational climate variables of supervisory support and outward focus. Conclusions: Though the study exhibits limitations in sample size, the presence of significant results indicate that individual motivational factors, organizational climate, network identification and professional network participation are important elements to consider when determining the impact of the PHLI and other similar public health leadership programs.


© 2012, Megan Alice Weis