HCBE Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship


Frank Cavico

Committee Member

Pan G Yatrakis

Committee Member

Tom Griffin


The primary purpose of this research was to review the relationship between moral cognizance, as defined by the Defining Issues Test, and the compensation plan of a healthcare executive when factors such as licensure, career stage, gender, age, and ethics training were present. The study was conducted on 142 healthcare executives from both a publically traded for-profit hospital corporation and a multi-physician private practice. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) tests were utilized to test the hypotheses of these moderating variables. The outcome of this study indicates that there is no difference in the relationship of moral cognizance and compensation plan of a healthcare executive when the factors of license, career stage, gender, age, or ethics training are involved. However, the analyses did find some interesting interactions of statistical significance between moral cognizance, as determined by P-score, and the individual factors of license and gender when compensation was not included.

While the results of the study were inconclusive, the study extends Kohlberg's research on cognitive moral development using Rest's Defining Issues Test to healthcare executives. It also contributes to the existing body of literature by introducing the variable of compensation plan to the moral cognizance equation. Future research in the healthcare field in relation to moral cognizance and financial performance will become a necessity as the focus on healthcare as a business continues to grow and society insists the highest values from its providers.

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