Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Rush, Christine L.

Committee Member

Shoup, Brian D.

Committee Member

Michael R., Potter

Committee Member

Holmes, Carolyn E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Political Science and Public Administration


The primary purpose of this dissertation is to comparatively review virtual accountability practices in public, private and nonprofit organizations, using the hospital industry as a case of analysis. Through the quantitative assessment of organizational websites, this study provides empirical evidence that there are statistically significant differences in how organizations conduct their virtual accountability practices. Nonprofits are leading the way in their overall virtual accountability practices. They are more likely to score higher on engagement, performance and mission dimensions of virtual accountability practices. Private organizations have the lowest scores on every dimension, except for accessibility. Public organizations have the strongest scores within the governance dimension. The secondary purpose of this dissertation is to determine which organizational characteristics contribute to greater organizational accountability in virtual space. My findings suggest that the two best predictors for overall virtual accountability practices are the private sector ownership and the hospital volume, measured through the number of annual admissions.