Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Catherine T. Kwantes

Keywords

Social sciences, Psychology, Employee engagement, Job characteristics

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Employee engagement has been a popular concept among business practitioners, while in the academic literature, the concept remains relatively new. In order to compete effectively, companies must inspire employees to apply their full capabilities to their jobs and perform at a top level. Employees who are energetic and dedicated to their work can make a true difference for companies that want to create a highly efficient and productive organization (Bakker &Leiter, 2010). Given that practical interest in work engagement has surpassed the available research evidence, questions such as what impacts employee engagement and how it benefits individuals and organizations, still require answers. This study set out to test competing models of employee engagement in order to provide a deeper understanding of the antecedents and outcomes influencing this concept. Specifically, this study provided theory-based empirical evidence regarding the impact job characteristics organizational culture have on work engagement (Schaufeli et al., 2002) and vigor (Shirom, 2003). This study also investigated how work engagement and vigor impact presenteeism and turnover intentions. Data were collected from 273 accountant professionals in Canada, and confirmatory factor analyses and structural equation modeling were used to test the premises of this study. When testing the hypothesized models, work engagement was better grounded in theory than vigor. Further examination of the results also showed that job characteristics had a large impact on work engagement and vigor, and these variables were found to have a negative relationship with presenteeism. This study's findings have significant practical and theoretical implication. First, this study supported the factor structure and model fit of the three-factor work engagement. This study also provides a clearer picture of how work engagement and vigor are associated with their antecedents and outcomes. This study's findings also identify the rising influence of professional groups in how antecedents impact work engagement and vigor, and to what degree. Overall, this study points to new directions in the employee engagement research, and succeeds in supporting the premise that employee engagement is a concept in its own right.

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