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Poor workforce engagement can be detrimental to organizations because of the ensuing decrease in employee well-being and productivity. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the degree to which psychological workplace climate was associated with personal accomplishment, depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and psychological wellbeing, and whether employee engagement moderated these relations. A sample of 216 health care employees from the United States, Canada, and Japan completed an online survey. Regression results suggested that psychological workplace climate was significantly related to each outcome variable; engagement moderated relations between workplace climate and each of the four dependent variables. ANOVA results revealed that high engagement group employees demonstrated higher psychological well-being and personal accomplishment, whereas low engagement group employees exhibited higher emotional exhaustion and depersonalization.
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Journal of Leadership &
Organizational Studies
2014, Vol. 21(1) 43 –58
© The Authors 2013
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DOI: 10.1177/1548051813494240
Research on employee engagement has gained momentum
in recent years (Albrecht, 2010). Employee engagement is
defined as the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral energy
an employee directs toward positive organizational out-
comes (Shuck & Wollard, 2010). Research has suggested
that engaged employees are more likely to be productive
(Saks, 2006), remain with their current employer (Harter,
Schmidt, & Hayes, 2002; Saks, 2006; Shuck, Reio, &
Rocco, 2011), and interact positively with customers
(Chalofsky, 2010).
Other empirical research has provided evidence of the
utility of engagement beyond traditional predictors of
workplace performance, such as job attitudes. Rich,
LePine, and Crawford (2010), for example, highlighted the
strong relation between engagement and performance. In
their research, engagement was more predictive of task
performance than intrinsic motivation, job involvement,
and job satisfaction. Moreover, meta-analytic work by
Christian, Garza, and Slaughter (2011; N = 770, 91 studies)
demonstrated that engagement “exhibited discriminant
validity from, and criterion related validity over, job atti-
tudes” (p. 89). Still further, other research has linked higher
levels of engagement with overall revenue generation
(Harter, Schmidt, Asplund, Killham, & Agrawal, 2010;
Xanthopoulou, Bakker, Demerouti, & Schaufeli, 2009). In
sum, research has reliably suggested that organizations
stand to benefit positively from the development of high
levels of employee engagement. Engagement is good for
organizations; this seems clear.
Although the case continues to mount for research on
engagement and broad performance domains (e.g., effort,
turnover), more individually focused studies in the areas of
health and wellness have emerged that have implications
for organizational study (Iverson, Olekalns, & Erwin, 1998;
Schaufeli & Bakker, 2010; Schaufeli, Bakker, & Salanova,
2006). For instance, early work by Schaufeli, Salanova,
González-Roma, and Bakker (2002) underscored the nega-
tive relation between engagement and burnout (i.e., burnout
is one subdomain of a three-component wellbeing model;
Schaufeli, Taris, & Van Rhenen, 2008). This, of course, can
have an impact on productivity and performance. Robust
exploration of this model continues and has provided a trail
of evidence with similar findings to Schaufeli et al.’s (2008)
494240JLOXXX10.1177/1548051813494240Journal of Leadership & Organizational StudiesShuck and Reio
1University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA
2Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA
Corresponding Author:
Brad Shuck, University of Louisville, Woodford and Harriett Porter
Building, 1905 South 1st Street, Louisville, KY 40292, USA.
Employee Engagement and Well-Being:
A Moderation Model and Implications for
Brad Shuck1 and Thomas G. Reio Jr.2
Poor workforce engagement can be detrimental to organizations because of the ensuing decrease in employee well-being
and productivity. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the degree to which psychological workplace
climate was associated with personal accomplishment, depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and psychological well-
being, and whether employee engagement moderated these relations. A sample of 216 health care employees from the
United States, Canada, and Japan completed an online survey. Regression results suggested that psychological workplace
climate was significantly related to each outcome variable; engagement moderated relations between workplace climate
and each of the four dependent variables. ANOVA results revealed that high engagement group employees demonstrated
higher psychological well-being and personal accomplishment, whereas low engagement group employees exhibited higher
emotional exhaustion and depersonalization.
employee engagement, human resource development, organization development, psychological workplace climate,
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44 Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 21(1)
using additional discerning variables linked to well-being,
such as workaholism (see, e.g., Demerouti, Mostert, &
Bakker, 2010; Hakanen & Schaufeli, 2012; Schaufeli,
2012). Other scholars (e.g., Iverson et al., 1998) have sug-
gested the specific examination of emotional exhaustion,
depersonalization, and personal accomplishment as person-
ally focused indictors of well-being.
With evidence of a linkage between engagement and
well-being, a thorough examination of the variables that
influence the experience and interpretation of work as a
leverage point for performance is a logical next step. As
suggested by Schaufeli (2012), a promising area of immedi-
ate exploration is the identification of the central elements
within a workplace climate that foster the development of
engagement and stimulate well-being. One such area of
research is the exploration of psychological workplace cli-
mate and its association with engagement and performance.
Psychological workplace climate is focused toward under-
standing employee perceptions of the organizational envi-
ronment that influence outcomes (Brown & Leigh, 1996).
Thus, how employees interpret their work environment has
a specific bearing on how they experience well-being and
the degree to which they are engaged. This is consistent
with earlier research on employee engagement (Shuck et al.,
2011). Notwithstanding, what remains underexplored at
this time are questions about how psychological workplace
climate affects the interpretation of work as either engaging
or disengaging (Wollard, 2011), as well as how engagement
potentially moderates the relation between psychological
workplace climate outcomes related to well-being like emo-
tional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accom-
plishment, and psychological well-being (Iverson et al.,
1998; Schaufeli et al., 2008).
Building from this literature base, the purpose of this
research was to examine the relations among psychological
workplace climate, employee engagement, emotional
exhaustion, depersonalization, personal accomplishment,
and psychological well-being. Two overarching research
questions guided our inquiry: (a) does employee engage-
ment moderate the relation between psychological work-
place climate and emotional exhaustion, depersonalization,
personal accomplishment, and psychological well-being
and (b) do employees who report varying levels of engage-
ment (e.g., high engagement vs. low engagement) differ in
terms of reported levels of well-being? In the following sec-
tions, we present a review of related literature and research
methods. Last, a discussion of findings, implications for
leadership and organizational research and practice, and
possible limitations are considered.
Review of Related Literature
The relation among psychological workplace climate,
employee engagement, and well-being can be understood
in terms of Fredrickson’s (1998) broaden-and-build theory
of positive emotions and Kahn’s (1990) theory of
Broaden and Build: A Theory of Individual
Psychological Resources
Frederickson’s (1998, 2001) broaden-and-build theory sug-
gested that positive emotions increase available affective
and cognitive resources, allowing those who experience
positive emotions to momentarily draw on an expansion of
their human capital. For example, a person who experiences
joy is more likely to experience flexible, creative, and criti-
cal thinking processes than someone who is angry. These
moments of positive emotions are fleeting, short-lived
experiences that yield a positive change in a person’s avail-
able resources. This positive yield prompts individuals to
“pursue a wider range of thoughts and actions than is typi-
cal” (Fredrickson & Branigan, 2005, p. 314). The resources
accrued by the individual during such moments of positive
emotion are enduring, operating like emotional reservoirs
to be drawn on at a later time. The reservoir of accrued per-
sonal resources outlasts the fleeting, short-lived experience
of the emotion highlighting the lasting, durable, resilient
effect of experiencing positive affect.
In studies that have examined positive emotion, the
broaden-and-build theory highlights potential positive
outcomes associated with experiencing positive emotion.
For example, in their study of 138 undergraduates,
Fredrickson and Joiner (2002) provided evidence that
experienced positive affect triggers upward spirals toward
well-being. Additionally, negative affect was shown to
trigger a downward spiral toward feelings of depression
and anxiety. This study suggested that positive emotion
does not just feel good, but also has implications towards
developing enhanced states of psychological affect, as
well as the broadening or limiting of available resources
for an individual that contributes to performance.
Moreover and in the context of engagement, Fredrickson
and Branigan (2005) provided evidence that individuals
who experience positive emotions broaden their scope of
attention and thought-action repertoires. This suggests
that experiencing positive affect broadens task-related
thought processes and has strong implications for emerg-
ing engagement theory (Rich et al., 2010; Shuck et al.,
2011; Shuck & Wollard, 2010). Fredrickson (2001) fur-
ther proposed that positive emotions do not typically arise
in negative circumstances.
Workplace climate, particularly the psychological per-
ception an employee has of their workplace climate (i.e.,
psychological workplace climate), has been identified as
one of the most distal work-based variables an employee
can use to interpret circumstances. Interpretation then influ-
ences decisions regarding the intensity and direction of
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Shuck and Reio 45
energy toward organizational outcomes (i.e., level of
engagement; Schaufeli, 2012). The next section highlights
the links between psychological workplace climate and
Psychological Workplace Climate and Employee
Workplace climate research emerged in the late 1960s from
seminal models proposed by Litwin and Tagiuri (Litwin &
Stringer, 1968; Tagiuri & Litwin, 1968). Early conceptual-
izations operationalized climate as a “psychological state
strongly affected by organizational conditions” (Burke &
Litwin, 1992, p. 526). Climate was understood as an inter-
connected set of psychological and organizational variables
that had an effect on performance and could be influenced
in a casual model (Burke & Litwin, 1992). Since the late
1960s, several additional researchers have proposed more
emergent and differentiated models (see, e.g., Lawler, Hall,
& Oldham, 1974; Schein, 1985; Schneider, Parkington, &
Buxton, 1980).
Because the present research focused on the relation
between psychological workplace climate and employee
engagement, Brown and Leigh’s (1996) model, which is
grounded in Kahn’s (1990) early ethnographic study of
personal engagement, was utilized over other potential
models due to its focus on psychological perceptions of the
environment rather than structures or physical spaces.
Brown and Leigh (1996) proposed that psychological
workplace climate was the interpretation of an organiza-
tional environment in relation to an employee’s perception
of well-being (Brown & Leigh, 1996). Psychological
workplace climate is then understood to represent the lens
employees use to understand and interpret their work envi-
ronment relative to the social and physical structures of
environmental cues in relation to preserving their own
sense of well-being.
Unfortunately, at this time, research linking climate,
engagement, and well-being specifically remains scarce.
Uncovering leverage points for a culture of engagement
have been ignored as a topic of focus in research, although
the implications of focusing in this area seem advanta-
geous (Schaufeli, 2012). Similar to the state of engagement
research, what research has been conducted is focused pri-
marily only toward broad organizational performance
domains, such as effort and turnover (Brown & Leigh,
1996). Nonetheless, research by Shuck et al. (2011) pro-
vided evidence that psychological workplace climate was
strongly related to both engagement and discretionary
effort. Moreover, in their research, climate and engage-
ment were powerful predictors of both intent to turnover
and effort, highlighting the unique and distinctive role each
plays in leveraging facets of employee-linked outcomes
that effect organizational performance.
Moreover, several researchers have suggested the impor-
tance of psychological workplace climate in understanding
an individual employee’s work experience. For example,
O’Neil and Arendt (2008) uncovered a positive association
between affective climate (autonomy, pressure, structure,
self-expression, and trust) and performance-based out-
comes. Grounded in their interpretation of climate, employ-
ees made decisions about how hard they will work, how
satisfied they were, and how committed they would be to
the organization based on their interpretation of workplace
climate (O’Neil & Arendt, 2008). Evidence further sug-
gested that psychological climate was a critically important
antecedent variable in the development of workplace-based,
individual-level employee outcomes such as well-being.
Well-Being in the Context of Psychological
Workplace Climate and Broaden and Build
Conceptually grounded in the burnout literature (Maslach
& Jackson, 1981; Maslach & Leiter, 1997; Maslach,
Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001), Iverson et al. (1998) provided
a research-based model of individually focused domains
of well-being that included the variables emotional
exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplish-
ment, each supported by Leiter’s (1988) three-component
Within the Iverson et al. (1998) well-being model, the
domains of exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal
accomplishment represented individual, separate conditions
of well-being rather than subcomponents of a three-com-
ponent model (e.g., workaholism, burnout, and work
engagement; Schaufeli et al., 2008). Iverson et al. (1998)
suggested that employees who experienced negative psy-
chological climates at work were more likely to report higher
levels of exhaustion and depersonalization. Conversely,
those who experienced positive climates reported higher
levels of personal accomplishment (Iverson et al., 1998).
Consequently, employees who reported experiencing posi-
tive affect increased available emotional and cognitive
resources (i.e., feelings of personal accomplishment),
whereas those in more negative climates restricted resources
(i.e., feelings of exhaustion and depersonalization).
Employees who work in negative psychological climates
or who experience negative emotions as a consequence of
their work, such as a lack of peer or managerial support, lack
of contribution to the organization, or feeling that their work
is taken for granted, are far less likely to experience positive
emotion (Brown & Leigh, 1996; Shuck et al., 2011). Such
experiences can influence a person’s sense of psychological
well-being (Blais et al., 1999). As a theoretical consequence,
employees are then less likely to broaden available emotional
and cognitive energies toward work-related tasks and should
score negatively on measures of well-being. Resources in
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46 Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 21(1)
organizations are likely restricted, and as a result, individual
outcomes associated with the restriction of resources such as
emotional exhaustion, depersonalization of work-related
tasks, and negative views of psychological well-being are
likely to follow a similar downward trajectory. Moreover, it
seems probable that in positive psychological workplace cli-
mates, employees would report higher levels of personal
accomplishment, as well as express more positive views of
their well-being. This framework, however, has yet to be
empirically explored. Thus, as a next step in advancing
research and practice, we propose the following:
Hypothesis 1: Psychological workplace climate will be
negatively related to emotional exhaustion and deper-
sonalization and positively related to personal accom-
plishment and psychological well-being. See Figure 1.
The conceptualization of Fredrickson’s broaden-and-
build theory overlaps with Kahn’s (1990, 1992) theory of
employee engagement, particularly when considering indi-
vidual-level outcomes. For instance, researchers have sug-
gested that the decision an employee makes to engage (i.e.,
to allocate personal energies toward work-related tasks)
occurs at three distinct levels: cognitive engagement, emo-
tional engagement, and behavioral engagement (Kahn,
1992; Rich et al., 2010; Saks, 2006; Shuck et al., 2011), all
of which are directed toward a work-related task with impli-
cations for related outcomes within a work context.
Kahn’s Theory of Employee Engagement
The state of employee engagement was first defined by
Kahn (1990) as “the simultaneous employment and expres-
sion of a person’s ‘preferred self’ in task behaviors that pro-
mote connections to work and to others, personal presence
(physical, cognitive, and emotional) and active, full perfor-
mances” (p. 700).
As previously noted, researchers have discussed signifi-
cant organizational benefits from the development of highly
engaged employees. In further support, Bakker and Bal’s
(2010) research highlighted the role of engagement in pre-
dicting performance. In their study of 54 Dutch teachers,
Bakker and Bal illustrated that work engagement was posi-
tively related to job performance and that engagement
served as a mediator between job resources (e.g., workplace
climate) and individual performance. Moreover, in addi-
tional support for a linkage between engagement and per-
formance-related outcomes, research by Rich et al. (2010)
suggested that employees (in this case firefighters) who
reported higher levels of engagement also reported being
more friendly, courteous, and helpful toward colleagues.
This study suggested that those employees who reported
higher levels of engagement were not only more likely to
work harder but also more likely to experience positive,
individual affective states, which influenced their overall
performance (e.g., the act of being kind, and/or helpful to
Currently, there are several perspectives from which to
frame employee engagement as well as operationalize what
engagement might be (Albrecht, 2010; Harter et al., 2002;
Maslach et al., 2001; Saks, 2006; Shuck, 2011). Furthermore,
recent research has called for increasing empirical explora-
tion of Kahn’s (1990) multidimensional framework espe-
cially when examining variables related to the dimensions
of well-being (Cole, Walter, Bedeian, & O’Boyle, 2011;
Rich et al., 2010; Shuck et al., 2011). This is because of
potential issues of misalignment and nomological overlap
with other constructs (e.g., see, Cole et al.’s [2011] critique
of using the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale to examine
engagement and burnout and/or well-being simultaneously
for further details). Moreover, the examination of engage-
ment and well-being has seldom been considered outside
the prevailing three-component model (Schaufeli et al.,
2008), and too few studies to date have considered the link-
age between Kahn’s operationalization of engagement and
well-being in the context of organizational studies.
Kahn’s unique framework offers researchers a specific
framework reflecting the underlying context of an employ-
ee’s willingness to engage—a documented limitation of
other engagement frameworks (Cole et al., 2011; Rich et
al., 2010). Thus, as mentioned, engagement occurs on three
distinct levels: (a) cognitive engagement, (b) emotional
engagement, and (c) behavioral engagement (Rich et al.,
2010; Shuck et al., 2011).
Cognitive Engagement. Kahn (1990) proposed that levels of
cognitive engagement originate from an employee’s
appraisal of whether their work is meaningful, safe (physi-
cally, emotionally, and psychologically), and if they have
sufficient levels of resources to complete their work. This
interpretation of the work environment is used to determine
Figure 1. Conceptual relation between psychological
workplace climate and emotional exhaustion, depersonalization,
personal accomplishment, and psychological well-being.
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Shuck and Reio 47
the overall significance of a situation and serves as the cata-
lyst toward the intention to engage. Research literature sug-
gests that this psychological interpretation of work reflects
a level of engagement, or movement, toward their work
(Brown & Leigh, 1996), paralleling the broadening of
resources as proposed by Fredrickson (1998, 2001); those
who believe their work matters embrace and engage (Kahn,
2010). On the other hand, employees who experience nega-
tive work circumstances (i.e., a negative workplace climate)
develop a downward spiral of emotions resulting in a nar-
rowing of resources that end in feelings of loneliness, ostra-
cism, and burnout (Fredrickson & Joiner, 2002; Maslach et al.,
2001). Cognitive engagement revolves around how employ-
ees appraise their workplace climate, as well as the tasks
they are involved in. As an employee makes an appraisal,
they determine levels of positive or negative affect, which
in turn influences behavior as demonstrated in previous
studies (e.g., Nimon, Zigarmi, Houson, Witt, & Diehl,
2011). Cognitively engaged employees would answer posi-
tively to questions such as “The work I do makes a contri-
bution to the organization,” “I feel safe at work; no one will
make fun of me here,” and “I have the resources to do my
job at the level expected of me.”
Emotional Engagement. Emotional engagement revolves
around the broadening and investment of the emotional
resources employees have within their influence. When
employees are emotionally engaged with their work, they
invest personal resources such as pride, trust, and knowl-
edge. The investment of such resources may seem trivial at
first glance; however, consider the work of prideful
employees who fully trust their work environment. The
positive emotions of pride and trust stem from appraisals
made about the environment during the previous stage
(e.g., cognitive engagement; this work is meaningful, it is
safe for me here at work, and I have the resources to com-
plete my tasks). Accordingly, these feelings of positive
emotion momentarily broaden an employee’s available
resources and enhance critical and creative thinking pro-
cesses often displayed during moments of engagement.
During the emotional engagement process, feelings and
beliefs an employee holds influence and direct outward
energies toward task completion (Rich et al., 2010).
Employees who are emotionally engaged in their work
answer affirmatively to questions such as “I feel a strong
sense of belonging and identify with my organization” and
“I am proud to work to work here.”
Behavioral Engagement. As a final focal point, behavioral
engagement is the most overt form of the employee engage-
ment process. It is often what we can see someone do.
Understood as the physical manifestation of the cognitive
and emotional engagement combination, behavioral
engagement can be understood as increased levels of effort
directed toward organizational goals (Macey & Schneider,
2008; Shuck & Wollard, 2010). Put another way, behavioral
engagement is the broadening of an employee’s available
resources displayed overtly. From this context, employee
effort in the context of engagement is linked to increased
individual effort—engagement occurs one employee at a
time and is experienced uniquely through the lens of each
employee. Employees who are behaviorally engaged
answer positively to questions such as “When I work, I
really push myself beyond what is expected of me” and “I
work harder than is expected to help my organization be
In sum, employee engagement is operationally defined
as a series of psychological states (cognitive, emotional,
and behavioral) ultimately representing an intention to act
that encompasses motivation-like qualities separate from
like constructs (i.e., job satisfaction and organizational
commitment; Rich et el., 2010; Shuck, Ghosh, Zigarmi, &
Nimon, 2013) and antipodes (i.e., burnout; Schaufeli et
al., 2006). Research supports the view that psychological
workplace climate affects the development and eventual
behavioral manifestation of employee engagement (see,
e.g., Shuck et al., 2011). Research has also provided evi-
dence of a relation between employee engagement and
well-being (Schaufeli et al., 2008). However, despite the
significant potential linkage, the empirical relation among
psychological workplace climate, employee engagement,
and well-being has yet to be documented. In addition,
recent research on employee engagement has suggested an
empirical relation between engagement and other task and
contextually focused performance variables (Christian et
al., 2011). For example, Rich et al. (2010) demonstrated
that engagement mediated the relationship between value
congruence, perceived organizational support, core self-
evaluations, and performance-related outcomes (e.g., task
performance and organizational citizenship behavior).
Notwithstanding, what has not been tested empirically is
employee engagement’s moderating effect on the link
between psychological workplace climate and well-being.
As a next step in advancing research and practice around
employee engagement, we propose the following
Hypothesis 2: Employee engagement will moderate the
relation between psychological workplace climate
and personal accomplishment, emotional exhaus-
tion, depersonalization, and overall well-being. See
Figure 2.
Further, in response to our second overarching research
question, what seems vastly underexplored at this time is a
more clear understanding of how employees experience per-
ceptions of wellbeing in relation to levels of engagement
What, if any, differences exist between employees who report
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48 Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 21(1)
higher levels of engagement from those who report lower
levels of engagement? Operationalization of this outcome
would suggest that employees who report higher levels of
engagement would also report higher levels of positive affec-
tivity; the opposite also seems reasonable—those who report
lower levels of engagement would report lower levels of
positive affectivity.
Initial research seems to suggest that depending on
engagement intensity levels, employees may experience
differing spiraling states of individual affect (Fredrickson,
1998; Sonnentag, Mojza, Binnewies, & Scholl, 2008).
However, the question remains, “Do engaged employees
differ from non-engaged employees in meaningful ways,
and if so, how?” To further explore the framework proposed
by Fredrickson (1998) in the context of engagement, we
propose the following for examination:
Hypothesis 3: There is a significant difference between
participants who report high levels of employee
engagement and low levels of employee engagement
in personal accomplishment, emotional exhaustion,
depersonalization, and psychological well-being.
More specifically:
(a) The high engagement group will demonstrate higher
personal accomplishment and psychological well-
being scores than the low engagement group.
(b) The low engagement group will demonstrate higher
emotional exhaustion and depersonalization scores
than the high engagement group.
To review, this study’s conceptual framework links
Fredrickson’s (1998) broaden-and-build theory of positive
emotions and Kahn’s (1990) theory of engagement.
The following section includes a discussion of the partici-
pants, procedures, and research measures.
Because research (Van Den Tooren & De Jonge, 2008) has
suggested that those who work in health care are likely to
experience higher levels of emotional exhaustion and
depersonalization associated with job stress, a sample was
purposefully sought from the health care industry to
Figure 2. Hypothesized moderation model of employee engagement between psychological workplace climate and individual-level
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Shuck and Reio 49
examine potential linkages within this study. The sample
(N = 216) represented employees currently working within
the health care industry. A significant portion of the sample
was from the United States of America (n = 179); 10.1% of
the population indicated working in Canada (n = 22) and
3.2% from Japan (n = 7). To determine the feasibility of
combining all three nationalities into the study, a one-way
multivariate analysis of variance was conducted of the four
dependent variables. The results indicated Wilks’s Λ = .94,
F(8, 262) = 1.03, p = .42, suggesting there were no system-
atic differences by nationality in the combination of depen-
dent variables; thus, we combined the three groups into one
larger sample to increase statistical power.
One-hundred and seventy-nine participants indicated
working in frontline team member positions (e.g., nonlead-
ership); 11.7% indicated being in a management or leader-
ship capacity. All respondents indicated having obtained at
least a bachelor’s degree and 44.8% (n = 92) indicated hav-
ing earned a masters or educational specialist degree. Most
participants indicated having worked in their current role 2
to 5 years (n = 69), followed closely by greater than 10
years (n = 60). The largest age group was between 30 and
39 years of age (n = 73), followed closely in size by the 21
and 29 (n = 71) and 40 and 49 (n = 33) age groups. Finally,
79.3% (n = 172) indicated that they worked full-time in
their health care role, while the remaining participants (n =
44) indicated working only part-time or on an as needed
basis (e.g., staff relief).
An Internet-based self-report survey battery was used as the
data collection tool for this study. Dillman, Smyth, and
Christian’s (2009) four-stage method was used for prepara-
tion. For access and to maintain appropriate levels of confi-
dentiality and anonymity, a key informant currently working
within the health care industry was recruited to assist in data
collection. Participants were accessed through a key infor-
mant whose membership allowed entry into the professional
association surveyed in this research. All research-related
communication was forwarded through the key informant.
Research Measures
The survey battery included separate sections for each mea-
sure. All scales were scored using a 5-point Likert-type con-
tinuum from 1 (strongly agree) to 5 (strongly disagree).
Instruments were scored and reported separately.
Employee Engagement. In response to the call for increasing
empirical use of Kahn’s (1990) multidimensional frame-
work, employee engagement was measured using the
18-item Job Engagement Scale (JES; Rich et al., 2010). The
JES is a three-factor scale (cognitive, emotional, and
physical engagement) with separate scales for each factor.
Internal consistency reliability estimates for each subscale
in the current study was as follows: cognitive engagement,
α = .94 (6 items); emotional engagement, α = .93 (6 items);
physical engagement, α = .90 (6 items). Reliability esti-
mates for the combined scale was α = .96. Higher total
scores across each subscale and the combined scale repre-
sented higher degrees of reported engagement. A sample
item of the JES is, “I work with intensity on my job.”
Psychological Workplace Climate. Psychological workplace
climate was measured using the 21-item Psychological Cli-
mate Measure (PCM; Brown & Leigh, 1996). The PCM
consists of six subscales: supportive management, role clar-
ity, contribution, recognition, self-expression, and challenge.
Internal consistency reliability estimates for each of the sub-
scales in the present study were as follows: supportive man-
agement, α = .93 (4 items); contribution, α = .82 (4 items);
recognition, α = .75 (3 items); role clarity, α = .80 (3 items);
self-expression, α = .92 (4 items); challenge, α = .68
(2 items). Reliability estimates for the combined scale was
α = .92. Higher total scores across each subscale and the
combined scale represented higher degrees of perceived
positive workplace climate. A sample item of the PCM is, “I
feel like a key member of the organization.”
Overall Well-Being. To adhere to the call for caution when
measuring engagement and well-being simultaneously
(Cole et al., 2011), we sought research measures that where
supported by theory, yet demonstrably distinct from domi-
nate approaches in alternative research frameworks (see,
e.g., Schaufeli et al., 2008). Thus, well-being in this study
was operationalized as including the variables emotional
exhaustion, depersonalization, personal accomplishment,
and psychological well-being. Psychometric properties for
measurement of these areas within this the context of this
study follows in the next few sections.
Emotional exhaustion. Emotional exhaustion was mea-
sured using the three-item Emotional Exhaustion Scale
(EES; Iverson et al., 1998). Internal consistency reliability
estimate for this scale in the current study was α = .85. A
higher total score represented elevated levels of perceived
emotional exhaustion. A sample item of the EES is, “I feel
emotionally drained from my work.”
Depersonalization. Depersonalization was measured
using a modified version of the three-item Depersonaliza-
tion Scale (DS; Iverson et al., 1998). Internal consistency
reliability estimate for this scale in the current study was
α = .66. A higher total score represented elevated levels
depersonalization of work related tasks. A sample item of
the EES is, “I worry that I have become insensitive toward
people since taking this job.”
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50 Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 21(1)
Personal accomplishment. Personal accomplishment was
measured using the three-item Personal Accomplishment
Scale (PAS; Iverson et al., 1998). Internal consistency reli-
ability estimate for this scale in the current study was α
= .82. A higher total score represented greater feelings of
overall personal accomplishment in one’s work life. A sam-
ple item of the PAS is, “I have accomplished many worth-
while things in this job.”
Psychological well-being. Psychological well-being was
measured using the Schwartz Outcome Scale-10 (SOS-10;
Blais et al., 1999). Internal consistency reliability estimate
for this scale in the current study was α = .92. A higher total
score represented heightened levels of participants’ general
well-being. A sample item of the SOS-10 is, “I am hopeful
about my future.”
The following section is presented in four parts: prelimi-
nary correlational analyses, linear regression analysis for
testing Hypothesis 1, moderated hierarchical regression
analysis for testing Hypothesis 2, and ANOVA analysis for
testing Hypothesis 3.
Preliminary Correlational Analyses
To better examine initial relations between the variables of
interest in this study, zero-order correlational coefficients
were examined for meaningfulness according to effect size
standards (Cohen, 1988). Each scale was examined sepa-
rately as well as with subscales aggregated together.
Preliminary analysis suggested a moderately strong (Cohen,
1988) and positive relation between each employee engage-
ment subscale score (cognitive, emotional, and physical)
and each psychological workplace climate subscale score
(supportive management, challenge, recognition, challenge,
role clarity, and self-expression, respectively), as well as the
combined total scale scores (total engagement and total
psychological workplace climate; r = .56, p < .001).
Further analysis suggested significant negative relations
between employee engagement, emotional exhaustion (r =
−.30, p < .001) and depersonalization (r = −.41, p < .001) as
well as psychological workplace climate, emotional exhaus-
tion (r = −.45, p < .001), and depersonalization (r = −.40, p
< .001). Significant positive relations were indicated
between employee engagement, personal accomplishment
(r = .48, p < .001), and psychological well-being (r = .37, p
< .001) as well as psychological workplace climate, per-
sonal accomplishment (r = .29, p < .001), and psychological
well-being (r = .40, p < .001). Overall, there was very little
evidence that demographic variables shared a meaningful
relation with any variable examined in this study; gender,
education, and tenure each indicated nonsignificance across
all variables; age indicated a small effect size (Cohen, 1988)
with total engagement (r = −.23, p < .001) and psychologi-
cal workplace climate (r = −.21, p < .001). There was no
additional support for including demographic variables
within the correlational analysis. Detailed results for each
subscale are listed in Table 1.
Inasmuch as the relations among the psychological cli-
mate and the additional research variables were in the
strength and direction as expected, we followed Brown and
Leigh’s (1996) protocol to examine psychological climate in
a more global sense, that is, as a unidimensional construct
for the purposes of this study. Brown and Leigh presented
extensive validity evidence of the parsimony and accuracy
of a single-factor confirmatory factor analysis model repre-
senting psychological climate across two samples.
In sum, results provided preliminary evidence of the sig-
nificant relation between each dimension of employee
engagement and psychological workplace climate, emo-
tional exhaustion, depersonalization, personal accomplish-
ment, and psychological well-being. Furthermore, results
highlighted the unique relation between certain dimensions
of climate and engagement, as well as engagement and psy-
chological workplace climate’s relation to the identified
outcome variables. Support for the further testing of each
hypothesis was provided.
Hypothesis 1
To test Hypothesis 1, we performed a series of linear regres-
sions where personal accomplishment, emotional exhaus-
tion, depersonalization, and overall well-being were
regressed separately on psychological climate, the indepen-
dent variable. Listwise deletion was used in each analysis,
consequently the sample size varied slightly for each. In the
first linear regression equation, psychological workplace
climate significantly predicted personal accomplishment,
R2 = .285, R2
adj = .281, F(1, 179) = 66.53, p < .001. In the
second equation, psychological workplace climate signifi-
cantly, but negatively predicted emotional exhaustion, R2 =
.32, R2
adj = .317, F(1, 180) = 84.82, p < .001. Psychological
workplace climate also negatively predicted depersonaliza-
tion, R2 = .196, R2
adj = .191, F(1, 195) = 44.78, p < .001, in
the third equation. Finally, psychological workplace climate
positively predicted overall well-being, R2 = .231, R2
adj =
.226, F(1, 189) = 50.174, p < .001. Thus, Hypothesis 1 was
supported. To sum, perception of a better workplace climate
was associated with greater personal accomplishment and
overall well-being, and less emotional exhaustion and
Hypothesis 2
For investigating Hypothesis 2, we conducted a series of
moderated hierarchical regression analyses to examine the
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Shuck and Reio 51
main effects of the workplace climate and engagement vari-
ables on the four dependent variables (i.e., personal accom-
plishment, emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and
overall well-being), and the moderating effects of employee
engagement on the relation between the climate variable
and the dependent variables. To reduce potential multicol-
linearity issues, each of the independent variables was cen-
tered by subtracting the mean value of all scores on each
predictor from each score on that predictor. The cross-prod-
ucts of the centered predictors were then computed to pro-
duce an interaction term for use in each of the four regression
models (see Howell, 2002).
To interpret the significant interaction effects, separate
regression lines were computed and plotted for individu-
als one standard deviation below the mean on the cen-
tered predictor (i.e., workplace climate), the mean of the
centered predictor, and one standard deviation above the
mean of the centered predictor (Cohen, Cohen, West, &
Aiken, 2003). The plots suggested that psychological cli-
mate–well-being and psychological climate–personal
accomplishment relations were stronger when the levels
of engagement were high (see Figures 3 and 4). Figures 5
and 6 revealed that psychological climate–emotional
exhaustion and psychological climate–depersonalization
relations were weaker for those with high levels of
engagement. Overall, Hypothesis 2 was supported. See
Tables 2 and 3 for the moderated regression results, and
Figures 3 to 6 for the plots.
The first hierarchical regression where psychological
workplace climate, engagement, and the psychological
climate × engagement interaction predicted personal
accomplishment explained 63.8% (R2
adj) of the variance in
the regression equation, F(3, 174) = 91.96, p < .001. The
first step (climate) explained 28.5% of the variance,
F(1, 176) = 61.35, p < .001), whereas in the second step,
engagement explained 34.6% of the variance, F(1, 175) =
143.76, p < .001; the psychological climate × engagement
interaction in the third step explained an additional 1.3%,
F(1, 174) = 5.76, p = .02, of the total variance. The results
Table 1. Zero-Order Correlations for Engagement, Psychological Workplace Climate, Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization,
Personal Accomplishment, and Psychological Well-Being.
EE .75**
PE .82** .70**
TE .94** .90** .91**
SMPC .23** .43** .21** 32**
CPC .44** .66** .39** .55** .58**
RPC .39** .54** .35** .47** .61** .71**
CHPC .38** .21** .37** .35** .15* .20** .17*
RCPC .22** .31** .29** .29** .49** .37** .40** .19**
SEPC .35** .46** .30** .40** .58** .57** .59** .15* .47**
PCT .48** .64** .43** .56** .82** .80** .82** .33** .66** .81**
EE −.21** −.44** −.15* −.30** −.34** −.45** −.41** .14* −.23** −.51** −.45**
DP −36** −.43** −.29** −.41** −.27** −.41** −.29** −.08 −.16* −.34** −40** .51**
PA .39** .52** .38** .48** .17* .42** .20** −.15* .09 .18** .29** −.19** −.28**
PsyW .27** .43** .31** .37** .25** .37** .33** −.12 .25** .40** .40** −.41** −36** .23**
Note. CE = Cognitive Engagement scale; EE = Emotional Engagement scale; PE = Physical Engagement scale; TE = Total Engagement scale; SMPC =
Supportive Management Psychological Climate subscale; CPC = Contribution Psychological Climate subscale; RPC = Recognition Psychological Climate
subscale; CHCP = Challenge Psychological Climate subscale; RCPC = Role Clarity Psychological Climate subscale; SEPC = Self-Expression Psychological
Climate subscale; PCT = the Psychological Climate scale; EE = Emotional Exhaustion scale; DP = Depersonalization scale; PA = Personal Accomplish-
ment scale; PsyW = Psychological Well-being scale. N = 216.
**p < .01. *p < .05.
Psychological Climate
Low Engage
High Engage
MedLow High
Figure 3. Moderation effect of engagement on the association
between psychological climate and well-being.
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52 Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 21(1)
indicate there were main effects of psychological climate
(β = .16, p < .05) and engagement (β = .38, p < .05), and a
significant interaction effect of psychological climate ×
engagement (β = .57, p < .05), suggesting that a positive
psychological workplace climate and higher levels of
engagement were associated with greater personal accom-
plishment. The significant interaction indicated that psy-
chological climate–personal accomplishment relation was
stronger when the engagement levels were high.
In the second hierarchical regression analysis, psycho-
logical climate, engagement, and the psychological climate
× engagement interaction were used to predict emotional
exhaustion. The total model explained 34.7% (R2
adj) of the
variance in the regression equation, F(3, 184) = 88.75, p <
.001). Psychological climate in the first step explained
28.0% of the variance, F(1, 186) = 78.69, p < .001, whereas
in the second step engagement explained .05% of the vari-
ance, F(1, 185) = 1.20, p = .28, and finally the psychologi-
cal climate × engagement interaction explained an additional
3.4% of the total variance, F(1, 184) = 8.63, p < .01. The
results demonstrated a main effect of the psychological
climate (β = −.52, p < .01) and engagement (β = −.44, p <
.05) variables; the interaction effect of psychological cli-
mate × engagement was also statistically significant (β =
−.89, p < .01). Thus, positive psychological climate and
engagement were linked to less emotion exhaustion. The
significant interaction indicated that the psychological cli-
mate-emotional exhaustion relation was weaker when
engagement levels were high.
Psychological workplace climate, engagement, and the
psychological climate × engagement interaction predicted
depersonalization in the third hierarchical regression model.
In the first step, psychological climate explained 19.6% of
the total variance, F(1, 185) = 41.62, p < .001; entering
engagement in the second step, an additional 8.6% of the
variance was explained, F(1, 184) = 20.21, p < .001; the psy-
chological workplace climate × engagement interaction in
the third step explained 4.7% extra variance, F(1, 183) =
11.92, p < .01. The total variance explained was 32.7% (R2
F(3, 182) = 27.59, p < .001. The results suggested that there
was a main effect of psychological workplace climate (β =
−.31, p < .01) and engagement (β = −.27, p < .01) and a sig-
nificant interaction effect of psychological workplace climate
× engagement (β = −.99, p < .001), signifying that a negative
workplace climate was associated with less engagement and
greater depersonalization. The significant interaction indi-
cated that the psychological climate–depersonalization rela-
tion was weaker when engagement levels were high.
Finally, the fourth hierarchical regression model con-
sisted of psychological workplace climate, engagement,
and the psychological climate × engagement interaction
predicting psychological well-being. In the first step, the
psychological climate variable explained 23.1% of the vari-
ance, F(1, 184) = 48.07, p < .001; in the second step, the
engagement variable explained an additional 18.1% of the
total variance, F(1, 183) = 49.04, p < .001, and the psycho-
logical climate × engagement interaction explained 1.6%
extra variance, F(1, 182) = 4.44, p < .05. The findings
Emotional Exhaustion
Low Engage
High Engage
LowMed High
Figure 5. Moderation effect of engagement on the association
between psychological climate and emotional exhaustion.
Personal Accomplishment
Psychological Climate
Low Engage
High Engage
LowMed High
Figure 4. Moderation effect of engagement on the association
between psychological climate and personal accomplishment.
Low Engage
High Engage
Psychological Climate
LowMed High
Figure 6. Moderation effect of engagement on the association
between psychological climate and depersonalization.
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Shuck and Reio 53
indicated there was a main effect for workplace climate
(β = .51, p < .01) and engagement (β = .88, p < .001), and
an interaction relation for psychological climate × engage-
ment (β = .62, p < .05). These results suggested a positive
psychological climate and engagement were associated
with greater psychological well-being. The significant
interaction illustrated that the psychological workplace cli-
mate–psychological well-being relation was greater when
the levels of engagement were high.
Hypothesis 3
To test Hypothesis 3, we conducted a series of one-way
ANOVAs with Bonferroni adjustment (p = .0125) to deter-
mine the effect of employee engagement (high/low) on the
four dependent variables: personal accomplishment, emo-
tional exhaustion, depersonalization, and psychological
well-being. Levene’s test for equality of variance suggested
homogeneity of variance among groups for each of the four
separate analyses, Fs(1, 200) < 3.31, ps > .05. Supporting
Hypothesis 3, the ANOVA results revealed a significant
main effect of employee engagement on each of the depen-
dent variables.
For personal accomplishment, F(1, 200) = 46.08, p <
.001, partial η2 = .187. This result indicated that the high
engagement group had significantly higher personal accom-
plishment scores than the low engagement group. As for
emotional exhaustion, F(1, 200) = 16.22, p < .001, partial η2
= .075, suggesting that the high engagement group had sig-
nificantly lower emotional exhaustion scores than the low
engagement group. Similar to the emotional exhaustion
results, the depersonalization variable’s ANOVA revealed
that the high engagement group’s depersonalization scores
were significantly lower than the low engagement group,
F(1, 200) = 32.02, p < .001, partial η2 = .138. Finally, for
psychological well-being, the high engagement group had
significantly higher well-being scores than the low engage-
ment group, F(1, 200) = 35.17, p < .001, partial η2 = .151.
Consequently, Hypotheses (a) and (b) were supported.
Analysis from Hypothesis 1 provided evidence of the relation
between psychological workplace climate and the individual-
level outcome variables. Psychological climate predicted
unique variance in each of the dependent variables, emotional
Table 2. Moderated Hierarchical Regression Analyses Predicting Personal Accomplishment and Emotional Exhaustion.
Model 1 βModel 2 βModel 3 β
Variable PA EE PA EE PA EE
Climate .53*** −.56*** .19* −.52*** .16* −.52**
Engagement .71*** −.28* .38* −.44*
Climate × Engagement .57* −.89**
R2.285 .320 .631 .325 .645 .359
Change in R2.346 .005 .014 .034
Change in F143.76 1.20 5.76 8.63
Significant F change (p <) .001 .28 .02 .01
Note. Ns ranged from 176 to 189 because of listwise deletion. PA = Personal Accomplishment; EE = Emotional Exhaustion.
*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.
Table 3. Moderated Hierarchical Regression Analyses Predicting Depersonalization and Well-Being.
Model 1 βModel 2 βModel 3 β
Variable DP WB DP WB DP WB
Climate −.44*** .48*** −.24** .19* −.31** .51**
Engagement −.36*** .52* −.27** .88***
Climate × Engagement −.99*** .62*
R2.196 .231 .281 .412 .329 .428
Change in R2.086 .181 .047 .016
Change in F20.27 49.04 11.92 4.44
Significant F change (p <) .001 .001 .01 .04
Note. Ns ranged from 176 to 189 because of listwise deletion. DP = Depersonalization; WB = Well-Being.
*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.
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54 Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 21(1)
exhaustion, depersonalization, personal accomplishment, and
psychological well-being, respectively. Results provide
empirical support that psychological climate affects a person
beyond issues of productivity and turnover. Evidence sug-
gests that psychological perceptions of climate share a rela-
tion with employees on an individual affective level, including
how a person perceives their overall well-being, a variable
often outside the boundaries of workplace performance, yet
central to the experience of being human.
Findings provide support for Frederickson’s (1998,
2001) broaden-and-build theory in a workplace context as
well as extend empirical work pioneered by Maslach and
Schaufeli (Maslach et al., 2001; Schaufeli et al., 2008) and
Brown and Leigh (1996). For example, results suggested
that when employees perceive their work environment as
positive, they report the ability to draw from individual-
level outcome resources (e.g., psychological well-being,
personal accomplishment) not as readily available when
working in negative psychological climates. Employees
working in perceived negative climates might be more
likely to experience exhaustion and moments of deperson-
alizing their work. Results parallel findings from other
scholars who advocate the importance of climate for pre-
dicting organizational level outcomes (Shuck et al., 2011).
For Hypothesis 2, evidence suggested that for each of the
four models, engagement had a significant interaction effect
with psychological climate and the outcome variables.
Analysis revealed that when engagement levels where high,
the relation between psychological workplace climate and
personal accomplishment and psychological workplace cli-
mate and psychological well-being were stronger.
Employees who reported more positive levels of psycho-
logical climate and higher levels of employee engagement
were more likely to report higher levels of both personal
accomplishment and psychological well-being. In addition,
relations between psychological workplace climate and
emotional exhaustion and psychological workplace climate
and depersonalization were weaker when employees
reported higher levels of engagement. These findings sug-
gest that engagement moderated the negative relation
between psychological climate and emotional exhaustion
and depersonalization.
Furthermore, evidence from this study provided support
for the importance of positive emotion in work. Results sug-
gested that employees who reported the combination of a
positive psychological workplace climate and high engage-
ment were likely to benefit from a broadened allocation of
psychological resources (personal accomplishment and psy-
chological well-being). These findings are consistent with
previous research (Christian et al., 2011; Schaufeli et al.,
2008) and extend work by Kahn (1990) and Rich et al.
(2010). These findings provide potential new leverage points
for examining how engagement operates within systematic
leadership and organizational structures (e.g., culture, cli-
mate, performance management).
Finally, for Hypothesis 3, results provided support for
the relation between levels of engagement (hi/low) and
each individual-level outcome variable. Findings suggested
that employees who reported higher levels of engagement
were also more likely to report lower levels of emotional
exhaustion and depersonalization and higher levels of per-
sonal accomplishment with their work, as well as increased
levels of psychological well-being. Results from this study
provided support for several models of engagement (Rich
et al., 2010; Shuck et al., 2011) and burnout (Iverson et al.,
1998; Maslach et al., 2001; Schaufeli et al., 2008) and
extend findings for Fredrickson’s (1998) seminal broaden-
and-build framework in this context.
As a second primary research question for this study, we
hoped to begin to understand the cost or benefit of engage-
ment at the individual level as well as the explicit outcomes
of engagement as they relate to a person’s affective experi-
ence. In this study, the extent to which employees could
report higher levels of engagement contributed to how they
responded to questions about their well-being and affective
status on issues commonly associated with their welfare
(Maslach et al., 2001; Schaufeli et al., 2008). This sug-
gested that the ability to bring one’s full self into work roles,
to be a part of something meaningful, and to engage cogni-
tively, emotionally, and behaviorally has implications for
how employees perceive and experience other areas of their
life (e.g., general levels of overall well-being). Moreover,
this directly parallels both Fredrickson and Kahn’s frame-
works, which suggested that energy levels and resources are
tied, at least indirectly, to a person’s experience of being
human. Evidence from this research suggested that there is
a distinct personal psychological benefit for working fully
engaged and a personal, individual psychological cost for
disengagement (e.g., exhaustion). As Kahn (1990) might
suggest, work affects the whole person.
Implications for Leadership
and Organizational Practice
Findings indicated that psychological climate and the indi-
vidual-level affective outcomes were associated, as well as
that employee engagement moderated these relations.
Gilbert, Laschinger, and Leiter (2010) suggested evi-
dence-based strategies that empower employees and
emphasize individual contributions to organizational goals
as important steps in producing positive workplace climates
that affect engagement. The results of this study support
Laschinger’s research that workplace climates and engage-
ment were positively associated, suggesting that organiza-
tional leaders, managers, and practitioners by improving
workplace climate in their respective organizations could
increase employee engagement and increase the likelihood
of positive individual-level affective outcomes like those
examined in this research. Further research (Bakker & Bal,
2010) has suggested the important role of work–life balance
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Shuck and Reio 55
and the role of employee control over work-related balance.
Moreover, as a specific leverage point, HR professionals
could facilitate refinement of managerial skills toward
improving supervisee engagement in teams, cross-func-
tional work groups, and the organization overall.
Organizational change efforts could be aimed at improving
employee engagement through implementing system-level
changes in the human resource inputs system at an organi-
zation (Ferguson & Reio, 2010).
A second practical implication of our findings suggests
employers can significantly affect employee well-being by
focusing on psychological workplace climate and engage-
ment as antecedents. However, if employee well-being is to
be a leverage point, humane, inclusive and culturally sensi-
tive places of work must be a first step. Macey, Schneider,
Barbera, and Young (2009) suggested that engagement-
encouraging climates be operationalized by asking how peo-
ple are valued as human beings within the organization and
how are employees rewarded for their work. These questions
have direct linkages with strategic leadership and organiza-
tional studies practice such as recruitment and selection, per-
formance evaluation, leadership behavior, and employee
relations that inform the development of relationship-cen-
tered interactions and emphasize how work is getting accom-
plished, not just how much (Shuck et al., 2011).
Finally, it seems unlikely and counterintuitive to theory
(Frederickson 2001) that moments of engagement, which
lead to higher levels of employee well-being, would develop
in negative climates. As such, a final implication for prac-
tice concerns the purposeful development of psychologi-
cally positive workplace cultures as a method to affect how
employees experience and interpret their work (Brown &
Leigh, 1996). Positive in this context might be operational-
ized as those environments where employees believe their
engagement matters, where an individual employee’s voice
does not fall on deaf ears and personal contributions are
perceived as meaningful (Kahn, 2010). This however can
be a challenging task. As highlighted in this research and
underscored by Kahn (2010, p. 29), “the fragility of engage-
ment is a function of how vulnerable we feel, and are, when
we risk being fully present in a situation.” The centrality of
work and its capacity to affect the human experience
through conditions that empower and encourage cannot be
ignored. Certainly, we believe there is wide implication for
organizations here.
Limitations and Recommendations for Future
As in any study, the present research has limitations. First,
although we followed Dillman et al.’s (2009) online data
collection protocol closely, participation rate was not 100%.
Still, the response rate was consistent with prior research
conducted via Internet survey (Dillman et al., 2009). To
allay concerns about possible nonresponse bias, however,
future research designs might include contacting nonre-
spondents directly via email or phone to test for systematic
differences between participant and nonparticipant scores
on the research variables (see Bartlett, Bartlett, & Reio,
Second, because we employed self-reports, we must be
cautious about generalizing the results. Although self-
reports are relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and ideal for
measuring perceptions, using a battery of self-report mea-
sures that was administered at one time and place to the
same person raises the possibility that common source
method variance (CMV) might have produced inflated or
deflated correlations (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Lee, &
Podsakoff, 2003). We took both a procedural (i.e., we
assured participants anonymity and there were no right or
wrong answers) and statistical approach to reduce the likeli-
hood of CMV bias. Harman’s one-factor diagnostic test
revealed no statistical evidence, suggesting that CMV bias
was an issue in this study. Future research might take addi-
tional steps to reduce possible CMV bias, such as collecting
the dependent variable at a different time than the indepen-
dent variables, using supervisor or coworker rating data in
combination with self-reports, and observing behaviors
where appropriate rather than perceptions. Organizational
records could be accessed too to obtain evidence of actual
voluntary turnover, or proxy evidence of emotional exhaus-
tion (e.g., tardiness, using sick leave), depersonalization
(e.g., customer ratings), personal accomplishment (e.g.,
professional recognition), and overall well-being (e.g.,
Third, our cross-sectional, correlational design did not
allow for causal claims. Thus, the relations we discuss
throughout the article are predictive, not causal ones.
Experimental research might be designed where an engage-
ment intervention could be manipulated to determine the
causal link, if any, between workplace climate and impor-
tant individual-level affective outcomes like the ones tested
in this research. The link between workplace climate and
job performance, prosocial behavior, volunteer motivation,
among others, moderated by an engagement intervention,
would be especially useful information to move the field
forward because each variable has been associated with
profitability and competitive advantage.
Finally, we recommend future research employing a
more balanced representation by education or employee
level (manager–nonmanager) in alternative types of organi-
zations (e.g., manufacturing, service) to further test the
notions presented in this study. For example, it may be pos-
sible that middle- and upper-level managers will perceive
workplace climate and engagement in some systematically
different way than frontline workers or supervisors. This
information might be useful for refining engagement at all
levels in organizational change efforts.
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56 Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 21(1)
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with
respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this
The author(s) received no financial support for the research,
authorship, and/or publication of this article.
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Author Biographies
Brad Shuck is Assistant Professor of Organizational Leadership
and Learning at the University of Louisville. His research agenda
has focused on the use of employee engagement and positive psy-
chology in HRD, workplace culture, non-traditional methods of
instructional design, and leadership development. Shuck was the
2010-2011 Malcolm Knowles Dissertation of the Year Runner-Up
and recipient of the 2011 Advances in Developing Human Resources
Issue of the Year Award for the special issue on employee engage-
ment. His research has appeared in publications such as Human
Resource Development Review, Human Resource Development
International, the Journal of Management Development, Advances
in Developing Human Resources, and the Journal of European
Training and Development, among others.
Thomas G. Reio, Jr. is Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and
Professor of Adult Education and Human Resource Development
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58 Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 21(1)
at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. He is
immediate past editor of Human Resource Development Review
and editor of New Horizons in Adult Education and Human
Resource Development. His research concerns curiosity and
risk-taking motivation, workplace socialization processes, work-
place incivility, entrepreneurship, and workplace learning. His
work has been published in leading journals in education, busi-
ness, and psychology. These journals include Personality and
Individual Differences, The Journal of School Psychology,
Educational and Psychological Measurement, Journal of Business
and Psychology, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Human
Resource Development Quarterly, Human Resource Development
International, Journal of Management Development, and the
Journal of School Psychology. He has over 16 years of experience
as a training and development director, organizational consultant,
and operations manager.
by guest on October 15, 2015jlo.sagepub.comDownloaded from
... The study illustrates that if the emotional intelligence of the police officers increases they will have better well-being which would lead to good employee engagement and work commitment. Also, according to the employee engagement and well-being model, if the reported employees' engagement is high in an organization the employees have a good psychological workplace climate which will lead to an improved well-being (Shuck & Reio, 2013). A study done by a group of researchers from the Philippines has found a positive correlation between employees' well-being and employee engagement. ...
... This study is consistent with previous studies (Owen et al, 2016;Breevaart, 2014;Besieux et. Al 2018;Brunetto et al., 2012;Shuck & Reio, 2013;and Abun et al., 2020). The majority (76.2 per cent) of the variances come from these three factors. ...
Full-text available
The employee engagement issue has become a great concern in societies, as well as business and non-business organizations all around the world. An engaged employee is mindful of the business context and works with his colleagues to improve the performance and the well-being of a company. In 2017 employee engagement trends have decreased for the first time in four years. Why is the turnover rate of Malaysian employees high and why do they admit to contributing little in their work? Therefore, the reason why the employees are disengaged needs to be identified. Hence, the research objectives of this study are to determine the link between work performance, leadership, and well-being towards employee engagement and to investigate the most and the least influencing factor towards employee engagement. A total of 100 questionnaires was employed as a tool for the extraction of the effectiveness of Employee Engagement. The data were analysed by employing the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). The results showed that all the independent variables are significantly related to employees' engagement.
... Karyawan dengan keterikatan kerja yang tinggi akan memandang positif kemampuan mereka dalam menghadapi tuntutan yang ada, percaya akan hasil yang baik, dan percaya mereka akan mendapatkan kepuasan dengan cara engage dengan organisasi. Penelitian-penelitian terdahulu melihat tingkatan keterikatan kerja akan mempunyai tingkatan dampak yang berbeda terhadap individu [14]. Individu yang merasakan tingkat keterikatan kerja yang tinggi akan merasakan dampak yang positif, demikian juga dengan individu yang merasakan tingkat keterikatan yang rendah akan memiliki dampak positif yang lebih rendah. ...
... Hasil penelitian ini menunjukan perbedaan dengan hasil penelitian Lee et al. [3] yang menjelaskan semakin tinggi tingkat keterikatan kerja maka akan semakin kuat hubungan iklim psikologis berpendapat dengan kesiapan individu untuk berubah. Hasil penelitiann ini juga menunjukan perbedaan dengan penelitian Shuck dan Reio [14] yang menyatakan iklim yang positif akan berdampak positif terhadap penerimaan perubahaan. ...
... for describing and predicting attitudes, behaviors, fit, and performance in many organizational settings [6,9,10,11,12,13]. A number of studies in construction have identified personal characteristics in crews that contribute to performance such as cohesion, motivation, affection, cooperation, and trust [3,4,5,14,15]. ...
... Personality dimensions are used to understand relationships and interactions between individuals, as these are a function of the personal characteristics of individuals (Kelly and Conley 1987). Personality dimensions have also been used for describing and predicting attitudes (Ones et al. 2017), behaviors (Shuck and Reio 2013), fit (Campion et al. 1993;Halfill et al. 2005), outcomes (Hogan and Holland 2003), and performance (Cohen and Bailey 1997) in many organizational settings. The five dimensions have been investigated in meta-analytic studies and have been used in applied psychology (Chamorro-Premuzic 2015), organizational psychology (Peeters et al. 2006), and human resource management (Campion et al. 1993) to determine the relationship between personality and multiple job outcomes (Cohen and Bailey 1997;Hogan and Holland 2003;Barrick and Mount 1991;Goldberg 1990). ...
Full-text available
Crew productivity is a function of how efficiently labor is utilized in the construction process. However, previous research in construction has not comprehensively investigated the relationship between personality and crew productivity. This paper uses personality profiles to investigate a new fundamental concept, the relationship between compatibility of personality and crew productivity at the task level. Twenty-eight masons completed a revised questionnaire of the Big Five to indicate their personality. Personality scores were used to calculate compatibility in each of the 20 participating two-mason crews working on eight projects. Regression analysis was performed to establish the relationship between compatibility and crew productivity. Results show that that there is a high positive correlation between compatibility and crew productivity. Compatibility accounts for more than half of the predictable variance in productivity. This paper makes four major contributions: it proposes a new metric to measure compatibility of personality among workers in a crew; it reveals how personality factors affect productivity; it provides rigorous methods to analyze correlations (using confidence intervals and Bayesian inference) for construction experiments; and it provides theoretical contributions to advancing the theory of personality and productivity in construction projects.
... According to Tkalac Verčič and Pološki Vokić (ibid.), the positive outcomes of enhanced levels of engagement comprise different aspects such as increased customer loyalty (Salanova, Agut & Peiro, 2005), greater work performance (Gruman & Saks, 2011), reduced absenteeism and turnover (Brunetto, Teo, Shacklock & Farr-Wharton, 2012), and, potentially, an increased competitive advantage (Welch, 2011). The other way round, poor engagement can be linked to higher levels of depersonalization and emotional exhaustion (Shuck and Reio, 2014). Welch (2011) defines employee engagement in more detail compared to Saks (2006) when she describes it "as a dynamic, changeable psychological state which links employees to their organizations, manifest in member role performances expressed physically, cognitively and emotionally, and influenced by organization-level internal communication." ...
Conference Paper
The strategic use of joy: Engendering employee engagement through gamification Structured Abstract Purpose The paper explores how gamification can be used to foster employee engagement, and how gamification might lead to a strengthening of the employee-company identification and organizational commitment. Design/methodology/approach The analysis is based on a case study of a gamified community that was designed to incorporate the new corporate identity of a company after a demerger. The aim of the case study is to formulate hypothesis in order to test in a survey among employees of that company later on. Findings While the gamified platform clearly incorporates gamified mechanisms such as badges, rankings, rewards, and avatars, it fails to include procedural rhetoric. However, the platform is clearly designed to foster employee engagement, as the hypotheses at the end of the paper suggest. Research limitation/implications The study shows that gamification can contribute to the inner cohesion of organizations. However, the survey of company employees has yet to be conducted. The currently unclear status of company ownership, German work laws, and operational co-determination by the employees, present challenges to the realization of the survey. Practical implications If organizations adopt gamification as a mean of internal communication, they would need to develop expertise at the intersection of game design, internal communication and content management. Furthermore, gamification is costly in terms of investment. Only well-crafted applications can deploy the persuasive mechanisms that sets games and gamification apart from other media. Originality/value The paper is doing a case study of an existing gamified community in a major company with 25.000 employees. It will yield results on the effectiveness of gamification with regard to employee engagement, commitment, and identification.
Full-text available
The purpose of this article is to present research on the importance of requisitely holistically selected organisational climate components and to determine their impact on work engagement of employees in 626 medium-sized organisations in Slovenia, the EU. The quantitative research is based on the implementation of an exploratory factor analysis, a simple linear regression analysis and the CFA 6-factor solution for validity purposes. Based on the research results, we confirmed the hypothesis that organisational climate components leadership, employee relations, employee commitment, employee satisfaction and employee motivation have a significant positive impact on work engagement of employees in medium-sized organisations. The results help users to better understand the importance of organisational climate in the Slovenian organisations. Successful organisations should realise the importance of organisational climate components, which enhance job performance and work engagement. Thus, they must fully master all of the employee-related processes of the organisation. The article is based on examination of the selected components of organisational climate with which organisations can impact work engagement of their employees. A new conceptual model was developed and confirmed.
Scholars have suggested that employee engagement depends on their personal attributes, as well as the work contexts and human resources management practices of organizations. Little study however exists in professional firm contexts. This study set out to investigate the influence of work context, employee attributes and human resource management practices on the job engagement of employees, taking samples from architectural firms, where employees are considered as core resources. Data for this survey were obtained with the use of questionnaire. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis. Moderate level of job engagement was found among the employees. The level of engagement was mostly predicted by the human resource practices and employees’ personal attributes. In particular, feedback from principal and clear job description were found to be core human resource management practices that architectural firms can leverage to enhance employee job engagement. Flexible work practices like lunch arrangements, work hours and autonomy were found to also influence job engagement among the architects. This study fills the gap in the literature on the need to fully understand the concept of job engagement in the context of architectural professional service firms, where such study is sparse.
Full-text available
The multivariate nature of academic well-being makes difficult to provide a single definition, and finding adequate measures is a difficult task. We accomplished this purpose using job satisfaction and work engagement as measures for academic well-being thanks to the results obtained from the project PIR 2012 “Productivity of Italian Researchers” and the results of the questionnaire UWES-17 administered to Italian scholars. The territorial element appeared to be important to analyse properly the phenomenon of well-being; in particular, we used two notions of territoriality. One aimed to gather information relatively to the perception of the Italian academic system with respect to foreign systems and was mainly concerned with job satisfaction. The other one aimed to gather information at the regional level, comparing the three dimensions of work engagement by macro-areas. The results of our research indicate that there is a lower perception of the Italian system respect to foreign countries because of insufficient career opportunities and an inadequate administrative and bureaucratic structure. This reveals dissatisfaction of Italian academic workers and low academic well-being. From the second analysis we learn that there are significant differences among the engagement scores obtained in different Italian macro-areas but, most importantly, the mean value of engagement in all the areas was only “average”. Low levels of engagement may be the result of low levels of well-being. This empirical analysis offers precious data and suggestions for the Italian policy maker and, in general, for policy makers of similar countries. Enhancing the satisfaction and the engagement of academic workers is fundamental to prevent detrimental outflows of skilled human capital and to attract foreign skilled human capital.
This study examines how the different dimensions of job engagement combine within different profiles of workers ( n = 264). This research also documents the relations between the identified job engagement profiles, demographic characteristics (gender, age, education, working time, and organizational tenure), job characteristics (work autonomy, task variety, task significance, task identity, and feedback), attitudes (affective and normative commitment), and psychological health (emotional exhaustion and ill-being). Latent profile analysis revealed four profiles of employees defined based on their global and specific (physical, emotional, and cognitive) job engagement levels: Globally Disengaged, Globally Engaged, Globally but not Emotionally Engaged, and Moderately Engaged. Employees’ perceptions of task variety and feedback shared statistically significant relations with their likelihood of membership into all latent profiles. Profiles were finally showed to be meaningfully related to employees’ levels of affective commitment, normative commitment, emotional exhaustion, and ill-being.
Research coalescing around psychological climate, engagement, and well‐being has been receiving considerable attention in management and human resource development (HRD) literature. However, research associated with these variables has generally been limited to for‐profit businesses and organizations with little attention within the context of institutions of higher education. In response, this cross‐sectional replication study examined the extent to which psychological climate, engagement, and well‐being were associated with each other in higher educational institutions. Study data included a sample of 259 individuals employed by institutions of higher education in the United States. Using mediation analyses, the study found that psychological climate, engagement, and well‐being were positively associated with each other, and that engagement mediated the relationship between psychological climate and well‐being. Implications for HRD theory and research, as well as specific recommendations for leaders and administrators in higher education are discussed.
Full-text available
We theorize that engagement, conceptualized as the investment of an individual's complete self into a role, provides a more comprehensive explanation of relationships with performance than do well-known concepts that reflect narrower aspects of the individual's self. Results of a study of 245 firefighters and their supervisors supported our hypotheses that engagement mediates relationships between value congruence, perceived organizational support, and core self-evaluations, and two job performance dimensions: task performance and organizational citizenship behavior. Job involvement, job satisfaction, and intrinsic motivation were included as mediators but did not exceed engagement in explaining relationships among the antecedents and performance outcomes.
Full-text available
Purpose – Employee engagement has become a hot topic in recent years among consulting firms and in the popular business press. However, employee engagement has rarely been studied in the academic literature and relatively little is known about its antecedents and consequences. The purpose of this study was to test a model of the antecedents and consequences of job and organization engagements based on social exchange theory. Design/methodology/approach – A survey was completed by 102 employees working in a variety of jobs and organizations. The average age was 34 and 60 percent were female. Participants had been in their current job for an average of four years, in their organization an average of five years, and had on average 12 years of work experience. The survey included measures of job and organization engagement as well as the antecedents and consequences of engagement. Findings – Results indicate that there is a meaningful difference between job and organization engagements and that perceived organizational support predicts both job and organization engagement; job characteristics predicts job engagement; and procedural justice predicts organization engagement. In addition, job and organization engagement mediated the relationships between the antecedents and job satisfaction, organizational commitment, intentions to quit, and organizational citizenship behavior. Originality/value – This is the first study to make a distinction between job and organization engagement and to measure a variety of antecedents and consequences of job and organization engagement. As a result, this study addresses concerns about that lack of academic research on employee engagement and speculation that it might just be the latest management fad.
The Handbook presents comprehensive and global perspectives to help researchers and practitioners identify, understand, evaluate and apply the key theories, models, measures and interventions associated with employee engagement. It provides many new insights, practical applications and areas for future research. It will serve as an important platform for ongoing research and practice on employee engagement.
Providing both practical advice, tools, and case examples, Employee Engagement translates best practices, ideas, and concepts into concrete and practical steps that will change the level of engagement in any organization. Explores the meaning of engagement and how engagement differs significantly from other important yet related concepts like satisfaction and commitment Discusses what it means to create a culture of engagement Provides a practical presentation deck and talking points managers can use to introduce the concept of engagement in their organization Addresses issues of work-life balance, and non-work activities and their relationship to engagement at work.
Interest in the problem of method biases has a long history in the behavioral sciences. Despite this, a comprehensive summary of the potential sources of method biases and how to control for them does not exist. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to examine the extent to which method biases influence behavioral research results, identify potential sources of method biases, discuss the cognitive processes through which method biases influence responses to measures, evaluate the many different procedural and statistical techniques that can be used to control method biases, and provide recommendations for how to select appropriate procedural and statistical remedies for different types of research settings.
A representative design for diagnosing effectiveness in retail service organizations is presented and operationalized in a study of the employees and customers from twenty-three bank branches. The design builds on some boundary-spanning theory and on some practical realities which suggest that data should be collected from both employees and customers when diagnosing and evaluating service organizations. Assumptions underlying the use of perception-based diagnoses are also explained. Results revealed some strong relationships between employee perceptions of branch practices and procedures in relation to service and customer perceptions of service practices and quality. Results are discussed with reference to organizational diagnosis and the potential integration of organizational and consumer behavior.
This study began with the premise that people can use varying degrees of their selves. physically. cognitively. and emotionally. in work role performances. which has implications for both their work and experi­ ences. Two qualitative. theory-generating studies of summer camp counselors and members of an architecture firm were conducted to explore the conditions at work in which people personally engage. or express and employ their personal selves. and disengage. or withdraw and defend their personal selves. This article describes and illustrates three psychological conditions-meaningfulness. safety. and availabil­ ity-and their individual and contextual sources. These psychological conditions are linked to existing theoretical concepts. and directions for future research are described. People occupy roles at work; they are the occupants of the houses that roles provide. These events are relatively well understood; researchers have focused on "role sending" and "receiving" (Katz & Kahn. 1978). role sets (Merton. 1957). role taking and socialization (Van Maanen. 1976), and on how people and their roles shape each other (Graen. 1976). Researchers have given less attention to how people occupy roles to varying degrees-to how fully they are psychologically present during particular moments of role performances. People can use varying degrees of their selves. physically, cognitively, and emotionally. in the roles they perform. even as they main­ tain the integrity of the boundaries between who they are and the roles they occupy. Presumably, the more people draw on their selves to perform their roles within those boundaries. the more stirring are their performances and the more content they are with the fit of the costumes they don. The research reported here was designed to generate a theoretical frame­ work within which to understand these "self-in-role" processes and to sug­ gest directions for future research. My specific concern was the moments in which people bring themselves into or remove themselves from particular task behaviors, My guiding assumption was that people are constantly bring­ ing in and leaving out various depths of their selves during the course of The guidance and support of David Berg, Richard Hackman, and Seymour Sarason in the research described here are gratefully acknowledged. I also greatly appreciated the personal engagements of this journal's two anonymous reviewers in their roles, as well as the comments on an earlier draft of Tim Hall, Kathy Kram, and Vicky Parker.