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Mediating role of meaningful work between resources and work engagement in Bangladesh’s private banks

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Engaged employees are considered as the most desired assets for the organization. Although significant contributions have been observed in the engagement literature, a holistic approach is yet to be untouched in terms of developing relationship between various resources, work engagement and psychological mechanism such as meaningful work. The purpose of this study is to explore the mediating role of meaningful work between resources and work engagement in private banks in Bangladesh. This study followed the quantitative methodological approach and based on
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Mediating role of meaningful work between resources and work
engagement in Bangladesh’s private banks
Rubaba NAWRIN
National Institute of Development Administration, Bangkok, Thailand
rubaba.nawrin@gmail.com
Abstract. Engaged employees are considered as the most desired assets for the organization.
Although significant contributions have been observed in the engagement literature, a holistic
approach is yet to be untouched in terms of developing relationship between various resources,
work engagement and psychological mechanism such as meaningful work. The purpose of this
study is to explore the mediating role of meaningful work between resources and work
engagement in private banks in Bangladesh. This study followed the quantitative
methodological approach and based on Bakker and Demerouti’s (2007) Job demand-resources
model. A survey questionnaire was prepared and used to collect data. 440 respondents
participated in this study, who is currently working in private banks in Bangladesh. Multiple
regression analysis along with Sobel test was performed to analyze the data. The findings
confirmed that the relationships between organizational, job, personal resources and work
engagement were partially mediated through meaningful work. It has been observed that all
determinates had a significant influence on work engagement. For practical implications, the
organization can align various resources to uplift the engagement level of the employees. Since
meaningful work was found to be a significant predictor, managers can develop jobs where
employees can relate their purpose to their work. This study recommends that future research
can apply this model to different contexts as well as to different groups of respondents.
Keywords: meaningful work, work engagement, organizational resources, job resources,
personal resources
Please cite the article as follows: Nawrin, R. (2018), “Mediating role of meaningful work
between resources and work engagement in Bangladesh’s private banks”, Management &
Marketing. Challenges for the Knowledge Society, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 777-795, DOI:
10.2478/mmcks-2018-0005.
Introduction
In today’s organizations, employees are the driving force in attaining organizations
objectives. No strategic decision would ever be possible to accomplish without their
efforts. The organizations can see the best results once employees have found
themselves engaged with their work. Considered as an indispensable element,
engaged employees also bring numerous benefits to an organization (Shuck and
Wollard, 2010). Researchers admitted that employees who are engaged with their
work are more energetic and make an extra effort to achieve the required success
(Bakker and Schaufeli 2008; Bakker, 2009).
Over the past two decades, significant progress has been observed in
engagement literature. Researchers have developed several theories and models to
redefine the concept, antecedents and outcomes of work engagement. Despite this,
four out of every ten employees are not engaged in their work and two out of every
ten employees are actively disengaged (Albrecht et al., 2015). Such low levels of
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engagement have brought attention amongst the researchers who want to understand
the determinants of engagement more deeply.
Researchers have claimed that understanding the relationship between various
resources such as organizational, job and personal level resources and work
engagement at a holistic approach can develop a new insight in this regard. To explore
the relationship between the resources and work engagement in the holistic level, an
important psychological mechanism is needed to be understood, i.e. meaningful work.
Albrecht and Su (2012) found a mediating effect of meaningful work between job
resources and work engagement. Thereby, they suggested seeing the role of
meaningful work with organizational and personal level resources.
The current study has been conducted in the Bangladeshi private banking
sector. The rapid growth of the private banks in Bangladesh increases the potential to
compete in the larger context and able to contribute significantly in the nation’s
economy. While these progresses bring an opportunity to grow, concentration
towards workforce and organization development becomes inevitable factors in the
private banking sectors in Bangladesh. In this regard, the private banks should
prioritize the development of a holistic framework addressing employees’ work
engagement perspectives. Though many studies have been conducted to build up
measurement, conceptualization and antecedents development regarding engagement
concept in the Western context, issues related to developing a framework of work
engagement through organizational, job and personal resources along with
meaningful work in South Asian context, especially in the Bangladesh Banking
industry, are yet to be resolved. According to Albrecht (2012), identifying different
constructs of the organizational, job and personal resources in different contexts with
the association of meaningful work explain better the framework of work
engagement. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the role of meaningful
work between resources (organizational, job, personal resources) and work
engagement in the private banks in Bangladesh.
Literature review
Job demand resources model
To understand the resources and their relationship with work engagement, a job
demand-resources (JD-R) model, which is a predominant framework in engagement
literature, provides a holistic approach in understanding the job and its associates
with regards to the individuals. This theoretical framework posits the psychological
process of the individual in terms of job strain and motivation. While job demands
such as poor job design produce negative job outcomes like exhaustion, job resources
are considered a “motivation potential” (Bakker and Demerouti, 2007). By having
appropriate job resources, employees can enjoy higher levels of engagement, job
satisfaction and low cynicism (Bakker and Demerouti, 2007). Researchers identified
several job resources that have influenced the employees to engage in their work. Job
resources such as autonomy, support from the leader, coaching and opportunities for
development were found to be major attributes which have a strong relationship with
work engagement. According to Hakanen et al. (2006), job resources may encourage
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employees to be interested in their work as well as increasing their engagement level.
In addition, Xanthoupoulou et al. (2007) argued that personal characteristics such as
self-esteem, self-efficacy, resiliency etc., also had a significant impact on individuals
regarding the perception of the environment. Therefore, personal resources have
become important elements in the JD-R model. A recent inclusion in the JD-R model
along with job and personal resources is organizational resources. Albrecht (2012)
suggested expanding the JD-R model by recognizing the impact of organizational level
resources. He claimed that recognizing organizational level resources can enable the
researchers to focus on resources from various backgrounds which will help to
understand engagement, well-being, performance and so on. Although various types
of resources have been examined with work engagement in different contexts, a
holistic level approach has yet to be explored in an organization setting.
Work engagement
The concept of engagement started gaining interest in the last decade (Demerouti et
al., 2001; Hallberg and Schaufeli 2006; Saks and Gruman 2011). Although consulting
firms first brought this issue into the limelight, academics also demonstrated their
interest in doing substantial research to develop the constructs, antecedents and
outcomes of the variables. Through understanding work engagement as a
motivational construct, the study is going to adopt the definition of Schaufeli et al.
(2002). According to them, it is a “positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is
characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption” (p. 72). Here, vigor refers to a high
level of energy and mental resilience, an individual’s willingness to put effort into
their work and stay persistent during difficult periods. Dedication stands for the sense
of enthusiasm, challenge, significance and pride at work and absorption refers to
being fully engrossed and concentrating deeply leading to contentment and it
becomes difficult to detach them even the time would be over.
Organizational resources
Organizational resources are a recent inclusion in JD-R model. They have been aligned
to job resources in most of the previous studies (Salanova et al., 2006; Salanova et al.
2005). Albrecht (2012) first discussed detaching organizational level resources from
job resources. He directed to elaborate the JD-R model by identifying and including
organizational resources. According to him, recognizing this variable would bring new
ideas for the researchers to enrich the JD-R model and develop new insights regarding
employees’ work engagement, employee well-being, and positive attitudes. Bakker et
al. (2005) viewed it as a motivational antecedent for the employees in influencing
their working process. The notion also reflected a reduction in job stress and an
increase in employees’ skills, and their personal growth and development (Demerouti
et al., 2001). Therefore, the author of this research conceptualized organizational
resources as a motivational construct provided by the organization to increase the
efficiency level of their employees, stimulate further development of the self, and the
organization when the job demands are high. According to Cable and Edwards (2004),
organizations provide resources to their employees so that they can fulfill their
requirements. The current study has identified five organizational resources, which
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are organization climate, value congruence, HRM practices, fairness, and organization
support, due to having an existing relationship with work engagement in previous
literature. In their research, Halbesleben et al. (2009) recognized that the organization
climate work as a necessary antecedent for engagement. Later on, Albrecht (2012)
showed that organization climate has a strong association with work engagement
through the influence of job resources. Also, Gillet et al. (2012) found a positive
relationship between perceived organization support and work engagement. A
positive relationship has also been observed between value congruence and work
engagement (Sortheix et al., 2013). Moreover, the organization's HRM practices
provide ideas to their employees how much they are valued and trusted by the
organizations which leads to obligatory feelings for the employees of their
organization. Therefore, the study proposes the following hypothesis:
H1: Organizational resources have a positive influence on work engagement.
Job resources
Job resources are one of the most important antecedents in work engagement.
Emerging as an vital component in the JD-R model, job resources are defined as “those
physical, psychological, social, or organization aspects of the job that are either/or (1)
functional in achieving work goals (2) reduce job demands and the associated
physiological and psychological costs (3) stimulate personal growth, learning, and
development” (Bakker and Demerouti, 2007, p. 312). Acting as an intrinsic motivator,
it fulfills the employees’ basic needs (Deci and Ryan, 1985) whereas by allowing an
extrinsic factor, it exerts their efforts towards their work (Gagné and Deci, 2005). As a
process of intrinsic motivation, it has an impact on competence, autonomy, and
relatedness (Ryan and Deci, 2000). For example, if the supervisor can give proper
feedback to the employees, it not only boosts their motivational level but also
increases their competence (Van den Broeck et al., 2008). In contrast, external factors,
such as organization environment have an impact on the motivational process of the
employees regarding their performance. For instance, if the compensation package is
associated with the performance criteria, individuals take this resource as a positive
approach moving further. In this study, following job resources characteristics will be
examined: autonomy, social support, task significance, opportunities for learning and
development, and performance feedback. Halbesleben (2010) found that autonomy,
skill utilization, professional development, and social support were related to
engagement, job satisfaction and health. Schaufeli and Taris (2014) claimed that
feedback about performance could enhance the learning opportunities of the
employees that leading to an increase in their competence as well. Hu et al. (2013)
investigated the relationship effect of job demand and job resources on employee
well-being and found a positive association between job resources and work
engagement. The above discussion leads to developing the following hypothesis:
H2: Job resources positively influence work engagement.
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Personal resources
Personal resources are considered an essential part of employee well-being (Albrecht,
2012). Personal resources are defined as the “lower-order, cognitive-affective aspects
of personality; developable systems of positive beliefs about one’s ‘self’ (e.g., self-
esteem, self-efficacy) and the world (e.g., optimism, faith) which motivate and
facilitate goal-attainment, even in the face of adversity” (Van Den Heuvel et al., 2010,
p.129). Personal resources occur as a motivational process like job resources that
assist attaining work goals and help improve personal growth (Schaufeli and Taris,
2014). In this study, five general personal resources, namely self-efficacy,
organization-based self-esteem, optimism, hope and resiliency have been chosen as
constructs. Xanthoupoulou et al. (2009) found that personal resources (self-efficacy,
optimism, and organization based self-esteem) predicted work engagement. In
another study, Xanthoupoulou et al. (2013), investigated a two-wave study where
personal resources (self-efficacy and optimism) buffer emotional demand and
emotional rule dissonance over work engagement. The result reflected that in a
buffering situation; when self-efficacy was low, emotional demand and dissonance
portrayed a negative relationship with work engagement. On the other hand, in a
boosting situation, self-efficacy had a positive relationship with work engagement.
Bakker and Xanthoupoulou (2013) identified the intervening role of personal
resources (self-efficacy and resiliency) in two leadership behaviors, i.e. creativity and
charismatic leadership qualities among female school principals. In their study, they
explored how personal resources partially mediate the relationship between job
resources and work engagement and how they indirectly affect the leadership
behaviors of the school principals. Acting as a strong predictor of work engagement,
the following hypothesis could be derived.
H3: Personal resources have a positive influence on work engagement.
Meaningful work
Meaningful work is a complex, multidimensional construct in organization literature,
and has been conceptualized through various perspectives by researchers. This study
is going to adopt the definition of meaningful work from May et al’s. (2004) work.
According to them, meaningful work is defined as the individual’s value regarding the
work goal according to their own standard.
Meaningful work has a significant impact on an individual's perception
towards employees' work engagement. A growing number of researchers have
studied the concept of meaningful work within the context of work engagement
(Chalofsky and Krishna, 2009). Fairlie (2011) identified a strong correlation between
employees' work engagement and meaningful work. Soane et al. (2013) examined the
mediating and moderating factors that are associated with employees' perception of
work and absence. The results depicted that meaningful work increases the level of
work engagement. The results also showed that work engagement mediates the
relationship between meaningful work and absenteeism. According to Holbeche and
Springett (2004), as employees spend a significant amount of their time in the
workplace, it is essential for them to find the purpose or meaning of their work. They
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also claimed that individuals prefer to le ave an organization if they cannot locate the
meaning of their work. This discussion can generate the following hypothesis:
H4: Meaningful work has a positive influence on work engagement.
Mediating role of meaningful work between resources and work engagement
To motivate employees and retain them, understanding the deeper needs of the
individual is required (Cartwright and Holmes, 2006). Experiencing meaningful work
can help the organization to achieve optimum outcomes for the employees (Steger et
al., 2012). Kahn (1990) claimed that people invest or withdraw themselves based on
their psychological experience in their role.
The motivational potential of the resources develops the work meaningful for
the employees (Salanova et al., 2006). Albrecht (2012) showed that organizational
resources have a strong influence over work engagement and he predicted that
individuals’ psychological state towards meaningful work might influence the
relationships between organizational resources and work engagement. In another
sense, a lack of organizational resources is responsible for creating de-motivation
among employees towards their work (Salanova et al., 2006) which can create
disengagement among the employees. Similar assumptions also lead to job and
personal resources. According to Schaufeli and Bakker (2004), the intrinsic
motivational aspect of job resources increases employees’ growth and personal
development by fulfilling basic human needs. Therefore, job resources act as a
predictor for creating meaningful work in work environment (Clausen and Borg,
2011). If the work environment cannot provide sufficient level for job resources, the
motivation towards achieving the task, most importantly, the effort made by
employees will be hindered, and eventually they will be disengaged (Bakker and
Demerouti, 2008). Albrecht (2013) explained the necessity to understand the
psychological process between personal resources and work engagement. In his
conceptual framework, he developed the idea of seeing how the need for satisfaction
of meaningful work could influence personal resources and work engagement.
Personal resources such as optimism, resilience, self-efficacy, and hope might have an
influence of the psychological experience of meaningful work (Albrecht, 2013). He
developed a comprehensive conceptual framework whereby he tried to convey how
personal resources could influence the need for satisfaction of meaningful work to
result in work engagement. In another piece of research, Jacob (2013) found that job
features and personal characteristics affect work engagement through psychological
conditions of meaningful work, safety, and availability. According to Steger et al.
(2012), it is important to understand which personality trait or values could lead to
experiencing meaningfulness. Based on the above discussion, the following
hypotheses have been developed:
H5: Meaningful work mediates the relationship between organizational
resources and work engagement.
H6: Meaningful work mediates the relationship between job resources and
engagement.
H7: Meaningful work mediates the relationship between personal resources and
work engagement.
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Figure 1. Mediating role of meaningful work between resources and work engagement
Source: Author’s own research.
Research methodology
Sample and procedure
The purpose of the study was to investigate the role of meaningful work between
resources and work engagement. The study was conducted in the private banking
sector in Bangladesh. A convenient sampling method was used to select the
participants. Out of 500 respondents, 440 respondents participated in this study. A
self-administered survey method has been used to assess the variables. The questions
were formulated by using a five point Likert scale format.
Variables and measurement scales
Work engagement was evaluated by using the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale
(UWES) developed by Schaufeli et al. (2006). The questionnaire consisted of three
subscales: vigor, dedication, and absorption. 12 items were selected to conduct the
current study. Meaningful work was evaluated by using the meaningful work scale
that was developed by Steger et al. (2012). 4 items were selected to conduct this
study. Organization climate was evaluated by the scale developed by Rogg et al.
(2001). 5 items were selected to conduct this study. Organization support was
evaluated by the scale developed by Saks (2006). 4 items were selected to conduct
this study. Value congruence was evaluated by the scale developed by Thomas (2013).
4 items were selected to conduct this study. HRM practices was evaluated by the scale
developed by Gould-Williams and Davies (2005). 4 items were selected to conduct
this study. Fairness was evaluated by the scale developed by Gould-Williams and
David (2005). 4 items were selected to conduct this study. Autonomy was evaluated
by the scale developed by Morgeson and Humphrey (2006). 4 items were selected to
conduct this study. Social support was evaluated by the scale developed by Morgeson
and Humphrey (2006). 4 items were selected to conduct this study. Performance
feedback was evaluated by the scale developed by Morgeson and Humphrey (2006). 3
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items were selected to conduct this study. Task significance was evaluated by the
scale developed by Morgeson and Humphrey (2006). 3 items were selected to conduct
this study. Opportunities for learning and development were evaluated by the scale
developed by van Veldhoven and Meijman (1994). 4 items were selected to conduct
this study. Self-efficacy was evaluated by the scale developed by Sapyaprapa et al.
(2013). 4 items were selected to conduct this study. Organization based self-esteem
was evaluated by the scale developed by Pierce et al. (1989). 4 items were selected to
conduct this study. Hope was evaluated by the scale developed by Sapyaprapa et al.
(2013). 3 items were selected to conduct this study. Resiliency was evaluated by the
scale developed by Sapyaprapa et al. (2013). 4 items were selected to conduct this
study. Optimism was evaluated by the scale developed by Sapyaprapa et al. (2013). 4
items were selected to conduct this study.
Results
Descriptive statistics
74.8% males and 25.2 % females took part in this survey. 51.4% respondents were in
the age group of 31-40 years old and 45.7% were in between 21 and 30 years old. The
majority of them were working at the mid-level position (47.0%) in the organization,
while most of them serving the organization around three years (40.5%). The
respondents’ education was also equally divided into banking and non-banking
backgrounds. 50.9% of the employees had studied business administration in their
graduate level. 49.1% respondents had a different academic background.
Multiple regression analysis
This research follows Barron and Kenny’s (1986) method of conducting mediation
analysis. To confirm the mediation analysis, first, all the independent variables (OR, JR
and PR) must predict the mediating variable of meaningful work (MW). Second, the
mediator, meaningful work, must influence the dependent variable work engagement
(WE). Third, a significant influence will be observed between the relationship of the
independent (OR, JR, and PR) and dependent variables (WE) by adding a mediator
(MW). After adding the mediating variable, MW, if the influence is reduced, it will be
considered a partial mediation whereas if the relationship becomes insignificant, it
will be noted a full mediation. For condition three, the resources must predict work
engagement.
Therefore, it is observed in Table 1 that, in step 1, the resources were
regressed with the mediating variable meaningful work. All the resources were
depicted as significant positive influences with meaningful work (OR=1.00*,
JR=.333***, PR=.245***). In step 2, meaningful work significantly influenced work
engagement (β= .686***). This result confirms hypothesis 4. In step 3(a), all the
resources had regression with work engagement and they showed a significantly
positive influence between the variables (OR=.241***, JR=.280***, PR=.301***). Thus,
it confirms the hypotheses 1, 2 and 3. The mediation effect is observed in step 3(b)
while adding a mediating variable along with the independent variables. After adding
meaningful work, a significant influence was observed but the influence of the
resources became less strong which could conclude of existence of partial mediation
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in the model. The result is best described in Table 2. Table 2 depicted that the total
effect between organizational resources and work engagement was β =.241, p=.000,
which was reduced after adding meaningful work. Therefore, the direct effect of
organizational resources on work engagement was β = .198, p=.000. Similar
observations were also found in two other resources. The total effect of job and
personal resources on work engagement were β =.280, p=.000 and β =.301, p=.000
respectively. Both of the resources showed significantly less influence on work
engagement after adding meaningful work. Therefore, the direct effect of job and
personal resources on work engagement were β =.137, p=.000 and β =.196, p=.000
respectively.
Mediation in the relationship existed when the indirect effect became lower
than the total effect. According to Mathieu and Taylor (2006), indirect effect is
considered a form of an intervening effect that the predictors and dependent variable
are related to indirectly by having a significant relationship. In table 2 , it is depicted
that the indirect effect of OR, JR and PR were .043, .143, and.105 respectively which
were lower than the total effect.
To see the magnitude of the mediation effect, the Sobel (1982) z test was
performed. The Sobel test showed the significance of an indirect effect in table 2. If the
indirect effect was not significant, it was considered a full mediation. On the other
hand, partial mediation existed when the indirect effect was significant. The result
showed that meaningful work partially mediated the relationship between
organizational, job, personal resources and work engagement (z=.043, p=.001, z=
.143,p=.001, z= .105, p=.001 respectively). Therefore, hypotheses 5, 6 and 7 have been
proven.
Table 1. Multiple Regression Analysis
Step 1 Independent variables (OR, JR, and PR) predicts mediating variable (MW)
Variables
β
t
p
Organizational Resources
.100
1.872
.062
Job Resources
.333
5.855
.000
Personal Resources
.245
5.087
.000
Step 2 Mediating variable (MW) predicts dependent variable (WE)
Variables
β
t
p
Meaningful Work
.686
19.708
.000
Step 3 (a) Independent variables (OR, JR, and PR) predicts dependent variable (WE)
Variables
β
t
p
Organizational Resources
.241
5.092
.000
Job Resources
.280
5.553
.000
Personal Resources
.301
7.063
.000
Step 3 (b) Independent (OR, JR, and PR) and mediating variable (MW) predicts dependent
variable (WE)
Variables
β
t
p
Meaningful Work
.429
11.545
.000
Organizational Resources
.198
4.759
.000
Job Resources
.137
2.987
.003
Personal Resources
.196
5.101
.000
Source: Author’s own research
OR: Organizational resources; JR: Job resources; PR: Personal resources; MW: Meaningful work; WE: Work engagement
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Table 2. Mediation Effect
Relationship
Total Effect (C)
Direct Effect (C)
Indirect Effect (using
Sobel, z, test)
β
p
β
p
Β
P
Model 1
OR-MW-WE
.241
.000
.198
.000
.043
.063
Model 2
JR-MW-WE
.280
.000
.137
.003
.143
.000
Model 3
PR-MW-WE
.301
.000
.196
.000
.105
.000
Source: Author’s own research
OR: Organizational resources; JR: Job resources; PR: Personal resources; MW: Meaningful work; WE: Work engagement
Figure 2. Partial mediation effect of meaningful work between resources and work
engagement
Source: Author’s own research.
Discussion
The study examined the mediating role of meaningful work between the resources
(i.e. organizational resources, job resources and personal resources) and work
engagement. The result showed that meaningful work partially mediates the
relationship between organizational, job, personal resources and work engagement.
Similar findings have been observed in previous literature. While exploring the
mechanisms of the JD-R model, researchers found the mediating effect of meaningful
work between job resources and work engagement (Albrecht and Su, 2012).
Suggestions were given by the researchers to explore the mediation effect of
meaningful work between other resources, such as organizational and personal
resources, and work engagement (Albrecht and Su, 2012). Thus, this study is first
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going to present the result of the mediating effect of meaningful work between
personal, organizational resources and work engagement.
The partial mediation effect of meaningful work was observed between
organizational resources and work engagement. Organizational resources such as
organization climate, value congruence, fairness, HRM practices, and organization
support were found to be important antecedents of work engagement as they have a
significant influence on work engagement. However, the direct influence altered once
meaningful work took place. It was observed that the relationship effect between
organizational resources and work engagement became low once meaningful work
entered into the relationship. Meaningful work creates a significant impact on
employees’ working conditions. Employees were found to be more engaged while
receiving a higher degree of organizational resources. For an example, this study
explored how a positive organization climate, fairness, and good HRM practices
influences employees to be more motivated and goal-oriented and this, therefore,
influences their work performance. Bakker et al. (2007) explored how an
organizational climate stimulates the job to become more interesting, challenging and
growth oriented and how employees found themselves more attached and engaged to
perform their tasks. This situation has an interesting turn while the employees found
their job as meaningful. When individuals found a purpose in their work, their
motivation level increased significantly (Baumeister, 1991). Organizational resources
can create the work meaningful for their employees. Gelade and Ivery (2003) found
that through the HRM system, an organization can form a meaningful work
environment for its employees. In a meaningful environment, employees found
themselves a significant contributor as well as having valuable elements for the
organization. These attributes eventually allowed the employees to be more engaged
towards their work.
The study also revealed that meaningful work partially mediated job resources
and work engagement. Job resources such as autonomy, performance feedback,
opportunities for learning and development, task significance and social support were
found to be strong predictors of work engagement. Moreover, the level of employees’
work engagement improved once they found their job was meaningful and it met the
purpose of why they were doing the job. When job resources created work which was
meaningful for their employees, they tended to be more engaged towards their work.
Similar findings have been observed in previous literature (Albrecht and Su, 2012). In
their research, Albrecht and Su (2012) identified that psychological mechanisms such
as meaningfulness, felt obligation and mood mediated the relationship between job
resources and work engagement in a Chinese telecom company. According to their
finding, job resources such as autonomy, performance feedback and colleague support
influence the psychological need of the employees and eventually influence his
engagement condition. Kahn (1990) identified that job resources such as task
characteristics, role characteristics and work interaction played significant roles on
work engagement and meaningful work had full mediation between these variables.
May et al. (2004) found that job enrichment, co-worker relation and work role fit were
the prime determinants of meaningful work that influence work engagement.
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The study also depicted the partial mediating role of meaningful work between
personal resources and work engagement. Personal resources such as self-efficacy,
organization-based self-esteem, optimism, hope and resiliency were found to be
strong antecedents of work engagement. Previous studies have confirmed the positive
influence between personal resources and work engagement. Karatepe and Olugbade
(2009) found that self-efficacy was one of the personal resources that enhanced the
level of employee’s work engagement. According to them, employees who are
competitive and believe in themselves can be fully engrossed in their work. Similar
findings were also observed by Xanthoupoulou et al. (2007), who found a positive
association with self-efficacy, self-esteem and optimism and work engagement.
Employees who believe in themselves are more confident, optimistic and competitive,
which influences them to become more engaged in their job. Other research also
portrayed the same conclusion. In their study on police officers, Storm and Rothmann
(2003) found that police officers who were optimistic, self-efficient and pursued
active coping styles tended to be more engaged than others. In a longitudinal study,
Bakker et al. (2008) investigated how personal resources such as self-efficacy and
optimism greatly influenced work engagement over a time period. In another study,
Othman and Nasurdin (2011) explored the positive associations between hope,
resilience and work engagement. Employees who were resilient tended to be more
engaged to their work. Wilson and Ferch (2005) found that resilience enables
employees to be more flexible and adapt to changes that influence their performance
levels.
From the theoretical perspective, the findings support the motivational
background of JD-R model. According to the theory, resources can fulfill the intrinsic
need of the individual that enhance the motivation process of the employees and
create positive attitude towards their work (Bakker and Demerouti, 2008). In
addition, Hobfoll’s (1989) conservation of resources (COR) theory also pertains with
the current findings. The theory reflects the motivational influence through
availability of resources as claimed by JD-R model. It also added that individuals have
a tendency to accumulate resources to strengthen the existing ones. This
accumulation eventually makes the employees more motivated and engaged towards
their work (Hobfoll, 1989; Xanthoupoulou et al., 2009). Furthermore, the pattern of
findings also aligns with social exchange theory, which deals with the reciprocate
relationship between elements. According to social exchange theory, employees
become more obliged to their duties if sufficient resources are provided and job
becomes meaningful to them (Albrecht, 2013). As a reciprocate nature, the availability
of the resources enables the employees to become more energized, motivated and
engaged towards their job (Saks, 2006).
In the context of Bangladesh private banking sector, this research creates new
knowledge to understand the influence of meaningful work between resources and
work engagement. As lack of empirical evidence is showing in Bangladesh context,
this research brings new light to understand the psychological mechanism that
influences the relationship between organizational, job, personal resources and work
engagement.
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Implications
Implications for research
The engagement literature is mostly dominated by its outcome knowledge. However,
researchers have discussed focusing on the process of work engagement (Chalofsky
and Krishna 2009). Moreover, developing a work engagement relationship with
antecedents of various types of the resource has not been studied on a large scale. In
this study, the author has created an extended framework, including organizational,
job, and personal resources, where the engagement literature will explore its
antecedents in broader perspectives through the lens of meaningful work. Moreover,
this research will also bring new knowledge about organizational resources as not
much research has been carried out on this subject. Therefore, the process of
developing work engagement will contribute with new knowledge to the literature.
Another important variable in this research is meaningful work. Playing a
mediating role, new insights into this variable regarding the psychological process in
both the JD-R framework and engagement literature will be generated. Though
previous studies supported the relationship between meaningful work and work
engagement as well as job resources and meaningful work, the relationship with
personal resources and organizational resources has yet to be discovered.
Researchers often approach positive psychological behavior when they work on
engagement issues. Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000) stated that engagement is
highly dependent on the conditions where individuals flourish.
As organizational resources are considered an extended new variable in the JD-
R framework, the concept needs intense analysis for deeper understanding. In this
regard, the current study will build up an idea which suits the JD-R framework more.
Developing constructs for this variable will add new prospects for conducting
research in different contexts. Moreover, considering a significant predictor of work
engagement will enhance the JD-R model through its motivation process (Albrecht,
2012).
Implications for practitioners
The current study could provide a better concept than the previous ones regarding
the process and procedures of work engagement. Serrano and Reichard (2011) stated
that to prevent disengagement, the managers should be well-aware of the engagement
process. Therefore, it will be expected from training managers to develop an
integrated training and development program to improve the level of work
engagement in their employees. The study will facilitate the current organization
setting regarding engagement issues as every year the organizations put tremendous
effort, both financial and non-financial, in increasing the engagement level of the
employees.
Furthermore, management will be able to understand different types of
resources well and identify the ones that are suitable for their organizational context.
Through this, employees will also learn which resources they should focus on more.
Through psychological intervention such as meaningful work, employers can provide
better opportunities to engage employees, as their work engagement level varies
according to their psychological needs (Albrecht and Su, 2012).
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From the practitioner's report, it has been seen that due to disengagement,
organizations incur a huge loss (Gallup, 2013). The evidence-based model of this
study will help organizations to reshape training programs as per the requirements of
the context. Besides, the study will also help the decision-makers to view these
perspectives from a new angle. For example, senior management will have an
opportunity to redesign the job through understanding the context of the
organization, providing participative workplace culture for the employees, developing
an engagement focused training program and so on. Interventions to improve the
process of work engagement will also be stimulated through the development of the
feedback process (Albrecht, 2012).
Conclusion and future research
This study investigated the mediating role of meaningful work between resources and
work engagement in Bangladeshi private banks. A partial mediation has been
witnessed among the variables. Organizational, job and personal resources have
found to be a direct relationship with work engagement. After intervening of
meaningful work as a mediator, the relationships turned into an indirect effect.
Therefore, the result confirmed the partial effect of meaningful work between
resources and work engagement.
In addition, the result also confirmed the proposed model. The model well
explained how the engagement level of the employees enhanced through resources
with a mediating impact of meaningful work. Therefore, the model can be a source of
future studies to extend the understandings of the variables. This study eventually
provides several research outcomes that may help both the practitioners,
organizations and academics. The organization can design and build its resources to
uplift the engagement level of the employees with the assistance of creating
meaningful work.
Future research of this study can be done through validating the results in
different organizational setting. Different methodological approaches could be
followed to observe the variables. A mixed method can be used to understand the
phenomena in details. A new set of respondents can also validate the result. The
researchers can also develop the scale according to the understanding of different
cultural settings.
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... Performance-related outcomes might be what organizations care about most, as it regards their bottom line. Positive associations were found between meaningful work and the following performance-related outcomes: contextual performance (Ling, 2014); less cyberloafing (Usman et al., 2019); efficacy (Hu & Hirsh, 2017b); individual performance (Hu & Hirsh, 2017b;Wingerden & Stoep, 2018); working hard (BetterUp, 2018); organizational, job, and personal resources (Nawrin, 2018); productivity (BetterUp, 2018); skills training (Nikolova & Cnossen, 2020); and task performance (Ling, 2014). The only negative performance-related outcome that meaningful work was found to cause was existential labor evidenced in Bailey et al. (2017). ...
... This reflects embeddedness and hierarchy culture orientations according to Schwartz's theory (2006), which meaning in the life of people, who live in the societies where signify these values, comes largely through social relationships with an order, respect, obedience. Other interesting findings in Asia were by Nawrin (2018) Nawrin (2018) found that the relationships between organizational, job, and personal resources and work engagement were partially mediated through meaningful work. It could be explained that Asian employees feel more engaged in work when they feel supported by the organization and significant people around them. ...
... They found out that meaningful work helps minimize online loafing behavior, the variable that has been overlooked in earlier literature. In summary, performance-related outcomes that would occur when Asian employees experience meaningfulness in their work motivated them to do more for others and organizations (Ling, 2014;Nawrin, 2018), whose behaviors are valued by social norms. Whereas, western employees would instead put more effort to make their performance better (BetterUp, 2018;Hu & Hirsh, 2017b;Nikolova & Cnossen, 2020). ...
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Most of the existing literature on meaningful work has come from North America and Europe. Despite an increasing interest in the area in the recent years among scholars and practitioners, there is still a lack of review articles synthesizing meaningful work outcomes, especially studies from Asia. To address this gap, this paper reports a contemporary systematic review from 2000 to July 2020 on meaningful work outcomes by including studies in Asia. The authors focus on answering the question “What are the outcomes when employees experience meaningfulness in work?” A systematic review approach was employed in which material, including gray literature, was gleaned from five online databases. Using specific key search terms, the authors independently evaluated the abstracts and selected literature pertinent to the review question. Further discussion was done to resolve any disagreement on specific items. After selection, the materials were extracted and synthesized. The result revealed that Asian studies affirmed meaningful work outcomes in work-related and personal aspects. The findings suggest that meaningful work is a promising workforce solution in the modern era, as it yields numerous positive outcomes to employees and organizations. Meaningful work should be applied in an integrative way; employees find or craft it in a proactive manner, while organizations manage meaning at all levels at the workplace. Essentially, the authors propose two key elements for effective implementation: integration and balance. Suggestions for future research include further exploration about meaningful work from different stakeholders. Practical implications for individuals and organizations are also discussed.
... Esta investigación se desarrolla con una perspectiva de caso de negocio del CL con el cual se busca explicar cómo el bienestar de los empleados puede contribuir al éxito de las organizaciones prestadoras de servicios. En dichas organizaciones, el CL es un elemento clave para la consecución de sus objetivos (Nawrin, 2018), ya que los empleados, a través de sus actitudes, reflejan la imagen organizacional, influyendo en las decisiones del cliente (Nguyen, Nguyen, Ngo, & Nguyen, 2019), y en el atractivo para futuros colaboradores (Hinojosa & Cogco, 2020). Adicionalmente, es un tema de especial interés para las organizaciones (Gheitani, Imani, Seyyedamiri, & Foroudi, 2019) porque contribuye al éxito financiero (Harunavamwe, Nel, & Zyl, 2020), disminuye las intenciones tempranas de dejar el empleo (Karatepe, Ozturk, & Kim 2019), y tiene efectos positivos en el desempeño laboral y la lealtad del cliente (Nguyen et al., 2019;Salanova, Agut, & Peiro, 2005). ...
... Bartram, Wang & Mei, 2016); apoyo familiar y autoeficacia (Karatepe et al., 2019), recursos personales, del trabajo y organizacionales (Nawrin, 2018); y SL (Garg, Dar & Mishra, 2018). Adicionalmente, se sostiene que el CL aumenta el desempeño y disminuye las intenciones de cambiar de empleo (Karatepe et al., 2019;Lathabhavan, Balasubramanian, & Natarajan, 2017). ...
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The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between quality in work factors (QWF) and work engagement (WE) with a mediating role of job satisfaction (JS). A quantitative cross-sectional methodology was used. The sample consisted of 234 bank employees. Data were analyzed with technique structural equation modeling. Results revealed that JS is a total mediator between QWF and WE. The evidence indicates that QWF is an antecedent of WE in the banking sector, but engagement will be increased when banking employees as well are satisfied with their jobs. The overall level of JS and WE was high because bank employees perceive quality on responsibility, feedback, wage, and social support as work factors. This study presents a scope of results limited to the north-central region of Mexico. Keywords: quality in work factors; work engagement; job satisfaction; banking sector; mediation
... This research is developed with a WE business case perspective that seeks to explain how employee well-being can contribute to the success of service organizations. In such organizations, WE is a key element for the achievement of their objectives (Nawrin, 2018), since employees, through their attitudes, reflect the organizational image, influencing customer decisions (Nguyen, Nguyen, Ngo, & Nguyen, 2019), and the attractiveness for future collaborators (Hinojosa & Cogco, 2020). Additionally, it is a topic of particular interest to organizations (Gheitani, Imani, Seyyedamiri, & Foroudi, 2019) because it contributes to financial success (Harunavamwe, Nel, & Zyl, 2020), decreases early intentions to leave a job (Karatepe, Ozturk, & Kim 2019), and has positive effects on job performance and customer loyalty (Nguyen et al., 2019;Salanova, Agut, & Peiro, 2005). ...
... It is made up of determination (investing high energy and effort), dedication (higher than standard participation) and absorption (remaining fully concentrated) (Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004;Schaufeli et al., 2006). Recent studies in the banking context have found evidence that WE receives positive effects of self-leadership, job integration, and psychological resources (Harunavamwe et al., 2020); psychosocial safety (Tagoe & Amponsah-Tawiah, 2020); job cognition (Nguyen et al., 2019); highperformance work systems and resilience (Cooke, Cooper, Bartram, Wang & Mei, 2016); family support and self-efficacy (Karatepe et al., 2019); personal, work and organizational resources (Nawrin, 2018); and JS (Garg, Dar & Mishra, 2018). Additionally, it is argued that WE increases performance and decreases intentions to change jobs (Karatepe et al., 2019;Lathabhavan, Balasubramanian, & Natarajan, 2017). ...
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Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between quality in work factors (QWF) and work engagement (WE) with a mediating role of job satisfaction (JS). A quantitative cross-sectional methodology was used. The sample consisted of 234 bank employees. Data were analyzed with technique structural equation modeling. Results revealed that JS is a total mediator between QWF and WE. The evidence indicates that QWF is an antecedent of WE in the banking sector, but engagement will be increased when banking employees as well are satisfied with their jobs. The overall level of JS and WE was high because bank employees perceive quality on responsibility, feedback, wage, and social support as work factors. This study presents a scope of results limited to the north-central region of Mexico. Keywords: quality in work factors; work engagement; job satisfaction; banking sector; mediation
... Personal trait consists of personal resources and job demand resources. Individuals with personal resources will have meaningful work experiences (Nawrin, 2018). Meanwhile, job demand resources express individual psychological processes about job tension and http://www.webology.org ...
... Research conducted by Nawrin (2018) states that organizational affect meaningful work. The concept of organizational resources is an arrangement of motivational constructions presented by organizations to increase employee efficiency and encourage self-development and high job demands. ...
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This paper conducts a theoretical review of meaningful work at the individual level, organizational level, and society contribution by identifying the limitations of previous research. The Systematic literature review (SLR) was used in this research design using the PRISMA protocol, which systematizes various conceptualizations of meaningful work into a coherent business, management and accounting and psychology study in the 2000-2020 period from 57 relevant articles. The research findings are the first body of literature in this field, the second is the antecedent and consequences variables in previous research and the third is the perspectives harmonization of meaningful work at multi levels that are formed among individual level, organizational levels and contribution to society. The research implication is to identify important issues that can be used in future research about meaningful work studies by replicating new or existing variables. This study is expected to provide a basis consideration for future researchers regarding the antecedents and consequences variables of meaningful work by developing concepts at different levels of analysis but interrelated to provide an in-depth and complementary perspective on the phenomenon of meaningful work with regard to benefits to society.
... Consequently, the performance of banking firms largely depends on the extraordinary performance of their employees, which in turn essentially depends on the engaged and dedicated employees (Rahman, 2016). Due to severe competition and greater customer demand for quality service in the banking sector of Bangladesh (Al Karim, 2019), addressing employees' work engagement should be a prioritized issue among the bank administrators as well as researchers (Nawrin, 2018). It is argued that engaged employees usually value, dedicate, enjoy and feel proud in performing their job responsibilities and thus can provide a competitive advantage for the banks for attaining success (Rahman, 2016). ...
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The study examines the effect of organizational justice and its four dimensions (distributive justice, procedural justice, interpersonal justice, and informational justice) on work engagement of bankers. Using convenience sampling method, the study collected cross-sectional, self-reported data from 113 branch-level bank officers working in various private commercial banks in Bangladesh. SPSS version 25 was employed to analyze data with the help of ANOVA, Pearson correlation and regression. Findings suggest that organizational justice and its all four dimensions have significant positive effects on work engagement. The study discusses the results in the light of social exchange theory and provides theoretical and managerial implications of the findings.
... Consequently, the performance of banking firms largely depends on the extraordinary performance of their employees, which in turn essentially depends on the engaged and dedicated employees (Rahman, 2016). Due to severe competition and greater customer demand for quality service in the banking sector of Bangladesh (Al Karim, 2019), addressing employees' work engagement should be a prioritized issue among the bank administrators as well as researchers (Nawrin, 2018). It is argued that engaged employees usually value, dedicate, enjoy and feel proud in performing their job responsibilities and thus can provide a competitive advantage for the banks for attaining success (Rahman, 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
The study examines the effect of organizational justice and its four dimensions (distributive justice, procedural justice, interpersonal justice, and informational justice) on work engagement of bankers. Using convenience sampling method, the study collected cross-sectional, self-reported data from 113 branch-level bank officers working in various private commercial banks in Bangladesh. SPSS version 25 was employed to analyze data with the help of ANOVA, Pearson correlation, and regression. Findings suggest that organizational justice and its all four dimensions have significant positive effects on work engagement. The study discusses the results in the light of social exchange theory and provides theoretical and managerial implications of the findings.
... To motivate individuals at work, a deeper understanding of their needs is required [52]. Experiencing meaningful work can help any organisation to achieve maximum outcomes [42]. ...
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Although it is known that intrinsic motivation has a significant impact on individuals' innovative work behaviour, there is still an unresolved gap in the literature in terms of examining the relationship between intrinsic motivations, innovative work behaviour and psychological mechanism such as meaningful work, especially in the education system. Thus, this study sought to explore the mediating effect of meaningful work in the relationship between intrinsic motivation and innovative work behaviour in public schools. The study adopted a quantitative approach, and a survey instrument was used to collect data. A sample of 309 participated in this study; and these included teachers in public schools in Northeast, Nigeria. PLS-SEM was performed to analyze the data, and the results confirmed that meaningful work mediated the relationship between intrinsic motivation and teachers' innovative work behaviour. Since meaningful work was identified as a significant predictor, school administrators and educational reformers can develop jobs in which teachers can relate their purpose to their work. This will consequently promote intrinsic motivation and encourage teachers to engage in self-initiated innovative behaviour. It is recommended that future research may apply this model to different contexts and settings.
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This study examined the relationship between demands, resources, meaningful work, and burnout of counselors‐in‐training. The results of structural equation modeling indicated that demands and resources significantly predicted burnout of counselors‐in‐training, whereas meaningful work did not mediate the relationship between resources and burnout. Implications for counselor education are discussed.
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Background: With the social environment requirements for innovation and creativity, requirements for enterprises' innovation and creativity are also higher. However, research on the working pressure and innovation behavior of enterprise managers is rare. Objective: To explore the relationship between the working pressure of managers and creative organizational behavior, provide a reference for the development of corporate innovation activities, thereby improving corporate organizational creativity. Methods: Managers in enterprises under social networks' background are selected as research objects to study the relationship between their working pressure and creative organizational behavior. First, the theory of pressure cognition activation is elaborated. The challenge pressure, hindrance pressure, and organizational creativity are selected as the basis, and the reliability and validity of the corresponding scale tools are analyzed and tested. Second, based on the relationship among challenging working pressure, hindrance working pressure, and organizational, creative behavior activities, two hypotheses are proposed, which are expressed as Hypothesis 1 and Hypothesis 2, respectively. Finally, according to the managerial working pressure in organizational, creative behavioral activities, two kinds of hypotheses are proposed, which are represented by Hypothesis 3 and Hypothesis 4, respectively. Results: The results show: The selected scale tools have good reliability and validity. The Cronbach's Alpha reliability coefficients corresponding to challenge pressure, hindrance pressure, and organizational, creative behavior activities are all above 0.85. The challenge pressure has a significantly positive impact on organizational creativity (P < 0.01), while the hindrance pressure has a significantly negative impact on organizational creativity (P < 0.01); therefore, Hypothesis 1 and Hypothesis 2 are verified. The organizational support for creative behavior activities has a dual adjustment impact. In addition to negatively regulating the positive path of managers' working pressure on work engagement, organizational support also positively regulates the positive path of managers' work engagement on organizational creativity. Therefore, Hypothesis 3 and Hypothesis 4 are verified. Conclusions: The above results provide a theoretical reference for a profound understanding of the relationship between working pressure and creative behavior and the improvement of the creative ability of enterprises.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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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.
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The article introduces the construct "organization-based self-esteem" and its measurement. We developed a partial nomological network resulting in a set of hypotheses that guided efforts lo validate the construct and its measurement. Homogeneity of scale items, test-retest and internal consistency reliability, and convergent, discriminant, incremental, concurrent, and predictive validity estimates were all in­ inspected through conducting field studies and a laboratory experiment. We present results from a validation effort involving seven studies that draw on data from over 2,000 individuals, representing diverse organizations and occupations. Results support the construct validity of the measurement and most of the hypotheses. The organization-based self-esteem scale has been used in 100s of published studies since its validation, and a well-developed organization-based self-esteem theory now exists.
Book
I: Background.- 1. An Introduction.- 2. Conceptualizations of Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination.- II: Self-Determination Theory.- 3. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Perceived Causality and Perceived Competence.- 4. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Interpersonal Communication and Intrapersonal Regulation.- 5. Toward an Organismic Integration Theory: Motivation and Development.- 6. Causality Orientations Theory: Personality Influences on Motivation.- III: Alternative Approaches.- 7. Operant and Attributional Theories.- 8. Information-Processing Theories.- IV: Applications and Implications.- 9. Education.- 10. Psychotherapy.- 11. Work.- 12. Sports.- References.- Author Index.
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Chapter
The application of positive psychology to the context of work has attracted enormous interest within both academic and practitioner domains over the past decade (e.g., Keyes & Haidt, 2003; Linley, Harrington, & Garcea, 2010; Luthans, 2002). From a practitioner perspective, there has been a proliferation of organizational development, human resource, talent management, leadership development, team development and coaching programs, initiatives, and interventions that have positive psychological principles at their core. The Gallup organization, for instance, has administered the Clifton Strengths Finder in thousands of organizations across the globe, aiming to help people learn about and build upon their talents and strengths to enhance all facets of their working experience (see Clifton & Harter, 2003).
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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.