Perspectives, Issues, Research and Practice
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Simon L. Albrecht
Chapter 11: Engaging Middle Managers: Activities and Resources Which Enhance Middle Manager Engagement
Karina Nielsen and Eusebio Rial González Introduction The importance of engaged employees has received widespread attention and the antecedents and consequences of engagement are well documented (Schaufeli & Salanova, 2008). Engagement has been defined as a positive, affective–motivational work-related state of fulfillment that is characterized by vigor, dedication and absorption (Schaufeli et al., 2002). In a review of the literature, Schaufeli and Salanova (2008) concluded that engaged employees were both more productive and reported higher levels of job satisfaction, commitment and fewer intentions to quit. There has, however, been less interest in middle managers, whose engagement can have wide-ranging consequences: unengaged middle managers may make faulty decisions or leave the organization and the costs may be farreaching. Alternatively, the engaged middle manager may perform his/her job well and provide a positive example for other staff. In this chapter we review the literature on engagement in middle managers and draw from related research that may contribute to our understanding of the engaged middle manager. Furthermore, we shall also present some as yet unpublished data on the antecedents of engagement among leaders. Why is engagement in middle managers important? Engaged middle managers are particularly important for two reasons: first, because they play a decisive role in allowing the organization to achieve its objectives and maintain staff well-being and second, because engaged middle managers may to a larger extent be engaging. Individuals high in engagement experience more positive emotions (Schaufeli & Van Rhenen, 2006). Research shows that happy people are more likely to...