Table of Contents

Handbook of Employee Engagement

Handbook of Employee Engagement

Perspectives, Issues, Research and Practice

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Simon L. Albrecht

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.

Chapter 12: Leadership and Engagement: A Brief Review of the Literature, a Proposed Model, and Practical Implications

Jesse Segers, Peggy De Prins and Sonja Brouwers

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour


Jesse Segers, Peggy De Prins and Sonja Brouwers Introduction The claim that leaders can influence the engagement level of their staff is for most employees stating the obvious. The academic literature has not, however, paid attention to this assumption and has hardly addressed the question of how leaders influence the engagement level of their followers. The purpose of this chapter is to address this question by reviewing the few studies available in this area, proposing some avenues for future research, and by offering some implications for leadership development that follow from the preliminary research. Positive leadership and state engagement Engagement has been described in many different ways in the literature (Macey & Schneider, 2008), but refers in this chapter to “a persistent, positive, affective-motivational state of fulfilment in employees that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption” (Maslach et al., 2001, p. 417, italics added). This form of engagement is empirically distinct from organizational commitment and job involvement, but shares at the same time the positive attachment to work (Hallberg & Schaufeli, 2006). Given that state engagement belongs to the positive organizational behavior movement (Bakker & Schaufeli, 2008), it is not surprising that some studies have researched its link with positive forms of leadership (that is, transformational leadership, empowering leadership, and the coaching style of leadership). Leaders influence other states of their followers that influence state engagement Segers et al. (2009a) revealed in a cross-sectional Belgian study (n = 2,868) that perceived transformational leadership indirectly and positively influenced employee vigor, dedication, and absorption...

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