Perspectives, Issues, Research and Practice
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Simon L. Albrecht
Chapter 15: Key Driver Analyses: Current Trends, Problems, and Alternative Approaches
Charles A. Scherbaum, Dan J. Putka, Loren J. Naidoo and David Youssefnia Introduction Managers and organizational leaders are interested in understanding the factors in their organizations that can produce high levels of employee engagement (Macey et al., 2009). At the core of their interest are two questions: 1. 2. What are the most important organizational factors in predicting engagement? Where should the organization focus its resources and take action to improve engagement? Answers to the first question can be informed by theory and prior research regarding determinants of employee engagement (for example, ibid.), an empirical analysis of engagement data from an organization, and the nuances of the organization. Answers to the second question also draw on this information, but also reflect practical considerations (for example, feasibility of various actions for improving engagement). Although nonempirical factors are important to consider, this chapter focuses on empirical approaches for addressing these questions. The term “key driver analysis” refers to a set of statistical approaches to identifying important predictors of employee engagement. These analyses provide leaders an empirical basis for making decisions and taking action on the most important factors for influencing employee engagement. Unfortunately, the statistical techniques commonly used for key driver analyses can be problematic. The common approaches (a) use key driver selection strategies that have been heavily criticized in the scientific literature, (b) often ignore the multiply determined nature of employee engagement, (c) cannot rank key drivers on their relative importance for predicting engagement, and (d) fail to capitalize on modern...
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