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 19: Engagement and “Job Crafting”: Engaged Employees Create their Own Great Place to Work

Arnold B. Bakker

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


Arnold B. Bakker Introduction Each year, the Great Place to Work Institute produces a list with the best companies to work for, representing workplaces in 40 countries around the world. The selection of companies is based upon employee and management surveys regarding the relationships employees have with management, colleagues, and with their own jobs. Companies that take good care of their employees receive the highest rankings. The question how companies can design great places to work has stimulated organizational psychology research for several decades. This has resulted in job design theories that can explain employee motivation and retention. The central assumption in these theories is that job characteristics with motivational potential (for example, job resources like autonomy, feedback, task identity) will lead to meaningful work and high productivity (Hackman & Oldham, 1980; Fried & Ferris, 1987). Research has indeed shown that job resources are important facilitators of employee engagement, particularly under conditions of high job demands (Bakker & Demerouti, 2008), and that engagement, in turn, has a positive impact on job performance (Bakker, 2009). However, engaged employees are by no means passive actors in their work organizations. Instead, I shall argue that they are proactive job crafters who mobilize their own job challenges and job resources. Thus, this chapter proposes a proactive perspective of employee engagement in which engaged employees craft their own jobs to sustain their own engagement. Proactive perspectives “capture the growing importance of employees taking initiative to anticipate and create changes in how work is performed” (Grant & Parker, 2009, p....

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