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 34: Using Theatre-based Interventions to Increase Employee Self-efficacy and Engagement

Richard Carter, Paul Nesbit and Miriam Joy

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


Richard Carter, Paul Nesbit and Miriam Joy Introduction In the simplest terms, employee engagement (also known as job engagement) can be thought of as the amount of “discretionary effort”, in the form of extra time, brainpower or energy, that employees exhibit at work (Towers-Perrin, 2003). This definition implies that the more engaged employees are, the better they will perform at work and vice versa. This view is supported by research that shows that companies with high employee engagement substantially outperformed those with low engagement on a range of financial performance measures (Macey et al., 2009). Given these findings, increasing employee engagement is seen as highly desirable to organizations endeavouring to obtain competitive advantage from their human capital or even just to compete effectively. The challenge for organizations, therefore, is to find or develop programmes and interventions that create an environment where employees are willing to expend extra time, brainpower and energy at work. Engagement and self-efficacy Macey et al. (2009, p. 7) defined employee engagement as “an individual’s sense of purpose and focused energy, evident to others in the display of personal initiative, adaptability, effort, and persistence directed toward organizational goals”. This view overlaps Kanfer et al.’s (2008, p. 3) definition of work motivation as “the psychological processes that determine (or energize) the direction, intensity, and persistence of action within the continuing steam of experiences that characterize the person in relation to his or her work”. The core focus of these constructs on the direction, intensity/effort and persistence that an...

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