Perspectives, Issues, Research and Practice
- New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Simon L. Albrecht
Chapter 3: A Comprehensive Framework for Understanding and Predicting Engagement
3 A comprehensive framework for understanding and predicting engagement Steven Fleck and Ilke Inceoglu Introduction Employee engagement has rapidly entered the mainstream of the language and practice of human resources (HR) practitioners, organizational psychologists, and HR-oriented management consultants. In most cases, the term is taken to mean some or all of “involvement, commitment, passion, enthusiasm, focused effort, and energy” (Macey & Schneider, 2008, p. 4). Numerous studies that report strong relationships between engagement and important metrics of organizational performance such as profitability, revenue growth, earnings per share, and employee turnover (for example, Harter et al., 2002; ISR, 2006) have conferred legitimacy to the concept, and helped to fuel its growth in popularity. Unfortunately, development of precise and agreed-upon definitions of the construct of engagement has lagged behind the rapid uptake of the construct in practice. Current definitions of engagement (both those offered by practitioners and those in academic publications) vary widely: they include defining it as a trait, a state, a set of behaviors, characteristics of the work environment, or a combination of these (Macey & Schneider, 2008). There are substantial negative implications of such conceptual diversity both for research and for practice. From a research perspective, diverse conceptualizations make it difficult to accumulate a coherent body of research knowledge. From a practice perspective, it becomes problematic to make recommendations for actions when definitions of the construct in question are ambiguous. This chapter reports on a model of engagement that was developed as an attempt to address some of these issues. One...
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