Perspectives, Issues, Research and Practice
Edited by Simon L. Albrecht
Ilke Inceoglu and Steven Fleck Introduction A “motivated” workforce is clearly viewed as desirable in any organization, especially when it is facing more pressure to perform and increase organizational effectiveness. In this context, employee motivation and in particular work engagement have become popular concepts that are widely discussed and applied by human resources (HR) practitioners, consultancy firms and survey companies. When practitioners and academics discuss work motivation, however, they tend to refer to different meanings of the term, ranging from being motivated by something (motivators), the actual feeling of being motivated (engagement), to the effort employees put into their work (motivated behavior). This confusion is heightened by the fact that the term “engagement” itself is often not properly defined (Macey & Schneider, 2008). As a result, practitioners are left to wonder about the difference between engagement and motivation and the value of measuring either or both in applied settings. The objective of this chapter is to clarify the meanings of engagement and motivation and their relationships with each other by placing them in a motivational framework. Efforts to define engagement and delineate it from other constructs should prompt revisiting conceptualizations of motivation which are often ambiguous. Contemporary theoretical models and debates in motivational research (see, for example, Kanfer et al., 2008) offer approaches that help to clarify what we mean by motivation. The engagement model proposed in the chapter by Fleck and Inceoglu (ch. 3, this volume) can be viewed as a motivational continuum, with stable, dispositional motivation at one pole...
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