A Systematic Review of the Correlates and Outcomes of Employee Engagement

A Systematic Review of the Correlates and Outcomes of Employee Engagement

Duygu Toplu Yaslioglu (Istanbul University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7799-7.ch005
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Engagement is a concept that is hard to define and easy to realize. Engagement is motivational, and this motivation helps individuals to allocate their resources for their job performance and use those resources intensively and consistently. So, one can say that employee engagement should have been correlated with some variables related with work and organization. In the academic literature, engagement is a relatively high focused area, and it is said to be related to but distinct from other constructs in organizational behavior. Engagement's casual and correlational relationships with the various concepts such as burnout, job demands and resources, organizational commitment, job involvement, workaholism, job satisfaction, for example, are much researched. However, researches indicate different results. This chapter aims to systematically review the aforementioned concepts relationship to engagement and eventually put forward, if any, conflicts and resemblances among previous researches.
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For many years, studies on psychology have mainly focused on negative psychological conditions. However, in the 2000s, the attention turned towards the strengths and ideal functioning levels of the people. It can be said, studies on positive psychological conditions are conducted with a perspective that the strengths and psychological capacities of individuals can be measured, improved and managed effectively. Employee engagement, which helps to increase individual and organizational performance through a positive mood felt by the employee about his/her job, is considered within the context of positive organizational behaviors. This is because, engagement increases performance by helping employees become wholly absorbed in their jobs and perform their tasks more vigorously. On the other hand, employee engagement results in positive outcomes such as increased levels of organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior, as well as improving psychological well-being. Due to the strategic nature of human resources, organizations attach great importance to employees' efforts to work towards organizational goals in full and on their own initiative. In other words, since personal characteristics of employees differentiate organizations from each other and ensure sustainable competition, value given to employees in current business life increases over time. For this reason, organizations are striving to provide conditions that enable them to make the best use of their employees' capacities, knowledge and skills. In this process, employee engagement plays a critical role since it allows employees to use their qualifications on their own will and to feel an inner motivation for their jobs. In addition, job engagement leads to proactive behavior in the development and improvement of organizational processes, by providing employees with a high-level of energy and desire for their jobs (Luthans, 2002; Schaufeli et al., 2006; Bakker & Schaufeli, 2008; Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2014).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Organizational Commitment: Employee's willingness to identify with the goals and values of the organization in which he or she works and to strive for organization.

Job Satisfaction: General feelings about the work-related situations and the ideas that are created by various attitudes related to the different aspects of the job or the job itself.

Flow: Holistic emotion that one feels when he/she becomes wholly absorbed in the job.

Job Involvement: Psychological identification at the cognitive level.

Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Voluntary individual behavior that contributes to the effective functioning of the organization, regardless of direct and explicit formal reward systems of the organization.

Job Embeddedness: Combination of factors (relationship building, adaptation, sacrifice) that affect employees' decisions to leave or stay in the organization.

Workaholism: Pressing or uncontrollable desire to work continuously.

Career Development: Training and development opportunities provided to employees by the company in the workplace to help employees to advance their career path.

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