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Source: The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 53, No. 3 (June 2010), pp. 617-635
Published by: Academy of Management
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? Academy of Management Journal
2010, Vol. 53, No. 3, 617-635.

California State University San Marcos

University of Florida
We theorize that engagement, conceptualized as the investment of an individual's
complete self into a role, provides a more comprehensive explanation of relationships
with performance than do well-known concepts that reflect narrower aspects of the
individual's self. Results of a study of 245 firefighters and their supervisors supported

our hypotheses that engagement mediates relationships between value congruence,
perceived organizational support, and core self-evaluations, and two job performance
dimensions: task performance and organizational citizenship behavior. Job involve
ment, job satisfaction, and intrinsic motivation were included as mediators but did not

exceed engagement in explaining relationships among the antecedents and perfor

mance outcomes.

Popular press articles and business consultants
have claimed that engaged employees give compa
nies competitive advantages (Corporate Leadership
Council, 2006; Gallup Management Journal, 2005).

tions that emphasize affect or cognition or the mo
tives for physical persistence in tasks. Yet these
explanations do not account for the possibility that

individuals can choose to invest their affective,
cognitive, and physical energies simultaneously

However, although scholars have made great
strides over the past decade in identifying corre

into role performances and that this more holistic
investment of the self into one's role represents
something that is distinct and fundamental (Kahn,

lates of engagement (e.g., Harter, Schmidt, & Hayes,

2002; Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004), little theory or
empirical observation accounts for the role of en
gagement as a means through which organizations
can create competitive advantages. In particular,
researchers have not examined the role of engage
ment as a mechanism that links employee charac
teristics and organizational factors to employee job
This gap in knowledge of engagement may be
understandable, given that the concept has a fairly
brief history and a substantial portion of this re
search has been grounded in theories of burnout
and employee well-being (e.g., Maslach & Leiter,
1997). However, Kahn (1990) originally described

1990, 1992).

Accordingly, the purpose of this article is to draw

from Kahn's (1990) work to develop theory that
positions engagement as a key mechanism explain
ing relationships among a variety of individual
characteristics and organizational factors and job
performance. We begin by describing research cen
tered on explanations for job performance that ad
dress narrower aspects of an employee's self, high
lighting how these perspectives may be limited
with respect to explaining why important individ
ual and organizational factors impact job perfor

mance. We then draw from Kahn's theory to

engagement as a unique and important motiva

describe how engagement represents the simulta
neous investment of cognitive, affective, and phys
ical energies into role performance, and how such
investments may better explain relationships with
two different aspects of job performance: task per
formance and organizational citizenship behavior.

tional concept: the harnessing of an employee's full

self in terms of physical, cognitive, and emotional
energies to work role performances. This concep
tualization not only suggests a linkage between en
gagement and job performance, but also represents
an inclusive view of the employee's agentic self,
and thus engagement may provide a more compre
hensive explanation for job performance effects

We then draw from Kahn's theory to identify three

antecedents of engagement: value congruence, per
ceived organizational support, and core self-evalu
ations. These concepts have been previously linked
to job performance, and thus, our theorizing ex

than is provided by more familiar mechanisms that
emphasize narrower aspects of the employee's self.
Researchers have focused on performance explana

tends understanding of why the relationships

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each focuses on a different aspect of the self in explaining why individuals choose to invest themselves into their work roles. & Mount. the appraisal of one's job or job experience. Deci. and intrinsic motivation. autonomy. & Ryan. these explanations comple ment one another in explaining variability in per formance. Kreiner. & Shropshire..jstor. Finally. 2005). 1996) and is reasoned to predict job performance because indi viduals who identify the most strongly with their jobs focus their thoughts on work and interpret more situations as opportunities to perform work role activities (Hillman. this approach does not account for the possibility that investments of cog . Job involvement is influenced by organiza tion characteristics. supervisory behaviors. However.618 Academy of Management Journal June among these antecedents and job performance oc cur. 2004) and is also influ enced by differences in individual personality (Judge. Exem plary is the extensive research on the concept of intrinsic motivation. Deci & Ryan. and coworkers (Russell. & Corley.139. such as job involvement. job satisfaction. 1976: 1300). 2002). cognitive. and it is argued to influence performance because opportunities to satisfy these three intrinsic needs facilitate self motivation and effective regulatory functioning through internalization of organizationally valued goals (Baard. 1982). which refers to "a plea surable or positive emotional state resulting from tion supplies make people more willing to carry out behaviors associated with tasks that contribute to or ganizational effectiveness (Eagly & Chaiken. We argue that this fundamental underlying mechanism is embodied by Kahn's (1990) engagement concept. and relat edness (Gagne & Deci. Lin. and in dividual differences (Brown & Leigh. 1985). 2008). We also argue that engagement plays a medi ating role in relationships between the antecedents and the two dimensions of job performance and that this meditational role is more comprehensive than research using familiar and well-researched concepts. 2004). (Locke. The positive feel ings associated with high job satisfaction that result from favorable evaluations of what their organiza Kahn's Engagement In an article reporting results of theory-generat ing ethnographic research. For ex ample. & Ironson. and This content downloaded from 14. we describe a study of firefighters designed to test our theoretical model. 2006). the concept of job involvement refers to the degree to which employees relate to their jobs as comprising their lives in total. Job satisfac tion focuses on affective reactions and the need to maintain happiness. As the first example. Kahn formally defined engagement as "the simultaneous employment and expression of a person's 'preferred self in task be haviors that promote connections to work and to others. Intrinsic motivation is promoted by both work contexts and individual differences that foster feelings of competence. Heller. Harrison. & Sheep. Nicholson. which is defined as the desire to exert effort on a task in the absence of external constraints or contingencies (Deci. THEORY AND HYPOTHESES The majority of research intended to improve understanding of variability in work role perfor mances has focused on explanatory concepts that emphasize relatively narrow aspects of employees' selves. Job satisfaction is promoted through favorable perceptions of job characteristics. Judge. researchers have con ceptualized the self in terms of cognitive energy that can be allocated in various work and nonwork domains according to identities individuals define for themselves in reference to the roles they hold (Ashforth. Although researchers have examined each of these concepts in relationship with job perfor mance. Finally. Spitzmuller. 1961). as these concepts rest on a relatively narrow view of the self. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about. Stanton. Another stream of work based on a relatively narrow explanation of the self is research in which it is conceptualized in terms of emotional reactions that are associated with the human desire to fulfill subjective psychological needs or values. Smith. Intrinsic motivation focuses on individuals' effort and persistence dedicated to maintaining autonomy and control. or physical energy manifest more fundamental choices to invest these three aspects of the self in a holistic and connected manner (Goffman. 2008. Because this concept accounts for the simultaneous investment of avail able energies into a work role. 1975.68 on Fri. there is a rich history of research on the concept of job satisfaction. Bono.245. 1993. Hollensbe. there is theory and research that refers to the self primarily in terms of the physical energies that are focused on specific task activities resulting from the need to feel competent and maintain au tonomy and control over courses of action. would suggest. it provides a more comprehensive explanation for job performance than do concepts that depict the self more narrowly. Job involvement focuses on the cognitive energy individuals invest to maintain identities related to work. super visors. emotional. 2001). personal presence (physical. so that an em ployee who exhibits high job involvement identi fies strongly with his or her job and thinks about the job even when outside of work (Kanungo. & Patton. Thoresen. As a prime example. When consid ered as an aggregate.

In contrast. attentive. Job Performance Consequences of Engagement As stated previously. feeling. 1990). 1990. cognitive. and bring their complete selves to perform (Kahn. Campbell. They are open to themselves and others. and are emotionally connected to their work and to others in the service of their work (Kahn. However. 1992). organization members har ness their full selves in active. we have strong theoretical reasons to be lieve that such a link exists. connected. 1995. and Crawford 619 emotional) and active. are cognitively vigilant. and this is reflected in task activity that is. In engagement. and emo tional energy into work roles (Kahn. We chose a be havioral conceptualization of job performance be cause engagement is a concept that reflects human agency. this per spective can provide insight into the specific types of employee behaviors that transmit the effects of engagement to more "objective" outcomes. Second. job engagement is best described as a multi dimensional motivational concept reflecting the si multaneous investment of an individual's physical. performance decre ments result from failures to see. at best. and emotional labors. robotic. investment of physical energy into work roles contributes to organizational goals because it facilitates the ac complishment of organizationally valued behaviors at increased levels of effort over extended periods of time (Kahn. theoretical research has gagement to job performance. efficiency. judgments that the role holder is a positive contributor to the organization. Moreover. 1990).jstor. First. At a more specific level. 1961. At a general level. and those authors noted that when needfulness declines because of reductions in in vestments of cognitive energy. Weick and Roberts (1993) used the term "needfulness" as a label for behaviors that possess this same set of characteristics. & heart" (Ashforth & Humphrey. 1990). and focused (Kahn. and emotional energy in active. cognitive. engagement is maintaining these involve ments simultaneously in a connected rather than fragmented manner (Kahn. cognitive. and thus it is appropriate to focus on con sequences that are largely under an employee's volitional control. Wong. as it words. to take note of. reflects bringing forth increasing depths of the self in the service of one's broadly defined role. and attentive. People exhibit engagement when they become physically involved in tasks. and emotional energies. Kahn (1990) did not explicitly outline a relation ship between engagement and job performance. 1992). Put sim ply. from the perspective of Kahn. and focused in their role performances. the overarching purpose of this article is to provide insight into the role that engagement plays in relationships with job perfor mance.2010 Rich. 1992). engagement involves investing the "hands. complete work role performances by driving personal energy into phys .139. full work performance. head. Hochschild. full performances" (1990: 700). & Mobley. connected to work and others. 1990). 1990). Brown and Leigh (1996) found in multiple samples that employees who worked harder exhibited higher levels of job performance. 1995: 110) in active. whether alone or with others.245. Because people's work roles are defined largely by behavioral expectations of others in their organization (Katz & Kahn. Lepine. 1998). such as productivity. because behavioral performance has multiple dimensions. attentive. 1992). engagement reflects their com monality?a common cause of the investment of the various energies. fully there. tensely and persistently those resources are applied (Kanfer. Rather than the summation of the various energies that can be brought to a role. employees who are highly engaged in their work roles not only focus their physical effort on the pursuit of role-related goals. and thus. and quality. engage ment is a multidimensional motivational construct of the latent form with dimensions serving as indi cators of the higher-order engagement concept (Law. Kahn. employees who are highly dis engaged in their work roles withhold their physi cal. subsumes the traditional focus on physical or cognitive effort 1990). passive. focused. or This content downloaded from 14. Here we define job performance as the ag 1983. or emo tionally. however. Thus. Engagement. 1993. integrated. Kahn. cognitive. investment of cognitive energy into work roles contributes to organizational goals be cause it promotes behavior that is more vigilant. although individuals can be involved in their work roles physically. 1978). Kahn's engagement concept is motivational be cause it refers to the allocation of personal re sources to role performance and also to how in gregated value to an organization of the set of be haviors that an employee contributes both directly and indirectly to organizational goals (Borman & Motowidlo. investments of physical energy toward role accom plishment should result in a greater likelihood of meeting these expectations. and detached (Goffman.68 on Fri. In other linked investments of the three energies of en allocated to specific tasks or sets of tasks. In even more direct terms. Engaged in dividuals are described as being psychologically present. cognitively. Kahn noted that engage ment is observed through the behavioral invest ment of personal physical. full work performance. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about. but are also cogni tively vigilant and emotionally connected to the endeavor (Ashforth & Humphrey.

Because engaged individuals invest their physical.139.68 on Fri. they pay more attention to and are more focused on responsibilities. or activities that directly support the accom plishment of tasks involved in an organization's "technical core" (Borman & Motowidlo. and self-perceptions of confidence and self-consciousness are the primary influences on psychological availability. perceived organizational support. The most common label for these performance behav iors is organizational citizenship behavior [OCB. 1990). crucial operational errors decreased. Kahn suggested three direct psychological conditions for engagement. Hypothesis 2. & Schmit. . they should be more willing to step outside the bounds of their formally defined jobs and engage in acts that constitute OCB.245. they contrib ute to the organization by fostering a social and psychological environment conducive to the ac complishment of work involved in the organiza tion's technical core (Motowidlo et al. and emotional energies into their work roles. To the extent that engaged employees invest themselves more fully while at work than do those who are less engaged. Organ. to the extent that engagement is reflected by needfulness and connectedness to one's work (Kahn. The first narrow aspect of job performance is task performance. perceptions of organizational and work factors related to tasks and roles are the primary influences on psychological meaningful ness. they should exhibit enhanced performance because they work with greater intensity on their tasks for longer periods of time. but rather. Job engagement is positively re lated to organizational citizenship behavior. inter personally collaborative.jstor. 1995). and emotional energies of en gagement foster active. we consider a focal antecedent from each of these categories: value congruence.. 1993). but also the less formal "emergent" behaviors that contribute to organizations less di rectly (Motowidlo. This general causal flow is similar to Hackman and Oldham's (1980) notion that job characteristics impact critical psychologi cal states that influence people's internal work mo tivation. there is consen sus about what they are. Job engagement is positively re lated to task performance. safety. sportsmanship. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about. Relationships with task performance. 1990). Kahn (1990. and they are relatively static over time (Ilgen & Hollenbeck. Those who invest emotional energy into their roles enhance performance through the promotion of increased connection among coworkers in pursuit of organi zational goals (Ashforth & Humphrey. Moreover. 1997). cognitive. and involved. it is important to consider how different aspects of job performance might be influenced by engagement. 1988). which include helpfulness. 1992). and core self evaluations. Antecedents of Job Engagement Kahn (1990) assumed that individual's percep tions of their work contexts and their own individ ual characteristics foster psychological conditions that directly influence the willingness to person ally engage in work roles. Be haviors that comprise task performance are estab lished and central to any given job. 1991). 1990. perceptions of social systems related to sup port and relationships are the primary influences on psychological safety. innovative. and they are more emotionally connected to the tasks that constitute their role. cogni tive. These three antecedents have been previously linked to job performance. investments of emotional energy into work roles contribute to organizational goals in a number of related ways (Kahn. and avail ability. Relationships with organizational citizenship behavior. 1997). complete role performances through behavior that is extra conscientious. In vestments of emotional energies also help individ uals meet the emotional demands of their roles in a way that results in more complete and authentic performance (Kahn. Indeed. 1988). Finally.620 Academy of Management Journal June to be attentive to one's work role. In the present research. and thus we can consider the degree to which engagement This content downloaded from 14. and civic virtue (Organ. Weick and Roberts observed that as the degree of needfulness increased. do not contribute directly to an or ganization's technical core. conscientiousness. 1992) argued that the physical. it may foster a mental frame in which one's role is perceived to include a wider array of behaviors that could ultimately benefit the organi zation. defined as those activities that are directly involved in the accomplishment of core job tasks. In their research on flight deck operators on an aircraft carrier. Individ ual job performance consists of distinct sets of ac tivities that contribute to an organization in differ ent ways (Campbell. Job performance not only includes task performance. Specifically. 1992). each of which can be thought of in terms of a question people ask them selves prior to choosing to personally engage or disengage from their role: (1) How meaningful is it for me to bring myself into this performance? (2) How safe is it to do so? and (3) How available am I to do so? Kahn also theorized that characteristics of employees and organizations drive beliefs regard ing these three questions?which we will refer to as psychological meaningfulness. Hypothesis 1. Borman. These types of behaviors.

and thus they have less reason to fear incurring damaging consequences for their self-images. Perceived organizational sup port is positively related to job engagement. as a result of supportive management and supportive and trusting interpersonal relationships with oth ers in their organization. 1986). they feel devalued. Psychological availability is described as individuals' readiness to personally engage at a particular moment (Kahn. havioral consequences. Em ployees who perceive high organizational support have positive and secure expectations concerning the organization's likely reaction to employees' contributions as well as their mistakes. valuable. Nembhard & Edmondson. useful. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about. and Crawford 621 serves as an important mechanism through which thy. 1976). This content downloaded from 14. Hypothesis 3. employees are unsure of what to expect. predictable. & Sowa. exhibit higher engagement. and emotional energies into role performance. Kahn suggested that em Value congruence. 1992. Individuals who experience meaningfulness tend to feel worthwhile. 1992). one important influence of meaningfulness is the con gruence between the behaviors expected by an or ganization and the behaviors that individual em ployees value as a part of their own self-images. Indi viduals who are psychologically available perceive themselves to be ready and prepared to put their physical. behavioral standards and desires involved in one's self-image (Cable & Edwards. 1989. they tend to exhibit higher engagement in role performance contexts. management and interpersonal relationships foster they feel are inappropriate for their preferred self images. supportive for behaviors that are congruent with how they like to see themselves (their preferred self-images). 1990). & Harter. Lepine. Hypothesis 4. Gilson. & Schaufeli. they are more likely to find their roles inviting. Kahn. fear that they may suffer for their personal engagement. develops through employee interactions with or ganizational agents such as supervisors and reflects employees' beliefs concerning the extent to which the organization they work for values their contri and worthwhile and more willing to fully engage themselves (Kahn. 1987). 1990). 1990.139. Individuals feel safe in organizational contexts perceived to be trustwor feelings of psychological safety that increase willing ness to engage fully in work roles. no research has examined the relation ship between perceived value congruence and Kahn's conceptualization of engagement. 2004). 1990. 1990).org/terms . and in turn. 1992). Kristof. Perceived value congruence is positively related to job engagement. butions and cares about their well-being (Eisen berger. Core self-evaluations. The experience of psycholog ical meaningfulness involves a sense of return on ployees experience psychological safety. taken advantage of. 1999). however.68 on Fri. According to Kahn (1990. the role of value congruence becomes clear. and able to give themselves to their work role and to others (Kahn.g. That is.. The experi ence of psychological safety is described as feeling able to invest oneself without fear of negative con sequences (Kahn. in part. when in dividuals believe that their personal values are con gruent with those of the organization for which they work. 1990). 2006). and choose to guard their selves by withdrawing from their roles (Kahn. 2005. Perceived organizational support. and try and perhaps fail without fearing the consequences (Kahn. 1996). 1996. Hutchison. That is. and thus they should find more meaningfulness in their work. expose their real selves. Thus. 2006. 1990). 2004. or ca reers as a result of investing themselves fully into their work roles (Edmondson. statuses. they perceive that organizational role expectations are congruent with their preferred self-images (Chatman. 1989. and clear in terms of be the effects of the antecedents are transmitted.245. 1990). 1992). When individuals find that their role expectations pull for behaviors that less willing to give themselves to their work roles (Kahn. This reasoning is consistent with re search showing positive relationships between per ceptions of various forms of support in an organi zation and conceptualizations of job engagement similar to Kahn's (e. Demerouti.2010 Rich. secure. Because organizational values are communicated to organization members in terms of what behav iors are appropriate and expected for their work roles (Chatman. cognitive. Individuals with trusting interpersonal relationships in supportive organiza tional environments are able to take risks. Bakker. May. Ravlin & Meglino. and thus. Kahn fur investments of the self in role performance (Kahn. Locke. Research has supported the idea that perceived value congruence facilitates in dividuals making greater personal investments in the pursuit of organizational goals because of the experienced meaningfulness of their work roles (Brown & Leigh. and because personal values reflect. When per ceived organizational support is low. and Perceived organizational support. valuable. Huntington. Saks. when employees find that their roles call ther suggested that individuals feel safer when they have some control over their work and that mana gerial reluctance to loosen its control sends a mes sage that employees are not to be trusted and should fear overstepping their boundaries. a concept that reflects the type of support Kahn (1990) discussed. in part.jstor.

researchers have found that value congru ence (Kristof-Brown. or feeling and expressing positive emotions on the job. Instead. we expect value congruence. Hypothesis 6a. they should also perceive a higher level of availability to invest themselves into their roles. Job engagement mediates the relationship between core self-evaluations and ence. People with high core self-evaluations are well adjusted. & Johnson. and physical energies in such a way that one is actively and completely involved in the full perfor mance of a role. Locke. 2001) are positively linked to job task performance. 1997). Job engagement mediates rela tionships among the antecedents and perfor mance outcomes when job involvement. Erez. the confidence that Kahn dis cussed is reflected in the concept of core self evaluations. the more likely the individ ual is to feel available and prepared to engage fully in his or her role.622 Academy of Management Journal June One of the key influences on availability is an in dividual's having a general level of confidence in his or her own abilities. effectiveness. Job engagement mediates the relationship between perceived organizational support and task performance.68 on Fri. Job engagement mediates the relationship between perceived organizational support and OCB. In other words. and in trinsic motivation suggest performance may be en hanced through different aspects of the self that operate with relative independence. perceived organizational support (Rhoades & Eisenberger. job satisfaction. To this point. consistent. engagement reflects the si multaneous investment of cognitive. we have argued that value congru Hypothesis 7b. emotional. Core self-evaluations are posi tively related to job engagement. However. As we noted earlier. and we argue here that engagement plays an important role in explaining these relationships. core self-evaluations should be positively related to job engagement. and connected manner. perceived organizational support. Job engagement mediates the relationship between value congruence and task performance. For these reasons. into a work role. trans Hypothesis 8a. have greater abil ity to cope with these demands effectively. Erez & Judge. in turn. 2007).. we have implicitly described a model in which engagement mediates relationships among its antecedents and job performance activities. Individuals with high core self-evaluations ap praise demands more positively.139. and these narrower explanations could also account for relationships between our anteced ents and outcomes. and thus. & Durham. job satisfac tion. and core self-evaluations (Judge & Bono. and physical energy lates into superior work role performance. even when job involvement. Hypothesis 7a. Although core self-evaluations have been linked to motiva tional concepts such as goal setting and overall task motivation (e.jstor. Hypothesis 5. and intrinsic motivation are considered as mediators. Job engagement mediates the relationship between value congruence and and OCB. and self-conscious ness that leaves more or less room for investments of self in role performances (Kahn. 1990). and this investment. Kahn (1992) further suggested that this type of confi dence is a relatively stable individual difference.g. and core self-evaluations promote the simultaneous invest ment of cognitive.245. self confident. & Thoresen. 2005). no research has linked the concept to job engagement. and thus have more resources available to invest in the performance of their work roles (Judge & . Hypothesis 8b. Zimmerman. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about. or doing specific job tasks simply for the sake of doing them. Because individuals with high core self evaluations tend to feel more capable of dealing with work demands. and efficacious. status. Hypothesis 6b. job This content downloaded from 14. 2001). and core self-evaluations to affect job performance through investments of the self as reflected by en gagement. Kahn (1990) theorized that there is a unique aspect of human agency that functions in a more holistic. and it operates in such a way that the more gener ally confident the individual feels about his or her capabilities and status. Job engagement mediates the relationship between core self-evaluations and OCB. whereas concepts such as job involvement. emotional. To be engaged in a job is not just being cognitively attentive to the job. scholars have offered expla nations of job performance rooted in theories that define human agency more narrowly than does en gagement. Bono. To a large degree. Hypothesis 9. a contemporary construct defined as individuals' appraisals of their own worthiness. and capability as people (Judge. and they believe in their own agency (Judge. perceived organizational support. Mediating Role of Job Engagement performance. 2002). positive. In deed. 2003).

Foldes.5 years tenure scale to promote greater conceptual correspon (s. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about. interest). and Crawford 623 satisfaction.245." which the authors defined as the "energy exerted per unit of time" (1996: 362). Thus. Measuring work-related emotion within a seg ment of the core affect domain has precedent in the To this end.139.. we were able METHODS to compile a list of items that we felt we could use. we drew from Russell and Barrett's (1999) research on core affect. during which he or she accomplishes the activitieswith high intensity simply to avoid being reprimanded or fired for not being productive. a set of existing scales with items that "perfectly" fit the definitions of the dimensions. value congruence.d. we also had the items refer to feelings asso although the UWES has gained in popularity as ciated with a particular target. Participants were predominately male (87%) and Caucasian (88%) and had completed at least an associate's degree (61%). of meaningfulness and challenge of work. for the cognitive aspect of engagement. intrinsic motivation. 2008). We first searched the literature for tions using a measure that combined scores on scales and items that fit the definitions of the three items that referred to the degree of enthusiasm. the phrase could be interpreted as limiting the focal situation to those particular. rare. We distributed and col the five original items began with the phrase "when job attitudes and that their responses to the survey I work" or "when there's a job to be done. we Engagement Scale (UWES. the UWES includes with research on emotions (defined as affective items that tap respondent perceptions of the level states directed toward something specific [Frijda.d." and we felt this wording created some ambiguity.71) and had 11. Schaufeli & Bakker. For example. We told par ticipants that the survey was designed to measure would be kept confidential. job involvement. engagement with the antecedent conditions sug excitement.86). In our opinion.g. 1980). For example. and core self-evaluations using a five-point Likert scale that ranged from "strongly disagree" (1) to "strongly agree" (5). circumstances in which an individual is present at work for a full day. and we supplemented this list with items we wrote to fill out the content domain of each . in keeping gested by Kahn. it includes items that confound high pleasantness and high activation (enthusiasm. of the present research was a respondent's work role. and emotional energies into their role perfor mensions?pleasantness (feeling positive) and acti mance (Newman & Harrison. came the closest. Further. Lepine. and optimism experienced at work.68 on Fri. which in the context interest in engagement has grown. engagement dimensions as described by Kahn happiness. perceived organizational sup port. cogni tive. and intrinsic motivation are con sidered as additional mediators. energy. and perhaps lected surveys during working hours. we signif icantly modified the items in Brown and Leigh's years old (s. but only chooses to Measures Participants rated their own job engagement. and so the wording of these items was revised. = 8. we followed practices described by organizational behavior and applied psychological scholars who have discussed the process of devel literatures. we needed to develop a measure that maps more precisely onto Kahn's conceptualization. For instance. (1990). three of spurious relationships. On average. Bono. Sample and Procedures Participants included 245 full-time firefighters and their supervisors employed by four municipal ities. however. and oping and validating measures of constructs (e. wrote items that refer to emotions that reflect both 2003). Vinson. which includes both attention (level or reflect job engagement. this interpretation is not consistent with engagement as conceptualized by Kahn. Our goal was to measure the three dimen Finally. they were 39 Our review of the literature for existing measures that might tap Kahn's (1992) physical engagement dimension revealed that Brown and Leigh's (1996) measure of "work intensity. fob engagement Most existing measures of en gagement have been criticized for not fully reflect perform role-related activities for a small portion of time.jstor. 1993]). = 8. Although we did not locate amount of focus and concentration) and absorption This content downloaded from 14. To be consistent with ular measure of engagement is the Utrecht Work Kahn's description of this aspect of engagement. sions of engagement in such a way that the com we drew from Rothbard's (2001) measure of engage monality of those dimensions would adequately ment. However.2010 Rich. defined as a somewhat generalized emotional state consisting of two independent di ing Kahn's (1990) conceptualization as the degree to which individuals invest their physical. Specifi cally. To measure the emotional aspect of engagement. Muros (2007) measured positive workplace emo Schwab. job satisfaction. The most pop vation (a sense of energy). There were no differences among the dence with Kahn's conceptualization of the physi fire departments in variables that could result in cal engagement dimension.

98. For the main study involving the firefighters. and O'Reilly (1990) that focus on the align ment of employee values with organizational val ues. and there was no cross-loading greater than . To assess the structure of the engage ment scale in this sample.. = 15. had completed at least an associate's de gree (55. We measured value congruence using three items from Caldwell. Participants in this sample were predominately female (81%) and Caucasian (73.624 Academy of Management Journal June (level of engrossment or the intensity of the focus and concentration). The results of this model indicated poor fit to the data in an absolute sense (#2[135] = 1. Accordingly. 2003).63-. Next. The strong interrelationships among the three engagement dimensions (average r = . We re ceived completed surveys from 84 participants (a 72 percent response rate). the second-order factor loadings for the physical. and similar to the cross-validation sample in size.21. and statistically significant (. For these reasons. CFI = . The hypothesized sec ond-order model fit the data well (#2[132] = 391. Law et al.6 years of full-time work experi ence. we refined six items from Rothbard's scale to promote conceptual consis tency with Kahn's description of the cognitive as pect of engagement.001).12.245.08) and as compared to the alternative one-factor model (A#2[3] = 704.59) for the subsequent data collection.72. RMSEA = . and they had responding engagement dimension.94). we specified a three-factor guished between these two facets in her analyses.d. We con the item with a low factor loading (. RMSEA = .46%) and cognitive (6. This content downloaded from 14.68 on Fri.54. Results of this CFA indicated that this model fit the data well both remarkably similar zero-order relationships with other variables in her study.05. CFI = . Although Rothbard distin thus the items did not appear to reflect a single engagement factor. they were 28 years old with 4. as were the factor loadings on the in dividual items (shown in the Appendix). specifying engage ment as a second-order factor was supported. We submitted the data to an exploratory factor analysis using principal axis fac toring with an oblique rotation. and Rhodes (2001). and emotional dimensions were all .95). With submitted the engagement items to CFA and again one exception. We then cross-validated the job engagement scale (after modifying the one potentially problematic item) in a sample of 180 employees of a skilled care nursing facility.90. model in which we loaded each item onto its cor the dimensions were strongly related. strong. and on average were 43 years in age (s. statisti cally significant.89. and also because we had no theoretical predictions re garding functional differences between the two di mensions. Be cause the number of estimated endogenous rela tionships and degrees of freedom in this model are the same as those for the model with three corre lated engagement dimensions.24). The first-order (see the Appen dix) and second-order factor loadings (.67.139. which was also reliable from an internal consistency standpoint (. About half of the partic ipants were female. We measured job satisfaction using Cammann. Participants rated the job engagement items on a scale that ranged from "strongly disagree" (1) to "strongly agree" (5). Rexwinkel.74) supported their aggregation to an over all job engagement scale. re spectively). in keeping with Kahn's theorizing. RMSEA = . p < . we specified an additional model in which we loaded the three first-order engagement dimensions onto a second-order engagement dimension. we ical (11. and . Three factors were extracted with eigenvalues greater than 1. We assessed perceived organizational support with a 6-item scale developed by Eisenberger. SRMR = .5).09). We modified measure as consisting of three first-order factors that in turn load on a second-order factor. The emotional engagement factor accounted for the larg est amount of variance (57%). Chat man. . We first administered our initial 18-item job en gagement scale to a convenience sample of 117 individuals who were employed full-time in a va riety of occupations and organizations. we did not attempt to maintain the dis tinction. Fichman.05. found support for the structure of our engagement ducted analyses that mirrored what we described in the previous paragraph.65) sug gested a commonality indicative of a higher-order factor (Kline. Lynch. p < . SRMR = .26%) factors. cognitive.00. Jenkins. CFI = .. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about. We first fit the data to a one-factor model in which all 18 items loaded on a single latent variable. We measured job involvement using Kanungo's (1982) 10-item scale.89 to . signifi cantly better than the one-factor alternative (Ax2^ = 1. 1998).90. and on average.001). The items for each di mension were averaged and formed reliable scales (internal consistency reliabilities ranged from . the fit statistics of the second-order model indicated exactly the same good fit with the data.30.89.073. followed by the phys in an absolute sense (#2[132] = 302. . SRMR = .3%). Rather. We used a 12-item measure of core self-evaluations from Judge and colleagues (Judge et al. .12.71.97. Other self-report measures. However.64.007. The strong correlations among the scales (r = .5%). and Klesh's (1983) 3-item scale of general or overall job satisfaction.jstor.90. factor loadings of items to their cor responding scale were greater than . Armeli. Thus. 2005.79) from the hypothesized model were strong. we specified a series of models and tested them using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).

job engagement is associated with the conceptual antecedents and consequences in the manner that we hypothesized. Similarly.24* .76 0.10.and with in-supervisor variance components estimated from random coefficient models. and not close to reaching tural models in which all of the relationships with job engagement are embedded.53 .48* (.01. first-order factor.245. and Crawford 625 Finally.04 0. That is.18* .42* .96.39 . Task performance 4.44* . the study variables all possess an acceptable degree of internal consistency reliability. we assessed the fit of our data to a measurement model prior to assessing substantive relationships.05 This content downloaded from 14. by setting a factor loading of an indicator to 1. we measured intrinsic motivation with the corresponding 4 items from the Situational Motiva tion Scale (Guay.95) 2. Supporting indepen dence.05.92) 7.23* .70).06).jstor.21* . Participants' su pervisors completed a job performance question naire that included 5 items from Williams and Anderson's (1991) task performance scale. we report results of models in which we combined job engagement with job TABLE 1 Descriptive Statistics and Correlations for Key Study Variables11 Variable Mean s.52 .23* . we formally tested our hypotheses by specifying a series of struc facts.32* . using the between.75 0. job engagement. Coefficient alpha reliabilities are on the diagonal in parentheses. Core self-evaluations 3. Although these zero-order correlations are meaningful and provide preliminary support for our theorizing.70) 6. job involvement.00.14* .52* (. SRMR = . Intrinsic motivation 3. Supervisor-report measures.79. * p < . to account for item wording similarity. which were then loaded onto a second-order factor. we calculated intraclass correlation coefficients.35* . average loading = . and Lee and Allen's (2002) 16-item OCB scale.93) a n . or ICCls.49 (.85.21* .139. individuals reporting higher levels of engagement tended to receive higher supervisor ratings of task performance and organizational citizenship behavior.72) 8.47* (. To account for variance due to measurement arti X2[110] = 94. RMSEA = . p = .37* (.21* (.70) 5.45* . Because of our focus on en gagement in this study. Measurement Model Following convention. we allowed error variances for two of the job satis faction items to correlate. intrinsic motivation. and the loadings of the items onto their respective latent variables were statistically significant and strong (average estimate/standard error = 11.63* (. Job involvement 2. CFI = .90) 9. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about.75 0. perceived organizational support. Supervisors scored the items using a five-point Likert scale that ranged from "strongly disagree" (1) to "strongly agree" (5). perceived organizational support.62 .64* . RESULTS Table 1 reports descriptive statistics and correla tions among all study variables.19* (.95. Perceived organizational support 3.27* .34* . core self-evaluations. organizational citizenship be havior).32 0.245.19* . To assess whether the ratings lacked independence.2010 Rich.29* . We scaled each latent variable X2[110] = 107. Organizational citizenship 4.21* .30 0. Also. In keeping with the previously discussed CFA results. 2000).35* .35* .14* . Of more substantive interest.83) 4.44* . and core self-evaluations.64 . Lepine.70.30* . which we allowed to correlate.27 0. the ICCls for both task performance and OCB were very small. job satisfaction.d.26* .34* . for which we loaded each individual item onto its respective higher order factor (value congruence. task performance. Vallerand.36 . 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1. and ICClOCB = .68 on Fri. we allowed error variances from the two neg atively worded job involvement items to correlate.90 . and in no case did an alternative model fit the data as well as the hypothesized model. Job engagement 4.88 0.12 (.90.55 . We compared model 1 to more parsimonious nested alternatives that com bined latent constructs to assess the discriminant validity of the latent variables.48* . As the fit statistics in Table 2 indicate. Model 1 is the proposed measurement model.809] = 5. As shown in the table.54).29* . model 1 fit the data well in an absolute sense (^2[2. & Blanchard. Value congruence 3.86) 3. p = .097. we loaded the engagement items onto the respective statistical significance (ICCltask performanCe = .56* . indi viduals reported they were more engaged in their jobs when they also reported higher levels of value congruence.70 . Job satisfaction 4.

140.jstor. positive and statistically significant which in turn predicted task performance and or and .06). job satisfaction.07 2. involvement (model 2).36.817] = 5. factors. 4.49 2. Hoffman. To support variables. factors. p = . perceived organizational support (model six direct effects of the independen 6). We job first trinsic motivation were predicted by specified a model that included these relationships dent variables. these three variables together with direct effects of the independent vari any statistically significant relations ables on the dependent variables. root-mean-square error o dence interval.238.95 .810 . JI. Because theory more highly engaged when they per and empirical research indicate that task perfor congruence. organization index. positive and statistically significant .823] = 5. factors..113. TP.27. Individuals re ganizational citizenship behavior.810 CSE combined 5. the fit indexes in Table 2 show that none of the alter was superior to the first because it w native models fit the data as well as our hypothe monious and fit the data equally wel sized model.151.245. All x2 and A*2 values are p < .230. job engagement. Chi-square difference tests indicated The standardized path estimates fro statistically significant differences model.90.g. core self-evaluations.95. levels of task performance and OCB. This first structural model fit the two data job wellperformance in an outcomes. SRMR. JS combined 5. OCB. Blair.170. specified a second stru nested within the first. However. respectively). (model we 3). there were with job performance when conside no statistically significant direct relationships be zero-order sense. respectively). This mod dependent the discriminant validity of the supervisor-rated data well (^[2. and intrinsic motivation. JE JE JE JE JE JE TP & & & & & & & JI combined 5. s Tests of Substantive Relationships individuals who indicated they we gaged reported that these individua In keeping with the theory we outlined earlier.11. 2007). Thus.90 2.809 .06-. tion appear to have meaningful r SRMR = . CFI constructs. pe evaluations predicted job engagement.001.130. we specified a model in which value congruence. this analysis supported the Hypotheses 1 and 2 in that the pa adequacy of the measures testingengagement substantiveto task performance relationships.25). b A*2 tests relative to model 1.10 . task performance.626 Academy of Management Journal June TABLE 2 Measurement Modela Structure x* df CFI SRMR RMSEA 90% CI Ax*(df)b Model 1: Nine factors 5. job satisfaction Therefore. in model fit fa in Figure 1.06 Model Model Model Model Model Model Model 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: Eight Eight Eight Eight Eight Eight Eight . job involvement.65 2.68 on Fri. CSE.097. and int absolute sense (#2[2. factors. indicate depicted voring model 1. job satisfaction.139.810 a n = 245. = . organizational supp mance and OCB are reflections ofvalue a broader job self-evaluations. job satisfaction.53. JE. job involve izational support.06). the fit of the data to a model in which we combined task the data was the same as the fit of t performance and OCB (model 8).98 2.43. factors.200. we also report a comparison of RMSEA the fit of .81 2. RMSEA = .11 2. & Woehr. factors. we allowed theThe disturbance although involvement. standardized root-mean-square residual.810 POS combined 5.37 2.06 . IM.176.11. as th perceived organizational support. performance construct (e. CFI = .810 VC combined 5. and 5 were also supported. JS. Me path estimates in Figure 1 also riac. In sum. RMSEA. they appear to h tween the independent and dependent variables. In fact. In other words. and core self-evaluations (model the 7). job satisf terms on these latent variables to correlate. Alt volvement. The statistics and (A#2[6] = 7. This content downloaded from 14. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about.810 IM combined 5. in which we intrinsic motivation (model 4).810 OCB combined 5. and core self gagement from value congruence. value congruence (model 5). and core self-eval ment. intrinsic moti organizational support.

perceived organizational support.04 0.04 0. In Table 3 we report Sobel (1982) tests of statis tical significance using unstandardized estimates and corresponding standard errors for indirect ef TABLE 3 Tests of Indirect Relationships through Engagement and Other Affective-Motivational States* Indirect Effect Through Job Job Job Intrinsic Relationship Engagement Involvement Satisfaction Motivation Value congruence-*Task performance 0. we examined the pattern of indirect relation ships attributable to the various mediators. 2002).68 on Fri.16* 0.03 0.00 Value congruence??Organizational citizenship 0. Shrout & Bolger. * p < .05 This content downloaded from 14.jstor.00 Perceived organizational support-?Task performance 0. Thus far. To more thoroughly examine media tion. & Bolger.18* 0.07* 0.01 Core self-evaluations?^Organizational citizenship 0.35* Engagement JXv Value Congruence yjT^06 // 27 \ ??-~ -^^^ v\ // \ Task 1 ^.139.2010 Rich.08* 0.12* 0. Only relationships among the highest-order latent variables shown.05 dictive relevance when considered along with engagement.04 0. Lepine.04 0. * p < .00 0. Satisfaction / \\ l/.08 0.01 0. and Crawford 627 FIGURE 1 Structural Model with Engagement and Other Affective-Motivational States* -.00 an = .245.01 0. Mean ingful indirect relationships may be observed even when the zero-order relationship between an inde pendent and dependent variable is nonsignificant. 1998.llX \ I ^Nl/^^ Organizational ^_36*i/ / \\\ \ I/ /Citizenship J """^vl uXi5* Behavior ^/ Core ^i' \\ / / ^?-"""^ Self-Evaluations \l -/ / ^_^^""^Slf Intrinsic Motivation J s$2 a Standardized paths. and core self-evaluations and the two aspects of job performance.\V^)x / \ ^^/^j^^^^^ \A / y^fk Involvement X \ / / CPerceived ^X/iaA/ V V V Organizational Jk" a A A A ""*~~^~^^ Ay \ j^v. our analyses support the mediating role of engagement in relationships between value con gruence.00 Core self-evaluations??Task performance 0. as might be the case when the independent variable is more distal or when the effect of the independent variable is masked by offsetting indirect effects of other mediators (Kenny.02 0.02 0.06 0.01 Perceived organizational support-KDrganizational citizenship 0. Kashy.11* 0. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about.

firefighters in our applied this framework and identified three ante study who were engaged not only invested their cedents of engagement that we considered in our energy into executing the tasks involved in fighting fires and dealing with other emergencies. or intrinsic motivation. job involvement. In contrast. this issue raises the question of whether there may be circumstances in which we might expect to find differences in relationships between engagement and the two types of perfor mance criteria.jstor. safety.68 on Fri. Although we certainly could have examined the mediating role of additional could test theory that explains how relationships variables in our research. engaged individuals do not distinguish among activities that reflect task performance and OCB when they make choices about how to allocate their physical. which they under stand to include any activity that could potentially contribute to their effectiveness. engagement provides a more comprehensive expla previous paragraph.139. and fifth columns of Table 3. and in doing so. Finally. We argued that ization both directly (through task accomplishment that requires cooperation and teamwork) and indi Kahn's theory provides for a more complete repre sentation of the self in terms of the energies that rectly (by fostering a positive social-psychological climate). Finally. and in trinsic motivation. perceived organization This content downloaded from 14. ing of the etiology of job engagement. no statistically significant indirect relationships can be attributed to job in volvement. cognitive. as shown in the third. we found statistically significant indi rect relationships through engagement between ships with engagement in contexts where the line each of the antecedents and each of the outcomes. More specifically. and emotional energies at work?they simply throw their full selves into their roles. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about. researchers formance outcomes. helping behavior directed toward another include job involvement. job satisfaction. In fact. We gagement. For example. In a commission-based sales job. The Our primary theoretical contribution is that we line between whether helping behavior directed extended Kahn's (1990) theory by considering the toward a fellow firefighter is task performance or degree to which engagement serves as an important citizenship behavior may be blurred because the mechanism through which the antecedents of en behavior likely contributes to the employing organ gagement impact job performance.245. between task performance and OCB is easier to and these relationships emerge in models that also appreciate. job satisfaction. In support of this ployees see their role as including both elements. In support of Hypotheses 6a and 6b. but also research: value congruence. courteous. Our research also provides a better understand and accordingly. Kahn (1990) Our research also illuminates the nature of the suggested that engagement is rooted in the psycho behavioral contributions to their organizations logical conditions of meaningfulness. there were no remaining effects for any additional variables to mediate. These indirect relationships were obtained in models that included job involvement. In sup port of Hypotheses 7a and 7b. our results salesperson would more likely be viewed as some thing clearly outside the bounds of normal role indicate that engagement fully accounts for the re activities that primarily involve customer interac lationships between the antecedents and the per tion. in support of Hypoth eses 8a and 8b. and research could de velop and test more nuanced theoretical explana tions of why this might be true. Of course. value congruence exhibited statistically significant indirect effects on both task performance and OCB through engagement. it may be that the relationships nation of mediation than do mechanisms that con with engagement would be similar because the em cern narrower aspects of the self. we may observe differences in relation argument. job satisfaction. no remaining direct ef between job engagement and job performance de fects with engagement were included in the model. and thus Hypothesis 9 was sup ported. and availability and that perceptions of self and of work made by employees as a function of their job en context cause these psychological conditions. In such contexts. differences in rela tionships could appear in job contexts where dis tinctions among the behavioral elements that constitute task performance and OCB are large. perceived organiza tional support exhibited statistically significant in direct effects on both task performance and OCB through engagement. and accordingly. per haps engagement increases the breadth of the activities that individuals consider to be part of their roles. job satisfaction. and intrinsic motivation. DISCUSSION Theoretical Contributions tended to be helpful. pend on the nature of job . and involved in organizational matters.628 Academy of Management Journal June fects through job engagement. The degree to which en gagement predicts such a wide array of behavioral activities is noteworthy. for example. For example. With such a possibility in mind. fourth. and in trinsic motivation as mediators. core self-evaluations exhibited sta tistically significant indirect effects on both task performance and OCB through engagement. and as we noted in the individuals invest in their roles.

so that some teams' members consistently invest their full selves into their work team roles." which then is mobilized toward the team's pursuit and achievement of organizational goals (Ashforth & Humphrey. 1986). even connecting the individuals in a kind of "group mind. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about. however. however. 1964). politeness. For example. defined as the degree to which information is communicated with truthfulness. and re spect. Naylor. This emphasis is consistent with Ashforth and Humphrey's (1995) argument that because engagement accounts for the simulta neous expression of both strong motivation and psychological involvement. Martinez. while other teams' mem bers do not. Intrinsic motivation is only predicted by perceived organizational support. 1980). For example.g. the effect of per ceived organizational support is stronger than the effects of value congruence and core self-evalua tions. Lepine. Vroom. it is possible that work teams develop a characteristic or "conta gion" level of employee engagement. Feedback indicat ing negative discrepancies between goals and role performance creates a sense of challenge and an in centive for investment of the self in a role.. because Kahn defined engagement as the degree to which people choose to invest their full selves into role-related activities. To tap this potential. predictability. Accordingly.. research should begin to focus more explicitly on the development and testing of theory regarding how engagement fits into other theories of motivation (Kanfer.68 on Fri. Job involvement is only predicted by value congruence and perceived organizational support. & Peiro. Agut. 1990). This collective engagement might facili tate development of common purpose and cohesive ness. as well as possible solutions to the implied dilemma. & Ilgen. Llorens. and dignity (e. however. Our research provides one answer in that employees who exhibited higher levels of engagement were found to contribute to their organizations with higher levels of plicitly positions engagement as a motivational concept and emphasizes relationships with behav ioral consequences. it is possible that the literature on interactional justice.2010 Rich. and perhaps Kahn's theory could individual task performance and OCB. and in turn. and our re sults illustrate that each antecedent has a unique effect on engagement and that all these effects are of near-equal magnitude. re spect. 2003). job satisfaction. and Crawford 629 al support. Salanova. 2005. As mentioned in our introduction. and intrin sic motivation. Bies & Moag. We note that the patterns of relationships among the antecedents and the other mediators are different from the pattern of relation ships with engagement. Future re search is needed to examine other means by which engagement contributes to performance advantages for organizations. Fu ture research could directly examine these relation ships. In Kahn's view. it could be worth while to explore implications of engagement in the context of existing cognitive choice theories of moti vation (e. although claims Although the majority of research on engagement abound that employee engagement creates competi has been grounded in the literature on burnout and employee well-being and has emphasized relation ships with antecedent .jstor.245.. All three antecedents pre dict job satisfaction. the differences in these patterns do provide further support for the distinctiveness of engagement rela tive to job involvement. Pritchard. the operation of engagement at the team or work group level represents an important means by which organizations can develop performance advan tages. 2002.. Salanova. Cifre. Kahn noted that psychological safety could be promoted in nonthreatening contexts in which there is consistency. The same negative feedback.g. Researchers could examine how these questions correspond to expect ancies and appraisals from theories of motivation (e. As teams be come increasingly common as a unit of work organi zation. and core self-evaluations. Although we did not antic ipate these specific patterns of relationships. Ours is the first research to link this particular set of anteced ents to Kahn's engagement construct. One potential avenue is to examine whether engagement manifests itself as a property of work groups and teams. may be threatening to an individual's self-image and may therefore reduce feelings of psychological safety. little theory or em pirical observation accounts for the means by which engagement creates this competitive advantage. 1995). could be applied to develop a more elaborate model of the roles that goal setting and self-regulation play in the process of engagement. Such research would also inform prior empir ical work that has linked engagement to unit-level performance (Harter et al. & Schaufeli. our research ex tive advantages for organizations. For example.g. This content downloaded from 14.139. Implications for Future Research be supplemented with concepts that are found to be conceptually unique. it could be worth while to examine the influence of self-regulation on the three psychological conditions. choices to engage are a function of three psychological conditions that follow from questions that organization members seem to unconsciously ask themselves in each situation. this should foster a greater sense of meaningful ness. As one idea. it is an important mo tivational concept with great potential to improve understanding of the mechanisms through which contextual perceptions and behavioral tendencies ultimately influence behavior and performance.

For ex ample. the factor structure of the engagement scale with firefighters was similar to that for employees in the skilled nurs ing facility. we conceptualized and measured job performance as behavior.139.jstor. we could have conducted a more direct test of Kahn's theory. 2004).. In fact. underlie the relationships among our antecedents and job engagement. and therefore. Finally. Along these same lines.. or quality. Although these types of objective measures may be less appropriate for firefighters. however. and therefore. although we used multiple data sources. 2001). 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about. Kahn dis tinguished engagement from concepts such as in volvement and commitment. we were more interested in the commonality of the factors. we presumed. However. designating the latter as more generalized states of which organization members maintain average levels over time and specifying the former. these variables could be more distally related to the performance criteria.630 Academy of Management Journal June Limitations cedent concepts with fairly direct relevance to Although the findings of this study are generally supportive of our hypotheses. and so any infer ences regarding causality are limited. Kahn originally described engagement in terms of dynamic moments.e. future research could exam This content downloaded from 14. 1990: 717-718). the antecedents and mediators in our model were all from self-report measures. as instead refer ring to specific fluctuations of psychological pres ence in particular moments and situations. although we consid ered job involvement. We note. it is likely that method variance inflated the relationships among these variables. that the link ages among these concepts and engagement have been established theoretically (Kahn. meaningfulness. engagement.245. Third. Moreover. which was subsequently reflected in our structural equation modeling. relative to engagement. we caution readers that alternative causal models are plausible. researchers could con sider the impact that performance has on job engage ment. Fourth. Kahn himself called for future research that would de velop dynamic process models explaining how the antecedent conditions described above combine to produce moments of personal engagement (Kahn. although the majority of research on en gagement is cross-sectional. and "calibrations of self-in-role" (1990: 694). maybe more . Edmonson. efficiency. For example. to the extent that Kahn positioned the antecedents we considered as more distal causes of engagement than the three psychological conditions. to fully understand how job engagement and job performance are related. and these could be examined in future research. Second. it is un known whether engagement has effects on objec tive measures of job performance such as produc tivity. the degree to which our results would generalize to other employees and jobs is unknown. Fifth. job satisfaction. for example.. our study may provide a more conservative test of our med itation hypotheses. future research could be designed to reduce reliance on self-reports..g." Although this may be a valid concern. 1999. safety. Finally. we did not consider alternative roles that these concepts might play. and if we had included them in our study. Such a structure would be consistent with the idea that job engagement is the motivational con cept most proximally related to behavioral outcomes and that positive attitudes such as satisfaction and involvement are reasons why an individual might become more engaged (Rothbard. Research fo cused directly on this issue is necessary to help re searchers understand more clearly how job attitudes. engagement. the tests of mediation were dependent on a fairly complex pattern of rela tionships among the variables that would be very difficult to explain away with method variance alone. and job performance are interrelated. Moreover. 1990) and empirically (May et al. we did not measure three concepts (i. we focused on ante managers regarding which specific aspects of the employees and their work contexts could be shaped to enhance engagement. and intrinsic motivation as mechanisms through which the ante cedents could impact the criteria.68 on Fri. our research was cross-sectional. ebbs and flows. 2004). within-subjects de signs and use multilevel modeling to develop and test models capturing the variance in individuals' engagement in their work roles over time. May et al. it would be worth while to consider their use in research in other work contexts. given the nature of the work outcomes for which they are responsible. the physical nature of the firefighting job may have helped respondents to distinguish be tween physical and cognitive energies in a way that would be more difficult for "knowledge workers. Future research should begin to employ experience-sampling. our primary focus was on substantive relationships with job perfor mance variables that were not from the same source and. Nevertheless. Several measures of these concepts exist (e. to obtain ratings of job engagement from peers who work closely with focal employees. It may be possible. First. Although we had strong theoretical and logical reasons to presume causal ordering. and availability) that. rather than in loadings of the first-order factors. our research design had limitations that could be addressed in future research. For example. including the current research. and so our approach of using the previous research as the foundation for specifying our model is reasonable.

Our results show that managers' use of practices to increase these factors can promote employee en gagement directly and enhance employee perfor mance indirectly.. Salanova. Ashforth. S. Harter et al. Whereas previous research has fo cused on mechanisms that emphasize narrow as pects of the self. Journal of Manage ment. Finally. Relative to other mechanisms that reflect narrower views of the self. B. Emotion in the workplace: A reappraisal.jstor. investments of the self that are reflected in engagement appear to provide a more complete explanation for relationships with job performance. prac titioners should pay special attention to whether the measure of engagement being considered for application has shown evidence of being linked specifically to the criteria of interest. and we believe that it is important to take these differences into account when interpreting scores and applying them to practice. G. the organization could foster perceptions among employees that it is supportive. Thus. Following their entry. Baard. their strong impact on engagement provides an additional reason for recommending these practices. until more is known about the correspondence Practical Contributions Although our research was primarily intended to test theoretically derived hypotheses. and in trinsic motivation. 1995... 2005.. Intrinsic need satis faction: A motivational basis of performance and well-being in two work settings. S. perceived organizational sup port.68 on Fri. socialization opportunities. and core self-evaluations are associated with higher levels of employee engagement. 1995. Interactional justice: Com This content downloaded from 14. E. R. J. the organization could then use mentoring. Human Relations. what may be more noteworthy is the greater useful ness of engagement in predicting job performance relative to job involvement. values that fit with those of the hiring organization. 58: 661-689.. & Humphrey. and at a very gen eral level. This pattern of findings suggests that rather than spreading resources over various practices aimed at assessing and improving a variety of attitudes and motivational states. 2004. Conclusion Kahn's perspective on engagement has been cited as providing a sound conceptual basis for research on engagement (Ashforth & Humphrey. E. Lepine. Although there is already good reason to believe in the value of management practices that can increase the prev alence of these factors at work. REFERENCES Ashforth. May et al. Identification in organizations: An examination of four fundamental questions. A.. it may be worth while to focus resources on practices that assess and enhance employee engagement. & Ryan. 48: 97 125. as we noted earlier. 2002) or as well-being (Schaufeli & Bakker. 2008. & Corley. and Crawford 631 ine a more comprehensive meditational chain whereby various performance behaviors are posi tioned as mediators between engagement and the objective indicators of performance. Our measure. Thus. Bies. . and so we do not know whether en gagement conceptualized and measured largely as an attitude (e. B. 34: 325-374. Human Relations. although the relevance of engagement to job performance may be important in and of itself. through leadership training as well as per formance management systems that provide devel opmental feedback. Harrison. 2001. Rothbard. Gonzalez-Roma. K. Demerouti. our results suggest that practices that en gender engagement among employees can enhance job performance.. and these improvements in job per formance are likely to come in the form of both task performance and organizational citizenship behavior. J.g. emphasized the motivational nature of engagement.. 2005. 1986. R. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about. staffing practices could be tailored to select em ployees who possess high core self-evaluations and among the various measures of engagement. Bakker. our findings do have practical implications. Finally. Deci. job satisfaction.139. The crossover of burnout and work engagement among working couples. Schaufeli. & Moag. We further argued here that Kahn's concep tualization of engagement is important to consider as a mechanism that transmits effects of individual and organizational factors to different aspects of job performance. 34: 2045-2068. H. R. B. E. & Bakker. Kahn's engagement concept ac counts for the simultaneous employment of several aspects of the self in a work role and thus provides a more comprehensive understanding of perfor mance. Results of our study strongly supported a theoretical model grounded in this idea. However. H. 2004.2010 Rich. E. & Schaufeli. engagement has been conceptualized and measured in several different ways.. First. for example. for example. 2002)... and an aligned set of people management practices to com municate a consistent set of organizational values. P. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. our research shows that higher levels of value congruence. 2003) would function simi larly in terms of enhancing job performance. Salanova et al. Second.245. W.

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88 a All factor loadings are significant at p < . (Eds. 34: 43-73. Salanova.91 At work. APPENDIX TABLE Al Job Engagement Items and Factor Loadings'1 Skilled Care Nursing Items Facility Employees1* Firefighters*3 Physical engagement I work with intensity on my job . 7: 422-445. I. Department Wiley.).92 At work. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about. & Bakker.. 1993. V. B.88 . M. Linking or Greenwich. E. vol. L. The measurement of burnout and engagement: A confirmatory factor analytic approach. Schaufeli.68 I feel positive about my job . W. W. 1982. 1991. (Ed.80 At work. K.78 . Oxford. I devote a lot of attention to my job . Collective mind in schaufeli. Job satisfaction engagement: A multi-sample study. 2005. M.. Cifre. Cummings. J. Sociological methodology: 290-312.81 . of Psychology. 21: 600-619. M. D. Construct validity in organizational ogy. Psychological Methods. A. ganizational resources and work engagement to em ployee performance and customer royalty: The me Shrout. Leinhart electronic work groups: An experimental study. 3: 2003. 2002. M. Saks. S. U. B. E.68 on Fri. I am absorbed by my job . Journal of Happiness Studies. Schaufeli. UWES?Utrecht Vroom.. 1980. & Schaufeli. Llorens.634 Academy of Management Journal June Educational and Psychological Measurement. Perceived collective efficacy. & Roberts. E. 90: 1217-1227. resources and their relationship with burnout and Williams. Jour nal of Management. Journal of Applied tal and nonexperimental studies: New procedures Psychology.B. Journal of Or and organizational commitment as predictors of or ganizational Behavior. W. Job demands. This content downloaded from 14. J..87 I am excited about my job . H.M. A. I pay a lot of attention to my job .jstor..84 ..91 Cognitive engagement At work. & Peiro. M.K. 1964. B. V. Sobel. Journal of Managerial Psychol Schwab. & ganizational citizenship and in-role .78 .86 I I I I devote a lot of energy to my job . I concentrate on my job ... 2003.. 64: 878-893. Gonzalez-Roma. 17: 601-617.88 . Salanova.77 try my hardest to perform well on my job . B. cn = 245.84 strive as hard as I can to complete my job .). Staw & L.92 . E.87 I feel energetic at my job . 25: 293-315.89 .. 2004. In S.81 .80 . I focus a great deal of attention on my job . E. Schaufeli.67 Emotional engagement I am enthusiastic in my job .139. P. b n = 180. A.60 .78 . Weick. Bakker. organizations: Heedful interrelating on flight decks. 2: 3-43..: Work Engagement Scale: Test manual.001. A.85 .79 exert a lot of energy on my job . M. & Anderson. & Bakker.81 . Martinez.. and recommendations. S. & Bolger. Antecedents and consequences of em ployee engagement. Agut. San Small Groups Research.88 . 38: 357-381.90 I am interested in my job .. Work and motivation. behavior. 2002.78 . W. my mind is focused on my job . Mediation in experimen diation of service climate. Retrieved August 8. Research in organizational behavior.245. B.67 At work. Utrecht University.87 At work. H. P.. http://www. Francisco: Jossey-Bass. In B. N.71 I exert my full effort to my job . CT: JAI Press. job Administrative Science Quarterly.87 . K. S.89 . Salanova. Asymptotic intervals for indirect ef subjective well-being and task performance among fects in structural equations models. 2006.82 I am proud of my job .L.

139.245.68 on Fri.jstor. from Michigan State University. University of Florida. work stress.crawford@cba. and learning.D. Crawford (eean. 12 Aug 2016 19:27:35 UTC All use subject to http://about. team effectiveness. He received his Ph. and employee engagement. His current research interests include em ployee engagement. and Crawford 635 - of Florida. -fL & This content downloaded from 14.2010 Rich. citizenship performance and voice. Eean is a doc toral student in organizational behavior at the War rington College of Business B f S o m e t J d r .ufl. His research interests include team composi tion and teamwork. Lepine. memory. occupational stress.