娀 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 tions that emphasize affect or cognition or the mo-
have claimed that engaged employees give compa- tives for physical persistence in tasks. Yet these
nies competitive advantages (Corporate Leadership explanations do not account for the possibility that
Council, 2006; Gallup Management Journal, 2005). individuals can choose to invest their affective,
However, although scholars have made great cognitive, and physical energies simultaneously
strides over the past decade in identifying corre- into role performances and that this more holistic
lates of engagement (e.g., Harter, Schmidt, & Hayes, investment of the self into one’s role represents
2002; Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004), little theory or something that is distinct and fundamental (Kahn,
empirical observation accounts for the role of en- 1990, 1992).
gagement as a means through which organizations Accordingly, the purpose of this article is to draw
can create competitive advantages. In particular, from Kahn’s (1990) work to develop theory that
researchers have not examined the role of engage- positions engagement as a key mechanism explain-
ment as a mechanism that links employee charac- ing relationships among a variety of individual
teristics and organizational factors to employee job characteristics and organizational factors and job
performance. performance. We begin by describing research cen-
This gap in knowledge of engagement may be tered on explanations for job performance that ad-
understandable, given that the concept has a fairly dress narrower aspects of an employee’s self, high-
brief history and a substantial portion of this re- lighting how these perspectives may be limited
search has been grounded in theories of burnout with respect to explaining why important individ-
and employee well-being (e.g., Maslach & Leiter, ual and organizational factors impact job perfor-
1997). However, Kahn (1990) originally described mance. We then draw from Kahn’s theory to
engagement as a unique and important motiva- describe how engagement represents the simulta-
tional concept: the harnessing of an employee’s full neous investment of cognitive, affective, and phys-
self in terms of physical, cognitive, and emotional ical energies into role performance, and how such
energies to work role performances. This concep- investments may better explain relationships with
tualization not only suggests a linkage between en- two different aspects of job performance: task per-
gagement and job performance, but also represents formance and organizational citizenship behavior.
an inclusive view of the employee’s agentic self, We then draw from Kahn’s theory to identify three
and thus engagement may provide a more compre- antecedents of engagement: value congruence, per-
hensive explanation for job performance effects ceived organizational support, and core self-evalu-
than is provided by more familiar mechanisms that ations. These concepts have been previously linked
emphasize narrower aspects of the employee’s self. to job performance, and thus, our theorizing ex-
Researchers have focused on performance explana- tends understanding of why the relationships
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such as job involvement. behaviors associated with tasks that contribute to or- ating role in relationships between the antecedents ganizational effectiveness (Eagly & Chaiken. and coworkers (Russell. As the first example. Thoresen. researchers have con. & Patton. We argue that this fundamental it is conceptualized in terms of emotional reactions underlying mechanism is embodied by Kahn’s that are associated with the human desire to fulfill (1990) engagement concept. tion supplies make people more willing to carry out cur. satisfy these three intrinsic needs facilitate self- ceptualized the self in terms of cognitive energy motivation and effective regulatory functioning that can be allocated in various work and nonwork through internalization of organizationally valued domains according to identities individuals define goals (Baard. & Shropshire. that this meditational role is more comprehensive Finally. the appraisal of one’s job or job experience” (Locke. and it is argued to emphasize relatively narrow aspects of employees’ influence performance because opportunities to selves. ing ethnographic research. themselves into their work roles. each focuses on a different aspect of the self the degree to which employees relate to their jobs in explaining why individuals choose to invest as comprising their lives in total. Kahn formally defined enced by differences in individual personality engagement as “the simultaneous employment and (Judge. Job satisfac- the job even when outside of work (Kanungo. which is defined as the desire to exert effort on a task in the absence of external constraints or contingencies (Deci. and . Job involvement ployee who exhibits high job involvement identi. the concept of job involvement refers to mance. 1985). 2006). job satisfaction. foster feelings of competence. and relat- mances has focused on explanatory concepts that edness (Gagne´ & Deci. We also argue that engagement plays a medi. 2004). When consid- reasoned to predict job performance because indi. 1961). and in. & Corley. & Sheep. 2001). emotional. & Ryan. 2004) and is also influ. Nicholson. autonomy. & Ironson. nitive. 1993. Job satisfaction is promoted through Kahn’s Engagement favorable perceptions of job characteristics. tion focuses on affective reactions and the need to 1982). focuses on the cognitive energy individuals invest fies strongly with his or her job and thinks about to maintain identities related to work. so that an em. Job involvement is influenced by organiza. personal presence (physical. 1975. 2002). we describe a study of firefighters plary is the extensive research on the concept of designed to test our theoretical model. Deci & THEORY AND HYPOTHESES Ryan. Lin. Exem- self. expression of a person’s ‘preferred self’ in task be- ings associated with high job satisfaction that result haviors that promote connections to work and to from favorable evaluations of what their organiza. The positive feel. intrinsic motivation. as these from the need to feel competent and maintain au- concepts rest on a relatively narrow view of the tonomy and control over courses of action. there is a rich history of research on the able energies into a work role. Kreiner. or physical energy manifest more 2008. 1996) and is maintaining autonomy and control. Intrinsic motivation focuses tion characteristics. 2008). & Mount. this approach does not more situations as opportunities to perform work account for the possibility that investments of cog- role activities (Hillman. In an article reporting results of theory-generat- Stanton. Bono. there is theory and research that refers to than research using familiar and well-researched the self primarily in terms of the physical energies concepts. super- visors. Deci. supervisory behaviors. As a prime these concepts in relationship with job perfor- example. fundamental choices to invest these three aspects Another stream of work based on a relatively of the self in a holistic and connected manner narrow explanation of the self is research in which (Goffman. However. ered as an aggregate. comprehensive explanation for job performance surable or positive emotional state resulting from than do concepts that depict the self more narrowly. Hollensbe. which refers to “a plea. it provides a more concept of job satisfaction. would suggest. 2005). 1976: 1300). Heller. cognitive. Because this concept subjective psychological needs or values. Finally. accounts for the simultaneous investment of avail- ample. on individuals’ effort and persistence dedicated to dividual differences (Brown & Leigh. these explanations comple- viduals who identify the most strongly with their ment one another in explaining variability in per- jobs focus their thoughts on work and interpret formance. Spitzmuller. for themselves in reference to the roles they hold Although researchers have examined each of (Ashforth.618 Academy of Management Journal June among these antecedents and job performance oc. Harrison. that are focused on specific task activities resulting and intrinsic motivation. maintain happiness. Intrinsic motivation is promoted by The majority of research intended to improve both work contexts and individual differences that understanding of variability in work role perfor. Smith. others. and the two dimensions of job performance and Judge. For ex.

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

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

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

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

Sample and Procedures Our review of the literature for existing measures that might tap Kahn’s (1992) physical engagement Participants included 245 full-time firefighters dimension revealed that Brown and Leigh’s (1996) and their supervisors employed by four municipal. emotional state consisting of two independent di- tive. we signif- associate’s degree (61%).d. we drew from Russell and Barrett’s (1999) research ing Kahn’s (1990) conceptualization as the degree on core affect. Muros (2007) measured positive workplace emo- Schwab. (1990). job time. Bono. ⫽ 8. However. but only chooses to Measures perform role-related activities for a small portion of Participants rated their own job engagement. gagement have been criticized for not fully reflect.” and we ticipants that the survey was designed to measure felt this wording created some ambiguity. In port. mensions—pleasantness (feeling positive) and acti- mance (Newman & Harrison. and optimism experienced at work. 1980). we Engagement Scale (UWES. this interpretation is not consistent Likert scale that ranged from “strongly disagree” (1) with engagement as conceptualized by Kahn. Participants were predominately male (87%) defined as the “energy exerted per unit of time” and Caucasian (88%) and had completed at least an (1996: 362). measure of “work intensity. Lepine. in keeping gested by Kahn. activitieswith high intensity simply to avoid being value congruence. and emotional energies into their role perfor. cogni. We distributed and col.5 years tenure scale to promote greater conceptual correspon- (s.” which the authors ities. interest). job satisfaction. which in the context interest in engagement has grown. excitement. we were able to compile a list of items that we felt we could use. To be consistent with ular measure of engagement is the Utrecht Work Kahn’s description of this aspect of engagement. so the wording of these items was revised. and core self-evaluations using a five-point our opinion. they were 39 icantly modified the items in Brown and Leigh’s years old (s. and to “strongly agree” (5). the focal situation to those particular. Vinson. 1993]). for the cognitive aspect of engagement. and Crawford 623 satisfaction. 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. we drew from Rothbard’s (2001) measure of engage- monality of those dimensions would adequately ment. during which he or she accomplishes the involvement. a set of existing scales with items that “perfectly” sidered as additional mediators. 2008). ⫽ 8. Foldes.d. engagement with the antecedent conditions sug. defined as a somewhat generalized to which individuals invest their physical. three of spurious relationships. Most existing measures of en. We told par. we followed practices described by organizational behavior and applied psychological scholars who have discussed the process of devel. and oping and validating measures of constructs (e. Our goal was to measure the three dimen. wrote items that refer to emotions that reflect both 2003). we also had the items refer to feelings asso- although the UWES has gained in popularity as ciated with a particular target. energy.g. Schaufeli & Bakker. we needed to of the present research was a respondent’s work develop a measure that maps more precisely onto role. the five original items began with the phrase “when lected surveys during working hours. For example.86).2010 Rich. Further. came the closest. reprimanded or fired for not being productive. vation (a sense of energy). of meaningfulness and challenge of work. The most pop. the UWES includes with research on emotions (defined as affective items that tap respondent perceptions of the level states directed toward something specific [Frijda. literatures. On average. circumstances in which an individual is present at work for a full day. however. Job engagement. it includes items that confound high pleasantness and high activation (enthusiasm. For instance. and we supplemented this list with items we wrote METHODS to fill out the content domain of each dimension. ment of the core affect domain has precedent in the To this end. perceived organizational sup. I work” or “when there’s a job to be done. and intrinsic motivation are con. 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.71) and had 11. To measure the emotional aspect of engagement. Although we did not locate amount of focus and concentration) and absorption . Measuring work-related emotion within a seg- Kahn’s conceptualization.. Thus. sions of engagement in such a way that the com. Specifi- job attitudes and that their responses to the survey cally. fit the definitions of the dimensions. For example. which includes both attention (level or reflect job engagement. engagement dimensions as described by Kahn happiness. and perhaps rare. Finally. the phrase could be interpreted as limiting would be kept confidential. intrinsic motivation.

We first fit the data to a one-factor from Judge and colleagues (Judge et al.007. CFI ⫽ .97. lated engagement dimensions. alternative one-factor model (⌬␹2[3] ⫽ 704. we specified an additional model in which we We first administered our initial 18-item job en. pect of engagement.073.71.54. We re. engagement factor.65) sug- Rothbard’s scale to promote conceptual consis. spectively).05.95).90. cause the number of estimated endogenous rela- riety of occupations and organizations.d.64. model in which we loaded each item onto its cor- the dimensions were strongly related. 3-item scale of general or overall job satisfaction. and Rhodes (2001). and on a scale that ranged from “strongly disagree” (1) emotional dimensions were all positive. and . We measured value care nursing facility. 2005.72. 2003). we did not attempt to maintain the dis. strong. Participants rated the job engagement items factor loadings for the physical.46%) and cognitive (6.001). and O’Reilly (1990) that focus on the align- (73.3%). gested a commonality indicative of a higher-order tency with Kahn’s description of the cognitive as.. The items for each di. Participants in this sample congruence using three items from Caldwell. We model in which all 18 items loaded on a single measured job involvement using Kanungo’s (1982) latent variable. est amount of variance (57%). Accordingly. We con- the item with a low factor loading (. For these reasons.59) for the ducted analyses that mirrored what we described subsequent data collection. re- exploratory factor analysis using principal axis fac. and on average were 43 years in age ues. However. Law et al. good fit with the data. Rather.89. We assessed perceived organizational support (s. Be- individuals who were employed full-time in a va.. factor (Kline.05. and they had responding engagement dimension. factor loadings of items to their cor. and in an absolute sense (␹2[132] ⫽ 302. they were 28 the second-order model indicated exactly the same years old with 4. tionships and degrees of freedom in this model are ceived completed surveys from 84 participants (a the same as those for the model with three corre- 72 percent response rate). Three factors were dividual items (shown in the Appendix).90. SRMR ⫽ . Lynch. signifi- to . ment scale in this sample.94). CFI ⫽ . loaded the three first-order engagement dimensions gagement scale to a convenience sample of 117 onto a second-order engagement dimension. Although Rothbard distin.624 Academy of Management Journal June (level of engrossment or the intensity of the focus thus the items did not appear to reflect a single and concentration). .67.001). we specified a series of Armeli. We measured job satisfaction using poor fit to the data in an absolute sense (␹2[135] ⫽ Cammann.00. followed by the phys. We models and tested them using confirmatory factor used a 12-item measure of core self-evaluations analysis (CFA).98. had completed at least an associate’s de.12. specifying engage- emotional engagement factor accounted for the larg. we specified a three-factor guished between these two facets in her analyses. 1. 1998). in the previous paragraph. ment as a second-order factor was supported. Jenkins.89 CFI ⫽ . from the hypothesized model were strong.30.74) supported their aggregation to an over. Rexwinkel. The results of this model indicated 10-item scale.6 years of full-time work experi. and there measure as consisting of three first-order factors was no cross-loading greater than . and Klesh’s (1983) 1.24). RMSEA ⫽ . which was also reliable dix) and second-order factor loadings (. SRMR ⫽ .08) and as compared to the garding functional differences between the two di. . The strong interrelationships among the tinction. . found support for the structure of our engagement responding scale were greater than . and on average. We submitted the data to an and statistically significant (. the fit statistics of ipants were female. About half of the partic. .90. ⫽ 15. with a 6-item scale developed by Eisenberger. The hypothesized sec- mension were averaged and formed reliable scales ond-order model fit the data well (␹2[132] ⫽ 391. statisti- We then cross-validated the job engagement scale cally significant. in extracted with eigenvalues greater than 1. ment of employee values with organizational val- gree (55. SRMR ⫽ . We modified that in turn load on a second-order factor. we refined six items from three engagement dimensions (average r ⫽ . RMSEA⫽ . The first-order (see the Appen- all job engagement scale. p ⬍ . Thus. Chat- were predominately female (81%) and Caucasian man. Next.09). item) in a sample of 180 employees of a skilled Other self-report measures.5%). also because we had no theoretical predictions re. p ⬍ mensions.79) from an internal consistency standpoint (.63–. . For the main study involving the firefighters. to “strongly agree” (5). Results of this remarkably similar zero-order relationships with CFA indicated that this model fit the data well both other variables in her study.26%) factors. as were the factor loadings on the in- toring with an oblique rotation.89. the second-order ence. we ical (11. With submitted the engagement items to CFA and again one exception. RMSEA ⫽ .12. The keeping with Kahn’s theorizing. Fichman. and similar to the cross-validation (after modifying the one potentially problematic sample in size. (internal consistency reliabilities ranged from .5).21. The strong correlations among the scales cantly better than the one-factor alternative (⌬␹2[3] ⫽ (r ⫽ . cognitive. To assess the structure of the engage.

49 (.04 0.70).48* (. we allowed error variances from the two neg- RESULTS atively worded job involvement items to correlate.d.32* .21* (. job coefficients.52 . perceived organizational support. in-supervisor variance components estimated from task performance.90) 9. or ICC1s.36 0.23* .70. engagement are embedded. p ⫽ .88 0. CFI ⫽ .05 . Similarly.14* .92) 7. Job satisfaction 4.06).19* . Job engagement 4.097. RMSEA ⫽ . involvement. and the loadings of the items onto their respective viduals reported they were more engaged in their latent variables were statistically significant and jobs when they also reported higher levels of value strong (average estimate/standard error ⫽ 11. individuals reporting more parsimonious nested alternatives that com- higher levels of engagement tended to receive bined latent constructs to assess the discriminant higher supervisor ratings of task performance and validity of the latent variables.2010 Rich.10. in the manner that we hypothesized.64 . and ICC1OCB ⫽ .75 0.95.44* .53 . Vallerand. Also. tions among all study variables.93) a n ⫽ 245. degree of internal consistency reliability. & Blanchard. second-order factor.01. job engagement. and Crawford 625 Finally. the ICC1s for both task performance and with the previously discussed CFA results. To assess whether the ratings lacked factor (value congruence.34* .27* . 2000).79.34* .30* . Coefficient alpha reliabilities are on the diagonal in parentheses. perceived organizational independence.75 0. havior).32 0.00.21* . first-order factor. we calculated intraclass correlation support.809] ⫽ with the conceptual antecedents and consequences 5. To account for variance due to measurement arti- facts.42* .and with.70 .29* . Table 1 reports descriptive statistics and correla.52* (. for which we loaded each ranged from “strongly disagree” (1) to “strongly individual item onto its respective higher order agree” (5). which we allowed to correlate. we formally gagement in this study.37* (. As shown in the we allowed error variances for two of the job satis- table.47* (. Supporting indepen.85.18* .54).35* .12 (.63* (. we OCB were very small. Organizational citizenship 4.44* .95) 2. We compared model 1 to core self-evaluations. tion Scale (Guay. model 1 fit substantive interest. job satisfaction. to account for item wording similarity. congruence. Intrinsic motivation 3.14* . and average loading ⫽ .70) 5. Job involvement 2. the study variables all possess an acceptable faction items to correlate. which were then loaded onto a ␹2[110] ⫽ 94.64* . core self-evaluations.29* .45* . Task performance 4.24* . p ⫽ . we report results of models tested our hypotheses by specifying a series of struc. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1.23* .21* . indi. Supervisors substantive relationships.30 0. In keeping dence.48* . we assessed the fit of our Anderson’s (1991) task performance scale. Model 1 is the proposed scored the items using a five-point Likert scale that measurement model.72) 8. * p ⬍ .21* .83) 4. organizational citizenship be- random coefficient models.19* (.90 .55 .96. and Lee data to a measurement model prior to assessing and Allen’s (2002) 16-item OCB scale. We scaled each latent variable ␹2[110] ⫽ 107. Although these an alternative model fit the data as well as the zero-order correlations are meaningful and provide hypothesized model.62 . using the between. Core self-evaluations 3. Lepine.35* . intrinsic motivation. and in no case did organizational citizenship behavior.35* . Participants’ su- Measurement Model pervisors completed a job performance question- naire that included 5 items from Williams and Following convention. Perceived organizational support 3. by setting a factor loading of an indicator to 1.05. and not close to reaching loaded the engagement items onto the respective statistical significance (ICC1task performance ⫽ . That is. we measured intrinsic motivation with the tural models in which all of the relationships with job corresponding 4 items from the Situational Motiva. SRMR ⫽ .27 0. Because of our focus on en- preliminary support for our theorizing.70) 6. Value congruence 3.26* .76 0. Supervisor-report measures. in which we combined job engagement with job TABLE 1 Descriptive Statistics and Correlations for Key Study Variablesa Variable Mean s.86) 3.90. Of more As the fit statistics in Table 2 indicate.56* .39 . job engagement is associated the data well in an absolute sense (␹2[2.

06 .130. more highly engaged when they perceived higher mance and OCB are reflections of a broader job value congruence.06–. OCB.06 . 90% RMSEA confi- dence interval.75 (1) Model 4: Eight factors.06 103. & Woehr.06 .21 (1) Model 5: Eight factors.53. However. value congruence.98 2.06). Blair. the fit of this model to the data to a model in which we combined task the data was the same as the fit of the first model performance and OCB (model 8).06 15. JE & IM combined 5. Me. p ⫽ .809 . model. This model also fit the the discriminant validity of the supervisor-rated data well (␹2[2. we allowed the disturbance The path estimates in Figure 1 also reveal that terms on these latent variables to correlate. perceived organizational support (model six direct effects of the independent variables on 6). In fact. CFI ⫽ . Thus. these three variables did not have ables on the dependent variables.18 . we specified a second structural model. CFI ⫽ . positive and statistically significant (␤ ⫽ . IM.95. levels of task performance and OCB.810 . job satisfaction. as the paths to en- perceived organizational support. any statistically significant relationships with the This first structural model fit the data well in an two job performance outcomes. Hoffman. zero-order sense. organizational citizenship behavior.37 2. In other words.06 . with job performance when considered alone in a tween the independent and dependent variables. and core self-evaluations (model 7). TP & OCB combined 5.13 . The statistics and (⌬␹2[6] ⫽ 7. comparative fit index.06 53. Individuals reported being and empirical research indicate that task perfor. VC. they appear to have little pre- . Chi-square difference tests indicated The standardized path estimates from the second statistically significant differences in model fit fa.06–.06 . the second model fit indexes in Table 2 show that none of the alter. 90% CI.49 2. perceived organizational support.11. b ⌬␹2 tests relative to model involvement (model 2). All ␹2 and ⌬␹2 values are p ⬍ .90.140.810 . RMSEA ⫽ . value congruence nested within the first. CFI.06 Model 2: Eight factors. we also report a comparison of the fit of . and core self-evaluations were which in turn predicted task performance and or. RMSEA. To support the dependent variables.95 .16 . JE & JI combined 5. JE & CSE combined 5.81 2. and core performance construct (e. POS. Because theory and . organizational support. . JI. respectively).810 . JE & POS combined 5.176.823] ⫽ 5.95 . Although job in- absolute sense (␹2[2.06–.06 . job satisfaction.95 .16 . core self-evaluations. intrinsic motivation (model 4).35. JS. 4. standardized root-mean-square residual.113. CSE. and 5 were also supported. sized model. and core self- gagement from value congruence.17 (1) Model 3: Eight factors. job satisfaction. positive and statistically significant (␤ ⫽ . we specified a model in which value congruence.10 .810 . We first although job involvement.06–.097. dent variables.27. root-mean-square error of approximation. 2007).230.06 . izational support.06–. monious and fit the data equally well.36.626 Academy of Management Journal June TABLE 2 Measurement Modela Structure ␹2 df CFI SRMR RMSEA 90% CI ⌬␹2(df)b Model 1: Nine factors 5.59 (1) Model 7: Eight factors. and intrinsic motiva- SRMR ⫽ . job involvement.238. and in- specified a model that included these relationships trinsic motivation were predicted by the indepen- together with direct effects of the independent vari.06–.06 78. was superior to the first because it was more parsi- native models fit the data as well as our hypothe. job satisfaction.65 2. riac. there were tion appear to have meaningful relationships no statistically significant direct relationships be.95 ..11 2.16 .170.g.07 2.95 .06–.90 2.95 . in which we eliminated the (model 5). SRMR.08 (1) Model 8: Eight factors.810 .95 .810 . Hypotheses 3. job involve- ment. respectively). TP. task performance.06–. JE & JS combined 5. volvement.25 and . this analysis supported the Hypotheses 1 and 2 in that the paths from job adequacy of the measures testing substantive engagement to task performance and OCB were relationships.91 (1) a n ⫽ 245.47 (1) Model 6: Eight factors.151.95 .06 42.817] ⫽ 5.06 .001.06). job satisfaction (model 3). and intrinsic motivation.43.810 . depicted in Figure 1. SRMR ⫽ constructs. RMSEA ⫽ .25). Therefore.15 . self-evaluations.17 . intrinsic motivation.37. indicate support for voring model 1. In sum. ganizational citizenship behavior.06 72.06 32. JE. perceived organ- evaluations predicted job engagement. job engagement. supervisors of Tests of Substantive Relationships individuals who indicated they were highly en- gaged reported that these individuals had higher In keeping with the theory we outlined earlier. JE & VC combined 5.

03 .00 Perceived organizational support3Task performance 0. and Crawford 627 FIGURE 1 Structural Model with Engagement and Other Affective-Motivational Statesa Job .06 Task Performance .02 0.04 0.00 0.35* . * p ⬍ .05 dictive relevance when considered along with when the zero-order relationship between an inde- engagement.04 0. performance. Kashy.62* .05 Perceived .01 0.08 0. tical significance using unstandardized estimates ingful indirect relationships may be observed even and corresponding standard errors for indirect ef- TABLE 3 Tests of Indirect Relationships through Engagement and Other Affective-Motivational Statesa Indirect Effect Through Job Job Job Intrinsic Relationship Engagement Involvement Satisfaction Motivation Value congruence3Task performance 0. Mean.2010 Rich. we examined the pattern of indirect relation. To more thoroughly examine media.02 0. Thus far.48* Organizational Support .11* 0. is more distal or when the effect of the independent gruence.01 Perceived organizational support3Organizational citizenship 0.11 Organizational .02 a Standardized paths. & Bolger.16* 0.25* Engagement . * p ⬍ .18* 0. 1998. Shrout & Bolger.14 .36* Citizenship . In Table 3 we report Sobel (1982) tests of statis- ships attributable to the various mediators. Only relationships among the highest-order latent variables shown.15 Intrinsic Motivation .01 Core self-evaluations3Organizational citizenship 0.02 .22* . 2002).05 .38* Job Satisfaction . and variable is masked by offsetting indirect effects of core self-evaluations and the two aspects of job other mediators (Kenny. pendent and dependent variable is nonsignificant.00 a n ⫽ 245.00 Value congruence3Organizational citizenship 0.07 Job Involvement .01 0.00 Core self-evaluations3Task performance 0. Lepine.27* Value Congruence .15 . perceived organizational support.03 0.15* Behavior Core Self-Evaluations .37* . our analyses support the mediating role as might be the case when the independent variable of engagement in relationships between value con.04 0. tion.07* 0.12* 0.06 0.04 0.08* 0.

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

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

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

. Thus. 1995.. as we noted earlier. Human Relations. R. Human Relations. & Humphrey. Bies. 2005. & Moag. R. gender engagement among employees can enhance job performance. B. 2003) would function simi- larly in terms of enhancing job performance. Harter et al. E. application has shown evidence of being linked eral level. as providing a sound conceptual basis for research what may be more noteworthy is the greater useful. Deci. an attitude (e. Baard. investments of the self that are reflected in recommending these practices. 2005. and at a very gen. through leadership training as well as per.2010 Rich. although the relevance of engagement to Kahn’s perspective on engagement has been cited job performance may be important in and of itself. municate a consistent set of organizational values. Demerouti. perceived organizational sup. Emotion in the perceptions among employees that it is supportive. Schaufeli. Journal of Manage- ment. the organization could then REFERENCES use mentoring. 1995. it may be worth. and in. & Schaufeli. 1986. and an aligned set of people management practices to com. Gonza´lez-Roma´. Rothbard. & Corley. R. conceptualized and measured in several different Bakker. prac- Although our research was primarily intended to titioners should pay special attention to whether test theoretically derived hypotheses. for example. our results suggest that practices that en. This pattern of findings suggests 2002). Whereas previous research has fo- enhance employee engagement. 2008. explanation for relationships with job performance. and Crawford 631 ine a more comprehensive meditational chain for example. E. trinsic motivation.. and we believe that it is important to take crossover of burnout and work engagement among these differences into account when interpreting working couples. G. engagement. and these improvements in job per- formance are likely to come in the form of both task Conclusion performance and organizational citizenship behavior. B. H. Our measure. formance management systems that provide devel- opmental feedback... J. 34: 2045–2068.. Intrinsic need satis- gagement directly and enhance employee perfor. our findings do the measure of engagement being considered for have practical implications. & Bakker. Lepine. 2002) or as well-being (Schaufeli & Bakker. J. four fundamental questions. Relative to alence of these factors at work. Following their entry. relative to job involvement. E. their strong impact other mechanisms that reflect narrower views of on engagement provides an additional reason for the self. theoretical model grounded in this idea. W. S. until more is known about the correspondence Practical Contributions among the various measures of engagement. Although a more comprehensive understanding of perfor- there is already good reason to believe in the value mance. faction: A motivational basis of performance and mance indirectly. P. Ashforth. Salanova. Identification in organizations: An examination of Finally.g. We further argued here that Kahn’s concep- that rather than spreading resources over various tualization of engagement is important to consider practices aimed at assessing and improving a variety as a mechanism that transmits effects of individual of attitudes and motivational states. B.. engagement has been Social Psychology. B. First. E. on engagement (Ashforth & Humphrey. increase these factors can promote employee en. 48: 97– Our results show that managers’ use of practices to 125. Journal of Applied Finally. scores and applying them to practice. 34: 325–374. 2001. Harrison. and core self-evaluations are associated with aspects of the self in a work role and thus provides higher levels of employee engagement.. emphasized the motivational nature of whereby various performance behaviors are posi. Salanova et al. socialization opportunities. specifically to the criteria of interest. & Ryan. counts for the simultaneous employment of several port. H. well-being in two work settings. A. and organizational factors to different aspects of job while to focus resources on practices that assess and performance. S. May ness of engagement in predicting job performance et al. Interactional justice: Com- .. ployees who possess high core self-evaluations and values that fit with those of the hiring organization. cused on mechanisms that emphasize narrow as- Second. and so we do not know whether en- tioned as mediators between engagement and the gagement conceptualized and measured largely as objective indicators of performance. workplace: A reappraisal. The ways. However. 58: 661– 689. Thus. 2004.. Results of our study strongly supported a of management practices that can increase the prev. job satisfaction. Kahn’s engagement concept ac- value congruence. K.. 2004. our research shows that higher levels of pects of the self.. the organization could foster Ashforth. engagement appear to provide a more complete staffing practices could be tailored to select em.

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84 I strive as hard as I can to complete my job . (Eds. W. 1980. ganizational resources and work engagement to em.92 . Journal of Applied tal and nonexperimental studies: New procedures Psychology. ganizational citizenship and in-role behaviors. Greenwich. ployee engagement. Work and motivation.91 At work. J. W. & Peiro´. Psychological Methods.67 Emotional engagement I am enthusiastic in my job .. of Psychology. V. c n ⫽ 245. APPENDIX TABLE A1 Job Engagement Items and Factor Loadingsa Skilled Care Nursing Items Facility Employeesb Firefightersc Physical engagement I work with intensity on my job . (Ed. M. Perceived collective efficacy. Schaufeli. D. A. I focus a great deal of attention on my job . Journal of Or- and organizational commitment as predictors of or- ganizational Behavior. Gonza´lez-Roma´. 90: 1217–1227.88 . Jour- Schaufeli.com/. Weick.87 At work. E. L.84 . my mind is focused on my job .86 I devote a lot of energy to my job . Journal of Happiness Studies.81 . job Administrative Science Quarterly.89 .). B. A. P. resources and their relationship with burnout and Williams. 2004.79 I exert a lot of energy on my job . b n ⫽ 180.. Francisco: Jossey-Bass.88 a All factor loadings are significant at p ⬍ . Shrout. Leinhart electronic work groups: An experimental study. Department Wiley. I am absorbed by my job .68 I feel positive about my job .88 . Antecedents and consequences of em. B.92 At work. & Anderson. Research in organizational behavior..M. In B. B. Salanova. Sobel.90 I am interested in my job .78 .78 . M. 1993. Job satisfaction engagement: A multi-sample study. M. Llorens.87 . behavior.). 17: 601– 617. 2006. B. B. E. Salanova. Bakker. In S. H. & Roberts.78 . K. Schaufeli. E. A. 2002. approach.87 I am excited about my job .77 I try my hardest to perform well on my job . U. The measurement of burnout 64: 878 – 893. M. Retrieved August 8.85 . S. San Small Groups Research. I devote a lot of attention to my job . I concentrate on my job . M. Asymptotic intervals for indirect ef- subjective well-being and task performance among fects in structural equations models.88 . & Bakker. 1991. Construct validity in organizational ogy. S. and engagement: A confirmatory factor analytic Saks..634 Academy of Management Journal June Educational and Psychological Measurement.. 25: 293–315.78 . & Bolger. and recommendations. Martı´nez. V. organizations: Heedful interrelating on flight decks. 2002. Linking or. Staw & L. P.67 At work. Schwab. 2003. 21: 600 – 619. S. 7: Salanova.81 . E.. Sociological methodology: 290 –312.B.80 .. I. I pay a lot of attention to my job . Cummings.001.82 I am proud of my job . 1964. & 422– 445. N.91 Cognitive engagement At work.K. Utrecht University.71 I exert my full effort to my job . CT: JAI Press. 38: 357–381. Schaufeli. K. vol. Job demands. W..: Work Engagement Scale: Test manual. 1982.89 .. A.. & Bakker.80 At work.60 . 2005.81 . 2: 3– 43. 34: 43–73. Journal of Managerial Psychol. UWES—Utrecht Vroom...L. Agut.87 I feel energetic at my job . 3: 71–92. 2003. Oxford.. J. Cifre. ployee performance and customer royalty: The me. H. W. . http://www. Collective mind in schaufeli. Mediation in experimen- diation of service climate.. E. M. & nal of Management.

ufl. from Michigan State fessor in the Department of Management at California University. His research interests include team composi- State University San Marcos. rington College of Business Administration.D. and learning.edu) is the Dar. citizenship performance and voice. team effectiveness. Lepine. occupational stress. Crawford (eean. work stress.crawford@cba. and Crawford 635 Bruce Louis Rich (brich@csusm. He received his Ph. in tion and teamwork. emotions. His research inter- Eean R.D. University Jeffery A. ment from the University of Florida. University memory. . rington College of Business Administration.2010 Rich.lepine@cba. of Florida. and employee engagement.edu) is an associate pro. He received his Ph. and prosocial organizational behavior. leadership. of Florida. organizational behavior and human resource manage. motiva- toral student in organizational behavior at the War- tion.ufl.edu) is a doc- ests include employee engagement. His current research interests include em- den Restaurants Professor of Management at the War. LePine (jeffery. ployee engagement.