Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1 (2008), 3–30.

Copyright ª 2008 Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. 1754-9426/08

The Meaning of Employee Engagement

WILLIAM H. MACEY
Valtera Corporation
BENJAMIN SCHNEIDER
Valtera Corporation and University of Maryland

Abstract
The meaning of employee engagement is ambiguous among both academic researchers and among practitioners
who use it in conversations with clients. We show that the term is used at different times to refer to psychological
states, traits, and behaviors as well as their antecedents and outcomes. Drawing on diverse relevant literatures, we
offer a series of propositions about (a) psychological state engagement; (b) behavioral engagement; and (c) trait
engagement. In addition, we offer propositions regarding the effects of job attributes and leadership as main effects
on state and behavioral engagement and as moderators of the relationships among the 3 facets of engagement.
We conclude with thoughts about the measurement of the 3 facets of engagement and potential antecedents,
especially measurement via employee surveys.

The notion of employee engagement is tionship between engagement and profit-
a relatively new one, one that has been ability through higher productivity, sales,
heavily marketed by human resource (HR) customer satisfaction, and employee reten-
consulting firms that offer advice on how it tion.’’ Some practitioners view engagement
can be created and leveraged. Academic as having evolved from prior research on
researchers are now slowly joining the fray, work attitudes, directly implying that this
and both parties are saddled with compet- newer concept adds interpretive value that
ing and inconsistent interpretations of the extends beyond the boundaries of those tra-
meaning of the construct. ditions. We agree with this thought and hope
Casual observation suggests that much of to show why we agree in what follows.
the appeal to organizational management is Although compelling on the surface, the
driven by claims that employee engagement meaning of the employee engagement con-
drives bottom-line results. Indeed, at least cept is unclear. In large part, this can be
one HR consulting firm (Hewitt Associates attributed to the ‘‘bottom-up’’ manner in
LLC, 2005, p. 1) indicates that they ‘‘have which the engagement notion has quickly
established a conclusive, compelling rela- evolved within the practitioner community.
This is not an unfamiliar stage in the incre-
mental evolution of an applied psychologi-
cal construct. Thus, similar to the manner in
Correspondence concerning this article should be
addressed to William H. Macey. E-mail: wmacey@ which burnout was at first a construct attrib-
valtera.com uted to pop psychology (Maslach, Schaufeli,
Address: Valtera Corporation, 1701 Golf Road, Suite & Leiter, 2001) engagement is a concept
2-1100 Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
William H. Macey, Valtera Corporation; Benjamin with a sparse and diverse theoretical and
Schneider, Valtera Corporation and University of empirically demonstrated nomological net—
Maryland. the relationships among potential antece-
We appreciate the thoughtful comments of our col-
leagues Karen Barbera and Scott Young as well as con- dents and consequences of engagement as
structive feedback from Paul Sackett and Allen Kraut. well as the components of engagement have

3

4 W.H. Macey and B. Schneider

not been rigorously conceptualized, much Employee Engagement:
less studied. Indeed, many HR consultants Getting Oriented
avoid defining the term, instead referr-
Numerous definitions of engagement can be
ing only to its presumed positive con-
derived from the practice- and research-
sequences. At a minimum, the question
driven literatures. Additional definitions
remains as to whether engagement is a
can be attributed to folk theory: the common
unique concept or merely a repackaging
intuitive sense that people, and particularly
of other constructs—what Kelley (1927;
leaders within organizations, have about
quoted in Lubinski, 2004, p. 98) called the
work motivation. Common to these defini-
‘‘Jangle Fallacy.’’ This is a matter of particular
tions is the notion that employee engage-
significance to those who develop and
ment is a desirable condition, has an
conduct employee surveys in organizations
organizational purpose, and connotes
because the end users of these products
involvement, commitment, passion, enthu-
expect interpretations of the results to be
siasm, focused effort, and energy, so it has
cast in terms of actionable implications.
both attitudinal and behavioral compo-
Yet, if one does not know what one is mea-
nents.1 The antecedents of such attitudes
suring, the action implications will be, at
and behaviors are located in conditions
best, vague and, at worst, a leap of faith.
under which people work, and the conse-
The academic community has been slow
quences are thought to be of value to orga-
to jump on the practitioner engagement
nizational effectiveness (see Erickson, 2005).
bandwagon, and empirical research that
As a folk theory, engagement is used in
has appeared on the topic in refereed outlets
a manner that implies the opposite of dis-
reveals little consideration for rigorously
engagement. For example, a number of
testing the theory underlying the construct
popular views of engagement suggest that
(for exceptions, see May, Gilson, & Harter,
engaged employees not only contribute
2004; Salanova, Agut, & Peiro, 2005). Thus,
more but also are more loyal and therefore
although research exists demonstrating
less likely to voluntarily leave the organiza-
that some employee attitudes called ‘‘en-
tion. However, for present purposes, we
gagement’’ are related to organizational
choose to focus on only those aspects of
outcomes like turnover and productivity
engagement that have positive valence
(Harter, Schmidt, & Hayes, 2002) these
(obviously from low to high). We believe
employee attitudes do not conceptually
that this is crucial to developing conceptual
reflect the notion of engagement. Thus,
precision in that it maintains a clear inten-
further development of the construct and
tional focus on benefits that inure to the
its measurement requires attention (for an
organization. For example, certain behav-
example, see Schaufeli, Bakker, & Salanova,
iors that might be considered adaptive on
2006).
the part of the individual (e.g., taking
Our goal is to present a conceptual frame-
a ‘‘mental health day’’ as a form of adaptive
work that will help both researchers and
withdrawal) would not be considered
practitioners recognize the variety of mean-
within the present framework. At least tem-
ings the engagement construct subsumes
porarily, we are not taking a position on
and the research traditions that give rise to
or support those meanings. We believe that
this is important in itself as it creates a
working model for how the research litera- 1. Some readers may feel that there are clear hints of
ture can influence practice and vice versa. ‘‘motivation’’ in what we have just written and won-
der to themselves why we are not saying that this is
Thus, as we organize the various literatures motivation. The answer is that the construct of moti-
relevant to engagement, we establish a vation is itself a hypothetical construct with consider-
research agenda that identifies further oppor- able ambiguity surrounding it. Were we to introduce
it here, it might further confound the issues so we
tunities for science and improved science– leave the chore of integrating engagement with
practice linkages. ‘‘motivation’’ to others.

1) sug- gested that engagement is ‘‘the illusive force that motivates employees to higher (or Sources of Confusion: lower) levels of performance. p. Gonzalez-Roma. initiative.. attachment.’’ Similarly. or other dis. disposition (e. Thus. positive affectivity charac- seem possible to either develop relevant terized by feelings of enthusiasm) and that research hypotheses or apply the concept this trait engagement gets reflected in psy- in any meaningful way including the chological state engagement. we simply choose to initiative. we see engagement defined both [OCB]). loyalty. typical level of performance. ment. trait engagement) can be state and the behavior it implies.Employee engagement 5 whether engagement and disengagement organizational interventions based on sur- are opposites (i. 603) defined engagement in terms of a refer to a psychological state (e. because engagement is used by some to refer out. In the regarded as an inclination or orientation to absence of such a model.’’ Again.g. However. it is commonly used to refer to as they may have been. scribe to both. the various conceptualizations of engage- cal construct in the research literature is no ment as state. consider the engagement concept does not imply that overall framework for understanding the the concept lacks conceptual or practical various components that the engagement utility. useful were it to be framed as a model that Figure 1 shows that engagement as a dis- simultaneously embraces the psychological position (i. are exceeded in both role performance and an affective state. altruism) with arbitrarily exclude from consideration unique attributes and by others as a perfor- models of behavior that focus on with.. commitment. Schaufeli. For example. 737) formance construct (e.. and Barrick (2004. the concept would be more construct might subsume (see Figure 1). Dvir. Wellins and Concelman and researchers must be clear about the kind (2005a. involvement. perhaps the opposite of vey results. both practitioners For example.g. an exception.g. We conceptu- design of surveys and the development of alize psychological state engagement as an . or some combination of the above. and Shamir (2002. Avolio. We ‘‘an amalgamation of commitment. sportsmanship.g. imprecision only by the various ways this even within the same research context (for vague concept has been operationalized. and responsibil- and organizational citizenship behavior ity. A par- Employee Engagement ticularly noteworthy example of such impre- cision is job involvement (cf.. & to a specific construct (e. either effort or defined active engagement in terms of ‘‘high observable behavior. confusion exists than disengagement or perhaps even burn. trait. engagement phenomena. 1) suggested that engagement is of engagement they are speaking about. Wellins and Concelman (2005a. Eden. including prosocial levels of activity. the lack of precision in the is to a more concrete level. 2006). engagement is ‘‘nonengagement’’ rather On a related point. To move the discussion of what engagement 1982). Lloret. involve... the use of engagement as a psychologi.e. or behavior. As we will also show.’’ As we shall constructs that exist. per. will show later the varieties of engagement productivity and ownership. 1990). including potential experience the world from a particular van- antecedents and moderators. Trait. positive affect attitudinally and behaviorally—and we sub- [PA]). p. maladaptive behavior. see. mance construct defined as exceeding some drawal. Witt. Rather. p. As a folk term. ‘‘high internal motivational state. as imprecise more precise.. mood). it does not tage point (e. or Behavior? Mount. Kanungo. However.’’ Colbert. The reader may recognize that many Toward Untangling the Jangle: other important psychological constructs A Framework for Understanding have suffered from a similar lack of precision the Conceptual Space of at early stages in their development. State.e. engagement has been used to p.. see Kahn. Harter.g. Bakker.

g. itly. 1960).g.. the measures of of engagement as ‘‘right’’ or ‘‘true’’ because engagement have for the most part been (a) this would not be useful at this early stage composed of a potpourri of items represent- in the development of thinking about ing one or more of the four different . we outline dent variable in Figure 1. Framework for understanding the elements of employee engagement. and (c) identifying these different 2003) or a specific form of in-role or extra. the research and applied literatures fit the Engagement as a psychological state has model shown in Figure 1 and detail the variously embraced one or more of several resulting implications. In McGregor. poses.g. However. it is important to note that we form of absorption. engagement. the engagement construct they are pursuing. for example. and practitioners have a firmer idea about Figure 1 also shows that conditions of the the locus of the issue when they work with workplace have both direct and indirect it. more on Figure 1 later. Figure 1 shows. it is central to the how various traditions and models within engagement issue. absorption) (Extra-role behavior) Proactive Personality Satisfaction (Affective) Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) Autotelic Personality Involvement Proactive/Personal Initiative Trait Positive Affect Commitment Role Expansion Conscientiousness Empowerment Adaptive Trust Work Attributes Variety Transformational Challenge Leadership Autonomy Figure 1. challenge.H. utes of prior research that most occupy the The nature of work (e. than either of the other perspectives. (b) any or all of these concep- which we define in terms of discretionary tualizations can be useful for specific pur- effort (e.. Operationally.6 W. Hackman & Engagement as Psychological State: Oldham. addition. variety) conceptual space we would call engage- and the nature of leadership (especially ment so that future research and practice transformational leadership) are the condi. With regard to leadership. either implicitly or explic- on behavioral engagement (e. attachment. as both dependent and indepen- In our remaining comments. Schneider Trait Engagement State Engagement Behavioral Engagement (Positive views of life and work) (Feelings of energy.g. prior to related ideas. We begin our exploration of Figure 1 with ment. 1990.. Our goal is to illuminate the unique attrib- effects on state and behavioral engagement. Erickson. each in turn representing some proceeding. Kahn.. Towers-Perrin. 2005. that work has direct effects on state engagement (e. antecedent of behavioral engagement. Figure 1 engagement as psychological state because shows it having a direct effect on trust and it is the state of engagement that has received an indirect effect through the creation of trust more attention. Macey and B. can more precisely identify the nature of tions that most interest us. conceptualizations will help researchers role effort or behavior. and/or do not choose a specific conceptualization enthusiasm. 1980) and indirect effects as a Old Wine in New Bottles? boundary condition (moderator) of the rela- tionship between trait and state engage.

2005) measure engage. Engagement. man. We then review some more items descriptive of the conditions under recent thinking about the state of engage. and the relevance Others distinguish between an affective. Nonetheless. Engagement is above and beyond simple satisfaction with the employment Engagement as satisfaction. some practi. the conceptual similarity of items used in Thus. job. the tion and affirmation they get from their lack of conceptual clarity in distinguishing work and being part of their organization’’ engagement from satisfaction parallels the (p.. encompasses the hedonic dimension of sures are largely considered descriptive pleasantness.g. happiness. the Gallup measure (Buckingham & Coff- and job involvement. The results from survey ment. it becomes clear conditions signify engagement. manager. organizational ple. consistent with our thoughts: tion and perhaps also job involvement and organizational commitment.. with as well as enthusiasm for work’’ (p. yet is portrayed more accurately when . work group. Harter et al. The Gallup survey items Interestingly. Locke. commitment. contemporary job satisfaction mea. We summarize the rel. ‘‘Most days I feel enthusiastic about my ment as direct assessments of satisfaction work. ing emphasis on absorption. or of satisfaction is clear in that people invest emotional. Thus. 14) articulated a view affect and a lessening emphasis on satisfac. 4. Harter. but the state as our review unfolds that thinking and of engagement itself is not assessed—at least research about engagement have evolved insofar as one accepts our proposed concep- to be both more precise and conceptually tualization as one that connotes passion. companies have measured for many morphic. 1999.. 2002). 2003). Burke. 2002) where the evance of each of these to the concept of items used to define engagement are all engagement. for exam. where the common use of the term broadly 1976). arrangement or basic loyalty to the engagement and satisfaction are linked employer—characteristics that most directly if not regarded as completely iso. sonal satisfaction and the sense of inspira.g. Towers-Perrin (2003) suggested that engagement and satisfaction surveys indi- ‘‘the emotional factors tie to people’s per. and Erickson (2005. and so forth. Consider. of satisfaction include items that would ceptualized as satisfaction facets..’’ Enthusiasm is regarded as a marker with the company. component of engagement and more time in roles they find enjoyable rational or cognitive elements. Looking ahead to our later comments. 269) and defined engagement as ‘‘the discretionary effort to help the employer individual’s involvement and satisfaction succeed. the measurement of engagement with commitment. opportunities for space for engagement. To some. emotional component to job satisfaction. one development. item included in Brayfield and Rothe’s Perhaps even more directly. is about referred to their measure (The Gallup Work passion and commitment—the willing- Place Audit) as ‘‘satisfaction-engagement’’ ness to invest oneself and expend one’s (p. This clarity reflects an increas. of engagement by some (e. italics added). For example. tioners (e. (2002) explicitly years. which people work. 269. The reader may also note conceptual confusion in understanding the that despite the emphasis on affect in many different uses of the term ‘‘positive affect. p. especially with regard to the affect of data are used to infer that reports of these that state. More specifically. (1951) measure of job satisfaction reads.g. Harter et al. psychological empowerment.’’ definitions of satisfaction (e. including seemingly tap facets that fit our conceptual resource availability. passion. 2003). & Keyes. cates confusion between the concepts. and work environment characteristics. italics added). in contrast. linking the (Rothbard & Edwards. or cheerfulness (Brief & Weiss. appropriate.Employee engagement 7 categories: job satisfaction. many traditional measures tap evaluative constructs traditionally con. involvement. Schmitt. and clarity of expectations.

& may be relevant for assessing the conditions Vandenberghe. logically safe. Commitment is regarded as a psychologi- notes satiation (Erickson. and energy not the same as state engagement. Satisfaction when commitment cited (Meyer & Allen. the items com- that provide for engagement (state and/or prising Meyer and Allen’s (1997) affective behavioral). commitment). They have designed and ious forms of prosocial behavior and/or validated (against customer satisfaction. 118). zationally relevant outcomes. Based sim- anova et al. In addition. including var- feli et al.. 2004). 1997. cal state. we will show later. For example. This has practical signifi. A very significant exception to this dismal commitment as a psychological state is portrait is work being done in Europe by regarded as an antecedent of various organi- researchers from Holland and Spain (Schau. 1982) are measures of the asm. Becker. whereas satisfaction con. 1) sug- gested that ‘‘to be engaged is to be actively Proposition 2: Organizational commit- committed. Porter.e. Thus. and similarly positive affective states psychological state of commitment and are becomes a facet of engagement. In fact. regarded as a facet of state engagement but absorption (i.. notes activation.8 W... involvement). as satiation is not in the same conceptual It is important to note that the measures of space as engagement. we deal first with organizational commitment. p. not only the concept of belonging but also ment issues requires a similar inferential leap the additional concepts of effort and pride all too evident to the insightful executive. In both cases.’’ In these and similar definitions. 2005) a nine-item measure of ply on the commonly specified antecedents state engagement that defines three factors and consequences of commitment and state that conceptually link to issues we will dis. Some clearly fit with our approach to the opera- practitioners define engagement in terms of tionalization of engagement as psychologi- organizational commitment.. organizational/job withdrawal. they Engagement as commitment. p. there are other facets Proposition 1 summarizes the points or psychological states (e. how hard they work. as to a cause. 221). engagement construct. positive affective state).g. In this sense. By way of summary: Wellins and Concelman (2005b. commitment scale focus on the concept of ment. 2006). p. enthusi. 1990) that make com- tween satisfaction and engagement: mitment only one of a number of states that legitimately comprise the full state engage- Proposition 1: Satisfaction when assessed ment construct. they do not directly tap engage. Although possible threads of reasoning are implied: there may be room for satisfaction within the organizational and task/goal commitment. affective commitment must be cuss next: dedication (i. engagement.e. in Mowday. as (i. (see Items 1 and 6.. personal meaning. 1) suggested that energy and a state of pleasantness. the measures of engagement we ees commit to someone or something in their have seen in use in the world of practice are organization. two or culture). Mowday et al.’’ The Corporate ment is an important facet of the state of .. Kahn.H. engagement is ‘‘the extent to which employ- In fact. Macey and B. Sal. although ‘‘satisfaction’’ surveys that ask 1986) or binding force between an individ- employees to describe their work conditions ual and the organization (Meyer. assessed as feelings of energy. not descriptions of the conditions that might yield that commitment. and ‘‘being leap to engagement rather than assessing part of the family’’ (p. Schneider characterizing a high level of activation or Executive Board (2004. feeling psycho- made with regard to the relationship be. engagement con. albeit with a new label.e. and Steers’ (1982) mea- cance because the advice the practitioner sure of organizational commitment define offers management on addressing engage. cal state of attachment (O’Reilly & Chatman. and the items engagement itself. and how highly similar to the measures used for long they stay as a result of that commit- assessments of job satisfaction (or climate ment. 2005). Such measures require an inferential belonging.

The key referent of engagement here is the job. the logical consequences of involvement ual level. In this regard. Indeed. At a cas. ous work outcomes is typically weak. in his review and meta-analysis of job relationship between involvement and com- involvement. it follows that Engagement as job involvement. nizational entity and measured as a will.. As was true for the concept of organiza- Switching now to task engagement and tional commitment. to feel pride as an organiza. rather than the organization (much as job sonant with the feelings of self-worth that commitment can be regarded as different follow from goal attainment. engagement tional member. Similarly.Employee engagement 9 engagement when it is conceptualized when discussing the relationship between as positive attachment to the larger orga. On balance. and to have personal or involvement in the task is critical to over- identification with the organization. as outcomes. 1996). organizational commitment relationships. from organizational commitment) and as ment in this context refers to the willingness different from involvement in that engage- to invest effort toward task goal attainment. and we would agree with this per- the state of engagement. it seems of engagement and the organization as the appropriate to regard Maslach et al. In addition. As others mitment to the activity (i. and efficacy. Brown further a ‘‘state of involvement implies a positive concluded that organizational withdrawal and relatively complete state of engagement decisions are less related to job involvement of core aspects of the self in the job’’ (p. to his or her job and the work performed He based his conclusion on the fact that the therein’’ (p. as a facet of engagement. Brown. who places the work people do as central to 2005). 235. and Salanova et al.g. all psychological state engagement. Self-engage.’s views of job engagement such a distinction is even more apparent as a broad multidimensional construct . Harter et al. based on a comparison of cally equated engagement with both satis. Simi.. building and Zajac’s (1990) earlier meta-analysis of on the work of Lodahl and Kejner (1965). 244) and specifically equated relationship between involvement and vari- job involvement and job commitment. Within the broader research litera- transformational leadership. job involvement and engagement. job involvement as a construct would be with regard to task/job outcomes clearly occupies a portion of the conceptual and not directly to organizational-level space labeled state engagement. state of engagement. indicated earlier. mitment because the focus is on work mitment to the leader’s goals would be dis. these have been discussed in contemporary definitions of engagement in the engagement literature albeit in a lim. a part of engage- ited form. italics added). not the organization. ment is a broader concept encompassing The difference between work as the referent energy and efficacy. Maslach et al. (2002) specifi. (2001) have proposed suggested that when the self-worth of the that engagement can be characterized by individual is involved. job or task com.’s and referent of engagement is critical here.e. so for her. Bass (1999) ture. yet the larly. these mitment as opposed to organizational scholars positioned job engagement as con- commitment) follow from increased levels ceptually distinct from organizational com- of task engagement because a lack of com. Cooper-Hakim and Viswesvaran (2005) Brown (1996) concluded that job involve- defined job involvement ‘‘as the degree to ment is an antecedent of organizational which an employee psychologically relates commitment rather than a consequence. job involvement is seen job commitment. energy. have done (e. Brown (1996) indicated that mitment is quite strong. his meta-analytic results to those of Mathieu faction and involvement. higher levels of com.. In his review of spective. than to organizational commitment. Erickson (2005) de- ingness to exert energy in support of the scribed the job as the key antecedent of the organization. Erickson (2005) is one exception ment but not equivalent to it (Salanova et al. As noted earlier. involvement.

that connote an inclination to action sessed is an important facet of the psy. By way This discussion of state engagement as of summary: feelings of empowerment leads us to the following: Proposition 3: Job involvement (including task engagement and job commitment) Proposition 4: Feelings of empowerment as traditionally conceptualized and as. facets of the older constructs connoting sati- ment becomes considerably less clear when ation and contentment are not. and sional framework. and sense of energy the state engagement determination (feelings of control). include effort. Schneider encompassing a family of related and more behavioral engagement. would seem to occupy a por. (p. as represented in an orientation that the state engagement construct is one toward action.g. These dimen. a new blend of old wines with distinct char- dition of engagement. considering the four-dimensional model The measurement of these older con- suggested by Spreitzer (1995). a new bottle. 2002). 2006). which the old constructs and measures are gested that outcomes of empowerment inadequate will become increasingly clear. Indeed. Spreitzer articulated conditions that might promote the state of the idea that the four cognitions imply an engagement (e. Mathieu et al. job involvement. The state engagement construct we have ally. Supporting affect. What will also become clear is that the state We would include these as indicants of engagement construct suggests a different . Macey and B. relationships with their work roles. affect that engagement connotes. Psychological empowerment has been treated within both two. feelings of self. the state of feeling engagement.H. organiza- & Ruddy. desired with regard to the kinds of affect competence (self-efficacy). vis-a`-vis work (feelings of self-efficacy and chological state of engagement. the conceptual slipperiness with which we although aspects of these older constructs are dealing. feelings of empowerment all can have rele- gested that empowerment is the ‘‘experience vance for the state engagement construct. control and impact from one’s action) com- prise another facet of state engagement. in greater detail the affective nature of state In this perspective. and the reader can see acteristics and ‘‘feel. empowerment defined in this manner presented to this point in the review is thus might be considered an antecedent or a con. tional commitment. of authority and responsibility. a meaning clearly aligned The next section of the review considers with folk conceptualizations of engagement. any distinction between the state noting affect and feelings of energy). ways in ment as engagement. and initiative.. persistence. Summary: State engagement as old wine in dimensional frameworks (Mathieu.’’ More specifically. Gilson.and four. 98) sug. even apply to a sense of energy but represent gic (see below). role and context. Some impact (belief that one’s efforts can make measures of job satisfaction that have been a difference). These connote a readiness used to infer engagement are not affective in and/or an inclination toward action that fits nature at all and frequently do not connote or our perspective of state engagement as ener. are relevant to state engagement (those con- Indeed. too. Job satisfaction. As we move further into the world of an interpretation of psychological empower. a topic active way of ‘‘wishing to’’ shape one’s work discussed in some detail later..’’ Conceptu. and construct we propose would require. with a focus on regard as a state of engagement. Engagement as psychological empower- ment. those of engagement and psychological empower. Spreitzer (1995) sug. It will become clear to readers empowered. a topic we consider specific constructs focused on individuals’ in detail later.10 W. Within the two-dimen. comprising not only facets of old wine but tion of the conceptual space we would those of new wines. Harter et al. structs in practice leaves something to be sions include meaning (sense of purpose).

practitioner. questionnaire items (Schaufeli. 1999. alert. 2002. and (Thoresen. ment in employees that is characterized by our concern here is with regard to the vigor. and ‘‘I feel happy when I am working In keeping with Staw (2004). 2003). is similar some more and some less relatively persis- to the one we made earlier when discussing tent and transient psychological states. cognitive liveliness. sumes a relatively stable state unlike the vation dimension and the pleasant end of the implied ebb and flow of a transient psycho- hedonic valence dimension. and absorption’’ (Maslach descriptors (markers) used to characterize et al. determined. Russell & positive affective-motivational state of fulfill- Carroll. some discussion of these related constructs in the people are dispositionally more prone to traditional industrial–organizational (I–O) be engaged. Larsen and Diener in the folk. This is consistent with the practi. satisfaction and its relationship to en. we deal Engagement as Positive Affectivity (PA). additional emotional. Engagement has been regarded by some as Most interesting for present purposes is that a distinct affective state. 1988.. Schaufeli et al. 1999). and situations more positively physical strength. This dis. enthusiastic. Barsky. logical state. PA markers for the Positive and Negative perspective.g. 2001. suggesting a high degree of overlap ally explicitly but more often implicitly used with PA: ‘‘I’m enthusiastic about my job’’ in contemporary engagement definitions. place. and researchers’ (1992) positioned PA as halfway between conceptual use of the term. & de emotional energy. More immediately relevant to state gagement. further adding to the includes items such as ‘‘I feel energetic. ognizable job and organizational factors. ment as an affective state are described. & Bakker. given characterized by adjectives that connote the continued presence of specific and rec- both activation and pleasantness.. tral with respect to activation level. consistency of experience of that state.Employee engagement 11 emphasis than is evident in the independent potential confusion. of states (compared with the later discussion of traits) that is somewhat irrelevant. dedication. 31) expected to be relatively constant. & Tellegen. Watson & Tellegen.. From a measurement PA. thus character. engagement pre- (45 degrees to) the positive end of the acti. Clark. engagement is izing PA as ‘‘activated pleasant affect’’ (p. 2002). For example. tone. to as passion and excitement (Wellins & In a related view. this is referred itself (Schaufeli et al. others attentive. 2005b) or simply emotional gested the notion of vigor as an affective state engagement (Fleming.’’ The important considerations for Diener (1992). or affective precisely the kinds of descriptors occasion..’’ . with antecedents of state engagement later. He positioned vigor as the feeling of stances. istics of the job. tinction between PA with its high activation In what follows. energic. within the (b) the elevated emotional tone of the state popular management press. Although there is considerable engagement at work. That is. experienced as a response to the character- 2005). inspired. Schaufeli and his col- ongoing debate regarding the primary leagues define engagement as a ‘‘persistent. Kaplan. and others. Affect Schedule (PANAS) include among Salanova. 417). Warr (1999). and tioner literature. 2006) tap constructs similar proud. circum. Gonzalez-Roma. and as a dispositional trait. 1064). but for the present discussion literature. present purposes are (a) the distinct charac- these markers of PA connote high levels of terization of persistence or stability. Shirom defined vigor as an PA is variously used to describe mood affective state but not a mood state in that states. dimensionality of affect (e. p. p. By implication. individuals can attribute their feelings of tional states. and active to involvement and satisfaction but with an (Watson. more temporary and intense emo. which is neu. other models of engage- component and pleasantness. Warren. strong. Shirom’s measure of vigor Chermont. if not activation. Shirom (2003) sug- Concelman. or vigor specifically to the job and the work- the tendency to experience events. Coffman. Larsen and intensely. & Harter.

spe- behavior. and integrated. he attributed the feeling of vigor sonal engagement as ‘‘harnessing’’ of the directly to workplace characteristics. tence. espe. and the work—that the work is a part of one’s empowerment in understanding state identity—that employee development and engagement. the affective feelings and resources in order to respond to the demands energic states referred to are with respect to of a role. tity in role behavior. . Kahn’s (1992) description of . absorp. The ‘‘experience’’ of being integrated would Engagement as involvement of the self. and emotionally. cifically suggested that ‘‘People can use vary- Shirom positioned vigor within the affect ing degrees of their selves. the more people draw moderate arousal and moderate pleasant. organizational commitment. on their selves to perform their roles . enthusiasm.’’ the job and the organization. tion of involvement provided by Brown tive state as presented here. Kahn (1990).12 W. as a generic or general psychological state. employees are attentive that are central to the uniqueness of the state and focused. measures of that a true psychological presence at and psychological states that are devoid of identity with work go beyond questions of direct and explicit indicants of affective simple task motivation. Such behavioral are the required importance and centrality engagement follows because when psycho- of the energic state and positive affectivity logically present. in combination with other pos. . .. connected (including the con- engagement construct. ating the notion of psychological presence ceptualization and measurement of state and engagement behavior. and self-identity. ness. although Kahn (1990) also refers to regard to work rather than state engagement the expression of that self in task behavior. As such. the experience of personal engage- ment encompasses elements of both Proposition 5: PA associated with the involvement and commitment as psycholog- job and the work setting connoting or ical states and also a sense of personal iden- explicitly indicating feelings of persis. Kahn (1992) later elaborated on the con- tion. physically. Shirom argued. Although com- and ‘‘I feel able to show warmth to others. cially the job itself. like Warr (1999). He suggested engagement. Shirom is explicitly commitment as defined by Meyer et al. Schneider ‘‘I feel I am able to contribute new ideas. job involve. alertness. can lead to engagement insightful exploration of engagement. Of particular (1996) and cited earlier. Macey and B. and pride cept of engagement by implicitly differenti- occupies a central position in the con. similar to that. cal state that. Furthermore. in the roles not perfectly aligned with PA: a mixture of they perform . self-efficacy. esteem. Kahn defines per- importance. ence of being psychologically present in ment. and we agree. his conceptualization of the more stirring are their performances’’ vigor is entirely consistent with the notion of (p. dedication. regard to the involvement of the self: self- with the feeling of vigor being a psychologi. individual self with the work role. Thus. true identity and energic feeling are not measures of with work reflects an ‘‘authenticity’’ that state engagement in whole or part.’’ prehensive with regard to state engagement.e. But it is useful to note engagement is a binding force. Additionally.H. 692). that vigor is a significant omission involves feelings with not equivalent to engagement behavior. and other personal and propositions. This is highly similar to the defini- engagement as a relatively enduring affec. there productivity follow. entail simultaneously drawing upon all of In Proposition 5 and the prior discussion one’s skills. . however. circumplex in a manner similar to though cognitively. vigor. abilities. the One can see in Proposition 5 a summary engagement behavior). speaking about state engagement with (2004). in an early and especially itive affective states. It is from the experi- of the role of job satisfaction. results in employees connecting with work and addressing difficult issues (i. energy. notation of absorption). Conversely. Rather.

g. of engagement to bound survey items in logical presence) and personally engaging time—perhaps explicitly asking respondents behaviors that may accompany that state. is regarded as the man. see Meyer importance of work outcomes and orga.. 2004) or engagement itself varies. 2001) suggest that there is a limited amount we unfortunately do not yet have either ap. et al. depletion theories of the ef- tures referred to seem to implicitly assume fects of multiple-role obligations (Rothbard. tions. absorption. a topic we feelings and experiences and how long they will move to shortly. there is considerable variability in concepts . We have would be expected to fluctuate.. organizationally relevant behavior and out- tion (e. I often lose comes. roles comes at the expense of engagement in Within the notion of a ‘‘mind-set. Rothbard (2001. the focus of engagement must be regarded as tionally refers to the investment of the self varying in salience over time (if engagement in the person’s work and the perceived is a relatively enduring mind-set. However. By definition. and (b) the previous litera. transient nature versus the durability of the Building on Kahn’s view. it would seem important for measures tion between the experiential state (psycho. engagement soon) supporting this durability in time. nization membership to that person’s In either case. Different per. a relatively durable engagement state. Sonnentag (2003) like engagement. a related vein. Given these distinc. Here. engagement and/or engagement-related ment. have boundaries set in demonstrated that engagement (vigor. engagement as behavior. feelings.g. engagement measures Summary: Engagement as state. representing now reviewed the many ways in which the the daily ebb and flow of experiences in psychological state of engagement has been response to the work environment or other conceptualized and measured. 2003). persist to provide data on the possible ifestation of presence. ‘‘I focus a great can be viewed as a causal antecedent of deal of attention on my work. 684) operationalized engagement through In both conceptualizations. and dedication) varies around spectives of engagement as a psychological an average or ‘‘trait’’ level (trait here might state might vary in the limits placed on these be better interpreted as a state with longer boundaries but (a) time frames are rarely if term boundaries) and that significant varia- ever explicitly referred to in perspectives tion in state engagement can be accounted related to engagement like those we have for by off-work recovery opportunities.. be relatively stable. model should provide a theoretical basis for understanding intra-individual variance in A note on the durability of state engage.’’). how often they have specific engagement Thus. of energy people possess that they can share. outcomes. can also be represented as a temporary tran- sient state. a psychological state. As such. For example. time (Weiss & Kurek. propriate conceptual boundaries or adequate suggesting in turn that engagement in some operationalization of those boundaries. engagement self-reported attention (e.’’ other roles. follows under the assumption that state individual measures of engagement should engagement is relatively durable over time. a comprehensive engagement identity. In described here. and intra-individual dif. with work and organizational conditions as ferences would be considered a reflection of well as personal traits (all to be considered measurement error. Thus. Although aspects of personal life.and long- track of time. Such a view strongly implies engagement can be considered a relatively considerable intra-individual variance. Distinguishing the short. ‘‘When I am working. term characterizations of state engagement serves to highlight the observation that either Proposition 6: State engagement addi. p. We enduring state and one that serves to explain will not further consider state engagement persistence as well as direction of job and in its transient form and will write in what organizationally focused behavior. psychological states.’’) and absorp.Employee engagement 13 psychological presence clarifies the distinc.

Existing measures of the more traditional Having said that. Wellins & Concelman. Traditionally. 2003). To be more precise. Brown and Leigh (1996) found Engagement as Behavior: little guidance in the literature regarding An Introduction how to measure effort and wrote items to Within our model.g. some employees measures designed to tap state engagement may be engaged more than others—with more directly will correlate significantly other employees within the organization with them. maintaining work levels under relevant. entire organization may have behaviorally and organizational commitment frequently engaged employees with the frame of refer- contain items referring to affect. thing special. 1990). 2004. at domain of behavioral work performance a minimum. 2004). and/or identity. job involvement. To this point. with the as represented in Propositions 1–6. extra. or at least atypical. sistence. translating the notion of extra effort into measurement terms has been a challenge. (b) intensity. and ence being other organizations. obviously must emerge from the states being expending extra effort when required—all reflected in engagement behaviors. in the work context.’’ defined as extra time. we would being the frame of reference. an obli. effort has been regarded We have carefully argued that the state of as comprising (a) duration. These organizational consequences adverse conditions.H. ‘‘Other regarded as a directly observable behavior people know me by the long hours I keep. ture. designed to specifically tap state engagement and energy (Towers-Perrin. and included the more affective and energic items some combine effort with commitment in and be distinguished from the other items. and in other ways. Board. nies engagement behavior differs from that Kanfer. Corporate Executive Importantly.14 W.50 among Thus. these facets as we have positioned engagement behaviors be specified. we would expect that within an organization.. Macey and B. the definition (e. within the folk mean- affective energy (enthusiasm and alertness) ing of the term. (c) direction (Campbell & Pritchard. expect correlations in the range of .’’ unfortunately effort has been an elu- representative of the affective and energic sive and ill-defined construct in the litera- aspect of state engagement. we do not conceive of a mea. frame of reference implied but perhaps not que factor analysis of the resultant items having been made explicit. Campbell (1990) suggested behavior. Others refer to would yield an engagement factor that ‘‘giving it their all’’ (Bernthal. However. it is conceivable that an concepts of satisfaction. Schneider and measures. frame of reference for the measurement of Rather. energy. engagement can be reflect both time commitment (e. the scope of able agreement that engagement as a state engagement is something less than the entire has a strong affective tone connoting. sure of state engagement to be necessarily 2005a) with similarly somewhat ambiguous incomplete if any facet of engagement as frames of reference. The separate focus on behavior is ‘‘demonstrating effort’’ as one of the dimen- critical as it is key to the distinction between sions of a taxonomy of performance and psychological outcomes that are personally defined the dimension as consistency of per- relevant and those that are organizationally formance. and engagement that results in and/or accompa. A caution then is that the described in Propositions 1–6 is missing. it is common to define employee these measures but further hypothesize that engagement as putting forth ‘‘discretionary if such measures are included with the one effort. and thus begs the question as to how it differs sion and absorption) in the work and the from any other form of performance-related organization (pride and identity) as well as behavior. Therefore. the topic of which speak strongly to the issue of per- to which we turn next. them and as they have been characterized As to engagement behaviors reflecting in the I–O literature should be regarded as ‘‘effort.’’ . Clearly. there appears to be consider. high levels of involvement (pas. brainpower. 1976.. engagement implies some- and a sense of self-presence in the work.g.

strations of initiative.Employee engagement 15 p. organizational spontaneity. see Organ.g. and effort as well as demonstrating persis. Rothbard & Edwards. 2001). The reader may note that unlike the liter- ior both qualitatively and quantitatively dif. the relevant literatures we will now discuss do not use the term engage- Summary. The notion of extra effort is ment. discretion in itself is a complex issue. p. include innovative behaviors. Thus. that is. Early theoretical engagement as ‘‘extra’’ or ‘‘discretionary’’ work on OCB emphasized the discretionary effort presents a challenge for at least four nature of certain behaviors that were reasons. and going ory (Sheldon & Elliot. 1996). which is typically operationalized in on the meaning of engagement. effort is regarded as essential to organizational suc- not easily defined. terms of time spent—again the issue of per. it is limiting to When we think of engagement behaviors define engagement solely in terms of ‘‘extra this way. just doing more of what is that extend beyond typical or expected in- usual. From our perspective. consistent with self-concordance the. leading to ambiguous boundary conditions 2003). Pod- ent and not just something more. three major threads of that those who are psychologically present research are relevant to this notion. ature addressing engagement as a psycho- ferent from those less engaged. in terms of the behaviors effort. a higher order engagement if it simply connotes doing dimension of OCB. I really exert myself to the fullest. Second. people will. and we organizations that learn how to harness this begin the discussion with OCB. include OCB and related variants (prosocial scending typical boundaries in relating to behavior. tran. A construct related to effort is ‘‘role invest. engagement behavior definition. sakoff. Van Scotter and Motowidlo (1996) extra effort is an overly limiting view of measured job dedication. are consistent with their personal goals and when they see themselves invested in their Engagement as Extra-Role Behavior role performance. within specific frames of ingly contribute their time when their roles reference. typically expected or required. it will become clear that a compelling one in that it implies that these theoretical and research threads are employees possess a reservoir of energy from directly applicable to our search for an which they can draw should they so choose. beyond what is. However.’’ measures (Brown & Leigh. 2000). These bring more of themselves to their work. 2006). Third. and personal initia- and investing greater effort. defining Engagement as OCB. ment’’ (Lobel.. & MacKenzie. Similarly. ‘‘When I dence of construct validity of corresponding work. 1991. opportunities to contribute. ‘‘extra’’ or ‘‘atypical’’ implies a reference or tence and initiative. standard that is generally left unspecified. and others and thereby doing something differ. 367) and work intensity (e. highly tive (Frese & Fay. role expansion Brown (1996) suggested that involvement and the related constructs of proactive might lead to both doing things ‘‘smarter’’ behavior (Crant. by gathering supervisory more of the same. what may be most impor- ratings of employees putting in extra time tant is doing something different. First and most importantly. or responsiveness to the demands of the Rothbard and Edwards demonstrated that moment. contextual performance. Nonetheless. 1999). suggested role performance. and there is little evi. even when the utilitar. Fourth.’’ that is. logical state. proactively seeking Thus. However. for example. Kahn (1990). cess but not formally defined as part of the . More specifically: people are more likely to invest their time in roles that are important to them in terms Proposition 7: Engagement behaviors of their self-identity. 367). potential will likely enjoy distinct compe- titive advantage. there is more here than simple persistence sistence—performing specific activities. engaged employees might exemplify behav. demon- ian value of the investment is held constant.

We conclude from an OCB perspective that Engagement as role expansion. would seem limiting in that it begs the ques- One conceptual challenge in considering tion as to the frequency with which opportu- OCB as engagement (i. whereas the same behav- term more closely aligned with the meaning ior may be unusual in other circumstances. (2004) sug- themes of support for others. defining engagement Motowidlo. behavior exclusively in such a manner ance (LePine et al. organizational gested that under circumstances where fail- support. Vey and Campbell (2004). Role engaged behavior is a behavior that. ‘‘atypical’’ implies Johnson. and conscientiousness (Borman.’’ a notion con. includes actions that. ordinary. nities to demonstrate such behaviors arise.. and so forth. Schneider job and therefore not explicitly rewarded. Fundamentally. the conceptual issue is whether the behavior of interest must be dis. for example.H. goes beyond More recently. otherwise in-role behaviors might be imply doing ‘‘something extra. as in ‘‘doing some- levels of job facet performance. label associated with the OCB construct is clusively to going ‘‘above and beyond. 2002). functional thing extra. conceptual problems have what is typically or normally displayed or been discussed in the literature regarding expected and that attributions about limiting discretion to extra-role behaviors.g. specific frames of reference. and/or ordinarily respondents with supervisory experience.’’ The an attractive one. implying that there are other behavior. do something different. self-discipline (Van Scotter & not apply. Note that the excused because of extraordinary condi- behaviors falling within the latter category tions. & As we have noted earlier. defining one facet of engaged behavior as vation that the boundaries between in-role going beyond the ordinary. 1994). of contextual performance (LePine. Although the dimensionality a frame of reference. Meyer et al. expected. or generalized compli.. go beyond what is typ- to be considered in-role by a panel of survey ical. Graham. Macey and B. thing extra) arises in addressing the issue of By way of summary.. next. yielding: and extra-role performance are weak at best. given expansion is not a part of the OCB . given a specific entiousness and courtesy) were more likely frame of reference. ure to perform a task as usual might be 2004. whether the behavior was discretionary or and the working definition of OCB has been not are unnecessary. We say that engagement behavior is cretionary—the person made a choice to do inclusive of behaviors normally character- it—to be considered an example of engaged ized as OCB. 1996). attempts original behaviors comprising OCB can be here at greater precision are not useful. 1997).16 W. engagement. This would require all behaviors to behaviors that reveal other facets of engage- be evaluated for the degree to which they ment. to expansion. LePine et al.’’ would be considered doing participation (Van Dyne. usual. what is normal when normal conditions do esch. However. and we use it as a basis for significance of the issue resides in the obser. 2002). as doing some. the ‘‘going beyond’’ whether employee engagement refers ex. the may originate in a variety of ways. ‘‘going the extra mile’’) as to whether to engage in certain task and distinct from the notion of simply raised behaviors. role involved making a choice to do more. This implies that cer- sistent with a folk definition of employee tain conditions allow for freedom of choice engagement (e. We acknowledge that modified to include those behaviors that this places a conditional value on such support or in some way enhance the social behaviors—they may be normal or typical and psychological environment essential for in some circumstances (some groups and individual task performance (Organ. considered extra-role. That frame of reference of OCB has recently been questioned. and we turn to one of these. & Dien. 2002).. dem. Proposition 8: Engagement behavior onstrated that certain forms of OCB (consci. a some companies).e. Erez. conceptualized as falling into the larger For example.

breadth self-efficacy’’). ment) in terms of initiative as well as activity Coyle-Shapiro. Frese and his col- might perform certain behaviors motivated leagues (Frese & Fay. the Essential to Frese’s viewpoint is that these observer of the same behavior may also three aspects refer to behaviors that go make different attributions about the causes beyond expectations. paying back for Soose. lyzed in considerable detail the logical Once again. but it has recently been Engagement as proactive behavior and addressed as extra-role behavior. their job. In either case. and found that role breadth was related to A similar emphasis on proactivity has been the autonomy accorded to workers as well offered by Crant (2000. see it as another indicant of behavioral Dvir et al. the latter revealing and Parker (1998. whereas another personal initiative comprises three facets: might simply consider that behavior part of self-starting. both personal conditions Morrison and Phelps (1999) specifically and contextual conditions. 2003). Morrison and Phelps (1999. and Purcell (2004). this ently agree on these behaviors without refer. & Zempel. referred bach. 1998) as well purposes. that reveals attention to a wider range of namely. Kring. it is clear that the definition of issues that surface when discussing expect- going beyond is a relative one depending ations and conclude that personal initiative upon the vantage point from which the implies going beyond what is normal or behavior emerges. and so forth. a focus on maintaining the status tasks than is typical or usual. 1993). For now: suggested the notion of taking charge as a means of extending what they viewed to Proposition 9: Role expansion. the behavior of interest. Kessler. later. Bateman & Crant. Thus. Ringen. and responsibility. obvious. We will have more to say about initiative compared to role prescriptions as the conditions that get reflected in engage. Delaney-Klinger. Morrison and Phelps (1999) a wide variety of tasks. going perform a greater breadth of tasks than others beyond. of course.. is a facet of quo. may vary by level within the organization ence to the attributions they might make and by the organizational context in which about their causes (Organ et al. and Hem. 2006). (what we are calling behavioral engage- role tasks can be regarded as role expansion. issue of the conditional nature on whether ingway (2005) demonstrated that within a specific form of engagement behavior will homogenous job families. role expansion by def. ‘‘role within a relatively homogenous occupa. Frese. but observers can appar. as cognitive ability. Like Frese and Fay tional group (travel agents). organizational (2001). Morrison and Phelps and engagement behavior. As mentioned earlier. in contrast. 2001. Dean. Kahn (1992) emphasized the value of .. As Frese and Fay suggested. behavior be an overly narrow interpretation of OCB. and Landy (2005) found that to as ‘‘taking charge’’). Moran. Conte. and persistence. 1996) have suggested that having been treated well. the critical feature of these views as autonomy and cognitive ability (Morgeson is the common emphasis on proactivity and et al. suggested that an individual the term engagement. Frese and Fay ana- of it. Although not referencing for example. and Parker (1998. Crant (2000) emphasized the impor- commitment and job satisfaction were both tance of personal characteristics as well as related to the frequency with which agents situational characteristics as antecedents of were rated as working at a narrow versus the behavior. The choice to perform extra. by the norm of reciprocity. For present related to self-efficacy (Parker. proactivity.Employee engagement 17 landscape. sized the importance of situational cues. so there is again the Morgeson. the behavior occurs. but it is still seen as a positive behavior. In contrast. ment behaviors. and we personal initiative. 2005). (2002) defined active engagement engagement. some employees always be seen as being unexpected. We inition implies behavior that is atypical in will say more about the dispositional nature a comparative sense (or else it would not of engagement later as well as conditions be expansion) and has been found to be under which they are more likely. empha- role expansion.

and/or different. . solution to a perceived existing organiza- unlike the notion of adaptive behavior that tional challenge.. tidimensional construct. Donovan. it would also seem that an adap. although their emphasis was emphasis here is not on all behavior that on voice as a manifestation of ‘‘constructive contributes to the social. the dynamic doing more of what needs to be done. task performance does not (typically) define est has an adaptive and proactive focus. Importantly. and doing might encompass certain dimensions of what one’s boss expects one to do does not adaptive performance as suggested by (typically) define engagement. However. average choice of behavior. but the behavior of inter. or change-oriented communication’’ (p. organizations. That change can be in change in the sense of doing something more response to something existing or antici. the emphasis is still on the tional effectiveness. Schneider employee-driven change for the success of instead focus on initiating or fostering the organization. suggesting that the competi- ness and courtesy as defined within tradi. What is common is the fundamen. reflecting the emphasis of Frese behavior is entirely consistent with Kahn’s and Fay (2001) on the action orientation of positioning of psychological presence and initiative. conscientiousness. 2002). and Plamondon The notion of engagement as adaptive (2000). the common interpretation of their organizations can be increasingly com- engagement suggests that those behaviors petitive and effective. gically focused and is bounded by purpose ered in-role than extra-role (Vey & Camp. bell. whether in response to pated. change would result in diminished organiza- 1999). Pulakos. chang- nature of job roles.18 W. what is necessary to create change so that Interestingly. Miller viewed this way is clearly an aggregate mul- and Rosse.. 2004).. defend and protect the status quo in tal notion that engagement behaviors are response to actual or anticipated threats discretionary (not prescribed) in that they or to change and/or promote change in go beyond preserving the status quo and response to actual or anticipated events. What these behaviors share is a com. Ilgen & Pulakos. the focus here is on adap. psychological. the Dyne (2001). tive business environment requires individ- tional OCB research would appropriately uals who direct their efforts to reflecting on be considered components of engagement. engagement as adaptive behavior is Proposition 10: Behavioral engagement a useful concept for describing a range of is adaptive behavior intended to serve behaviors that support organizational effec. sized the adaptive requirements of modern calling into question whether conscientious.g. contextual performance (Motowidlo. 2006) are also mul- is similar in notion to that of LePine and Van tidimensional in nature. 326). of behavioral engagement is that it is strate- 1994) may also be more likely to be consid. 2000) zational challenges and opportunities. Thus. In other words. and organizational relevance. the emphasis is on those behav- focused adaptive behavior is consistent with iors that represent responses (or anticipatory the recent increasing emphasis on the responses) to organizational challenges: changing nature of work. Also. its behavioral manifestation as engagement tive definition of engagement would more behavior. an organizational purpose. This and OCB (Organ et al. engagement. Specifically. coming to work on time does Thus. organizational functioning of the organiza- Viewing engagement as organizationally tion. that are more likely regarded as passive A fundamental aspect of our positioning (e.g. and/or actively responding to problems and events in the resisting change to the status quo when that business environment (e. Engagement behavior has an employee-driven focus (e. Arad. Parks & Kidder. this view of employee engagement not (typically) define engagement.g. Here. Rather. and the active nature of ing what needs to be changed. Kahn (1992) empha- readily align with nonpassive behaviors. in the sense that tive behavior in response to job and organi.. Macey and B. whether to tiveness. a temporary condition or a more permanent mon emphasis on adaptation.H.

a variety of ways to conceptualize and and we address each in turn. seemingly be more appropriately defined in ment springs forth whole. So. main issues that have been discussed as the Behavioral engagement has to do with per. job satisfaction. engagement we have explicated. broadly considered in the organizational ducting engagement projects. certain dispositional constructs have been suggested as causal factors in proactive Antecedents of State and behavior. and in that sense not usual or typical. state engagement. and/or such individual attributes might interact with other organizations so that the members conditions encountered in the workplace to of groups and organizations can be said produce engagement. including how individuals. Many some organizations passion characterizes of the facets reviewed and comprising employees. & Lucas. Behavioral engagement is simultaneously have passion for their work are more likely to citizenship behavior (OCB). Behavioral engagement. trait PA would be a precise def- the various facets of state and behavioral inition of the engaged person (i. variety. imply a frame of reference for such attributes of individuals that might yield state judgments. and the behavioral engagement construct as we Engagement as a have defined it has not been captured well Dispositional Construct by the individual constructs that comprise our definition. measure both state and behavioral engage- ment. all strategically focused in for their work and others do not and why in service of organizational objectives. It also enthusiastic). engagement was highlighted earlier in our ple. whereas in other organizations behavioral engagement contain the notion it does not.e. or enduring ten- offers practitioners a conceptual founda. it is useful to consider poten. Frames of reference can be other and behavioral engagement. has numerous facets to although it is easy to state that people who it. engage in adaptive behaviors. ficult to state why some people have passion sonal initiative. 2002). dency to experience PA as state. like conditions under which they work. both are obviously terms of the hedonic dimension of the affect dependent for their existence on still more circumplex (Larsen. the relationships existing among the discussion of engagement as an affective various kinds of adaptive behaviors and/or state. we detail the to demonstrate behavioral engagement. and the experi- Behavioral Engagement ence of ‘‘flow. Diener. personal initiative. PA as a trait. work conditions necessary for engagement formances that are adaptive and innovative to exist. tion. has been tion on which to base decisions when con. In what follows. Additionally. In fact. of ‘‘going beyond the usual or typical’’ and. satisfaction or well-being judg- attributes of those who are engaged and the ments can be regarded as a function of . PA as trait engagement. for exam. these affective and behavioral dimensions engagement can be regarded as a disposi- of engagement. energetic. role expansion. other groups/teams. and it is to such or more generally as a tendency to experi- consideration we turn next.Employee engagement 19 Summary. it is more dif- proactive behavior. Then. either as a personality characteristic tial antecedents of these. we first consider the as such.. especially behavior literature.’’ Four threads of research are We have shown to this point that there are relevant to the notion of trait engagement. The conceptual structs offers researchers frames from which similarity of PA markers to the meaning of they can pursue additional work. ence state affect over time. This explication of the various con. this time variety in the personal Specifically. To more fully understand Within our structure depicted in Figure 1. and demonstrating per. trait job satisfaction would But neither state nor behavior engage. Although PA has been the design of the so-called engagement explored as a dispositional component of surveys.

factors that dispositional and situational factors. The auto- we have called adaptive behaviors than telic personality refers to people who engage would job satisfaction. as was demonstrated in a meta-analysis experiences and determine how the individ. Crant (1995) demon. and the autotelic personality suggests (1995) found that proactive personality that trait engagement can be construed as accounted for variance in performance even a broad dispositional construct and that after considering the effects of both Consci. It is worth noting that our logic that trait The state of psychological engagement. espe- engagement (i. Moreover. resourceful’’ (p. 2002).. within that theoretical frame. cator of trait engagement than trait satisfac. reasoning Proactive personality as trait engagement. Understanding. and be ready to engage.. the proactive personality. ‘‘hard working. 2002. persist in challenging that proactive behavior is a product of both tasks. Weiss. 119). Big Five terms). 658).20 W. for a review) have behavior. ambitious.e. More directly. that autotelic individuals should be open As indicated earlier. Macey and B. cheerful. a state of flow. A matter of conscientiousness to include both indus- considerable confusion in the literature is triousness and order. Again. & Nemanick. other studies have indicated at least partially the result of dispositional significant relationships between the proac.e. Conscientiousness as trait engagement.H. Our logic suggests that an even operationalized the autotelic personality in stronger correlate of such adaptive behaviors terms of the Jackson Personality Research would be measures of state engagement. & Crant. 2001). influences. proactive lens. Form factors of Sentience. Achievement.’’ has also been investigated in rela- ment would be a stronger correlate of what tion to the ‘‘autotelic’’ personality. Csikszentmihalyi study OCB and similar constructs was show. in activities for their own sake rather than for tral accomplishments of researchers who specific gains or rewards. Char. The former would that PA is associated with feelings of ‘‘enthu. and Gold- tion. the markers of that construct are entirely .g. tive personality and career success (Seibert. pleased). Roberts. Furr. conscientious- Kramer. present. Our reading of this perspective suggests that PA would be considered more an indi. be characterized by individuals who are siasm and excitement and not with happi. eral tendency to create or influence the work environment.. and Endurance. are clear points of view suggesting that state lated with sales success of real estate engagement and engagement behaviors are professionals. research on PA. contribute to arriving at and maintaining acterizing proactive personality as the gen. and ness’’ (Huelsman. 2002). Schneider pleasant affect experiences at work (Brief & entiousness and Extraversion (or trait PA in Weiss. one of the cen. PA is more relevant to engagement than to encompassing the notion of ‘‘flow’’ or ‘‘being satisfaction also suggests that state engage. 2002. satisfaction and engagement would conscientiousness would correlate with be correlated but not equivalent. Trait measures of contextual performance. it would be expected that work. confident. Viewed through a p. ual behaves in response to those experiences (Larsen et al. Autotelic personality as trait engagement. Crant (2000) suggested to new challenges. happy. Summary and partial integration. Thus. 2003. by Organ and Ryan (1995). There strated that this kind of personality is corre. Crant ness. enthusiastic sented in major personality questionnaires and attentive) rather than evaluative in tone and identified the proactive aspects of (i. Staw (2004) noted that items included berg (2005) investigated the hierarchical in PANAS are weighted to include those with structure of conscientiousness as repre- an activation component (e. Stark. Chernyshenko. trait PA) would serve as cially generalized compliance as a facet of a predisposition to frame organizational OCB.. and his colleagues (see Nakamura & ing that satisfaction is in fact related to Csikszentmihalyi.

although the task is central. Not sur- likely to experience feelings of engagement prisingly.. 1999). 1980) and work on the intrinsic ronments that provide the opportunity to do nature of rewards (i. behavior. Holland. Schneider. A central answer tional engagement interacts with situational was the following: Effective managers are factors to determine engagement state and/or those who get the work done with the people behavior. coworkers.. Much of the early work on engagement What is clear from the Gallup research is placed the task as central to engagement that units that score more highly on the 12 . George however. unit performance. involvement.e. For example. that there was an overriding issue. for example. Having this highlighted the distal impact of such person. That tion of some of the issues that drive passion.Employee engagement 21 consistent with conventional definitions of (Kahn. 1987. is key—but certain characteristics of tasks ported. Gallup researchers deduced. the man- agers. Thus. the condi- Proposition 11: Trait engagement com. challenge. & Smith. wished they had (Buckingham & The Situation and Engagement Coffman. active. consistent with the interpretation of commitment. which. In addition to the task itself. characteristics influence orientations and especially with regard to scores those man- feelings (e. of practice and research. ress issues. and we turn to a consideration of they have.g. insight resulted in an additional set of ality variables on personal initiative behaviors research efforts to understand what differen- and further suggested that such personality tiated effective and ineffective managers. the proactive personality. 1992).. 1990. Goldstein. is. in agers received on the 12 items when their turn. 2005).. the availabil- conceptualize trait engagement as more ity of resources. and the autotelic personality. employees were surveyed. referring among other conditions to Importantly. engaged Interestingly.g. displaying ence being that when these work conditions effort by going beyond what is necessary existed. consci.. many consulting projects. it employees both select and proactively work is the degree to which the person can imple- to create the environment in which these ment his or her preferred self in the work that behaviors will be encouraged and sup. For some (e. a series of 12 key work conditions suggest the tendency to experience work was identified. self-efficacy) and only then.e. ment behavior (Kanfer. when present. engagement as adaptive behavior. Frese and Fay (2001) similarly having a productive work unit. as shown in Figure 1. and career prog- likely distal than proximal causes of engage. 1995). and those situational characteristics now. reference is made to the job char- and who demonstrate engagement behav.e. attempt to capitalize on the competencies their people have. this view suggests that those more issue for promoting engagement. of tasks. employees demonstrated engage- and initiating change to facilitate organi. These conditions are very diverse. Gagne & Deci. engagement (i. ment behaviors that resulted in the improved zationally relevant outcomes). and variety seem engagement is therefore offered as: to have main effects for most people.. 1997. were in positive. the boss. we attributes of the work. tions surrounding working have been a target prises a number of interrelated facets.. acteristics research program (Hackman & iors are also more likely to choose the envi. passion and activation). see Harter et al. Gallup research program (emerging from entiousness. Erickson.g. and so forth. the attributes of tasks are still the key Moreover. Our proposition with regard to trait like autonomy. in the including trait positive affectivity. do not try to change them. Oldham. not what they. and energic ways and correlated with unit performance—the infer- to behave adaptively (i. demonstrated that management and the degree to which man- mood PA but not trait PA predicted prosocial agers made these things happen was key to behavior. These all 2003). (1991). it is likely that disposi. 2005) for specifica- Schneider. the intrinsic nature so (e. 1990).

the manager. socially punished as a rate buster. this sup- identity in the organization and work such ports the view that employees reciprocate on that there is a sense of passion for work as the basis of an anticipated reward. and A second example would be performing recognize superior behavior). ical state between leader behavior and ditions is trust. where some engage in behaviors not in their personal degree of trust is implied and strict regulation best interest. supervisors and peers’’ (Van Dyne & Ellis. It logically follows from this line of rea- soning that trust (in the organization. Dvir for more explicit and clearly defined contin- et al. Trust becomes the work people do and the leadership important even for intrinsically motivated under which they work central to their behavior. But research on norm of reciprocity (Coyle-Shapiro & Con- transformational leadership helps under. and challenge conven. Engaged employees invest behavioral engagement. as self-sacrifice. Note that the lit. Job creep does not yield trust. the Proposition 12: State and behavioral leader. variety. The fundamental motivation for or behavioral engagement that these 12 this may be instrumental based upon the items result in is not clear. 184). including an investment of of OCB. as the conditions that contribute choosing to be attitudinally and behavior.. (intrinsically or extrinsically) in some mean- nues. p. are fair. However. and autonomy) and when they work under 2004. the manag. they feel above the norms of a group and then being engaged and behave in adaptive and con. Bass & demonstrated behaviors that are performed Avolio. and it is the trust . For example. structive ways that produce results that were perhaps unexpected. gencies and those that are based on more tional leadership conditions. such that feelings of trust is the psycholog- Central to the network of antecedent con. 2005) or social identity (Moorman & stand these relationships. 2002). Rousseau (2004) found in a Chinese sample tional leadership provides examples of of employed MBA students that instrumen- engagement state and behavior that closely tality mediated the relationship between align with conventional conceptualizations relational contract obligations and five forms of engagement. or the team) is essential engagement are more likely under some to increasing the likelihood that engagement conditions than others with the nature of behavior will be displayed. 2002). Indeed. so it does not yield engagement behaviors. important distinction may be between those tion when no longer relevant (e. reve.22 W. or personal resources. certain kinds of managers (e. and turnover.g. Lee. way. 1990. ‘‘not suffer for their personal engagement’’ tions seem to create state and behavioral (p. One example of punishment for engagement have now been made clear. Byrne. which the authors described of behavior is unnecessary. As the authors suggested. the state and/ ingful way. it appears to follow that cretionary contributions (such as OCB) when people have certain kinds of work to become viewed as in-role obligations by do (e.g.. soldiers will open-ended expectations.. the work has challenge. Macey and B. Hui. the relationship between leadership port would also be relevant here (Rhoades behavior and behavioral engagement & Eisenberger. and The relevant literature on transforma. whether well as the capacity to think independently.H. This is the belief people have that they will Some of the reasons why these condi. This suggests that the develop new ideas. leaders their energy. 2005). to the investment of self require what Kahn ally engaged. 708). customer satisfaction. Proposition 13: Feelings of trust mediate erature on perceived organizational sup. concrete or abstract. Dvir et al. Thus.’’ where ‘‘dis- Psychologically. extending oneself is ‘‘job creep. create trust in followers. demonstrated that under transforma. (1990) identified as psychological safety. Schneider items have superior performance in terms of trusting that the investment will be rewarded productivity..g. ers make expectations clear. time.

offer the following by way of summary: iors are likely to be displayed. Kahn (1990. acts with work and organizational condi- zation as central to issues of both state and tions to produce state and behavioral behavioral engagement. Hall self-concordance theory (Sheldon & Elliot. we higher and that a variety of adaptive behav. 1993). may be more complex in that when a specific tion (or leader) and the goals of the individ. cific form of organizational commitment in sistent with their personal values will be that it implies identity fit or identity matching. This clearly infers the notion a key issue in definitions of what the engaged of fit as the determinant rather than either the person might experience. 1992) in particular saw the Proposition 14: Trait engagement inter- interaction of the individual and the organi. work motivation) reflects ‘‘main effects’’ research—implying that if a continuum ranging from complete external certain specific conditions are appropriately motivation to complete internal or intrinsic altered. combination of people and conditions ual are entirely consistent. values. motivation tice and research might best be called (and. gesting that such presence emerges as a func- tion of the interaction of the person’s attributes and the work he or she does. self-determination theory (Ryan & based commitment (O’Reilly & Chatman. For Summary Thoughts on the Kahn. well as relationships between state and tify the dimensions of self that might be pre. but he did indicate that these include interests. 1973) and later identification- 1999). and self-concept–based theory 1986) and affective commitment (Meyer & (Shamir. He noted that it is engagement. It motivation. the key issue here is the fit of Judge (2003) equated self-engagement with personal values to organizational values.’’ suggesting Organizational identification. employee engagement will follow. because it has not characterized the research In the frameworks of self-concordance on engagement. Kahn did not iden. then. behavioral engagement (see Figure 1). Kahn (1992) called this psychological comprises a complex nomological network . That said. it follows that the exists. presence as we noted earlier. what results is more a product of the level of employee state engagement will be two than a simple addition. Earlier that issue now. For example. but they also engaged by that work (state engagement) may moderate the relationships between and also perform to their fullest capacities trait engagement and state engagement as (behavioral engagement). especially its goals Implicitly. 2000). building on called ‘‘organizational identification’’ (cf. Alternatively. in turn. the discussion of trait engagement and values. Deci. ‘‘engagement with their work. Person–Environment Fit Issues and There is strong evidence to indicate that Engagement the organization itself.Employee engagement 23 followers experience that enables behav. can also be a source of attach- and the conditions under which state and ment and commitment that lead people to behavioral engagement are more likely identify with the organization as a whole leads to the thought that perhaps the traits and. When the goals of the organiza. individual attribute or the environment We pursue this issue of fit in some detail alone as causal. work condi- when people can use their preferred selves in tions not only have a main effect on state their work that they experience being and behavioral engagement. House. clearly sug- ioral engagement. is a spe- that employees who see their work as con. for it is the attributes of the work with which the preferred self is seen as interact. the work itself is the focus of engage- Engagement Construct ment. engagement prac- and self-determination theories. Bono and Allen. & Arthur. & Schneider. The picture we have painted of engagement ing. ferred. and competencies. to display adaptive behaviors and the conditions interact. and we consider consistent with its long-term interests. In brief. by extension. 1997). more engaged.

sonality attributes. trait engagement would levels of activation or energy. have a mis- and behavioral engagement. and this to behavioral engagement. enthusiasm. leading ment. Although placed emphasis. and the autotelic person- of the concept and the markers used to ality. change in the sense of doing more and/or cerns PA associated with the job and the something different. and activation. state engagement comprises a number of interrelated per- is characterized by feelings of passion. we would predict that measures of We acknowledged that what is normal state engagement and these older constructs task behavior under some circumstances. other circumstances. Macey and B. Schneider encompassing trait. Adaptive behavior is identifiable constructs with relationships to a useful concept for describing a range of a common outcome. during ple have with the work they do. comprising clearly adaptive behavior. In our view. and the positive to our use of the label ‘‘adaptive’’ to summa- affectivity components of job satisfaction. conscientiousness. tal notion that engagement behaviors are ceptually from other relevant constructs. and pride. would be significantly related. satisfied are you with the company you work and Mobley (1998) described as a profile for?’’ do not measure engagement. and describing either trait or mood states (see energic ways and to behave adaptively in Warr. active. as well as the work and organi. alert. whether global or facet. energy. What is common is the fundamen- that psychological engagement differs con. we We proposed that behavioral engage- see engagement as not only a set of con. Wong. as OCB and role expansion. absorption. implies that survey questions directed at sat- zational conditions that might facilitate state isfaction. Although correlated with en. state engagement may be seen as engaged behavior under also includes the sense of self-identity peo. of how they define themselves and that in So we finessed the specific behaviors that which they are personally invested. vigor. Thus. 1999). satisfaction is sufficiently charac. We typically not prescribed and that they go follow with specific conclusions and recom. but we had ness. rize our position. beyond preserving the status quo and mendations for research and practice. job involvement. This constructs. sonal initiative kinds of behaviors. and behavioral is what executives wish to capture. ment follows from state engagement and fur- structs but also a tightly integrated set. model of a multidimensional construct. There are obvious refer- work setting connoting or explicitly indicat. As such. ment behaviors to existing constructs such dedication. enthusiasm. state engagement a specific emphasis on proactive and per- has components of organizational commit. ther that it is most broadly defined as related in known ways. inter. first behaviors that support organizational effec- we review our position as to why we believe tiveness. These all suggest the inclination to reflect feelings of PA/high activation when experience work in positive. for example. ences in our conceptualization of engage- ing feelings of persistence. In addition to for example. pleasantness connoting at best moderate In these senses. the proac- reflects both the common folk wisdom tive personality. In what follows. that under specific conditions there will be ceptualizations of job satisfaction occupy agreement on what it is. . work is a part Katrina or other disasters and challenges. instead focus on initiating or fostering We proposed that state engagement con. the positive feelings noted. everyday working conditions. state. characterize engaged behavior and assume We focused extensively on which con. including trait positive energy. This affectivity.24 W. necessary and initiating change to facili- terized by a sense of well-being and tate organizationally relevant outcomes. It is the sense be a significant cause of and be directly of energy and enthusiasm in engagement related to state engagement and indirectly that makes the construct different. common conceptual space with state We proposed that trait engagement engagement. Questions such as ‘‘How engagement may at best fit what Law.H. displaying effort at going beyond what is gagement.

This is not to say that job satisfaction or other forms of work attitudes we have considered Summary Thoughts on are invariant but rather that psychological Engagement Measurement presence. discussed this notion of the contingencies logical presence can be draining in terms of under the heading of person–environment the personal level of effort required. but tionships and to ways those same conditions not complete. 1992) were the two conditions on behavioral engagement in one role may con- which we mostly focused. Our view is that organizations ment period (i. Doing work (2003) demonstrated the positive impact of that has positive motivational attributes off-work recovery on engagement. ioral engagement. Promoting hypothesize that dispositional (trait) engage- a sense of psychological safety (Kahn. thus. there and dispositional characteristics and their are limits on the pool of energy and resour. to at least some degree. levels of engagement yield positive versus formational leader would directly affect trust negative outcomes for people and their levels and. gaged workforce. As Kahn (1992) suggested. cycle. may not always be possible to sustain. sustained the goal of improving engagement levels will levels of engagement will be difficult to be productive for all employees. the same time. This is yet tion correct and another thing to get the . Thus. and the like represent an investment From both research and practice perspec- on the part of the employee. can have some. Sonnentag and behavioral engagement. tors in determining (a) cross-situational mational leader would directly affect state consistency and (b) the degree to which high engagement. extra behavioral energy. Consideration of trait engagement here Thus. management-driven activities that relate to ees will benefit from the psychological and the development of state and behavioral behavioral relational contracts in which engagement at work. Relatedly. engagement. 2001). might contribute to both state and behav- ual. we would tribute to higher levels of engagement in hypothesize as shown in Figure 1 that (a) job other roles (Rothbard. (2001) implied that very high ence of a transformational leader who levels of engagement can cause burnout. interaction. We briefly achieve. fit and suggested that values fit in particular depending on other demands on the individ. engagement may be a conse- What we have not previously discussed is quence of both environmental conditions the idea that. there is some evidence that 1990. ‘‘on-boarding’’) and other must promote a sense of trust that employ. (b) the presence of a transfor.Employee engagement 25 Our conceptualization extended to work a further characteristic that distinguishes and organizational conditions that might satisfaction and engagement. At behaves fairly and engenders trust (Kahn. Thus. and/or the training and performance man- ment on the one hand and behavioral agement of leaders in organizations with engagement on the other hand. enhance (moderate) these proposed rela. we think of engagement as having implies a critical link between interventions some cost in the form of risk to the focused on the early stages of the employ- employee. 2004) and emphasizing behavioral and psychological engagement fairness and other antecedents of trust may earlier than later in the employment life be critical to the development of an en. May et al.e.. we would further they enter with the organization. psycho. Maslach et al. control over the competition might directly facilitate and encourage state for people’s resources. which. and (c) the presence of a trans. activation. perhaps impli- design attributes would directly affect state cating the importance of dispositional fac- engagement. ment is a more significant determinant of 1990. Thus. Organizations. but (Hackman & Oldham. Not all investments in job design ces available to employees for state engage. it is one thing to get the conceptualiza- presumes nothing of that kind.. indirectly affect behavioral behavior. satisfaction tives. then. 1980) and the pres.

that asks how satisfied an employee is with conditions at or of work or asks about the Conclusions presence of particular conditions of or at work is not a measure of any of the three In a world that is changing both in terms of facets of the engagement construct we have the global nature of work and the aging of the elucidated. J. construct. This highlights the point that to exceptions. see Salanova et al. (1999). and add additional levels of analysis to the many measures used for years as indicators research repertoire. Harter and Schmidt Bass. B. As we noted earlier. The conclusion from these articles is to focus References the measurement on the construct of inter- est. As with all good ceptualization of constructs precedes any things. The Gallup research of employee opinions have been relabeled they reported is all at the unit level of analy- as indicants of employee engagement. Two decades of research and devel- opment in transformational leadership. it is another thing to cally focused employee attitudes if the goal create a state and behaviorally engaged is to provide information for use as a basis for workforce. M. passion. 8. Kraut (2006) employees may be a key to competitive presented a number of chapters that are advantage. In another chapter. the concepts are indeed interchange- Schaufeli et al. & Crant. Especially in the able. if engagement is the target. Schneider operationalization correct. CA: Consult- sented as indicating engagement correlates ing Psychologist Press. Schneider. the challenge of establishing the con- operationalization. For example. workforce (Erickson. if you will. cern to management. The beauty of from strategically focused attitudes (cus. ensure that Bass. Transformational lead- ership development: Manual for the Multifactor (2006) used evidence they previously pre. and they distinguish ditions for state and behavioral employee among other things generic employee atti. 2005).. (1993). The sis. B. we have seen measures analysis in employee survey and behavior of what we have called conditions for research and practice has been at the indi- engagement labeled as measures of engage. any measure agers in terms with which they empathized. measure up (for et al. Most of the measure with which they had assessed work engagement measures we have seen failed conditions but inferred engagement as noted to get the conceptualization correct. M. Schiemann plished something that competitors will find and Morgan (2006) carefully delineated in very difficult to imitate. having engaged In a recent edited volume. Once again. T. and usefulness of employee survey data to man- so forth.. engagement will be great. 1998) continued to show that such sures of job satisfaction where there is little a change in the level of analysis reveals the indication of affect. It is easy to change their article the issue of assessing strategi. this conclusion is that companies that get tomer orientation) and behavior (customer. (1990). energy. 9–32. some. The proactive component of organizational behavior: A measure as if they indicated job satisfaction correlates and correlates. they and others (e. S. with unit performance and treated the data Bateman. Palo Alto. B. (2002).g. there tudes (job satisfaction) and behavior (OCB) seems to be no silver bullet.. 103–118. Macey and produces effects at levels of analysis of con- Schneider (2006) proposed that careful con. latter has been true especially with mea. Macey and B. & Paul.H. White. This will be especially true if we instructive with regard to the measurement can show how the engagement construct of engagement. European the measure maps the content of the Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology..26 W. with unit performance—which is the same 14. 1999). so the earlier in discussion of the article of Harter measures do not. vidual level of analysis and that it is time to ment (Buckingham & Coffman. 2005. price and product.. . making change to achieve those goals. these conditions right will have accom- focused engagement behaviors). Leadership Questionnaire. & Avolio. We agree with them that the unit of world of practice. Journal of Organizational Behavior. M. 2002).

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