From connection to identification : helping to illuminate some patterns of engagement at work

Udegbe, Ijeoma Gemma (2017) From connection to identification : helping to illuminate some patterns of engagement at work. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


The study of engagement concepts is intended to enhance our understanding of its nature and solve engagement enactment problem in organisations. Key proponents suggest that benefits from engaging accrue to both individuals and organisations (Kahn, 1990; Schaufeli, Salanova, Gonzalez_Roma and Bakker, 2002). And yet, little research has looked at the individuals’ perspectives. As Shuck (2011) highlighted, the preference of individuals needs to be uncovered before it can be acted upon. However, a separation of the two prominent theoretical perspectives used to describe and explain its dynamics has always been an important preference in the literature. From an opposite direction, Sonnentag’s (2011) suggestion for the integration of the work engagement and the personal engagement concepts raises the question of a method for orientating this integration. Hence, gaps exist as to how an acceptable multiple perspectives driven model can be established. To bridge these gaps, this study followed suggestions by Whetten (2009) to develop a combined personal-work engagement concept, empirically tested this consolidated framework and examined the perspectives of 24 self-employed and employed Nigerians. The findings provide evidence on some aspects of the successful application of the combined personal-work engagement framework. The conclusions reached assert that at the individual level, engagement patterns occurring among the individuals’ reasoning reflects an underlying dimension: a distinction made between the regard and disregard for hindering factors that seems to affect the engagement level. At higher levels of engagement, individuals regard helping factors and disregard hindering factors and this pattern seemed to have a degree of support that is not found at lower levels. At lower levels individuals regard helpful factors and regard hindering factors. A limitation is that the findings only offers guarantees that more often than not, the relationship is an expression of engaging, more work needs to be done to follow-on from this study.

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