Date of Award

5-11-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)

Department

Business

First Advisor

Pamela Scholder Ellen

Second Advisor

Detmar Straub

Third Advisor

Michael Gallivan

Abstract

Employee engagement is a relatively new construct in academic literature and an increasingly popular idea in practice. Proponents of employee engagement claim a strong positive relationship between engagement and business success, both at the firm and individual levels, and outcomes including retention, productivity, profitability, and customer loyalty and satisfaction. Despite numerous academic and practitioner publications on employee engagement, no consistently-accepted conceptualization of the construct or its sub-dimensions exists, and there is an ongoing debate regarding whether the employee engagement construct is a new idea or a re-hashing of old ideas. Similarly, no consistently-accepted tool to measure employee engagement exists. In the absence of consistent conceptualization and measurement, relationships between employee engagement and its antecedents and outcomes cannot be empirically tested. Drawing on prior literature and practitioner interviews, the present study defines employee engagement as an attitude towards one’s work at one’s company, comprising feelings of vigor, dedication, and absorption; cognitive appraisals of psychological empowerment; and motivation to act, both within role and extra role, in the service of the organization’s goals. In addition, the present study validates a self-report instrument to measure this conceptualization of employee engagement, using construct and scale validation procedures accepted in marketing and information systems literature.

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