This thesis reports on research into employee engagement and engagement crossover in the workplace. Employee engagement is “a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterised by vigour, dedication, and absorption”, (Schaufeli et al., 2002, p. 74). When engaged, employees employ their hand, head, and heart to excel in their performance. On the other hand, engagement crossover is an inter-individual, dyadic process where certain functional and affective aspects of the work context, quantify the transfer of engagement from one employee to his or her co-workers. The research commenced with a general proposition that engagement can crossover from one employee to his/her co-worker in the workplace. However, the thesis postulated that there are functional and affective aspects of the work context, such as task and outcome interdependence, and workplace friendship, which create a specific condition for engagement crossover in the workplace. To investigate these propositions two research questions and five hypotheses were raised: “To what extent does employee engagement crossover from one employee to his/her co-worker in the workplace?” Relatedly, “what are the potential factors that determine the extent of this crossover?” To empirically test the research hypotheses, two independent studies were conducted. Study 1 (N=528) forms the first phase of this research and investigated engagement crossover among employees working in five different sectors. To build further on the first phase of the research, Study 2 (N=250) was conducted among employees of the petrochemical sector of the Iranian gas and oil industry. While the findings of each study were identical and replicated in the next one, each phase evolved from the previous one until the research matured into a comprehensive test of engagement crossover. Failure of previous studies to give compelling evidence for engagement crossover in the workplace provided a good opportunity for the thesis to contribute to employee engagement and crossover literature. Hence, two lines of research from crossover and engagement were brought together to justify engagement crossover in the workplace. The findings of both studies were confirmatory of the research questions. The thesis established that employee engagement can crossover from one employee to his/her co-worker, even after the spurious variance from demographic variables such as age, gender, hours spent with co-workers, tenure, and education levels, individual differences such as affect and personality (Big Five) and employees’ shared stimuli such as job demands and resources and job characteristics were controlled in the model. The findings of the thesis developed new insights into crossover literature. Firstly, the thesis provided an empirical test of the empathy process in the two studies and showed that neither empathic concern nor perspective taking strengthen engagement crossover between two interdependent employees. These findings are novel and contribute to crossover research by empirically proving that Westman’s (2001) proposition for the direct transfer of positive psychological states via empathy cannot be substantiated to the crossover of employee engagement in the workplace. The thesis further contributed to crossover research by extending Westman’s (2001) initial model to the workplace and identifying specific indirect mechanisms of engagement crossover through the functional and affective role of task and outcome interdependence and workplace friendship. Thus, the objective of the thesis were met. Finally, the main theoretical contribution of the thesis is the engagement crossover model, which is underpinned by social interdependence theory (not role theory). Not only did the proposed model empirically test the three mechanisms of crossover concurrently in two independent studies, but also, it identified specific indirect mechanisms for the crossover of employee engagement in the workplace. Therefore, the proposed engagement crossover model addressed the shortcomings of the previous research and provided a thorough test of the crossover process in the workplace. The thesis also contributes to practice with implications for managers and leaders being discussed in the conclusion chapter. Principles and techniques were suggested for group designs and workplace relationships as a means of enhancing employee engagement, well-being, and work performance.
This study examined psychological mechanisms that underpin the relationships between perceived organizational family support (POFS) and a family-supportive supervisor (FSS) on employee work behaviors. Based on data from employed parents and their supervisors (N = 230) in 12 South Korean organizations, structural equation modeling results revealed three salient findings: (1) POFS and FSS are indirectly related to contextual performance through control over work time, (2) FSS is indirectly related to both contextual performance and work withdrawal through organization-based self-esteem (OBSE), and (3) control over work time is indirectly related to the two work outcomes through OBSE. The authors interpret these findings as indicating support for the focus on informal workplace family support and the need for research to examine the psychological resources they engender if we are to understand why these forms of support have their demonstrated outcomes.
Grounded in self-determination and social exchange theories, this study examined two pathways through which overall justice influences job performance. Specifically, we hypothesized need satisfaction as a mediator of the influence of overall justice on intrinsic motivation and trust in organization which, in turn, relate to job performance. Results of structural equation modelling using Mplus revealed that need satisfaction mediated the overall justice–intrinsic motivation relationship as well as the overall justice–trust in organization relationship. We also found that intrinsic motivation mediated the respective influence of need satisfaction and trust in organization on job performance. We interpret our findings as suggesting an integration of need-based theories of motivation into explanations of the performance implications of justice.
Drawing on self-determination theory, we proposed and tested a cross-level model of how perceived creativity-oriented high-performance work systems (HPWS) influence customer satisfaction. Data were obtained from frontline employees (FLEs), their managers, and branch records of two organizations (retail bank and cosmetics) in Lithuania. Results of multilevel structural equation modeling analyses revealed partial support for our model. Although perceived creativity-oriented HPWS related to creative performance at the individual level, this effect was mediated solely by need satisfaction and not by creative process engagement nor by a serial mediation of both variables as we hypothesized. However, as we did hypothesize, average branch creative performance related to branch customer satisfaction. We interpret our findings as underscoring the utility of perceived creativity-oriented HPWS in fostering FLEs’ creative performance and ultimately, customer satisfaction.
Grounded in Vroom’s motivational framework of performance, we examine the interactive influence of collective human capital (ability) and aggregated service orientation (motivation) on the cross-level relationship between high-performance work systems (HPWS) and individual-level service quality. Results of hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) revealed that HPWS related to collective human capital and aggregated service orientation, which in turn related to individual-level service quality. Furthermore, both HLM and ordinary least squares regression analyses revealed a cross-level interaction effect of collective human capital and aggregated service orientation such that high levels of collective human capital and aggregated service orientation influence individual-level service quality.
We proposed and tested a model of the relationship between regulatory focus, safety behaviors, and safety outcomes. Specifically, we hypothesized regulatory foci (promotion and prevention) to relate to the safety outcomes (safety-related events and injuries) through safety behaviors (unsafe behavior and safety initiative). Data were obtained at two time points 6 months apart from frontline firefighters and their supervisors drawn from New Taipei City Government. The results of multilevel structural equation modeling (MSEM) revealed that promotion focus related to safety-related events and injuries through safety initiative while prevention focus related to safety-related events (but not injuries) through unsafe behavior. Our findings reinforce the utility of distinguishing between safety behaviors and outcomes as well as the role of a motivational framework in understanding workplace safety.
Data obtained from subordinate–supervisor dyads (N = 314) of a large manufacturing company in South Korea were used to test a moderated mediation model of the processes linking person–organization (P–O) fit and employee work attitudes and behaviors. The results revealed that the influence of P–O fit on work attitudes and behaviors was indirect through perceived social exchange with organization. In addition, the relationship between P–O fit and perceived social exchange with organization was moderated by leader–member exchange (LMX) quality. Specifically, a high-quality LMX enhanced the positive effects of P–O fit on perceived social exchange with organization.
Drawing on self-determination theory (SDT), we proposed and tested a multilevel model of how a strategically-focused high performance work system operates to influence customer satisfaction. Data were obtained from frontline employees, branch managers, and from branch records two organizations (retail bank and cosmetics) in Lithuania. Results of Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling (MSEM) analyses revealed support for our model. Specifically, unit-level HPWS influenced psychological need satisfaction through experienced HPWS, which provides the autonomous regulation that fosters creative process engagement. Furthermore, through a bottom-up process, creative process engagement relates to unit creative performance which, in turn, relates to customer satisfaction.
Grounded in a control-based perspective, we proposed and tested a team-based model of the processes through which team empowering leadership influences aggregated proactive customer service performance. Data were obtained from teams of frontline employees and their supervisors of a retail bank in an emerging economy. Results of a second stage moderation test (Edwards and Lambert, 2000) revealed that team empowering leadership positively relates to collective psychological ownership which, in turn, mediates the team empowering leadership-aggregated proactive customer service performance relationship. The results further revealed that collective psychological ownership only relates to aggregated proactive customer service performance when empowerment climate is low but not high. We interpret this finding as suggesting a compensatory role for empowerment climate in the collective psychological ownership-aggregated proactive customer service performance relationship.
We used data obtained from customer contact employees in the People’s Republic of China to test a moderated mediation model of the processes through which core self-evaluations (CSE) influence voice behavior. Specifically, we examined personal control and approach/avoidance motivation as psychological pathways and procedural justice perceptions as a moderator of the CSE–voice behavior relationship. As predicted, our results revealed that CSE related to employee voice behavior indirectly through personal control and approach motivation but not avoidance motivation. Furthermore, and consistent with our prediction, results showed that procedural justice perceptions moderated the mediated influence of both personal control and approach motivation on the CSE–voice behavior relationship such that this relationship is stronger when procedural justice perceptions are high but not low. We discuss the implications of these findings in terms of explanatory frameworks for understanding the documented effects of CSE on employee work outcomes.
Drawing on Conservation of Resources (COR) theory, we proposed and tested a model of psychological pathways through which abusive supervision relates to customer-focused voice. Data were obtained from frontline employees and supervisors of branches of retail banks located in the Seoul Metropolitan Area in South Korea. Results of multilevel structural equation modeling (MSEM) analysis revealed that abusive supervision relates directly as well as indirectly (through the psychological pathways of task focus and emotional exhaustion) to thriving at work. Furthermore, the influence of these psychological pathways on customer-focused voice is completely mediated by thriving at work. We interpret these findings as underscoring the utility of a stress perspective in understanding customer-focused voice.
We proposed and tested a multilevel model, underpinned by empowerment theory, that examines the processes linking high-performance work systems (HPWS) and performance outcomes at the individual and organizational levels of analyses. Data were obtained from 37 branches of 2 banking institutions in Ghana. Results of hierarchical regression analysis revealed that branch-level HPWS relates to empowerment climate. Additionally, results of hierarchical linear modeling that examined the hypothesized cross-level relationships revealed 3 salient findings. First, experienced HPWS and empowerment climate partially mediate the influence of branch-level HPWS on psychological empowerment. Second, psychological empowerment partially mediates the influence of empowerment climate and experienced HPWS on service performance. Third, service orientation moderates the psychological empowerment–service performance relationship such that the relationship is stronger for those high rather than low in service orientation. Last, ordinary least squares regression results revealed that branch-level HPWS influences branch-level market performance through cross-level and individual-level influences on service performance that emerges at the branch level as aggregated service performance