ENGAGEMENT, ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT, AND organizational commitment and accounted for more incremental

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    Peter Beatty

    A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

    in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

    Master of Arts



    Carleton University Ottawa, Ontario

    ©2011 Peter Beatty

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  • Abstract

    Employee engagement has been garnering significant attention in both the popular

    and scientific literature, but despite its growing popularity, questions still remain as to

    whether it is empirically distinct from other constructs. To address research shortfalls, a

    cross-sectional correlational study using a military sample (N=275) examined the different

    effects of employee engagement and organizational commitment (at the level of their

    subscales) on job satisfaction, job performance, and turnover intent.

    The results of this study did not support the three-dimensional model of employee

    engagement as described by Schaufeli et al. (2002). Rather, all items for the three

    subscales of vigor, dedication, and absorption loaded on a single, higher-order component

    of engagement. Results supported the hypothesis that employee engagement would be

    positively correlated with job satisfaction and performance but negatively correlated with

    turnover intentions. Finally, employee engagement was found to be empirically distinct from

    organizational commitment and accounted for more incremental variance when predicting

    job satisfaction, performance, and turnover intentions than did organizational

    commitment alone. In summary, employee engagement has much to offer organizations

    wishing to remain competitive in terms of decreased turnover (maximizing return on

    investment) and in obtaining employee buy-in in working with the organization toward

    achieving the organization's aims.


  • Dedication

    In loving memory of my parents Bill and Lois Beatty without whom, I would not be here.

  • Acknowledgments

    First and foremost, I would like to sincerely thank my supervisor Dr. Janet Mantler

    for her tireless effort and attention throughout this study. I would also like to offer my

    sincerest gratitude to my committee members, Dr. Allister Maclntre and Dr. Avi Parush,

    who asked vital questions and offered additional guidance that helped improve the overall

    quality of my research. I would also like to thank the Canadian Forces and Director

    General Military Personnel Research and Analysis for generously allowing me use of

    their data.

    I am deeply thankful to my wife Laureen for her unconditional love, patience,

    understanding, and support. And for my children Christian and Aiden, who have been

    my touchstone throughout this project. I would also like to acknowledge all my friends,

    colleagues, and coworkers who are too numerous to mention. I thank them for their words of

    wisdom, their understanding, and their mentorship. They are all truly special individuals.

    I finish with a final silence of gratitude for my life.

    The opinions expressed in this publication reflect the opinion of the author and do not

    necessarily represent the opinion of the Canadian Forces or the Department of National



  • Table of Contents

    Abstract ii

    Dedication iii

    Acknowledgments iv

    Table of Contents v

    List of Tables vii

    List of Figures viii

    List of Appendices ix

    Introduction 1

    Employee Engagement 1

    Leading Definitions of Engagement 1

    Research Deficits in Engagement 9

    Job Satisfaction, Job Performance, and Turnover Intent 10

    Job Involvement 12

    Understanding Organizational Commitment 14

    Affective Commitment 15

    Normative Commitment 15

    Continuance Commitment 15

    Job Satisfaction 19

    Job Performance 19

    Turnover Intent 20

    Purpose of Study 21

    Hypotheses 22

    Method 22

    Participants 22

    Procedure 23

    Measures 25

    Employee Engagement 25

    Organizational Commitment 26

    Job Satisfaction 27

    Job Performance 27


  • Turnover Intent 29

    Results 29

    Preliminary Analyses 31

    Components of Engagement 31

    Components of Organizational Commitment 36

    Associations of Engagement and Organizational Commitment

    with Employment Outcomes 38

    Predicting Job Satisfaction, Performance, and Turnover Intent 42

    The Role of Engagement as a Mediator 45

    Discussion 47

    Structure of Employee Engagement 48

    The Role of Employee Engagement 49

    Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research 51

    Sample 51

    Social Desirability and Self-Report Bias 52

    Common Method Variance 53

    Further Examination of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale 54

    Expansion of Conceptual Framework 55

    Implications of Findings 55

    Return on Investment 56

    Work/Life Balance and Retention 56

    Workplace Policies and Procedures 57

    Conclusion 58

    References 60


  • List of Tables


    1. Principle Component Loadings of Employee Engagement

    and Organizational Commitment (Varimax Rotation) 34

    2. Principal Component Loadings of Employee Engagement

    (Varimax Rotation) 36

    3. Principal Component Loadings of Organizational Commitment

    (Varimax Rotation) 38

    4. Correlation Matrix for Engagement, Organizational Commitment,

    Job Satisfaction, Performance Perceptions, and Turnover Intent 41

    5. Summary of Hierarchical Regression Analyses for Organizational

    Commitment and Employee Engagement Predicting Job Satisfaction 43

    6. Summary of Hierarchical Regression Analyses for Organizational

    Commitment and Employee Engagement Predicting Job Performance 44

    7. Summary of Hierarchical Regression Analyses for Organizational

    Commitment and Employee Engagement Predicting Turnover Intentions 45


  • List of Figures


    1. Scree plot for 9 Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES) items and

    18 Organizational Commitment (TCM) scale items 33

    2 . Scree plot for 9 Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES) items 35

    3. Scree plot for 18 Three component Model of Organizational Commitment Scale

    (TCM) items 37

    4. Heuristic Mediation Model 46


  • List of Appendices


    A. Information/Consent Sheet with Ethics Approval 72

    B. Scales 74

    C. Demographic Information 78

    D. Bootstrap Analyses 79


  • Employee Engagement 1

    Engagement, Organizational Commitment, and Incremental Variance in the Measurement of Job Satisfaction, Performance, and Turnover Intent within the Canadian Forces


    In today's highly competitive global market, the effective management of human

    resources is vital for the growth and profitability of organizations. Faced with high