Academic journal article Manager

The Managers' Influence on the Workers' Engagement-A Case Study of Public Sector Workers

Academic journal article Manager

The Managers' Influence on the Workers' Engagement-A Case Study of Public Sector Workers

Article excerpt


Organisational engagement is a relatively new concept in academic literature and the interest in it among practitioners is constantly growing. Proponents of the concept highlight the positive influence of engagement on the success of the company measured by workers' loyalty, productivity, profitability and customers' satisfaction. Engagement is a kind of a worker's attitude expressing his specific behaviour towards the attitude object, supported by the emotional attitude towards a given system of values, organisational culture, management style or company aims. This engagement is a kind of a barter between a worker and an organisation. It can be defined as the willingness to make an effort for an organisation, connected with passion and devotion. This effort exceeds formal, current duties. It is a voluntary effort which can be particularly well-visible in nonstandard situations (situation of conflict, crisis, overtime work, undertaking additional obligations). The engagement object can be organisation, profession, work, social environment. The workers' engagement means that they are loyal to their employers, trust both supervisors and co-workers, are not interested in changing their job, are proud of their work for a given company and the boundary between private and professional life is often blurred (Juchnowicz, 2010). The aim of this article is to state whether the attitude of the public sector organisation management has a positive influence on the workers' engagement. The article also tries to show differences in the management's attitudes in Poland and abroad. For the needs of aims verification a survey was carried out among 1716 workers employed in 220 purposefully chosen public sector organisations located mainly in Europe. The research sample was agreed on the basis of information available in the data base of the European Institution of Public Administration (EIPA). All organisations of the public sector included in the data base were invited to take part in this research.

2.Literature review

It is possible to differentiate two ways of understanding organisational engagement in the source literature. The first way was introduced by Kahn and was based on the personal worker's commitment based on the individual perception of the working environment as a place of personality manifestation. Organisational engagement is correlated with three attributes: sensibleness, safety and availability (Kahn, 1990), (May at all. 2004), (Institute of Employment Studies), (Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)), (Institute for Employment Study). The second way was initiated by Maslach, Leiter and Schaufel and is based on the work commitment which is treated as a state contradictory to the professional burnout and it means performing tasks in a dynamic manner, willingly, with commitment (Maslach and Leiter, 1997), (Schaufeli at all., 2002), (Catepillar), (Gallup Organization), (The Business Communicator), (Hewitt Associates). A common feature of these ways of understanding engagement is adopting a perspective for performing individual tasks.

Considerations of practitioners were dominated by the second way of understanding engagement so in their papers engagement is understood as:

* engagement and enthusiasm level (Attridge, 2009), (Gallup, 2006),

* willingness to make their own contribution to the success of the organisation (Towers Perrin, 2003),

* hierarchy of relationships with the organisation close to the Maslow's hierarchy of needs (Markos and Sridevi, 2010), (Penna, 2011),

* performance of duties exceeding ordinary requirements (Robbins at all., 2004).

There is no coherent concept of organisational engagement in the source literature (Balcerek-Wieszala, Hawrysz, 2012), (Hawrysz, 2010). However, Macey's and Schneider's proposal is very interesting. They state that organisational engagement is a feature, state and behaviour (Macey and Schneider 2008). As a feature, organisational engagement concerns mainly people with proactive personality, autotelic approach, conscientious, having a positive influence on others and a positive attitude towards work, active, full of energy and easily adapting to new requirements and challenges. …

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