Antecedents and Outcomes Associated with High Levels of Engagement

  • Jan Hendrick Nel
  • Bennie Linde


Employee engagement is an emerging concept in the literature which demonstrates organisational benefits, yet little is known about the antecedents of engagement in a unionised environment. The purpose of this chapter is to identify the researched and validated antecedents of, and outcomes of, engagement through a systematic review of the literature that will have the greatest potential to increase the levels of engagement in a unionised environment. The synthesis of the results shows that engagement is considered a mediating variable in which antecedents influence engagement levels and engagement in turn leads to individual and organisational outcomes (Saks and Gruman, Hum Resour Dev Q 25(2): 155–182, 2014). Job resources, individual psychological states, leadership and a positive perception of the organisation have emerged from the synthesis as having a strong impact on the outcomes of engagement (Bailey et al., The meaning, antecedents and outcomes of employee engagement: A narrative synthesis. Int J Manag Rev 00: 1–23. doi:10.1111/ijmr.12077, 2015).


Antecedents of engagement Individual and organisational outcomes Levels of engagement Mediating variable Outcomes of engagement 


  1. Alfes, K., Truss, C., Soane, E. C., Rees, C., & Gatenby, M. (2013, November–December). The relationship between line manager behavior, perceived HRM practices, and individual performance: Examining the mediating role of engagement. Human Resources Management, 52(6), 839–859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bailey, C., Madden, A., Alfes, K., & Fletcher, L. (2015). The meaning, antecedents and outcomes of employee engagement: A narrative synthesis. International Journal of Management Reviews, 00, 1–23. doi: Scholar
  3. Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2007). The Job Demands-Resources model: state of the art. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22(3), 309–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bakker, A. B., Demerouti, E., & Lieke, L. (2012). Work engagement, performance, and active learning: The role of conscientiousness. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(2), 555–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bakker, A. B., & Xanthopoulou, D. (2013). Creativity and charisma among female leaders: the role of resources and work engagement. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24, 2670–2779.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bates, S. (2004). Getting engaged. HR MagazineGoogle Scholar
  7. Bhuvanaiah, T., & Raya, R. (2014, October–December). Employee engagement: Key to organisational success. SCMS Journal of Indian Management, 61–71.Google Scholar
  8. Bledow, R., Schmitt, A., Frese, M., & Kuhnel, J. (2011). The affective shift model of work engagement. American Psychological Association, 96(6), 1246–1257.Google Scholar
  9. Christian, M. S., Garza, A. S., & Slaughter, J. E. (2011). Work engagement: A qualitative review and test of its relations with task and contextual performance. Personnel Psychology, 64, 89–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Crawford, E. R., Rich, B. L., Buckman, B., & Bergeron, J. (2014). The antecedents and drivers of employee engagement. In C. Truss, R. Delbridge, K. Alfes, A. Shantz, & E. Soane, Employee engagement in theory and practice (pp. 57–81). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. George, J. M. (2011). The wider context, costs and benefits of work engagement. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 20(1), 53–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hakanen, J. J., Schaufeli, W. B., & Ahola, K. (2008). The Job Demands-Resources model: A three-year cross-lagged study of burnout, depression, commitment, and work engagement. Work & Stress 22(3), 224–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Halbesleben, J. R. (2011). The consequences of engagement: The good, the bad, and the ugly. European journal of work and organizational psychology, 20(1), 68–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., & Hayes, T. L. (2002). Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and business outcomes: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(2), 268–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Holbeche, L., & Springett, N. (2003). In Search of Meaning in the Workplace. Horsham: Roffey Park.Google Scholar
  16. Kahn, W. A. (1990). Psychological conditions of personal engagement and disengagement at work. Academy of Management Journal, 33(4), 692–724.Google Scholar
  17. Kular, S., Gatenby, M., Rees, C., Soane, E., & Truss, K. (2008). Employee Engagement: A Literature Review. Surrey: Kingston University.Google Scholar
  18. Kumar, P., & Swetha, G. (2011). A prognostic examination of employee engagement from its historical roots. International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, 2(3), 232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Macey, W. H., Schneider, B., Barbera, K. M., & Young, S. A. (2009). Employee Engagement: Tools for Analysis, Practice, and Competitive Advantage (First Edition ed.). Chichester West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  20. Macey, W., & Schneider, B. (2008). The Meaning of Employee Engagement. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 3–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W. B., & Leiter, M. P. (2001). Job burnout. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 397–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. May, D. R., Gilson, R. L., & Harter, L. M. (2004). The psychological conditions of meaningfulness, safety and availability and the engagement of the human spirit at work. Journal of Occupational Organisational Psychology, 77, 11–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rich, B. L., Lepine, J. A., & Crawford, E. R. (2010). Job engagement: Antecedents and effects on job performance. Academy of Management Journal, 53(3), 614–635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Robertson-Smith, G., & Markwick, C. (2009). Employee Engagement: A review of current thinking. University of Sussex. Brighton: Institute for Employment Studies.Google Scholar
  25. Saks, A. M. (2006). Antecedents and consequences of employee engagement. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 21(7), 600–619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Saks, A. M., & Gruman, J. A. (2014). What do we really know about employee engagement. Human Resources Development Quarterly, 25(2), 155–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Salanova, M., Agut, S., Peiró, J. M. (2005). Linking Organizational Resources and Work Engagement to Employee Performance and Customer Loyalty: The Mediation of Service Climate. Journal of Applied Psychology 90(6), 1217–1227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Scarlett, K. (2013, July 30). Scarlett Surveys International. Retrieved July 30, 2013, from
  29. Schaufeli, W. B. (2013). What is engagement? In C. Truss, K. Alfes, R. Delbridge, A. Shantz, & E. Soane (Eds.), Employee Engagement in Theory and Practice. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Shantz, M., Alfes, K., Truss, C., & Soane, E. (2013). The role of employee engagement in the relationship between job design and task performance, citizenship and deviant behaviours. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(13), 2608–2627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Soane, E., Truss, K., Alfes, K., Shantz, A., Rees, C., & Gatenby, M. (2012). Development and application of a new measure of employee engagement: the ISA engagement scale. Human resource development international, 15(5), 529–547.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Torrente, P., Salanova, M., Llorens, S., & Schaufeli, W.B. (2012). Teams make it work: How teams work engagement mediates between social resources and performance in teams. Psicothema, 24(1), 106–112.Google Scholar
  33. Truss, C., Shantz, A., Soane, E., Alfes, K., & Delbridge, R. (2013). Employee engagement, organisational performance and individual well-being: Exploring the evidence, developing the theory. The International Journal of Human Resources Management, 24(14), 2657–2669.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Welbourne, T. M., & Schlachter, S. (2014). Engaged in what? Virginia: The Incentive Research Foundation.Google Scholar
  35. Wollard, K. K., & Shuck, B. (2011). Antecedents to Employee Engagement: A structured review of the literature. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 13(4), 429–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Xanthopoulou, D., Bakker, A., Demerouti, E., & Schaufeli, W. (2009). Work engagement and financial returns: A diary study on the role o f job and personal resources. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (82), 183–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yalabik, Z. Y., Potaitoon, P., Chowne, J. A., & Rayton, B. A. (2013). Work engagement as a mediator between employee attitudes and outcomes. International Journal of Human Resource Management (24), 2799–2823.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Hendrick Nel
    • 1
  • Bennie Linde
    • 2
  1. 1.People and Business SolutionsBDO South AfricaJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.Economic and Management FacultyNorth-West UniversityPotchefstroomSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations