The experience of engagement within the working day: a mixed methods study

Luke Claude Fletcher, Katie Truss, Mark Gilman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Although research on engagement has flourished, there has been little attempt to examine the experience of engagement within the working day itself (Bakker et al, 2011). The purpose of this study was to identify what key factors are involved in individuals’ engagement within the working day. More specifically it aimed to explore the types of affective events (Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996) that underpin the most and least engaging situations during the workday.

A mixed methods approach was taken whereby employees from two organisations participated (N=26: 22). These individuals completed a 6-day quantitative work diary and a semistructured qualitative interview. Data from each source was analysed separately, and then triangulated to give a fuller interpretation.

Affective events were found to have an important role within daily experiences of engagement. Particularly significant were events that involved job design and job fit, management practices, and co-worker relations. In addition, regulatory processes, consistent with conservation of resources (COR- Hobfoll, 1989) theory, were also critical.

Findings may be limited to the current UK context, and restricted by the relatively small sample size.

Research/Practical Implications
The findings suggest that affective events and COR theories are useful for understanding engagement. Furthermore, practical interventions that apply these theories to job design, management practice, co-worker relations, and to individual coaching may help foster and sustain engagement. Originality/Value This study is one of the first to explore engagement using a mixed methods approach, and to examine the ‘most’ and ‘least’ engaging situations within the working day.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstract proceedings of the 16th EAWOP Congress 2013
EditorsGuido Hertel, Carmen Binnewies, Stefan Krumm, Heinz Holling, Martin Kleinmann
PublisherEuropean Association of Work and Organizational Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013
Externally publishedYes

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