The relational context of employee engagement: an intrinsic perspective

dc.contributor.authorSmith, Christine L., author
dc.contributor.authorByrne, Zinta S., advisor
dc.contributor.authorGibbons, Alyssa, committee member
dc.contributor.authorVacha-Haase, Tammi, committee member
dc.contributor.authorCross, Jennifer, committee member
dc.description2014 Summer.
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of the current study was to expand on the existing understanding of the relational context of employee engagement. Previous studies and theories applied to understanding the relational context of work and employee engagement have predominately adopted an instrumental perspective of relationships. An instrumental perspective of relationships assumes individuals engage in relationships (and benefit from them) because the relationship is a means to an end, with the end being some other reason such as task-related support, power, influence, or other extrinsic reasons. Conversely, an intrinsic perspective of relationships views them as beneficial due to the inherent enjoyment, interest, and holistic wellbeing individuals experience as a result of their interactions. Based on an intrinsic perspective of relationships, grounded in self-determination theory, this study tests the notion that the quality of work relationships is an important consideration for more fully understanding the relational context of employee engagement. Data collected from 364 working adults, across diverse industries and occupations, revealed that leader relationship quality (intrinsic perspective) is a stronger predictor of employee engagement than leader support (instrumental perspective), thereby supporting the argument that the previous focus of engagement research (i.e., mainly adopting an instrumental perspective of relationships) is incomplete. Additionally, results showed that coworker relationship quality (relative to leader relationship quality) is a stronger predictor of satisfaction of relatedness needs at work. Overall, the results of this study suggest there is value in examining an intrinsic perspective of relationships in regards to engagement.
dc.format.mediumborn digital
dc.format.mediumdoctoral dissertations
dc.publisherColorado State University. Libraries
dc.rightsCopyright and other restrictions may apply. User is responsible for compliance with all applicable laws. For information about copyright law, please see
dc.subjectwork relationships
dc.subjectemployee engagement
dc.titleThe relational context of employee engagement: an intrinsic perspective
dcterms.rights.dplaThis Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights ( You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). State University of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
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