Statement of Problem

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1.1 Statement of Problem

How organizations gain a competitive advantage? The simple question is al-ways challenging organization managerial teams who have make great effort to imple-ment various ways to achieve organizational goals and try to outstand among their com-petitors. As well as this, to retain the employees’ success is another job of managerial team. Therefore, style of management to serve of both organization and employees’

success needs to be sorted out.

Marketing approaches: product differentiation or low cost management can maintain business competitive condition (Porter, 1990). Moreover, proper human re-sources managements, employee and organization developments, can be partial of busi-ness success (DCU, 1996).

In terms of human resource, it is believed that employee engagement is a pri-mary key to help companies maintain their competitive advantages and one of drivers for organizational success (SHRM, 2007), (DDI, 2011.), and Bakker (2009) also sup-ported this claim that engagement can make a true difference and lead to organizational advantages. Furthermore, George (2011) stated that work engagement usually engaged employees as a win-win situation for everyone.

Engagements, relationship between employees and organization, are famed in many facets: employee engagement, organization engagement, team engagement, work engagement, job engagement, task engagement, and work engagement. These could be similar or different depending on organization’s context. Therefore, engagement should be focused on particular point.


Kahn (1990) who defined employee engagement as the harnessing of organiza-tion members ‘selves to their work roles firstly studied the term of engagement.

Through engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during their role performances.

Furthermore, employee engagement was conceptualized in many different ways. For example, Harter, Schmidt and Hayes (2002) defined employee engagement as the individual's involvement, satisfaction and enthusiasm for work. Wellins & Con-celman (2004) also defined employee engagement as the illusive force that motivates employees to higher levels of performance, while Robinson, Perryman and Hayday (2004) defined engagement as a positive attitude held by the employee towards the organization and its values. Engagement is also defined as the positive opponent of burnout (Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004). However, Kahn (1990), Harter Schmidt and Hayes (2002), and Wellins & Concelman (2004) had studied employee engagement that focused on work. While the studies of employee engagement by Robinson, Perryman and Hayday (2004) focus on engaging with organization.

Since engagement is crucial in running businesses, there are many consultant organizations working about engagement such as The Gallup, Hewitt Associates, Em-ployee engagement index: EEI, Development Dimensions International: DDI , The In-ternational Survey Research: ISR,The Institute for Employment Studies, Alpha Meas-ure, etc.

The Gallop (2006) defined engaged employees as those who work enthusiasti-cally with a passion and drive the organization forward including feel involved with their work. By such engagement, these employees will increase business profitability,


productivity, and safety. Moreover, ISR (2004) defined employee engagement as a pro-cess which enables an organization to increase employees’ commitments and continu-ations to achieve superior results. As well as this, DDI (2011) defined terms of this engagement as the extent to which people value, enjoy and believe in what they do.

Blesswhite (2011) also asserted that the company should maximize employees’ satis-faction in order to meet maximum contribution for organization. While, EEI (2005) defined engagement is more than simply job satisfaction. It also encompasses company commitment, career development, and work relationships, manager, teamwork and cus-tomer.

In business, engagement mostly is focused on both organization and employee engagements. Both of them shared some common concepts: organizational commit-ment, organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), job involvement and flow, attitude or behavior, individual or group, and job satisfaction (Kumar & Swetha, 2011). However, the benefits of engagement are also interesting.

The benefits of engagement have been researched by business and academic sectors since 1990. The models of engagement in figure 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 present why engagement is matter. DDI (n.d.) proposed engaged employees are greater royalty and increased their efforts to their organizational success that will cause customers’ satis-faction, increase retention, profitability, and revenue growth.

Figure 1.1 DDI’s Engagement Value Proposition Source: adapt from DDI, n.d.



Sak (2005) indicated that job satisfaction, organizational commitment, lower employees’ turnover rate and increase proper organizational citizenship behavior are consequences of employee engagement.

Figure 1.2 Antecedences and consequences of employee engagement Source : Sak, 2005

Wherefore, engaged employees can optimize organizations to gain more com-petitive advantage. When employees are engage, they will have better performance that leads the business growth.

They, then, are likely to work harder in order to get better result and work with the organization for years. Engaged employees enjoy working every day (Sak, 2005).

Engagement also is beneficial to both the organization and the employees.

The studies show that there have been positive relations between engagement and well-being (Hayter, Smeed & Robertson, 2011). Furthermore, Fairhurst and O’con-nor (2010) explained the connections between engagement and well-being are engage-ment in the absence of well-being can lead to a burned-out and unstable engageengage-ment.


- Reward and recognition - Procedural justice


While Engagement with well-being enables sustained employee performance or sus-tainable engagement.

As the reasons, there are many facets of engagements: job, work, team, ployee, and organization. Thus, according to figure1.3, this present study viewed em-ployee engagement as an emem-ployee who engages with task, work or job, team, and or-ganization. Work is a primary contact point between the organization and employee.

Work unit is a piece of the whole organization’s jigsaw. Every work unit is involved in organizational performing. Work engagement is mainly focused on each organiza-tion level as the figure 1.3 below.

Figure 1.3 Types of employee engagement

Work engagement is assumed as the opponent of burnout (Maslach & Leiter ,1997). After investigating burnout for more than 25 years, Schaufeli et al (2002) found that work engagement was a positive fulfilling in the state of mind that is characterized by vigor, absorption, and dedication.

organization engagement

team engagement

work or job engagement

task engagment


Vigor is explained to the extent that employees feel stimulated and energized at work, and how willing they are to invest their energy and effort in their work.

Dedication, which can be depicted as significant and meaningful work to the employees, is characterized by feelings such as significance, enthusiasm, pride, inspi-ration and challenge.

Absorption is characterized by feelings of being fully occupied and gripped with one’s work, so, by the time being, it is found that the employees will have difficulties to detach themselves from their work.

The characteristics of employees, who are highly work engaged, is described by Schaufeli, Bakker, and Salanova (2006) who illustrated that the engaged employees will have high level of energy with their enthusiasm. Moreover, they are often fully immersed but are not addicted to their work. They also enjoy other things apart from their work. However, this is different than workaholism who do not work hard because of a strong and irresistible inner drive but they believe that working is fun ( Bakker &

Demerouti, 2009).

However, job-demand resource model has influenced work engagement and employee performance, such as in-role, extra role, creativity, and financial turnover (Bakkerand & Demerouti, 2009) as depicted in figure 1.4.

Work engagement is important to an organization since work engagement is one of positive organizational behaviors which is contributed to the bottom line – perfor-mance and client satisfaction (Bakker & Schaufeli, 2008).


Figure 1.4 Job demands – resources Model Source: Bakker & Demerouti, 2009

Furthermore, Work engagement is positively associated with job satisfaction, organization commitment and citizenship behavior while it is negatively related to in-tention to quit (Saks, 2005). Work engagement is also associated with positive employ-ees’ attitudes, proactive behavior, high level of employemploy-ees’ well-being, increasing in-dividual job and organizational performance (Bakker & Demerouti, 2009). As well as this, engaged workers seem to have better mental and psychosomatic health (Shimazu

& Schaufeli, 2009).


On the other hand, employees with higher of work engagement will elevate their vigor, dedication, and absorption to meet higher performance. This will cause ‘over-engaged’ and can distort the work-life balance when employees take work home. They will heavily concentrate on work and become workaholism.

Work engagement can be different and similar to workaholism. Bakker (2011) explains this relationship in figure 1.4. Engaged employees are characterized by high levels of activation and pleasure whereas workaholism are characterized by high levels of activation and unpleased. Moreover, burnout employees, an opposite pole of work engagement, have low levels of activation and unpleasant whilst satisfied employees are not placed in both engaged and workaholism because of their low levels of activa-tion, but they are still happy to work in the organizations.

Figure 1.5 work-related subjective well-being Source: (Bakker, 2011)


Therefore, engaged employees may became to workaholism when they lose their happiness in work while workaholism may engage if they perceive happiness at work. From model of work-related subjective well-being, workaholism is related to work engagement with pleasant working, but on the opposite pole. Thus, organizational management should emphasize on employee well-being in order to prevent working addiction or workaholism.

It can be suggested that an absorption, one of three components of work engage-ment, could be related to workaholism because an absorption is defined as feelings of being fully occupied and gripped with one’s work that will make such employees una-ble to detach themselves from work. That will result in putting more effort and working unpleasantly. Finally, they will be workaholism as explained in figure 1.4.

However, Schaufeli, Taris and Rhenen (2008) suggested that work engagement and workaholism were related to different variables: hard working and organizational loyalty. Workaholism will find it difficult to maintain mental health and social contacts outside work whereas engaged workers have better mental health and social contact. It is hardly to find some research about influence of work engagement on workaholism.

Moreover , Shimazu et al (2012) asserted that workaholism and work engagement are two different kinds of concepts that are oppositely related to well-being and perfor-mance. Hence, it is recommended to investigate the relationship between work engage-ment and workaholism to support previous claim that workaholism could be beneficial to work engagement.


Since work engagement is important, the level to enhance work engagement became an organizational strategy, and the method to create an engagement has been implemented. However, there are many impacts on work engagement, such as, personal factors (personality or personal resources), organizational factors (job resources and organization culture), and external factors (socio-cultural) (Bakker ,2009 ;Bakker &

Demerouti,2009 ; Ferguson, 2007).

This present study aims to study an influence of culture on work engagement and workaholism because both work engagement and workaholism are types of behav-ior which employees behave in their work; meanwhile, culture also gives an impact on behavior (figure 1.6).

Figure 1.6 Behavior process Behavior


Culture drives work engagement that is attracted by the social context, presented in figure 1.7. This figure explained that the organization is influenced by many cultural contributions: strategy, person's system and process, structure capacity and capability.

Leadership, including organization’s value and culture, influenced push - pull employee engagement. These contributions in work, team and organization will drive appropriate employee behavior that affects customer experience and organization performance.

Figure 1.7 Influence process of culture on work engagement Source: Adapted from Right managements organizational effectiveness

framework (Right managements, 2011) Customer

Dans le document The DART-Europe E-theses Portal (Page 98-108)