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RUNNING HEAD: Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 1
A Literature Review of Employee Engagement’s Relationship to Organizational
PSY8740 I/O Psychology
Dr. Bruce Gillies
Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 2
The paper will reflect on multiple sources to support the idea that Employee engagement
will increase organizational commitment. The papers have been documented from many
cultures and locations. The supporting papers will be evaluated for scientific merit and
related to the thesis in a qualitative manner. No casual relationship can be made because
it study is not purely experimental, but there is an inference to an association.
Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 3
The purpose of this paper will be to examine the preexisting literature on the
constructs of employee engagement and organizational commitment. The in depth
analysis of these constructs has given the author of this paper a plethora of choice
information. To start, employee engagement (EE) will be defined. This construct can be
described as "an individual employee's cognitive, emotional, and behavioral state directed
toward desired organizational outcomes" (Shuck & Wollard, 2010). From an industrial
organizational psychologist perspective, this can be viewed as the employees focus
directed towards organizational goals. If the employee is not focused towards the
company’s goals, then the company will suffer. The next construct is organizational
commitment (OC). A quick definition of OC is the intent of an employee to continue
their employment with a company. The depth of this construct has been furthered by
Allen and Meyer (1990). According to Allen and Meyer (1990) there are multiple levels
of commitment an employee can have. Affective, continuance, and normative are their
three commitment styles. These commitment styles can be reviewed into a paper of it’s
own, but the objective is to see the relationship they have with EE. In a paper by Kataria,
Rastogi, and Garg (2013) EE is shown to be a key component in the organizational
effectiveness. The reason this is relevant to the study is the statistical significance this
study shows makes the link to the importance of retaining employees.
Following the trail of terms, an employee that feels important and connected at
work would be engaged. This same employee would also have a high affective
commitment. Putting ideas together we can see a trend start to emerge. Employees that
are engaged are less likely to leave. When putting this idea into a scientific hypothesis
Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 4
we could say that the constructs of EE and OC should have a positive significant
relationship if put through a correlational study. That is to say the more engaged an
employee feels, the more likely they are to stay with an organization.
Before the constructs are compared in further articles, they will be clearly defined.
In a paper by Little and Little (2006) EE is described in great detail. The writers of this
commentary discern the theory of employee engagement. The study investigates how the
construct employee engagement is labeled. Depending on whose model is observed there
is little deviance in the overall definition. Lucey, Bateman and Hines (2005) described
the employee engagement by "how each individual employee connects with your
company and how each individual employee connects with your customers" (p. 12). A
critical term in the model is “connect.” If an employee is connected to an organization,
then they are less likely to leave. This is an example of how the current study will
consider qualitative evidence to support its theories. Another model for EE clarification
is by Wellins and Concelman (2004) "the illusive force that motivates employees to
higher levels of performance" (p.l). This illusive force is what the paper intends to show
as real and impressionable to other variants. The resource of employees is a commodity
taken for granted in organizations. Turnover rates for companies drive down profits and
cause damage to profitability. The term turnover can be described by its antonym. In the
same article by Little and Little (2006) “OC is defined by the degree to which an
individual identifies with an organization and is committed to its goals.” Now there is a
clear definition to both the constructs, the article offered one more critical item. Studies
have been concluded to scrutinize the association between the two constructs. Spelled
Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 5
out by previous research the reader can see that “Employee engagement has been shown
to have a statistical relationship with productivity, profitability, employee retention…”
(Buckingham & Coffman, 1999; Coffman & Gonzalez-Molina, 2002). Using this as the
springboard into the current paper, the next section will review other papers for scientific
merit. This will be done in effort to support the theories, and further bolster future
The next article we will review is by Hussain and Rehman (2013). This reading
studies the association among the HRM exercises executed by the company and
personnels’ intent to continue working for the company in a positive manner. Human
resource management (HRM) exercises used to study are “training and Development,
development of teams, performance appraisal, internal communication system,
employment security, employee empowerment and reward and compensation (2013).”
Training and development is important to the employee because of knowledge they need
to successfully complete a task and feel as part of the organization. Along the same lines,
teams will help create bonding relationships that can help produce more. Performance
appraisal is in the same category as communication because it is a form of feedback loops
the employee can count on. Employee empowerment may be the most critical aspect of
this paper because it has been found in many studies the allowing employees to have a
sense of involvement and sovereignty over their jobs increases their OC (Seibert et al.,
If the construct of EE were to be broken down into more developed elements,
then they could be described like the terminology above. The article in review has strong
scientific merit. The construct they wish to study are strongly defined and backed up
Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 6
with many evidence-based researchers. In this article four hundred surveys were
dispersed between middle management of textile industry. Mentioned in the article above
there are four human resource management exercises: “person-organization fit,
employment security, communication and training and development are contributing
strongly in creating the employees’ intents to stay with the company (Hussai & Rehman,
2013).” Considering the populations these construct are attempting to cover, this sample
size is moderate to large. The data was analyzed using an ANOVA. The data was
appropriately sorted using this method considering they had multiple hypothesis and
many different correlations. The results were a strong positive inter-relationship was
discovered between HRM practices and employees’ retaining. The p-value of the
regression was less than .05, and fell well beneath the industry standard for significance.
It is determined the embracing of human resource management practices boosts
employees’ Organizational Commitment. This study was limited to the textile industry.
This gives the study somewhat limited generalizability. The constructs studied though
are able to relate to any organization that has the need for employees. This article is
strong in scientific merit and shows a significant relationship between the suggested
constructs for the thesis.
The next article investigated for scientific merit is by Kataria, A., Rastogi, R., &
Garg, P. (2013). Researcher’s curios about organizational performance were fascinated
in discovering the personal opinions of employees’ and their leaders. The question the
wondered was did it affect their work-related views and actions. The construct of EE is
further defined in this research article by looking back into the historical presence it’s had
since the 1990’s. The researcher Khan described EE as “people employ and express
Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 7
themselves physically, cognitively and emotionally during work role performance (Khan,
1990)." A reason of this importance is Kahn is described as one of the first researchers
for this construct. The article then describes the construct of organizational effectiveness.
This can relate to OC by translating the organizational effectives of a company to also
include low turnover rate of employees. It is easy to comprehend how companies could
not be doing as well as they could due to attrition. This analysis tried a meditation model
connecting leader charisma to organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) through work
engagement. The descriptive statistics showed a 304 participant sample size. This is a
strong sample size. The demographics showed confound to the generalizability because
or how such a large response was from males (81%). All the rest of the descriptive
statistics showed relatively normal means for the sample. The way the researchers
gathered the information was with evidence based research methods. They used the
UWES-9 to gather engagement and the 8-item scale developed by Mott for organizational
effectiveness. The overall scores showed a significant positive relationship p-value of .01.
This is further qualitative evidence that there will be a strong positive significant
relationship between the constructs of EE and OC.
Dr. Mark Huselid is a tenured professor of the Human Resources Strategy at
Rutgers University. His article is about HRM practices and productivity. Human
resource management practices are the actions that management takes to keep their
employees engaged. This is why the article in review is related to the topic of EE and
OC. The theory Huselid (1995) offers is that high performing companies often have their
employees running off of good HRM system and this crates low turnover. This translates
into their employees are engaged and have high OC. Huselid (1995) states “An internal
Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 8
promotion system provides a strong incentive for employees to remain with a firm and,
when combined with the appropriate incentive compensation and performance appraisal
systems, can magnify the returns from investments in employee development activities.”
The way this can be viewed for this paper is magnifying returns are employees that stay
with the company and give back. This study broadly assessed the links between
techniques of job practices and organization performance. Scores specify these exercises
have a fiscal and significant influence on personnel outcomes (staff renewal rate and
efficiency) and procedures of company fiscal functioning. This means a company will
produce more capital with lower turnover rate, and a way to do that is engaged
Dr. Mushtaq is the Vice Chancellor at Transworld Muslim University. The paper
means to explore the relationship between EE and OC. The article calls OC turnover
intention, but when looking at the definition of the two constructs it is obvious they are
similar. According to Mushtaq (2013) employees that are engaged tend to be content,
excited and active. This energy drives up organizational performance. This is one of the
main reasons for this type of studies. This model becomes cyclical when one begins to
explore it. Company drives up EE, OC increases, organizational performance rises, and
everyone benefits. From CEO to customer the environment is changed for the better.
Understanding this better there must more focused discovery on how this interaction
happens between EE and OC. There is a low amount of research fixated on
understanding the connection among employee engagement and organizational
commitment. The analysis-exposed engagement applies its direct positive impact on
facility employees' and negative impact on turnover intents. The researchers showed
Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 9
operational variable in the causal associations. Some of the strengths of this article are its
realistic applicability. A fault for the study relating in the USA is likely cultural
“Employee Satisfaction: Mediator of Organizational Service Orientation and
Employee Retention” discovers if there is an association between organizational service
orientation, employee satisfaction, and employee retention. The authors do this by using
cluster and simple random sampling. The researchers did this by evaluating the schools
within Uganda (Kasekende, Byarugaba, & Nakate, 2013). The public school system is
much like the one in the US where is a part of the tax system set in place so everyone has
an equal opportunity to attend. This can be generalized to multiple public servant
positions like police, fire rescue, or public works. One of the problems that might be
pulled from the study is the cultural difference one country may have from another. In
some culture the attention from management might be seen as bothersome, or
intimidating. A way to practice this material for the benefit of a company would be to
use it in appropriate context. Engagement happens at an organizational level. If the
company is multicultural then this must be taken into account, and certain levels of adjust
must be made. This article was a cross-sectional study that had complications of shared
method biases. The paper stresses the necessity for schools to acclimate guidelines that
promote service orientation in order to advance employee satisfaction and retention. The
results of the paper were that of their sample size of 368 that the second hypothesis
confirmed a strong association “when employees are satisfied on the job, they exhibit
high levels of retention, and the rate of turnover decreases (Kasekende, Byarugaba, &
Nakate, 2013).” This is an article that confirms the hypothesis of this paper and does it
Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 10
with scientific merit. The research uses strong validity and reliability within their
methods. They back up their research with evidence based theories and practices. For
the qualitative measure it is a strong case study for the correlation of EE and OC.
Building relationships for retention (2009). A third party writer did this study.
He added his own unbiased notes and a place the articles in context prepares this brief. It
has been stated innumerable times that any organization's best advantage is its staff. Yet
that idea continues to go ignored by several corporation managers who place employee
wellbeing down their list of urgencies. These companies do not always do this
intentionally, and unavoidable circumstances tend to arise. Employees naturally feel
unappreciated and plunging optimism and incentive is nearly unavoidable. This can
happen upon the best companies. The market may crash causing a downward trend in
spending, and it causes an economic slump. This causes the companies to adjust and the
employees happen to feel the strain the hardest. When these types of despair, or
disconnect, happens the employees with further withdrawal themselves from the
organization. A UK company has now upturned convention by initiating a training
enterprise with employee welfare at the center of development plans. This giving keeps
employees the sense of engagement to keep them around for the benefit of the company.
From the previous studies one can assume that these engage employees have a greater
chance at finding success and foster OC. It has been a clever move to integrate business
and employee necessities, and assisted systematize training across business to business
and customer divisions. One of the creative ways they did this was by using a “Six
Sigma approach to define, measure, analyze, improve and control the problem (2009).”
The ending result was the change in the culture of the company to more aggressively seek
Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 11
out the OC of their employees. The paper offers deliberate insights. Practical thinking
has persuaded the largest companies in the world to adjust their HRM practices. Here the
paper shows the effectiveness in a real world situation on having engaged employees will
create higher organizational commitment.
Hypothesis: There is a statistically significant positive correlation between Employee
Engagement and Organizational Commitment through
Null-Hypothesis: The research will not show a relationship between Employee
Engagement and Organizational Commitment through qualitative analysis.
Participants chosen for this study had a very limited diversity. This fact will be
discussed later in the paper. The people who did choose to participate were mostly
European American, males, ages ranging from 35-55, that completed college, and were
entry level or management. There were a multitude of ethnicities and religions that were
not included into the study and this will also be discussed further later in the paper.
The study was conducted through an online survey service.
Through the multitudes of previous research, the reader can assume that there is a
relationship between EE and OC. Some of the biggest confounds regarding this research
is the lack of investigation done in the western civilization. It is difficult to say these
constructs have generalizability without further studies done. The reason for this is to
show the diversity of the constructs definition. In the first part of the paper the reader can
see the constructs described by their definition in model theory. Further in the paper the
constructs are put into functional studies to see how they relate. There were no papers
Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 12
found that, done with scientific merit, did not find significance between EE and OC. This
is good because the evidence is mounting to provide strong arguments to companies
seeking consultation for egregious attrition. The only issue with this is there are not any
papers done with scientific merit concluding no significance. It’s always good to get a
full picture of insight when trying to discuss theoretical topics. Further studies that can
be done using samples that have high generalizability would be a benefit to the
theoretical development of employee engagement and organizational commitment.
Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 13
Allen N. J. & Meyer J. P. (1990), ‘The measurement and antecedents of affective,
continuance and normative commitment on the organization’, Journal of
Occupational Psychology, vol. 63(1), pp.1-18.
Buckingham, M. & C. Coffman (1999). First, break all the rules: what the world's
greatest managers do differently. New York, NY: Simon & Shuster.
Building relationships for retention. (2009). Strategic Direction, 25(7), 6-10.
Coffman, C. & G. Gonzalez-Molina (2002). Follow this path: How the world 's greatest
organizations drive growth by unleashing human potential. New York, NY:
Warner Books, Inc
Huselid M. A., (1995), ‘The impact of human resource management practices on
turnover, productivity and corporate financial performance’, Academy of
Management Journal, vol. 38(3), pp.635-672.
Hussain T. Rehman S. S., (2013) Do Human Resource Management Practices Inspire
Employees’ Retention? From: Research Journal of Applied Sciences. Vol. 6 (pp.
3625 – 3633).
Kahn W A (1990), "Psycholo gi cal Conditi on s of Personal Engagement and
Disengagement at Work", Academy of Management Journal , Vol. 33, No. 4, pp.
Kasekende F., Byarugaba K.J., Nakate M., (2013). Employee Satisfaction: Mediator of
Organizational Service Orientation and Employee Retention. From: Journal of
Business and Management. Vol. 19 Iss. 3. (pp. 41).
Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 14
Kataria, A., Rastogi, R., & Garg, P. (2013). Organizational effectiveness as a function of
employee engagement. South Asian Journal of Management, 20(4), 56-73.
Little, B., & Little, P. (2006). EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT: CONCEPTUAL ISSUES.
Journal of Organizational Culture, Communication and Conflict, 10(1), 111-120.
Lucey, J. N. Bateman & P. Hines. (2005). Why major lean transitions have not been
sustained. Management Services, 49(2), 9-14.
Mushtaq A.S. (2013) Examining Work Engagement as a Precursor to Turnover Intentions
of Service Employees. International Journal of Information, Business and
Management. Date 11/2013 Vol. 5 iss. 4 (pp.118-235)
Seibert, S.E., S.R. Silver and W.A. Randolph, 2004. Taking empowerment to the next
level: A multiple- level model of empowerment, performance and satisfaction.
Acad. Manag. J., 47(3): 332-349.
Shuck B and Wollard K (2010), "Employee Engagement and HRD: A Seminal Review of
the Foundations", Human Resource development Review, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 89-
Wellins, R. & J. Concelman. (2005). Creating a culture for engagement. Workforce
Performance Solutions. Retrieved August 1, 2005 from www.WPSmag.com.
Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment Review 15