Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Investigating employee engagement in SMEs in United Arab Emirates
Author: Sarwar, Shagufta
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 5849
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis is focused on gaining a deeper understanding of the phenomena of employees' engagement at work, along with, exploring its antecedents and consequences within the confines of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the United Arab Emirates. Employee engagement has garnered lots of interest in the last two decades in both the academic and the practitioner communities particularly, with respect to large corporations. However, research in small- and medium-sized firms has somewhat lagged behind. Given that the practical interest in employee engagement at work has outstripped the available academic evidence, the current work seeks to answer the fundamental questions like how can engagement be increased and how and why it benefits individuals and organisations. Hence, a three-component model of employee engagement was proposed whose academic significance stems from two facts. First, engagement as a construct was studied through the theoretical lens of the social exchange theory which is underpinned by the concept of the reciprocity norm that governs the interactions at the workplace. The less formal structure of SMEs enabled the understanding of a bidirectional transaction and its implications on the phenomenon of engagement. Second, given the paradigm shift in the UAE's economy from a fuel-based model to a service-based model made it worthy to examine what was happening in 90% of the registered businesses. According to the Department of Economic Development, SMEs account for 92% of the economic contribution in the non-oil sector and employs up to 86% of the workforce in the UAE. Although the concept of employee engagement has grown in popularity, it has undergone significant development in terms of definition, measurement and conceptualisation while the research in the academic community has lagged behind. Having an in-depth review of the existing engagement literature from psychology, human resources, organisational behaviour and management fields, the author recognised that there was a need for not only theory verification (to test the predetermined factors in a new context) but also theory generation (uncovering of any additional factors) with respect to the concept of engagement. Based on this, a mixed methodology approach was adopted for the purpose of this study. Both survey design and detailed one-to-one interviews were utilised to investigate the relationships among antecedents and consequences of employee engagement in the SME setting. In particular, this study provided a theory-based empirical evidence regarding whether the relation with the employer, the relation with colleagues, the provision of performance feedback and good conditions in workplace affect employee engagement. Furthermore, the study also investigated how employee engagement directly and indirectly leads to better job performance, lower intention to leave, increase organisational commitment and reduction in employee cynical behaviour. The sample size comprised of 341 surveys (SME employees) and 56 interviews with employees and owners/managers respectively.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available