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Title: A longitudinal analysis of a partial mediation model of employee engagement in a knowledge-intensive firm
Author: McLean, M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 4374
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2014
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Research interest in employee engagement (EE) has recently intensified. This thesis document (the study) adds to our understanding of EE by conceptually developing and empirically testing a partial mediation model of EE within a smaller knowledge-intensive setting. The study’s aim is to longitudinally examine whether, how and why there were changes in the level and nature of EE and in satisfaction with antecedents of engagement. Linkages between these constructs are explored. An HRM ‘black box’ is thus investigated. The case study organisation, site of the empirical work, is Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES), a world leading high-tech company which supplies software and professional services to the architecture, engineering and construction sector to aid green building design and reduce energy consumption in new and existent buildings. The research methodology in this study adopts a realist stance. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered between 2008-2010 via three employee surveys, interviews, focus groups and company documents during a period of great market turbulence at IES. The results reveal that overall EE rose to a very high level, contrary to the general trends observed in the UK. Emotional engagement remained high and stable, while both cognitive and behavioural engagement levels significantly improved. Despite a volatile business background, it seems that the strategic company responses to survey feedback via targeted actions and HR interventions sustained (or improved) satisfaction with all antecedents of engagement, apart from that of rewards and recognition. This longitudinal study suggests that four antecedents can be described as fundamental drivers of high engagement within a knowledge-intensive firm during this difficult period: long-term strategic direction and alignment; a strong people-centric culture; job satisfaction and knowledge-sharing. There is a paucity of prior longitudinal academic study into EE, especially in a knowledge-intensive context and in a recession; this study contributes to these knowledge gaps. Further, the study offers conceptual insights into a contextualised partial linkage model of EE and an analysis of how an EE strategy can be implemented in practice. The study thereby advances the limited extant studies, directly contributing to gaps in knowledge, methodological approaches and our understanding of practice. Moreover, implications for professional practice and future research direction are explicated in the study’s conclusions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available