Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings includes abstracts of all papers and symposia presented at the annual conference, plus 6-page abridged versions of the “Best Papers” accepted for inclusion in the program (approximately 10%). Papers published in the Proceedings are abridged because presenting papers at their full length could preclude subsequent journal publication. Please contact the author(s) directly for the full papers.

Engaged in what? Role theory perspectives for enhancing employee engagement research and practice

    Employee engagement has gained in popularity exponentially. However, with all the practitioner and academic interest in the topic, there continues to be inconsistent definitions, low reports of causal research and we suggest missing answers to an important question: engaged in what? In order to explore this issue, we apply role theory to specifically map engagement to multiple in-role behaviors. In this paper we start with an overview of the employee engagement literature, including an analysis of the roles currently studied by researchers. We then suggest ways in which the employee engagement research and practice can improve through the use of role theory and a focus on five specific work-related roles (core job, team member, organizational member, career or occupational role and an entrepreneurial or innovator role). Lastly, we add propositions that help move employee engagement research beyond the study of a single role, further explicating what role-based behaviors engagement might be improving or decreasing.

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