IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Employee Engagement: A Literature Review


  • Li Sun
  • Chanchai Bunchapattanasakda


Employee engagement is an important issue in management theory and practice. However, there are still major differences in the concept, theory, influencing factors and outcomes of employee engagement, and there is still no authoritative standard. This paper attempts to review and summarize previous research results on employee engagement. Two kinds of definitions of employee engagement are identified- employee engagement as a multi-faceted construct (cognition, emotions and behaviors) and as a unitary construct (a positive state of mind, a dedicated willingness, the opposite of burnout). Three theoretical frameworks are used to explain the varying degrees of employee engagement- Needs-Satisfaction framework, Job Demands-Resources model and Social Exchange Theory. The influencing factors of employee engagement are divided into three categories- organizational factors (management style, job rewards, etc.), job factors (work environment, task characteristics, etc.) and individual factors (physical energies, self-consciousness, etc.). Employee engagement is found to have a positive relationship with individual performance (organizational commitment, positive behavior, etc.) and organizational performance (customer satisfaction, financial return, etc.) The research findings show that there are three shortcomings in previous studies- lack of research on demographic variables, personality differences and cross-cultural differences in employee engagement, lack of research on the mediating or moderating role of employee engagement, and lack of intervention mechanism for employee engagement.

Suggested Citation

  • Li Sun & Chanchai Bunchapattanasakda, 2019. "Employee Engagement: A Literature Review," International Journal of Human Resource Studies, Macrothink Institute, vol. 9(1), pages 63-80, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mth:ijhr88:v:9:y:2019:i:1:p:63-80

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Macey, William H. & Schneider, Benjamin, 2008. "The Meaning of Employee Engagement," Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 3-30, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Habiba Akter & Ilham Sentosa & Sheikh Muhamad Hizam & Waqas Ahmed & Arifa Akter, 2021. "Finding the Contextual Gap Towards Employee Engagement in Financial Sector: A Review Study," Papers 2106.06436,
    2. Galina S. Arzamasova & Irena A. Esaulova, 2021. "Analysis of the environmental employee engagement: A case of a Russian enterprise," Upravlenets, Ural State University of Economics, vol. 12(3), pages 56-66, July.
    3. Yasangi Anuradha Iddagoda & Henarath H. D. N. P. Opatha, 2020. "Relationships and Mediating Effects of Employee Engagement: An Empirical Study of Managerial Employees of Sri Lankan Listed Companies," SAGE Open, , vol. 10(2), pages 21582440209, April.
    4. Samuel Sixpence & Leonard Muzanenhamo & Wilfred Ukpere, 2022. "Linkage between rewards and workspace morale in a hyperinflationary environment," International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147-4478), Center for the Strategic Studies in Business and Finance, vol. 11(10), pages 63-77, December.
    5. Tatiana V. Volchenko & Lyudmila S. Ruzhanskaya & Maxim A. Fokeev, 2021. "Non-cognitive skills of employees and their influence on voluntary turnover," Upravlenets, Ural State University of Economics, vol. 12(2), pages 87-101, April.
    6. Nesreen Awada & Siti Sarawati Johar & Fadillah Binti Ismail, 2019. "The effect of employee happiness on performance of employees in public organization in United Arab Emirates," Journal of Administrative and Business Studies, Professor Dr. Usman Raja, vol. 5(5), pages 260-268.
    7. Indra Fahrizal & Sjaiful Munir, 2022. "The influence of leadership, reward system and self-efficacy on work engagement of frontline employees at PT. TIKI JNE Jakarta," International Journal of Business Ecosystem & Strategy (2687-2293), Bussecon International Academy, vol. 4(2), pages 28-36, April.
    8. Valentin Niță & Ioana Guțu, 2023. "The Role of Leadership and Digital Transformation in Higher Education Students’ Work Engagement," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 20(6), pages 1-32, March.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Farndale, Elaine & Scullion, Hugh & Sparrow, Paul, 2010. "The role of the corporate HR function in global talent management," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 161-168, April.
    2. Tilahun Kidane Diko & Shabnam Saxena, 2023. "Antecedents and outcome of employee engagement: Empirical study of Ethiopian public higher education institutions," SN Business & Economics, Springer, vol. 3(8), pages 1-30, August.
    3. Nasser Saad Alkahtani & M. M. Sulphey & Kevin Delany & Anass Hamad Elneel Adow, 2021. "A Conceptual Examination about the Correlates of Psychological Capital (PsyCap) among the Saudi Arabian Workforce," Social Sciences, MDPI, vol. 10(4), pages 1-16, March.
    4. Hatch, Mary Jo & Schultz, Majken, 2013. "The dynamics of corporate brand charisma: Routinization and activation at Carlsberg IT," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 147-162.
    5. Nasser Saad Al Kahtani & Sulphey M. M., 2022. "A Study on How Psychological Capital, Social Capital, Workplace Wellbeing, and Employee Engagement Relate to Task Performance," SAGE Open, , vol. 12(2), pages 21582440221, May.
    6. Woocheol Kim & Gohar Feroz Khan & Jacob Wood & Muhammad Tariq Mahmood, 2016. "Employee Engagement for Sustainable Organizations: Keyword Analysis Using Social Network Analysis and Burst Detection Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 8(7), pages 1-11, July.
    7. Francoise Contreras & Juan C. Espinosa & Gustavo A. Esguerra, 2020. "Could Personal Resources Influence Work Engagement and Burnout? A Study in a Group of Nursing Staff," SAGE Open, , vol. 10(1), pages 21582440199, January.
    8. Sajid Hussain Awan & Nazia Habib & Chaudhry Shoaib Akhtar & Shaheryar Naveed, 2020. "Effectiveness of Performance Management System for Employee Performance Through Engagement," SAGE Open, , vol. 10(4), pages 21582440209, October.
    9. Dharmendra MEHTA & Naveen K. MEHTA, 2013. "Employee Engagement: A Literature Review," Economia. Seria Management, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 16(2), pages 208-215, December.
    10. Nina Pološki Vokić & Tomislav Hernaus, 2015. "The triad of job satisfaction, work engagement and employee loyalty – The interplay among the concepts," EFZG Working Papers Series 1507, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb.
    11. Jonathan Chih Win Zaw Tun & Papitchaya Wisankosol, 2021. "The Impact of an ODI on the Development of Leadership, Employee Motivation and Employee Engagement towards Better Performance of Employees: A Case Study," International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), vol. 0(2), pages 22-43.
    12. Peerapong Pukkeeree & Khahan Na-Nan & Natthaya Wongsuwan, 2020. "Effect of Attainment Value and Positive Thinking as Moderators of Employee Engagement and Innovative Work Behaviour," JOItmC, MDPI, vol. 6(3), pages 1-15, August.
    13. Carla Mascarenhas & Anderson Rei Galvão & Carla Susana Marques, 2022. "How Perceived Organizational Support, Identification with Organization and Work Engagement Influence Job Satisfaction: A Gender-Based Perspective," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, vol. 12(2), pages 1-15, May.
    14. Jaya Bhasin & Shahid Mushtaq & Sakshi Gupta, 2019. "Engaging Employees Through Employer Brand: An Empirical Evidence," Management and Labour Studies, XLRI Jamshedpur, School of Business Management & Human Resources, vol. 44(4), pages 417-432, November.
    15. Salas-Vallina, Andrés & Simone, Cristina & Fernández-Guerrero, Rafael, 2020. "The human side of leadership: Inspirational leadership effects on follower characteristics and happiness at work (HAW)," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 162-171.
    16. Muhammad Umer Azeem & Inam Ul Haq & Ghulam Murtaza & Hina Jaffery, 2023. "Challenge–Hindrance Stressors, Helping Behavior and Job Performance: Double-Edged Sword of Religiousness," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 184(3), pages 687-699, May.
    17. Rana Sawaya & Donabelle Zakkour Tabchoury & Marc Bonnet, 2018. "Riding the Roller-Coaster of the Accreditation Process at Higher Education Institutions through Employees Engagement," Post-Print hal-01907980, HAL.
    18. Maria Luisa Giancaspro & Antonino Callea & Amelia Manuti, 2022. "“I Like It like That”: A Study on the Relationship between Psychological Capital, Work Engagement and Extra-Role Behavior," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(4), pages 1, February.
    19. Urmila Rani Srivastava & Vandana Maurya, 2017. "Organizational and Individual Level Antecedents of Psychological Capital and its Associated Outcomes: Development of a Conceptual Framework," Management and Labour Studies, XLRI Jamshedpur, School of Business Management & Human Resources, vol. 42(3), pages 205-236, August.
    20. Ana Lisbona & Abel Las-Hayas & Francisco J. Palací & Miguel Bernabé & Francisco J. Morales & Alexander Haslam, 2020. "Team Efficiency in Organizations: A Group Perspective on Initiative," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 17(6), pages 1-17, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mth:ijhr88:v:9:y:2019:i:1:p:63-80. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Technical Support Office (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.