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Optimizing employee engagement with internal communication: A social exchange perspective


  • Karanges, Emma Ruth
  • Beatson, Amanda
  • Johnston, Kim
  • Lings, Ian


Employee engagement is linked to higher productivity, lower attrition, and improved organizational reputations resulting in increased focus and resourcing by managers to foster an engaged workforce. While drivers of employee engagement have been identified as perceived support, job characteristics, and value congruence, internal communication is theoretically suggested to be a key influence in both the process and maintenance of employee engagement efforts. However, understanding the mechanisms by which internal communication influences employee engagement has emerged as a key question in the literature. The purpose of this research is to investigate whether social factors, namely perceived support and identification, play a mediating role in the relationship between internal communication and engagement. To test the theoretical model, data are collected from 200 non-executive employees using an online self-administered survey. The study applies linear and mediated regression to the model and finds that organizations and supervisors should focus internal communication efforts toward building greater perceptions of support and stronger identification among employees in order to foster optimal levels of engagement.

Suggested Citation

  • Karanges, Emma Ruth & Beatson, Amanda & Johnston, Kim & Lings, Ian, 2014. "Optimizing employee engagement with internal communication: A social exchange perspective," jbm - Journal of Business Market Management, Free University Berlin, Marketing Department, vol. 7(2), pages 329-353.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubjbm:100002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lee Cronbach, 1951. "Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 16(3), pages 297-334, September.
    2. Sandra Rothenberg, 2003. "Knowledge Content and Worker Participation in Environmental Management at NUMMI," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(7), pages 1783-1802, November.
    3. Wilmar Schaufeli & Marisa Salanova & Vicente González-romá & Arnold Bakker, 2002. "The Measurement of Engagement and Burnout: A Two Sample Confirmatory Factor Analytic Approach," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 71-92, March.
    4. DeConinck, James B., 2010. "The effect of organizational justice, perceived organizational support, and perceived supervisor support on marketing employees' level of trust," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(12), pages 1349-1355, December.
    5. Ryynänen, Harri & Pekkarinen, Olli & Salminen, Risto T., 2012. "Supplier's internal communication in change process to solution business: Challenges and tentative research agenda," jbm - Journal of Business Market Management, Free University Berlin, Marketing Department, vol. 5(3), pages 154-172.
    6. van Knippenberg, D.L. & van Dick, R. & Tavares, S., 2005. "Social Identity and Social Exchange: Identification, Support, and Withdrawal from the Job," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2005-093-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
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    Cited by:

    1. Feldy Marzena & Bojko Marta, 2020. "Job Expectations and Satisfaction Among Scientists," Marketing of Scientific and Research Organizations, Sciendo, vol. 35(1), pages 1-28, March.
    2. James Gerard Caillier, 2017. "Do Work-Life Benefits Enhance the Work Attitudes of Employees? Findings from a Panel Study," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 393-408, September.
    3. Siti Subaryani Binti Zainol & Suhaili binti Mohd Hussin & Maisarah Syazwani binti Othman, 2016. "Determinants of Employee Engagement in Hotel Industry in Malaysia. A Theoretical Mode," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 6(3), pages 1-9, July.


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