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Team Work Engagement: Considering Team Dynamics for Engagement

Author

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  • Patricia L. Costa
  • Ana Passos
  • Arnold B. Bakker

Abstract

Although teams are an important structure of organizations, most studies on work engagement focus almost exclusively the individual-level. The main goals of this paper are to argue that the construct of work engagement can be conceptualized at the team level and to discuss theoretically some of its possible emergence processes. A conceptual model that explains under which conditions team work engagement is more likely to emerge is developed. This model is developed based on the literature on work engagement, social identity theory, emotional contagion, and group theories and we developed propositions for future research. We propose that team work engagement is rooted on team members’ shared perception of their team’s level of engagement and that it emerges within a team through member’s emotional interactions. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of work engagement in teams allows managers to actively promote high levels of engagement, therefore enhancing teams’ performance levels. Studying a higher level construct is not just a methodological or data analysis question, but is essentially a theoretical one. Collective constructs that are driven from individual-level ones often lack a solid theoretical base that supports their existence. This paper fills that gap, introducing a clear definition of team work engagement, reflecting on the differences between levels and suggesting concrete factors for its emergence.

Suggested Citation

  • Patricia L. Costa & Ana Passos & Arnold B. Bakker, 2012. "Team Work Engagement: Considering Team Dynamics for Engagement," Working Papers Series 2 12-06, ISCTE-IUL, Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL).
  • Handle: RePEc:isc:iscwp2:bruwp1206
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    File URL: http://bru-unide.iscte.pt/RePEc/pdfs/12-06.pdf
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    Keywords

    Work Engagement; Collective Constructs; Work Teams;

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