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A perfect match: decoding employee engagement – Part I: Engaging cultures and leaders

Cristina de Mello e Souza Wildermuth (Graduate Student, Bowling Green State University, Cridersville, Ohio, USA.)
Patrick David Pauken (Associate Professor of Educational Administration and Leadership Studies and Graduate Coordinator of the Leadership Studies Doctoral Programme, School of Leadership and Policy Studies, Bowling Green State University, Cridersville, Ohio, USA.)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 18 April 2008




The purpose of this two‐part article is to introduce engagement and review key research on engagement‐related factors.


The author conducted a literature search on employee engagement and pilot interviews with ten professionals.


Environment, leadership, job, and individual factors are connected to employee engagement. Environmental engagement factors include congruency between organizational and individual values, the quality of the workplace relationships, and work‐life balance. Leadership engagement factors include vision and integrity. Job engagement factors include the meaningfulness of the job, itsw level of challenge, and the amount of control the employee has on the job. Finally, individual factors related to engagement include resilience, locus of control, active coping style, self‐esteem, neuroticism, and extraversion. The author suggests that the connections (or the match) between organizational, leadership, job, and individual characteristics is particularly relevant for engagement.

Research limitations/implications

The article includes a preliminary investigation of engagement. Further research is needed connecting environmental, leadership, job, and individual engagement factors, and confieming the importance of the “match” for engagement.

Practical implications

The implications are that leaders should be educated on engagement, that career development opportunities are particularly important, that performance improvement professional should champion work‐life balance, and that initiatives enhancing workplace relationships are likely useful to increase engagement.


This paper connects research on various engagement factors, making it easier for performance improvement professional to gain an introductory yet holistic view of the topic.



de Mello e Souza Wildermuth, C. and Pauken, P.D. (2008), "A perfect match: decoding employee engagement – Part I: Engaging cultures and leaders", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 122-128.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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