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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Aleksandra Bujacz, Claudia Bernhard-Oettel, Thomas Rigotti and Petra Lindfors

Self-employed workers typically report higher well-being levels than employees. The purpose of this paper is to examine the mechanisms that lead to differences in work engagement…

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Abstract

Purpose

Self-employed workers typically report higher well-being levels than employees. The purpose of this paper is to examine the mechanisms that lead to differences in work engagement between self-employed and organizationally employed high-skilled workers.

Design/methodology/approach

Self-employed and organizationally employed high-skilled workers (N=167) were compared using a multigroup multilevel analysis. Participants assessed their job control (general level) and reported their work engagement during work tasks (task level) by means of the Day Reconstruction Method. Aspects of job control (autonomy, creativity, and learning opportunities) and task characteristics (social tasks and core work tasks) were contrasted for the two groups as predictors of work engagement.

Findings

Self-employed workers reported higher levels of job control and work engagement than organizationally employed workers. In both groups, job control predicted work engagement. Employees with more opportunities to be creative and autonomous were more engaged at work. Self-employed workers were more engaged when they had more learning opportunities. On the task level, the self-employed were more engaged during core work tasks and social tasks.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that self-employment is an effective way for high-skilled workers to increase the amount of job control available to them, and to improve their work engagement. From an intervention perspective, self-employed workers may benefit most from more learning opportunities, more social tasks, and more core work tasks. Organizationally employed workers may appreciate more autonomy and opportunities for creativity.

Originality/value

This study contributes to a better understanding of the role that job control and task characteristics play in predicting the work engagement of high-skilled self-employed and organizationally employed workers.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Malgorzata Rozkwitalska, Michal Chmielecki, Sylwia Przytula, Lukasz Sulkowski and Beata Aleksandra Basinska

The purpose of this paper is to show how individuals perceive the quality of intercultural interactions at work in multinational subsidiaries and to address the question of what…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how individuals perceive the quality of intercultural interactions at work in multinational subsidiaries and to address the question of what actually prevails in their accounts, i.e., “the dark side” or “the bright side.”

Design/methodology/approach

The authors report the findings from five subsidiaries located in Poland and interviews with 68 employees of these companies.

Findings

The “bright side” dominated the interviewees’ accounts. The phenomenon of high social identity complexity or common in-group identity can help explain the findings. The results also shed some new light on the associations between the context of subsidiaries and the perception of the quality of intercultural interactions.

Research limitations/implications

The paper contributes to the literature on cultural diversity and intercultural interactions in multinational subsidiaries. As the “bright side” of interactions was emphasized in the interviews, it particularly supports positive cross-cultural scholarship studies. Yet the explorative research does not allow for a broader generalization of the results.

Practical implications

Managers of multinational corporations (MNCs) should do the following: shape the context of MNCs to influence the dynamics of intercultural interactions and the way they are seen by their employees; emphasize common in-group identity to help their employees to adopt more favorable attitudes toward intercultural interactions; look for individuals with multicultural identity who display more positive approaches to intercultural contacts; place emphasis on recruiting individuals fluent in the MNC’s functional language; offer language training for the staff; and recruit employees with significant needs for development who will perceive more opportunities in intercultural contacts.

Social implications

The research demonstrates that the multicultural workplace of MNCs may be recognized by employees as activating the positive potential of the individuals and organizations that make up a society.

Originality/value

The accounts of intercultural interactions are analyzed to illuminate some significant foundations of how individuals perceive such interactions. The study provides a qualitative lens and highlights the positive approach to intercultural interactions. It may redress the imbalance in prior research and satisfy the need for positive cross-cultural scholarship.

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