2016 Laureate Education, Inc. Page 1 of 9
DDBA 8151 Case Study Guide
Part 1: Theoretical Foundations
Employee Engagement: Researchers Perspective
Kahn (1990) approached the issue of employee engagement by drawing on theory of
self and how different selves interact with the roles people need to play at their
workplace. He postulated that People can use varying degrees of their selves,
physically, cognitively, and emotionally, in the roles they perform, even as they maintain
the integrity of the boundaries between who they are and the roles they occupy.
Presumably, the more people draw on their selves to perform their roles within those
boundaries, the more stirring are their performances and the more content they are with
the fit of the costumes they don (p. 692). Kahn drew on research from various
perspectives, such as interpersonal, group, intergroup, and organizational research, and
combined them with the job-design perspective developed by Hackman and Oldham
(1980). Kahns assumption was that as job design determined the roles individuals need
to play within a work setting, it was a key determinant of the self elicited from the
employees who play those roles. Job design was hypothesized to be instrumental in
determining whether an employee will use an engaged or disengaged self in role. He
defined the two opposite types of engagement as follows: Personal engagement [is]
the harnessing of organization members’ selves to their work roles; in engagement,
people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during
role performances. . . . Personal disengagement [is] the uncoupling of selves from work
roles; in disengagement, people withdraw and defend themselves physically,
cognitively, or emotionally during role performances (1990, p. 694). Thus, according to
Kahn, engagement is a psychological reaction to the job role people are required to play
in their work, and it comprises three aspects of such a reaction: cognitive, affective, and
Rothbard (2001) had a more focused take on the issue of employee engagement and
proposed two critical components that distinguish an engaged from a disengaged
employee: attention and absorption. Specifically, attention was defined as cognitive
availability and the amount of time one spends thinking about a role; while absorption
means being engrossed in a role and refers to the intensity of ones focus on a role (p.
656). This perspective lays more emphasis on the cognitive component of engagement
and is more akin to the concept of psychological presence, dedicated focus on the job,
and being away from any mental distractions that may lower job performance.
Maslach, Schaufeli, and Leiter (2001) had a different take on the concept of
engagement and viewed it as the positive end of a continuum, with job burnout on the
negative end. According to them, as burnout is characterized by exhaustion, cynicism,
and inefficacy, engagement is its polar opposite with characteristics of energy,
involvement, and efficacy. Schaufeli, Salanova, Gonzalez-Roma, and Bakker (2002)
went on to define engagement as a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is
characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption (p. 74). To them, such a heightened
2016 Laureate Education, Inc. Page 2 of 9
state of vigor, dedication, and absorption is neither a momentary high, nor target
specific, but a highly persistent and pervasive affective cognitive state.
Thus, we see that besides the obvious similarities there are slight but extremely
significant differences in which the above-mentioned researchers have conceptualized
the construct of engagement. For Kahn (1990), job engagement is pretty role specific,
and it is in fact the role that determines what type of self will be elicited (engaged versus
disengaged). The state of engagement or burnout is pretty diffuse and long lasting
(pervasive and not targeted) according to Schaufeli et al. (2002). However, they agree
on the belief that bad job design may be the contributing factor for disengagement
(according to Kahn) or burnout (according to Maslach et al., 2001).
To compound the problem, various definitions of engagement do not take enough care
to distinguish the concept from other similar constructs such as job involvement, job
commitment, and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). There are questions
regarding whether engagement is an attitude (having three components of cognition,
affect, and behavior and similar to the concept of job satisfaction) or whether it is more
akin to motivation (a heightened state of goal-directed behavior as in vigor).
Practitioners do not have too much problem with the issue as long as the construct can
be reliably used to predict and manage team or organizational performance. In the
following section, we will see how some of the practitioners in this field have defined
and used the construct of engagement.
Employee Engagement: Practitioners Perspective
When it comes to measuring and defining engagement, the foremost name in the
practitioners world is Gallup, Inc., which developed the Gallup Workplace Audit (GWA,
popularly known as the Q12), a questionnaire used to measure employee engagement.
It comprises 12 questions, plus an overall satisfaction question making it a 13-item
questionnaire. The questionnaire items were found to have a highly significant relation
to unit-level measures of a companys performance (Harter, Schmidt, & Hayes, 2002).
Thus, rather than being driven by theory, Gallups approach has been more empirical.
The items in the questionnaire are a measure of attitudinal outcomes (satisfaction,
loyalty, pride, customer service intent, and intent to stay with the company) and
measure issues that are within the remit of a supervisor in charge of a given business
unit. Gallup compiled rich data of employee surveys for over 30 years, and based on
their understanding of employee behavior that had maximal impact on a firms
performance, they defined engagement as the individuals involvement and satisfaction
with as well as enthusiasm for work (2002, p. 269).
Based on their national survey of U.S. workers using their engagement questionnaire,
Gallup put forward three types of employees (Krueger & Killham, 2006):
Engaged employees work with passion and feel profound connection to their
company. They drive innovation and move the company forward.
2016 Laureate Education, Inc. Page 3 of 9
Not-engaged employees are essentially checked out. They are sleepwalking
through their workday, putting timebut not energy or passioninto their work.
Actively disengaged employees arent just unhappy at work, they are busy acting
out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged
Perrin (2007) has also preferred to rely on survey data and define employee
engagement in terms of the preferred characteristics that engaged employees exhibit as
different from the non-engaged employees. Perrin highlights three key features of an
Rational/cognitive understanding of the organizations strategic goals, values,
and their fit within it (also known as the Think sector)
Emotional/affective attachment to the organizations strategic goals, values, and
their fit within it (also known as the Feel sector)
Motivation/willingness to do more than the minimum effort in their role (i.e.,
willingness to invest discretionary effort, to go the extra mile) for the
organization (also known as the Act sector)
Perrins view of employee engagement is similar to that of Gallup in one major way:
aspects of employee characteristics (cognitive, affective, or behavioral) that have been
found to enhance the performance of a given business unit.
Some other well-known research and consultancy organizations too have defined
engagement along similar lines and emphasized the importance of discretionary effort
as the key outcome or distinguishing feature of an engaged employee. The Institute of
Employment Studies defined engagement as follows:
A positive attitude held by the employee toward the organization and its values.
An engaged employee is aware of business context, and works with colleagues
to improve performance within the job for the benefit of the organization. The
organization must work to develop and nurture engagement, which requires a
two-way relationship between employer and employee. (Robinson, Perryman, &
Hayday, 2004, p. 2)
The Conference Board offers a synthesized definition that sees employee engagement
as “a heightened emotional connection that an employee feels for his or her
organization that influences him or her to exert greater discretionary effort to his or her
work” (Gibbons, 2006, p. 5). This definition of engagement is derived from the common
scale items used by its various clients to measure the engagement level of their
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (n.d.) holds similar views on
employee engagement and refers to it as a combination of commitment to the
organization and its values, plus a willingness to help out colleagues (organizational
citizenship). It goes beyond job satisfaction and is not simply motivation. Engagement is
something the employee has to offer: it cannot be ‘required’ as part of the employment
2016 Laureate Education, Inc. Page 4 of 9
We may say that all the practitioner and consultancy views on engagement are largely
driven from their respective survey data and are much more empirical when compared
with how the researchers have approached the construct. The practitioners look for key
differences in employee surveys between high- and , and
the items that significantly related to performance form the core of what they call
engagement. There are two major problems with this approach:
1. Most of these to infer causality from their survey
data in a way that their engagement items are presumed to cause performance,
not merely correlated with it. However, there is very little in their research design
to make such a strong assertion.
2. There is little construct validity behind these items being clubbed under a single
name of engagement as the scale items are not embedded in theory in the first
place. So, though all the above-mentioned consultancies use slightly different
items in their measures, they all label it as engagement.
Performance management has been regarded for several years now as a core
management best practice (Osterman, 1994; Pfeffer, 1998). Den Hartog, Boselie, and
Paauwe (2004) define it thus, making clear the relevance of an integrated approach to
Performance management has come to signify more than a list of singular
practices aimed at measuring and adapting employee performance. Rather, it is
seen as an integrated process in which managers work with their employees to
set expectations, measure and review results, and reward performance, in order
to improve employee performance, with the ultimate aim of positively affecting
organizational success. (p. 556)
It is remarkable, however, how little is still known of the effects of performance
management techniques on the individual employee (Farndale & Kelliher, 2013). This
has been a space often referred to in the literature over the years as the black box of
the HR/organization performance relationship (Legge, 2001). One reason for this
relative dearth of information is the limited amount of research directed at understanding
implementation of performance management techniques (Guest, 2011). Boselie, Dietz,
and Boon (2005) argued that most studies of the impact of performance management
practice orient toward the macro, or managerialist, perspective, with a dearth of
studies of the role of the immediate line manager or supervisor in the enactment
process (p. 74). They recommended research oriented increasingly toward micro
analyses which seek to understand in much greater depth employees actual
experiences of performance management (2005, p. 82).
It has also become increasingly recognized that the role of the first-line manager is
crucial in successful implementation of performance management practices (Nehles et
2016 Laureate Education, Inc. Page 5 of 9
al., 2006) or unlocking the black box as these practices are increasingly delegated to
line managers to implement in the modern organization (Purcell & Hutchinson, 2007).
One such technique of performance management is performance appraisal, one in
which first-line managers have a central role to play, and one which is a constant source
of dissatisfaction among managers and employees, despite its widespread use
(Dusterhoff, Cunningham, & MacGregor, 2014).
Employees’ perceptions of fairness and procedural justice play a key role in employee
outcomes considered crucial to organization success, such as decision making (Goksoy
& Alayoglu, 2013) and commitment and engagement (Cheng, 2014). The immediate
supervisor of the employee is a key factor in the success of the process of performance
appraisal, and a critical influence on employee perceptions of fairness and justice
(Byrne et al., 2012; Sumelius et al., 2014).
Part 2: Leading a Virtual Organization
Dr. Craig Marsh is a business executive with over 25 years of experience in
organizational leadership, development, and change, across a number of industries. In
this case study, Craig will present a real-world leadership challenge based on his
professional experience that will allow you to place yourself in the same situation and to
explore in-depth some of the questions that inevitably arise: Would you have made the
same decisions? What does the case tell you about the nature of the modern
organization and its opportunities for value creation, as well as its limits? And what are
the questions it raises for both senior and frontline leadership in the 21st century?
Five years ago, I took over a business unit that consisted almost entirely of people
working virtually. I had nearly 500 people working for me who lived all over the world
and worked remotely. They were all directly customer facing, andmost significantly
they were not employed directly by my organization, but were contracted to us, mostly
on a part-time basis.
To provide some context, our organization had grown rapidly over the previous 45
years and was confronting a classic consequence of that growtha start-up culture now
requiring scalable structures and processes to ensure that growth and service
standards were maintained consistently. As a leader, I inherited very little structure,
other than some early attempts at putting in place performance indicators and quality
standards, as well as established central units for monitoring service quality. I also had
a small group of divisional directors reporting to me, each of whom were in charge of a
subunit of my structure with specific and differentiated customer value propositions.
One of my biggest challenges, however, was the very loose structure of contracted
service professionals who provided the main value work to our customers. These
2016 Laureate Education, Inc. Page 6 of 9
service professionals were highly educated and experienced, multinational, working
remotely from anywhere in the world, were mainly part time, and had a tenuous
connection to the company. Legally, there were strict constraints on treating them as
employees, for fear of violating local tax laws. Because of this, it was very challenging to
promote employee engagement and build trust across the team, accurately evaluate
performance for all staff, and establish an appropriate leadership structure for this
unique situation. I faced a number of questions and set myself the following three key
1. How do I introduce a culture of engagement?
2. How do I create an effective process for performance management?
3. How do I build a leadership structure appropriate for my particular
2016 Laureate Education, Inc. Page 7 of 9
Boselie, P., Dietz, G., & Boon, C. (2005). Commonalities and contradictions in HRM and
performance research. Human Resource Management Journal, 15(3), 6794.
Byrne, Z. S., Pitts, V. E., Wilson, C. M., & Steiner, Z. J. (2012). Trusting the fair
supervisor: The role of supervisory support in performance appraisals. Human
Resource Management Journal, 22(2), 129147.
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. (n.d.). CIPDChampioning better
work and working lives. Retrieved from http://www.cipd.co.uk/
Cheng, S. Y. (2014). The mediating role of organizational justice on the relationship
between administrative performance appraisal practices and organizational
commitment. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(8),
Den Hartog, D. N., Boselie, P., & Paauwe, J. (2004). Performance management: A
model and research agenda. Applied Psychology, 53(4), 556569.
Dusterhoff, C., Cunningham, J. B., & MacGregor, J. N. (2014). The effects of
performance rating, leadermember exchange, perceived utility, and
organizational justice on performance appraisal satisfaction: Applying a moral
judgment perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 119(2), 265273.
Farndale, E., & Kelliher, C. (2013). Implementing performance appraisal: Exploring the
employee experience. Human Resource Management, 52(6), 879897.
Gibbons, J. M. (2006). Employee engagement: A review of current research and its
implications. New York, NY: The Conference Board.
Goksoy, A., & Alayoglu, N. (2013). The impact of perception of performance appraisal
and distributive justice fairness on employees’ ethical decision making in
paternalist organizational culture. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(1),
Guest, D. E. (2011). Human resource management and performance: Still searching for
some answers. Human Resource Management Journal, 21(1), 313.
Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1980). Work redesign. Reading, MA.: AddisonWesley.
2016 Laureate Education, Inc. Page 8 of 9
Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., & Hayes, T. L. (2002). Business-unit-level relationship
between employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and business outcomes:
a meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(2), 268279.
Kahn, W. A. (1990). Psychological conditions of personal engagement and
disengagement at work. Academy of Management Journal, 33(4), 692724.
Krueger, J., & Killham, E. (2006). Why Dilbert is right. Gallup Management Journal, 9.
Legge, K. (2001). Silver bullet or spent round? Assessing the meaning of the high
commitment management/performance relationship. Human Resource
Management: A Critical Text, 2.
Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W. B., & Leiter, M. P. (2001). Job burnout. Annual Review of
Psychology, 52(1), 397422.
Nehles, A. C., van Riemsdijk, M., Kok, I., & Looise, J. K. (2006). Implementing human
resource management successfully: A first-line management
challenge. Management Revue, 256273.
Osterman, P. (1994). How common is workplace transformation and who adopts
it? Industrial & Labor Relations Review, 47(2), 173188.
Perrin, T. (2007). Confronting myths: What really matters in attracting, engaging and
retaining your workforce. Global Workforce Study.
Pfeffer, J. (1998). The human equation: Building profits by putting people first. Boston,
MA: Harvard Business Press.
Purcell, J., & Hutchinson, S. (2007). Frontline managers as agents in the HRM
performance causal chain: theory, analysis and evidence. Human Resource
Management Journal, 17(1), 320.
Robinson, D., Perryman, S., & Hayday, S. (2004). The drivers of employee
engagement. Institute of Employment Studies, Report 408, p. 2.
Rothbard, N. P. (2001). Enriching or depleting? The dynamics of engagement in work
and family roles. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46(4), 655684.
Schaufeli, W. B., Salanova, M., Gonzlez-Rom, V., & Bakker, A. B. (2002). The
measurement of engagement and burnout: A two sample confirmatory factor
analytic approach. Journal of Happiness Studies, 3(1), 7192.
2016 Laureate Education, Inc. Page 9 of 9
Sumelius, J., Bjrkman, I., Ehrnrooth, M., Mkel, K., & Smale, A. (2014). What
determines employee perceptions of HRM process features? The case of
performance appraisal in MNC subsidiaries. Human Resource
Management, 53(4), 569592.
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more