Th-OR-S24-2 - Enhancing Engagement And Alleviating Disengagement At Work Through Psychological Empowerment: The Role Of Voice And Silence

Oral Presentation
Part of:
15 minutes
Positive organizational behaviour
Enhancing engagement and alleviating disengagement at work through psychological empowerment: The role of voice and silence
E. Conway 1,*, K. Monks 1, N. Fu 2
1DCU Business School, Dublin City University, 2Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Content: · Purpose: There are claims in the literature that positive psychology, which underpins research on work engagement, may provide a distorting and misleading account of work and workers’ experiences. In order to provide a counterbalance to extant engagement research, our paper has two aims. First, in addition to our focus on engagement, we examine influences on employees’ disengagement, which we consider through the lens of alienation. Second, we focus on employees' perceptions of voice and silence as antecedents of engagement and disengagement and propose that these relationships will be mediated by employees’ perceptions of psychological empowerment.
· Design/ Methodology: We surveyed employees working in a large public sector department in Ireland (N = 915).  
· Results: Support is found for the hypothesised relationships between voice/ silence and engagement/ disengagement, i.e. alienation. These relationships are mediated by psychological empowerment.  
· Limitations: While our analysis suggests that common method bias is not a serious concern, we cannot draw firm conclusions in the absence of longitudinal data.
· Research/ Practical Implications: Organisations need to adopt a wide range of voice mechanisms in order to provide employees with a sense of empowerment that will alleviate withdrawal in the form of silence or disengagement. 
· Originality/ Value: By extending our understanding of engagement to consider processes associated with withdrawal (i.e. silence and disengagement), we provide a necessary counterbalance to the positioning of engagement within the positive psychology paradigm. 


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