Purpose: The affective space of human emotions is considered to be structured by two dimensions: the pleasure vs. displeasure continuum and the degree of arousal. Highly energetic positive states, such as engagement, are distinguished from more passive ones, such as satisfaction. Both can be considered indicators of employees’ well-being. The aim of this study was to investigate whether employees characterized by contrast levels of work centrality and turnover intention, differ with respect to feelings of engagement and satisfaction. We hypothesized that divergent attributes of those two emotions are linked to contrasting causes.
Design/Methodology: In order to test this assumption we conducted a study, in which 579 Swedish employees completed a questionnaire measuring positive feelings at work, intention to leave the company and work centrality.
Results: Multivariate analyses revealed that the feeling of satisfaction was negatively associated with decision of leaving the job. However, among employees expressing an intention to remain in the organization, highly engaged were primarily those, who considered work as central in their lives.
Limitations: Findings refer to a general, overall feelings. It is recommended to check whether differences between satisfaction and engagement hold also on a state level of emotions.
Research/Practical Implications: Satisfaction is a sign of reaching an acceptable level of what is expected from a job. However, results suggest that this is not enough to be engaged. Individuals have to highly value their work to feel engaged.
Originality/Value: This study explores the difference between two forms of employees’ well-being, which is often ignored in work psychology.
2013. 187-187 p.
16th Congress of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology, 22-25 May, Münster, Germany