Conceptual fallacies in the engagement literature

Harald Bergsteiner, Gayle C. Avery

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


High employee engagement levels are considered to be a significant contributor to personal and organizational performance, and a key performance driver in the sustainable leadership pyramid. However, what is employee engagement? The literature distinguishes between five notions of engagement: employee engagement, personal engagement, staff engagement, task engagement, and work engagement. These constructs do not refer to uniquely defined phenomena but reflect a failure on the part of researchers to agree on well-bounded and precise terminology. In this paper, we draw on classification theory to explain – using discourse and a model – how the constructs relate to each other; which constructs have high utility, ought to be dispensed with, or are logically flawed; whether there is a need for additional constructs; and we propose a set of definitions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491
Number of pages1
JournalThe 2012 European Academic Conference & Mediterranean cruise program
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventEuropean Academic Conference - Rome
Duration: 6 Jun 201217 Jun 2012


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