Creating a sustainable future: the role of engagement

Harald Bergsteiner, Gayle C. Avery

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

23 Citations (Scopus)


Research consistently confirms that engaged employees significantly raise team and organisational performance, and yet in the majority of organisations engagement levels hover around 25 percent, with the remainder being either non-engaged or disengaged. Theoreticians, practitioners and consultants are aware of this problem and are attempting to address it. Unfortunately, while there are eight widely used engagement constructs, there is no coherent theory of engagement and hence no coherent research agenda. Engagement constructs variously overlap with or contradict each other, unnecessarily “compete for turf”, some cannot be differentiated, and relationships among them remain obscure. This paper therefore proposes a coherent engagement theory that is expressed as a hierarchical graphical model that not only integrates the eight extant engagement constructs, but also identifies and resolves three substantial gaps in the engagement literature: namely, engagement (a) at the group-level, (b) in non-work walks of life, and (c) of persons other than employees (e.g. managers and boards). We posit that a holistic theory supported by clear definitions will assist more targeted, bounded and integrative engagement research, theory and practice, and hence will facilitate efforts to raise organisational performance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Sustainable Leadership, 2013
EditorsBronwyn Hughes, Gayle C. Avery
Place of PublicationPymble, NSW
PublisherInstitute for Sustainable Leadership
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)9780987461827
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventInternational Symposium on Sustainable Leadership (8th : 2013) - Nice, France
Duration: 4 Jun 20137 Jun 2013


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Sustainable Leadership (8th : 2013)
CityNice, France


  • commitment
  • engagement
  • engagement constructs
  • engagement model
  • engagement theory


Dive into the research topics of 'Creating a sustainable future: the role of engagement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this