Identifying Employee Engagement Factors in the Oil and Energy Industry in Saudi Arabia

Open Access
Alkhalaf, Ali H
Graduate Program:
Workforce Education and Development
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
October 18, 2016
Committee Members:
  • William J. Rothwell, Dissertation Advisor/Co-Advisor
  • Dr. William J. Rothwell, Committee Chair/Co-Chair
  • Dr. Judith A. Kolb, Committee Member
  • Dr. Susan E. Cromwell, Committee Member
  • Dr. Edgar P. Yoder, Outside Member
  • Work engagement
  • oil and energy
  • Job Performance in oil and energy
  • Job Resources
  • Saudi Arabia
The oil and energy industry in Saudi Arabia is one of the largest employers of skilled workers in the country. Therefore, ensuring the continuous availability of such a unique workforce will have a positive impact on productivity and overall oil and energy organizations performance. Employees’ job performance and turnover intention levels are critical to the oil and energy industry, so an understanding of such factors is of interest to human resources in such industries. Although there is a lack in studying work engagement in this population, the main goal of this study was to explore the relationship between work engagement, its antecedents and consequences, and the influence of work engagement on job performance and turnover intention. Four research questions were developed to fulfill the purpose of this research: (1) demographics and work engagement, (2) job resources and work engagement, (3) work engagement and job performance and with turnover intention, (4) all the ten research variables with the job performance and with turnover intention.   To answer the research questions, a web-based survey questionnaire was developed, translated into Arabic, and used in collecting data from employees. Work engagement was assessed using the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-9). A total of 310 complete responses were used for data analysis. Methods to analyze the data and answer the research questions included descriptive statistics, correlational research, multiple regression, and hierarchical multiple regression. The results demonstrate that (a) age and experience are the only demographic variables that are statistically significant predictors of work engagement, (b) the independent variables of the job resources— autonomy, skill variety, and performance feedback—statistically prove a positive significant influence on the work engagement, (c) there is a statistically positive and significant correlation between job performance and work engagement, and (d) as expected, the results show a negative statistically significant correlation between turnover intention and work engagement. Finally, the hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that among the 10 variables, employees’ highest educational degree is the only variable that had a statistically significant influence on the job performance and only work engagement had a statistically significant influence on turnover intention.