An Examination of Work Engagement in Selected Major Organizations in Korea: Its Role as a Mediator Between Antecedents and Consequences

Open Access
Kim, Woocheol
Graduate Program:
Workforce Education and Development
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
February 17, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Judith Ann Kolb, Dissertation Advisor
  • Judith Ann Kolb, Committee Chair
  • William J Rothwell, Committee Member
  • David Lynn Passmore, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • work engagement
  • employee engagement
  • job resources
  • personal resources
  • job performance
  • and turnover intention
The primary purpose of this study was to examine structural relationships of work engagement between antecedent and consequent variables in selected major Korean organizations. In the conceptual research framework, work engagement was proposed as a mediating variable; job resources (autonomy, performance feedback, and skill variety) and personal resources (optimism, self-efficacy, and organizational-based self-esteem) as antecedents of work engagement; and job performance and turnover intention as consequences of work engagement. A web-based survey questionnaire translated into Korean was developed and used in collecting data from five major Korean organizations. A total of 571 complete responses were used for data analysis, and structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to examine the research questions. The data analyses yielded the following results. First, both job resources (standardized path coefficient [SPC] = .41, t = 4.46) and personal resources (SPC = .42, t = 4.85) had positive influences on individual employees’ work engagement. Second, employees’ higher levels of work engagement had a positive relationship on their job performance (SPC = .62, t = 10.69) and a negative relationship on their turnover intention (they were less likely to leave; SPC = -.39, t = -.6.91). Third, employees’ work engagement had partial mediating influences on the relationship between job resources and job performance (SPC = .25, t = 4.45) and turnover intention (SPC = -.16, t = -3.78); and also on the relationship between personal resources and job performance (SPC = .26, t = 4.16) and turnover intention (SPC = -.16, t = -4.13). The mediating effects of work engagement were additionally examined and confirmed through the Sobel tests (|z| ranges from 3.76 to 4.41, p < .01).