My focus on work motivation as a main research subject began during my Master’s studies. I was curious to find out what are the ‘motivating ingredients’ that organization seeking nowadays and what motivates employees to go further and take the extra-mile for their organization.
As my education progressed, my interests became more defined, and I developed a particular fascination with the concept of Employee Engagement, a relatively new concept in the field of work motivation, which has been introduced into the literature as a potentially optimal means of redefining the employee–organization relationship. This stream of research focuses on the changes and nature of the employee-organization relationship in the challenging contemporary organizational reality. Organizations nowadays experience constant competitiveness, rapid innovation, and continuous change. Employees today prefer to establish a different dialogue with their organization, seeking to satisfy their self-actualization and personal growth needs, which play an increasingly important role in the employee-organization relationship. With the erosion of the old psychological contract for job security, employees and organizations today are more tenuously intertwined than before, making the employee-organization relationship a challenging concern. With every passing decade, the complexity of the employee-organization relationship grows along with our understanding of its essential role in a flourishing organization.
The constantly changing nature of the employee-organization relationship and the innovative view of employee engagement have intrigued me, and I was drawn to the challenges presented by many research questions which at that point had not been examined. Therefore, in my Master’s thesis I have examined the discriminant validity between the concept of Employee Engagement and similar concepts in the employee-organization relationship such as psychological empowerment, organizational citizenship behavior, organizational commitment, and psychological contract. Little is known about the uniqueness of engagement as a predictor of work performance, even when compared with similar concepts regarding the employee-organization relationship. Accordingly, in my PhD study I developed a model which examines the contribution of Employee Engagement to stimulating contemporary work performance behaviors.
With regard to my future research plans, I am interested in pursuing the following paths:
The limits of engaged employees in achieving additional resources at work. Based on the Job Crafting theory, it would be interesting to investigate how engaged employees would craft their job? Namely, the extent of efforts taken by engaged employees to procure extra resources to assist them in enhancing their work performance and personal success (e.g., would they employ political tactics? Which kind?); the conflict management styles favored by engaged employees; the behavioral-ethical limits in goal-achieving for engaged employees; and many more.
Virtual workplace and remote leadership are developing phenomena in the modern and global organizations. It would therefore be of interest to research employee engagement in the virtual sphere: its definition, manifestations and how it differs from traditional engagement concept, if at all. In addition, the fast-paced nature of the modern workplace is generally less supervised; a reality that also challenges the classical view of the employee-organization relationship. Accordingly, it would be interesting to examine employee engagement in a remote leadership existence; particularly as previous research has indicated the strong relationship between leader feedback and close mentoring and engaged employees.