Freeney, Y. & Tiernan, J., Employee Engagement: An overview of the literature on the proposed antithesis to burnout., Irish Journal of Psychology, 27, 2006, 130 - 141
Irish Journal of Psychology; 27;
Two trends have emerged in burnout research that have resulted in a broadening of the
topic. First, the concept of burnout has been expanded to embrace all professions,
whereas it was previously considered to exist only in the human services. Second, in line
with the growth of positive psychology, there has been a shift in focus toward its
antithesis, namely engagement, which can be defined as a positive affective-motivational
state of fulfilment in employees. As a new construct, the body of literature on this subject
is limited. However, this paper offers a comprehensive review of the empirical findings
that are available to date. It examines the origins of research on engagement and goes on
to explore the likely antecedents and consequences of this construct. In doing so it highlights the value of engagement not only as a state of well-being but also as a predictor of high performance.
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