Harmonizing Modern Day Employee Engagement with the Sociological Theory of Symbolic Interactionism

Georgia Rosemarie Simon, Iris Zhou


Employee Engagement (EE) spans over 30 years discourse within the practitioner and scientific domain, and have become a strategic imperative within organizations. However, due to the tumultuous history of inconsistencies in conceptualization, poor validation, and various discrepancies among scholars and practitioners, the construct has attracted interest across disciplines and industry. Accordingly, the claims of its positive impact on bottom line and other organizational outcome have become the catalyst for further research. Owing to that, this paper highlights past and present findings on EE. Drawing on previous studies, we highlight the cons of the construct and propose a multi-foci approach that extends the positive psychology perspective. We reference the earlier works of Kahn, and the influence sociology played in the conceptualization of Kahn’s theory of the employee’s preferred self. We conclude and recommend the Interactionist view as a theoretical framework within the field of industrial sociology to support our arguments.

Keywords: Employee engagement, positive psychology, sociology, rational choice theory, social interactionism.  



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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11634/216796061706894

American Journal of Business and Management

ISSN 2167-9606  eISSN 2167-9614 //OCLC: 794280070

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