The Antecedents of Employee Engagement: a Comparative Analysis between Finland and Asia

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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Earlier research on employee engagement has discovered quite a few factors that might impact the levels of employee engagement. However, these academic studies have lacked a structured framework to have a holistic look at the antecedents of employee engagement. To bridge this gap, this research transforms the Aon Hewitt Employee Engagement (AHEE) model, a useful model in the practical world, into an academically rigorous framework. In practice, the author adopted a mixed methodology of both focus group interviews and questionnaires. Specifically, six focus group interviews in three countries were conducted and 93 survey responses in three countries were collected. Based on the findings, the author further refined the AHEE model into a more robust model of eight engagement predictors in five dimensions, including financial compensation, work-life balance, team member exchange, perceived managerial support, job security, respect, learning and development, and performance evaluation. Furthermore, this study answers the call in employee engagement research to explore the research question: how might engagement predictors have different influences in different cultural settings? To address this, comparative analyses of engagement predictors between Finland and Asia were performed in this study. The results show that the impacts of respect, perceived managerial support, learning and development and work-life balance on employee engagement are different in Asia compared to Finland. To be more specific, respect and perceived managerial support have a more positive influence on employee engagement in Finland than in Asia. Interestingly, both learning and development and work-life balance have a negative relationship with employee engagement in Finland while the relationship is positive in Asia.
Thesis advisor
Kauppila, Olli-Pekka
employee engagement, brand image, work-Life balance, learning and development, performance evaluation, financial compensations, career opportunities, respect
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