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The purpose of this paper is to extend the scope of social exchange theory (SET) to explore employee engagement and test its application in the context of Indian power companies. The study also attempts to explore the antecedents of employee engagement. This study includes organizational culture and three trusts, that is co-worker trust, supervisor trust and organizational trust whose presence in the organization influences employee engagement.Design/methodology/approachThe study includes a sample of 812 executives who represent three major functions of the Indian power sector, that is power generation, power transmission and power distribution. The relationships between constructs are evaluated using structural equation modeling.FindingsThe findings of this study indicate that four resources in the organization influence employee engagement in different ways. Three constructs representing co-worker trust, supervisor trust and organizational trust partially mediate the relation between organizational culture and employee engagement. This study also compares the engagement levels of the employees from three power companies.Research limitations/implicationsThis study is focused on companies operating in only the government sector.Practical implicationsEnsuring engagement from employees for the critical power sector is expected to support the development of the HR practices in this sector. Identification of sector-specific resources is expected to aid both employees and policymakers from the organization.Social implicationsThis study assists the policy makers in the organization by showcasing the importance of organizational culture, interpersonal and organizational trusts and their impact on employee engagement.Originality/valueResource theory explains why certain resources in the workplace are exchanged for employee engagement. This study extends theories of engagement as well as SET and examines their application as employee engagement in the context of executives from Indian power companies. This understanding will aid the practitioners and researchers to further their understanding of employee engagement.
International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 25, 2021
Keywords: Employee engagement; Job resources; Organizational culture; Co-worker trust; Supervisor trust and organizational trust; Social exchange theory (SET); Job demands-resources (JD-R); Resource theory
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