Defining Employee Engagement in the Singaporean Context : A Single Case Study

  • Teck Siong Chong

    Student thesis: Professional Doctorate


    To date, there are no published studies that have investigated the employee engagement
    phenomenon focusing on both managers and employees in a specific industry (construction)
    within a uniquely Singaporean context. This study aimed to fill this gap by exploring how
    managers and employees interacted to shape employee engagement in a small Singaporean
    engineering construction firm. The findings were then compared to results of the Gallup Q12
    global survey of employee engagement. This study was motivated by four research questions
    directed at examining how selected managers and employees perceived the EE construct; then
    comparing the similarities and differences of the responses of these two occupational groups;
    and lastly, comparing the results of the current study with the scores from 195 countries of the
    international Gallup Q12 poll of employee engagement including that of Singapore.
    The current research was based on an in-depth case study of an engineering firm in Singapore
    using a post-positivist mixed method approach that collected both quantitative (survey) and
    qualitative data (interview) from managers and employees to explore the EE construct in a
    balanced and thorough manner. The researcher developed a holistic model to explain and
    summarize how both occupational groups interacted to influence engagement based on the
    Job Demand-Resources (JD-R) theory and the themes that emerged from the study. The
    findings from the research suggested that EE was jointly shaped by both managers and
    employees through the use of job resources, manager’s job satisfaction, and related negative
    Among several unique findings that may contribute to the EE literature was the importance of
    team work as a component of EE that may be idiosyncratic to the culture of Singapore.
    Moreover, data from this research informed that the subject firm's employee engagement level
    was significantly higher than the aggregate employee engagement scores for both Singapore
    and Gallup Q12's entire database of surveys - findings that suggest the need for more research
    using a case study approach to understanding how managers and employees perceive EE in
    the workplace.
    Date of Award2019
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorSharon Eng (Supervisor) & Deborah Blackman (Supervisor)

    Cite this