Publication Date

Summer 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Megumi Hosoda

Subject Areas



Researchers have consistently found engagement to be linked to positive individual and organizational outcomes such as job satisfaction, job performance, customer satisfaction, and productivity. Although task characteristics, transformational leadership, and core self-evaluations have been found to be important determinants of engagement, the mechanisms of why they are related to engagement are not well understood. Kahn (1990) argues that individuals become engaged through three psychological states: meaningfulness, safety, and availability. Using Kahn’s theory, the present study was conducted to test whether task characteristics, transformational leadership, and core self-evaluations were related to engagement through its respective psychological state. Data were collected from 114 full time and part time employees from various companies. Overall, psychological meaningfulness was found to mediate the relationship between each of the predictor variables and work engagement. These findings suggest that having a job that provides autonomy, task significance, task identity, skill variety, and feedback, having supervisors who motivate and inspire employees, and having a greater sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy, all make employees feel worthwhile and valued, which then impacts feelings of engagement. Organizations should strive to provide employees with an opportunity to use a variety of skills and autonomy, as well as train supervisors to display more transformational leadership characteristics.