An Exploration of how a Continuous Improvement Initiative Surfaces Social Exchange Dynamics and Consequently Employee Engagement

Hennessey, Noel (2017) An Exploration of how a Continuous Improvement Initiative Surfaces Social Exchange Dynamics and Consequently Employee Engagement. Doctoral thesis, Waterford Institute of Technology.

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Abstract

This research seeks to explore whether a continuous improvement initiative can create a process of social exchange which is conducive to stimulating employee engagement. It is the researcher’s contention that when organisations engage their employees in continuous improvement activity, it provides an environment which creates a process of reciprocity through social exchange between the employee and their manager, which in turn stimulates employee engagement. The research aim for this study is, ‘To explore whether a continuous improvement initiative could potentially create a process of social exchange which is conducive to stimulating employee engagement’. The study took place in Lake Region Medical, an Integer Company based in the South East of Ireland where the author is employed as Continuous Improvement Director. Preliminary interviews with twenty members of the company’s team leader and manager groups were carried out in March 2016 using an interview template underpinned by the critical incident technique. A second round of interviews took place in July 2016, and a short third round of clarification interviews were undertaken in August 2016. Thematic analysis was employed with the aid of NVivo 10 qualitative analysis software. This study has empirically substantiated Saks (2006) suggestion that employee engagement can be better understood in terms of social exchange by demonstrating that social exchange is intrinsically tied to how employee engagement is created, and also by identifying that continuous improvement is a major catalyst to stimulating social exchange and employee engagement dynamics. The study also identified how the continuous improvement process can be a positive and fulfilling experience for employees by highlighting the psycho-social dimensions of the process.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Continuous Improvement, Employee Engagement, Reciprocation, Social Exchange
Departments or Groups: *NONE OF THESE*
Divisions: School of Business > Department of Management and Organization
Depositing User: Derek Langford
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 10:11
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2017 10:11
URI: http://repository.wit.ie/id/eprint/3252

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