BM7966: Employee Engagement

BM7966: Employee Engagement

Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

Module Title Employee Engagement
Module Code BM7966
Module Tutor David Dawson
School Business School
CAT Points 15
Level of Study 7
Brief Description

Crucial to the delivery of superior organisational performance is the extent to which the employees of an organisation feel involved, committed and engaged. This module explores the different dimensions of employee engagement, that is, the cognitive, affective and behavioural dimensions. It examines and explores what is meant by ‘engagement’ and why some organisations are better than others at creating authentic engagement among their employees, and what any organisation can do, with the aid of its human resource (HR) professionals, to create sustainably high levels of workforce engagement.  The module will equip learners with a comprehensive understanding of the concept of ‘engagement’ as applied in an organisational setting and explores the research-based and philosophical connections between employee engagement and other related beliefs, values, leadership models and management practice. It provides learners with knowledge and understanding of the rationale for the emergence of employee engagement as a key priority for organisations with high-performance working (HPW) achievements or aspirations and will enable them to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to assess the research, experiential and anecdotal evidence surrounding both the processes that facilitate employee engagement and the outcomes that may follow.  The module counsels caution in the assessment and interpretation of ‘evidence’ about the processes and benefits of engagement and the need to guard against tendencies towards rhetoric, as many studies lack empirical detail and devote excessive attention to views of those with a vested interest in reporting progress and success. Employee engagement, if properly understood, carefully implemented and objectively measured, is a powerful tool for delivering positive reputational and ‘bottom-line’ outcomes. Learners will explore techniques needed to measure engagement, take remedial action or embed engagement-enhancing cultural practices, and to identify, prioritise and evaluate actions to promote high levels of engagement. The module requires critical reflection on theory and practice from an ethical and professional standpoint and provides opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development.

Indicative Syllabus

nbsp;        Alternative definitions of ‘engagement’; contrast with other similar concepts such as ‘involvement’, ‘commitment’ and ‘participation’; behaviours and evidential signs for engagement, for example organisational citizenship and discretionary behaviour; engagement, non-engagement and disengagement; the psychological contract; case study applications.

nbsp;        Employee engagement in context; changes in employee expectations; the dysfunctional consequences of instrumentalism, task simplification and scientific management; engagement practices: their significance for the HR infrastructure and the pursuit of HR differentiation; case study applications.

nbsp;        Reiteration of the principles for high-performance working; employee engagement as a common element; elements of ‘world-class’ service/corporate performance; the alignment of cultural, strategic and operational practices to stimulate engagement; case study applications.

nbsp;        Critical review of the research, experiential and anecdotal evidence linking employee engagement with organisational behaviour and outcomes; problems with identifying cause–effect relationships; disentangling the reality from the rhetoric; case study applications.

nbsp;        Employee engagement pursued as a strategic imperative; implications for every thread of HR strategy and practice: HR planning, resourcing, learning and development, performance management, and reward, recognition and review; links to employer ‘branding’, self-managed learning and other mechanisms for advancing a culture of mutuality; the future of the psychological contract in conditions of continued uncertainty, rapid technological change, escalating customer aspirations and globalisation; methods for gaining support and overcoming resistance to change; case study applications (for example in students’ own organisations).

Alternative methods for measuring levels of employee engagement; the Gallup Q12 instrument; balancing the desire for scientific integrity with ‘political’ sensitivities and priorities in the real world; creating project plans for enhancing/retrieving levels of employee engagement; case study applications (for example, any organisation that appears to have lost its ‘excellence’ status).

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module learners will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse the concept of employee engagement, both intrinsically and also as an instrument for facilitating high-level business purposes.
  2. Explain the empirical and philosophical connections between employee engagement, managerial leadership, strategic aspirations and HR strategies focused on infrastructure maintenance and also the development of human resource management (HRM) competitive differentiators.
  3. Explore the critical contribution of employee engagement as a route to strategic, reputational and competitive excellence within a high-performance working environment.
  4. Design and undertake an analysis of the relationships, causal or correlational, between levels of employee engagement and organisational performance, measured by both process efficiencies and corporate outcomes.
  5. Create justified, cost-effective and strategically defensible action plans for promoting employee engagement within their own organisations and elsewhere.

Systematically evaluate levels of employee engagement within organisations, functions and business units, and recommend or implement programmes designed to achieve remedial changes or embed levels of engagement already accomplished.

Learning and Teaching Activities

Work Based Learningdelivery students will devise an agreed work plan with their Advisor to meet their individual learning needs to achieve the module learning outcomes

Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 01: 100% Assignment: Individual: Individual Portfolio
Special Assessment Requirements
Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

What are Course Maps and Module Descriptors?

Course Maps

A course map contains a list of the individual study units, called modules, that you study to complete your course. Some modules are compulsory, but you can sometimes choose modules outside your core area of study which interest you.

Module Descriptors

A module is a self-contained, individual unit of study. The module descriptor provides various details about the module including who the module tutor is, what you will be studying, how you will be assessed and what you will have learned once you have completed the module.

Course Resources Archive

Course maps and module descriptors from previous years can be found in the Course Resources Archive.