Work engagement – a matter of trust: A contribution to research on work engagement
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Work engagement represents a fairly young research field, with a limited amount of available research literature. Research based on the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) has identified two sets of variables that drive work engagement; job resources and personal resources. It is my belief that this research field may benefit from more exploratory research and further theory development. The research question pursued in this thesis is: ”Which factors lead to work engagement?”. I chose to take an interpretive approach to pursue my research question. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with eight employees in ConocoPhillips. To analyze the data I chose to largely follow Strauss and Corbin’s (1998) Grounded Theory approach. I have summarized the results from the analysis in a model of factors leading to work engagement. The model contains 3 main categories of factors that were found to lead to work engagement. These are; trust, which leads to job resources (with subcategories rewarding tasks , social support and performance feedback), which further lead to personal resources (with subcategories feeling needed and confidence and self-efficacy), which in turn lead to work engagement. The findings support the Job Demands-Resources JD-R) model stating that job resources, mediated by personal resources, lead to work engagement. A new personal resource that has not yet received attention in research literature on work engagement – feeling needed – emerged as a significant contributor to the participants’ work engagement. The findings also indicate that in order to attain certain job resources one needs to get trust from one’s superior. Trust from one’s supervisor has not yet received attention in the research of work engagement, and so this finding constitutes a new contribution to theory that should be researched further. Findings also indicate a reinforcing cycle of resources and provide support for the Conservation of Resources (COR) theory in the motivational process of work engagement. The findings and their relation to existing theory are discussed, as well as suggestions for future research.