Bevlogenheid: een begrip gemeten | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0921-5077
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7235


Work Engagement: The measurement of a concept

Work Engagement: The measurement of a concept

Wilmar B. Schaufeli & Arnold B. Bakker, Gedrag & Organisatie, volume 17, April 2004, nr. 2, pp 89-112.

The first part of this article reviews research on work engagement, a concept that has recently been introduced as the antipode of burnout. Engaged workers are vigorous and dedicated, and totally absorbed by their work. Typically, research on work engagement uses the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES), which psychometric qualities seem to be confirmed by numerous (inter)national studies. However, a more detailed and systematic study on psychometric qualities of UWES has not yet been performed. Therefore, the second part of this article discusses the results of UWES analyses, performed on a database consisting of almost 10.000 Dutch speaking (i.e. Dutch and Flemish) workers. The study shows that the three subscales of the UWES (i.e. vigor, dedication and absorption) are sufficiently internally consistent and that the three-factor structure fits the data better than the alternative one-factor structure. Nevertheless, the three subscales are highly interrelated. Although weaker than expected, the subscales of the UWES correlate negatively with those of the UBOS (Utrecht Burnout Scale), the Dutch version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Furthermore, scores on the UWES are significantly and positively correlated with age; male and Flemish employees feel more engaged than female and Dutch employees, respectively; and some professional groups (e.g. managers) score higher on work engagement than other groups (e.g. blue collar workers). However, although statistically significant, practically speaking these differences are irrelevant. Hence, no age, gender, occupation or nation specific UWES-norms are presented. It is concluded that the 15-item UWES – of which also a 9-item shortened version exists – is a reliable and valid self-report tool to measure the concept of work engagement.


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