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Psychometric study of work engagement in an American sample

Muilenburg-Trevino, Evie M.
Scope and Method of Study: The purpose of the present study was to examine the psychometric properties of the 17-item UWES scores in an American sample. Specifically, the structure was examined by means of confirmatory factor analyses to determine if a three-factor structure exists. Exploratory factor analysis techniques were used to determine the underlying factors of the UWES. In addition, the internal consistency reliability estimates of the UWES scores were assessed. Finally, the relationship between the Big Five personality characteristics and work engagement was examined.
Findings and Conclusions: In regard to the structure of the UWES, results from the confirmatory factor analyses indicated that a one-factor and initial three-factor model had poor fit, but a revised three-factor model had improved fit. Because modification indices were utilized in the revised model and because the sample size is small, findings cannot be expected to generalize to other samples and should be interpreted with great caution. Alternatively, results from the principal axis factor analysis of the items support a unidimensional factor structure with a reduced 15-item version of the UWES. Internal consistency estimates ranged from .80 to .88 for UWES subscales. The total scale reliability estimate for the 17-item UWES was .93 compared to an internal consistency estimate of .94 for the 15-item version. Finally, the relationships between dimensions of the UWES and of the Big Five personality characteristics were investigated by computing a series of regression analyses. Results indicate statistically significant relationships between personality characteristics and vigor, dedication and absorption subscales and the total work engagement scale. Specifically, neuroticism and extroversion were the predictors that made a statistically significant contribution to the equation with similar correlations found among total and subscale equations.