New publication on work engagement and corporate purpose

It is generally assumed that a corporate purpose aiming to benefit all stakeholders has a positive effect on employee motivation and engagement, but so far no empirical evidence is lacking. To examine this assumption, a corporate mission and vision matching the definition of a higher purpose were tested in two subsequent studies. The first study (N = 270) was a cross-sectional self-report study. The second study used a longitudinal design (N = 56) with purpose, motivation, and engagement testing a cross-lagged panel model across three time-points. Results showed an associating of purpose with motivation and engagement. Subsequent longitudinal analysis confirmed the expected directionality from purpose to engagement, but not to motivation. Hence, while a corporate purpose can be added to the list of antecedents of work engagement, the relationship with motivation, despite the significant association with purpose in the cross-sectional study, remains more complicated. The present study adds to the knowledge of the beneficial effects of a broader purpose and responds to the current surge of interest in purpose as an instrument for sustainable business (download full paper).