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Meaningful engagement: Impacts of a ‘calling’ work orientation and perceived leadership support

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 April 2017

Robert W Kolodinsky
Management Department, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, USA
William J Ritchie
Management Department, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, USA
Wayne A Kuna
Soul Priority Inc., Elmhurst, IL, USA
E-mail address:


Given its positive relationship with valued organizational outcomes, worker-related engagement has become a prominent issue for practitioners and for scholars. While recent research has begun to validate various engagement antecedents and outcomes, little is known about the effects that work orientation and supportive leadership have on engagement, particularly among millennial workers, the soon to be dominant generational work group globally. To explore these gaps, we studied a particular form of work orientation – those indicating having a ‘calling’ – along with perceptions of how supportive leadership is for study subjects’ current work. Specifically, we posited positive worker engagement relationships for both worker calling and perceptions of leadership support, as well as for their interaction. Drawing upon a United States-based sample of 297 millennial workers, we found a positive relationship for each hypothesis. This study contributes to the expanding literature on the value of understanding how work orientation and leadership perceptions impact important organizational outcomes.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press and Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management 2017 

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