Employee perspective on communication and engagement : A case study in a manufacturing organisation

University essay from Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle

Abstract: Purpose The purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of how supervisor-employee communication affects the employee engagement on the shop floor of manufacturing organisations. To achieve this purpose, the two below research objectives were developed: To identify how supervisor-employee communication impacts employee engagement To identify any barriers to supervisor-employee communication Method The study had a deductive, qualitative research approach as a conceptual framework was developed from literature and then verified with empirical data collected through semi-structured interviews. The research strategy was holistic and single case as all eight interviews were conducted with respondents from a single organisation. The interviewees were selected using a maximum variation, purposive sampling technique. Lastly, the collected data was analysed using a form of thematic analysis. Findings The main finding was that supervisor-employee communication was proven to have a significant impact on the employee engagement among the shop floor workers in the manufacturing organisation. In addition, supervisor-employee communication was proven to affect the employee engagement in a similar way that literature suggested. Furthermore, the findings supported the definition of employee engagement as a shared responsibility between the employee and the supervisor. Theoretical implications This study provided additional data to the existing literature on supervisor-employee communication and employee engagement while investigating the relationship between these two concepts in a new setting. Not only did this study contribute with rather unique data from the manufacturing industry, but it also adopted the employee perspective of the phenomenon. Previous research has predominantly consisted of studies with the perspective of management rather than the employees. Therefore, this study offers a foundation upon which further, both qualitative and quantitative research within this area can be conducted. Practical implications The main practical implication that this study has offered is highlighting the importance of supervisor-employee communication when it comes to generating and maintaining employee engagement on the shop floor of manufacturing organisations. The supervisor’s role and way of communicating has been identified as crucial for the employees’ level of engagement and this study has provided some guidance for supervisors in this matter.

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