Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Management Reviews




School of Business and Law




Wittenberg, H., Eweje, G., Taskin, N., & Forsyth, D. (2023). Different perspectives on engagement, where to from here? a systematic literature review. International Journal of Management Reviews. Advance online publication.


Engagement has emerged as a significant focus in contemporary management research, widely acknowledged for its positive impact on wellbeing and performance. However, over 30 years since its introduction, the concept of engagement remains fractured with multiple definitions, ongoing theoretical debates, and inconsistent empirical evidence of practical value. This review addresses the evolving nature of work-related engagement, recognizing the need for fresh perspectives to better understand this complex phenomenon. To facilitate progressing the research agenda beyond current debates, we used a meta-narrative review as a systematic approach for synthesizing our findings and problematizing techniques to generate innovative ideas. Our review identified six distinct groups, each arguing for different conceptualizations of engagement. We illuminated opportunities for further research directions by mapping and challenging dominating narratives. Specifically, our review highlights the need to conduct research outside the predominant positivist/postpositivist perspective. It also identifies a need for additional research to understand how task-level engagement happens through the interplay of individuals and the environment. Our study makes significant conceptual contributions by offering clear boundaries of existing knowledge, an alternative conceptualization of engagement, and a platform for new directions. Contribution to literature review methodology using integrative and generative approaches is also discussed.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.