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Journal Article

Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work

William A. Kahn
The Academy of Management Journal
Vol. 33, No. 4 (Dec., 1990), pp. 692-724
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/256287
Page Count: 33
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Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work
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Abstract

This study began with the premise that people can use varying degrees of their selves, physically, cognitively, and emotionally, in work role performances, which has implications for both their work and experiences. Two qualitative, theory-generating studies of summer camp counselors and members of an architecture firm were conducted to explore the conditions at work in which people personally engage, or express and employ their personal selves, and disengage, or withdraw and defend their personal selves. This article describes and illustrates three psychological conditions--meaningfulness, safety, and availability--and their individual and contextual sources. These psychological conditions are linked to existing theoretical concepts, and directions for future research are described.

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