MacLeod and Clarke’s Concept of Employee Engagement: An Analysis based on the Workplace Employment Relations Study


It is important to note that there are a wide variety of approaches to engagement and indeed definitions of the term. Some see engagement as a state of mind among employees. Others see it as being about the actions of employees. As Purcell explains, engagement is a combination of attitude and behaviour. The attitude is commitment, and the behaviour is going the extra mile. Others see engagement in terms of an employer’s actions; an approach to working with employees or something that is done to employees. The definition in the MacLeod report tends to lean towards the latter but also references the former. In this study we attempt to address all of these aspects. We look at engagement in terms of attitudes (commitment, job satisfaction etc.) as well as behaviour (willingness to put in discretionary effort). We also look at employer approaches to engaging with employees – the various different methods of communicating with and involving staff in workplace issues – and how they relate to employee perceptions.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • The enablers of employee engagement in WERS 
  • Employee engagement and its enablers over time 
  • Who is engaged? 
  • Employer actions and engagement – what works?
  • Engagement and organisational performance
  • Conclusion
    • Appendix 1 – Bibliography
    • Appendix 2 - List of tables and graphs
    • Appendix 3 – Regression analysis tables
Contact Person/Organization: 

Joe Dromey, Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (acas)

Type of Tool:

Publication Date: 

Driving Employee Engagement | Daniel Pink

What Is The Definition of Employee Engagement?