Personality and engagement at work: the mediating role of psychological meaningfulness

Stephen A. Woods*, Juilitta A. Sofat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we examined the associations of personality traits of the Big Five model with work engagement, and tested a theoretical model in which these associations are mediated by the positive state of psychological meaningfulness (perceptions that work is valuable and meaningful). In a sample of 238 UK working adults, we found that the personality facets assertiveness and industriousness were the strongest predictors of work engagement, and that both exhibited direct and indirect effects, mediated by psychological meaningfulness. Neuroticism demonstrated a marginal indirect association with engagement, again mediated by psychological meaningfulness. Our findings offered good support for our model, explaining a pathway from personality traits to engagement. Practical implications for management are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2203-2210
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number11
Early online date10 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


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