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This chapter reviews the literature related to teachers’ job demand, job resources and work engagement.
Teachers’ Job Resources
Job resources refer to those physical, psychological, social, or organizational aspects of the job that may (1) reduce job demands and the associated physiological and psychological costs, (2) are functional in achieving work goals, and (3) stimulate personal growth, learning, and development. Hence, job resources are not only necessary to deal with job demands and to get things done, but they are also important in their own right.
Conversely, lack job resources may have negative effects on teachers’ well-being, that is, increase levels of burnout. In the current study, we included five job resources that have been identified either as major motivators that increase commitment or engagement, or that—when lacking—act as factors that increase burnout: three job resources that have been identified either as major motivators that increase commitment or engagement: (1) job autonomy (Taris, Schreurs, ; van Iersel-van Silfhout, 2001), (2) performance feedback (Leithwood, Menzies, Jantzi, ; Leithwood, 1999), and (3) social support and supervision (Coladarci, 1992).
Work-related resources. Resources make up the second category of predictors of work engagement. Work-related resources are the tangible and intangible aspects of a job that either assists an employee in achieving work tasks and goals, reduce hindrance demands, or provide opportunities for growth, learning, and development (Schaufeli ; Bakker, 2004). Resources increase an employee’s ability to meet demands and work goals (Crawford et al., 2010), and resources have been recognized as one of the most significant predictors of work engagement (Crawford et al., 2010; Kim, Shin, & Swanger, 2009; Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004; Van den Broeck et al., 2008). Resources increase employee self- confidence and performance (Xanthopoulou et al., 2009), and decrease turnover intention (Hu, Schaufeli, & Taris, 2011). As resources increase, so does one’s willingness to exert effort in achieving work-related goals (Crawford et al., 2010). This reciprocal relationship between resources and increased work engagement can be described by Social Exchange Theory, as a positive social relationship evolves when employers provide employees with adequate resources (Cropanzano ; Mitchell, 2005; Saks, 2006). When employees are given resources and benefits, they are likely to reciprocate by becoming more engaged in their work. On the other hand, if these resources are not provided, the employees feel no obligation to reciprocate, thus disengaging from their work role (Saks, 2006).
Tangible work-related resources. Tangible resources that contribute to work engagement include salary, rewards, equipment and materials (Bakker et al., 2007). Equipment and materials are motivating because they are necessary and instrumental in completing one’s work tasks (Bakker & Demerouti, 2008). Engagement will increase if employees feel as though their needs are being met and they have the supplies that are required in order to successfully manage all aspects of their career (Van den Broeck et al., 2008). Rewards and salary are also motivating as they meet personal needs for employees (Van den Broeck et al., 2008). Engagement is likely to increase if a workplace offers advancement opportunities and the possibility to share in the success of the company (e.g., profit sharing) (Roberts & Davenport, 2002).
Intangible work-related resources. Intangible resources are instrumental in satisfying employee needs for autonomy, development, and belongingness (Crawford et al., 2010). Opportunities for learning (Shuck et al., 2011) and skill development, as well as high expectations, encouragement, and supervisory coaching all nurture an employee’s growth and development (Bakker ; Demerouti, 2008; Roberts ; Davenport, 2002). Employee work engagement increases if employees feel important and valued and not taken advantage of by their employers (Kahn, 1990). Research has determined that if work is meaningful and flexible (Slåtten ; Mehmetoglu, 2011), employees have some job-related control (Mauno et al., 2007; Pech, 2009; Weigl et al., 2010), and they are given opportunities to make a difference (Kahn, 1990), then they are likely to experience increased work engagement.
Skill variety promotes work engagement especially when the daily work tasks are simple and routine (Kim et al., 2009). Work engagement will increase if employees are given opportunities to be involved in complex tasks that combine routine tasks with new skills, allowing employees to experience feelings of competence as well as growth (Kahn, 1990; Kim et al., 2009).
A positive work environment also contributes to work engagement (Bledow, Schmitt, Frese, ; Kühnel, 2011). Work engagement is influenced by day-to-day work-related events, and work engagement increases when one moves from a work situation in which there is a negative mood to one in which a positive mood is experienced (Bledow et al., 2011).
Support in the workplace is a well-researched intangible resource and predictor of work engagement (e.g., Hakanen et al., 2006; Kahn, 1990; Rhoades ; Eisenberger, 2002; Saks, 2006; Taipale et al., 2011). Support can be further divided into three sections: perceived organizational support, recognition, and leadership style. Perceived organizational support is a predictor of work engagement (Saks, 2006; Siu et al., 2010). It is the belief that one’s work organization cares about one’s well-being and values individual contributions (Rhoades ; Eisenberger, 2002). Perceived organizational support contributes to an employee’s feelings of meaning and purpose, and leads to increased commitment and loyalty (Rhoades & Eisenberger, 2002). Supportive management contributes to an increase in feelings of safety, thus contributing to engagement (Kahn, 1990). When employees feel supported by their organization, they are likely to reciprocate by investing time and energy into meeting the goals of the organization (Bakker et al., 2011).

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