Vietnamese Employee Work Engagement. Influence Of Organizational Socialization Tactics And Work-Home Interactions


Work engagement is seen to be affected by plenty of organizational factors and individual psychological characteristics of an employee. This study was conducted in an effort to discover which organizational socialization tactics and work-home interactions factors have the strongest influence on an employee’s work engagement. As such, the study aims at measuring and exploring the impacts of organizational socialization tactics (content, context and social tactics) and work-home interactions (positive work-home interaction, negative work-home interaction, positive home-work interaction and negative home-work interaction) on Vietnamese young employees’ work engagement. Data were collected from questionnaires with 675 respondents with highly academic background, under 30 years old and with less than 5-year working experience at their organizations. The measuring instruments adopted in the study include the Organizational Socialization Tactics scale ( Cable & Parson, 2001 ), the Survey Work-Home Interaction-Nijmegen (Geurts, 2000) and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale ( Schaufeli & al., 2002 ). The results demonstrated a significant relationship amongst all independent variables, except negative home-work interaction, and the dependent variable. Furthermore, positive work-home interaction was the most influential factor on employee work engagement. These results carry an implication that it is crucial for young employees to maintain positive relationship between work and private life, apart from organizational socialization tactics to improve their work engagement.

Keywords: Work engagementorganizational socialization tacticswork-home interactionsyoung employee


Employee work engagement has been a concern in organisations, as managers look for different methods to maintain and promote engagement in their workforce (Chandani, Mehta, Mall, & Khokhar, 2016). Work engagement is worth striving for both employees (Bakker, Schaufeli, Leiter, & Taris, 2008) and organizations (Christian, Garza, & Slaughter, 2011) by dint of its important role. For employees, high level of work engagement has a significant relationship with their job satisfaction, job performance (Shmailan, 2016), loyalty (Durkin, 2007; Biswas & Bhatnagar, 2013), citizenship behaviour and productive work behaviour (Ariani, 2013). It can also be beneficial for their mental health (Leijten, Van Den Heuvel, Van Der Beek, Ybema, Robroek, & Burdorf, 2015). For an organization, work engagement can mediate the relationship between psychological climate and organizational effectiveness (Kataria, Garg, & Rastogi, 2013), and it also increases organizational commitment (Agyemang & Ofei, 2013). In other words, work engagement has a crucial role in organization’s development and productivity.

For aforesaid reasons, a large number of studies have looked at the related factors or predictors to work engagement. There are numerous publications demonstrating various factors such as clarity of company values (Mona, 2013), the job itself, career development, relationship with management, compensations and benefits, work environment, and teamwork (Mai & Nguyen, 2016). However, little attention has been given to the correlations between employee work engagement and different organizational socialization tactics, and employee work engagement and their work-home interactions. The current study therefore focuses on organizational socialization tactics and work-home interactions as independent variables, and seeks to understand their roles in Vietnamese young employees’ work engagement.

Work engagement

Work engagement is defined as “a positive, fulfilling, work-related state, characterized by vigour, dedication, and absorption” (Schaufeli, Salanova, Bakker, & González-Romá, 2002, p. 74). Engagement refers to a persistent and pervasive affective-cognitive state that is not focused on any particular object, event, individual, or behavior (Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004). Vigour is characterized by high level of energy and mental resilience while working, the willingness to invest effort in one’s work, and persistence even in the face of difficulties. Dedication is characterized by experiencing a sense of significance, enthusiasm, inspiration, pride, and involvement in one’s work. And absorption is characterized by being fully concentrated and happily engrossed in one’s work, whereby time passes quickly and one has difficulties with detaching oneself from work. (Schaufeli et al., 2002). Researchers suggest that vigour and dedication constitute the core dimensions of engagement because they are seemingly the opposite poles of the burnout dimensions of exhaustion and cynicism, whereby vigour and exhaustion span a continuum labelled “energy”, and dedication and cynicism span a continuum labelled “identification” (quoted by Hakanen, Bakker, & Schaufeli, 2006).

Work engagement is seen to be influenced by plenty of organizational factors and individual characteristics of an employee. In this study, we would like to initially examine the impacts of demographics and job characteristics on Vietnamese young employees’ work engagement. Therefore, our first hypothesis is as follows:

H1. There is significant difference in work engagement score among Vietnamese young employees, depending on their demographic characteristics.

Organizational socialization tactics and their relationship with work engagement

Socialization tactics refer to strategies designed by the organization for the purposes of helping newcomers adapt to early entry experiences and perform a transition from one role to another (Van Maanen and Schein, 1979; Jones, 1986). Van Maanen and Schein (1979) defined a typology of socialization tactics with six dimensions: (1) collective vs. individual; (2) formal vs. informal; (3) fixed vs. variable; (4) sequential vs. random; (5) serial vs. disjunctive; and (6) investiture vs. divestiture. From these six dimensions, Jones (1986) argued for the existence of three broad factors:

  • content tactics: Employees are informed of specific stages existing in the organization for training, and there is a clear roadmap for their role adjustment;

  • context tactics: Employees are provided with task requirements as a group member and with formal training before starting the actual job; and

  • social tactics: Employees are provided with positive feedback and affirmed by organizational insiders as well as guided within the organization by a trusted insider.

In this study, we adapted three factors from Jones (1986) to examine their impacts on employee’s work engagement. Saks, Uggerslev and Fassina (2007) found in their meta-analytic review of over 30 related studies that socialization tactics are negatively related to role ambiguity, role conflict, and intention to quit, and positively related to fit perceptions, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, job performance and a custodial role orientation. In other words, organizational socialization tactics help young employees succeed in professional tasks; and their work engagement, in our opinion, will increase accordingly. Thereby, we propose another hypothesis below:

H2. All three organizational socialization tactics are positively related to employee work engagement.

Work-home interactions and their relationship with work engagement

The interaction between work and home (or non-work, according to Madjar, Oldham & Pratt, 2002) has been an important aspect in the studies of employees’ work behaviour because they are unseparated domains. Work is defined as a set of (prescribed) tasks that an individual performs while occupying a position in an organization (Guerts & Demerouti, 2003). Home or non-work refers to activities and responsibilities within the family domain, or also beyond the family domain like one’s social life and private life (Dupuy, Le Blanc, & Mégemont, 2006). Work-home interaction is defined by Geurts et al. (2005, p. 322) as “an interactive process in which a worker’s functioning in one domain (e.g. home) is influenced by (negative or positive) load reactions that have built up in the other domain (e.g. work)”. They distinguished four dimensions of work-home interaction:

  • negative work-home interaction: state in which negative load reactions triggered at work hinders a person’s functioning at home (e.g. a low salary and overwork);

  • positive work-home interaction: positive load reactions built up at work that facilitate functioning at home (e.g. a good/fair working environment)

  • negative home-work interaction: negative load reactions established at home that fetter a person’s functioning at work (e.g. no support from family); and

  • positive home-work interaction: positive load reactions built up at home facilitate functioning at work (e.g. emotional support from family).

Regarding the relationship between work engagement and work-home interactions, researchers posed the question whether employees may become so absorbed in their work that this negatively affects other parts of their lives, such as their work-home balance (Halbesleben, Harvey, & Bolino, 2009). Rodríguez-Muñoz, Sanz-Vergel, Demerouti, and Bakker (2014), and therefore call for more research on this subject to “better understand how work engagement relates to experiences lived outside the work domain” (p. 279). In this study, we are interested in whether the work-home interactions can influence the level of employee work engagement. From our viewpoint, when employees feel a positive relationship between work and home, they can better engage in work. On the contrary, a negative relationship between work and home can cause their decreased investment in work. Therefore, we propose and test the following hypotheses:

H3. Positive dimensions of work-home interaction are positively related to employees’ work engagement.

H4. Negative dimensions of work-home interaction are negatively related to employees’ work engagement.

Problem Statement

According to Lovakov, Agadullina & Schaufelic (2017), most researches on engagement have been carried out with the job demands - resources model. Different researchers demonstrated that work engagement is positively correlated with job resources such as social support, positive feedback, the employee’s self-efficacy, work autonomy, and a diversity of work tasks, which helps workers cope with job demands.

Young employees who have just entered work with a change of role (students - workers), status (outsider - insider, Feldman, 1976), need help from the organization as well as their own efforts to be able to work. The majority of researches on organizational socialization tactics indicated that the influence on the employees’ proactive behaviours included feedback-seeking, information-seeking, boss relationship building, networking, job change negotiation, etc. (Gruman, Saks & Zweig, 2006; Saeed, Shamsodin & AhmadReza, 2013), as well as on their organizational commitment (Simosi, 2010). About the work-home interactions, various research findings showed that the balance between work and private life had certain impacts on job satisfaction (Arif & Farooqi, 2014) and employee retention (Kar & Misra, 2013). However, there has been little research into the relationship between organizational socialization tactics and work engagement, also in the relationship between work-home interactions and work engagement. We hope this study might contribute to filling this gap in the literature.

Research Questions

  • Is there an impact of demographic and work-related characteristics on Vietnamese young employees’ work engagement? (gender, age, marital status, type of institution, type of employment contract, work experience, working time per day, level of salary, and intention to leave the organization).

  • Whether the organizational socialization tactics and work-home interactions influence employee work engagement?

  • Which of the organizational socialization tactics and work-home interactions have the strongest influence on employee work engagement?

Purpose of the Study

The study aims to:

  • describe Vietnamese young employees’ work engagement by their demographic characteristics; and

  • measure and explore the impacts of organizational tactics (content, context and social tactics) and work-home interaction (positive home-work, positive work-home, negative home-work and negative work-home interaction) on Vietnamese young employees’ work engagement.

Research Methods

Design and procedure

Based on the discussion on the theoretical background and research questions, four hypotheses were proposed to constitute the research framework. The core hypotheses in this study were to justify effects of organizational socialization tactics and home-work interactions on new employees’ work engagement. Furthermore, we supposed that for young employees, the positive work-home interaction is the strongest factor affecting their work engagement.

According to Katz (1980), organizational socialization tactics are more important during the first few months at work than later, thereby most of the participants in our study work at their organizations for less than 1 year. There are also participants with more than one year of work experience (and a maximum of 5 years) but this rate is low. Data was obtained at different organizations in Ha Noi. In April 2017, a pilot study was conducted on 60 employees to check the face validity and reliability of translated scales. The survey was undertaken from May to July 2017 on 700 employees. 675 were returned, making a response rate of 96.4%. Confidentiality and anonymity were ensured during data collection.


The 675 young employees from different organizations in Ha Noi, Viet Nam have highly academic backgrounds, were under 30 years old and with less than 5-year working experience at their organizations. Their personal information is presented in Table 01 .

Table 1 -
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Work engagement

Work engagement was measured by using the 17-item version scale developed by Schaufeli et al. (2002). The measure consisted of three subscales: (1) Vigour (VI - 6 items, e.g., “When I get up in the morning, I feel like going to work”), (2) Dedication (DE - 5 items, e.g., “I am enthusiastic about my job”) and (3) Absorption (AB - 6 items, e.g., “When I am working, I forget everything else around me”). Participants were given questionnaires with responses on a 4-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (never) to 4 (always). The confirmatory factor analyses (CFA’s) using structural equation modelling (SEM) techniques were adopted in this study. The results obtained showed that the three-factor model fit the data well (Kline, 2011): χ2 = 178.995 (96), p < .001; CFI = .949, TLI = .928, GIF = .913 and RMSEA = .064. The scale reflected excellent reliability with Cronbach’s Alpha of .908 (Nunnally & Bernstein, 2006). The reliability was good for each subscale: Vigour with α = .740, Dedication with α = .883 and Absorption with α = .831.

Organizational socialization tactics

To measure organizational socialization tactics, the questionnaire developed by Cable and Parsons (2001). Which was adopted in this study. include 12 items in total with three factors (4 items for each factor): (1) Context tactics (e.g., “I did not perform any of my normal job responsibilities until I was thoroughly familiar with departmental procedures and work methods”), (2) Content tactics (e.g., “The way in which my progress through this organization will follow a fixed timetable of events has been clearly communicated to me”) and (3) Social tactics (e.g., “I am gaining a clear understanding of my role in this organization from observing my senior colleagues”). Participants were given questionnaires with responses on a 4-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree). The results of a CFA indicated that the three-factor model fit the data well, χ2 = 179.192 (89), p < .001; CFI = .937, TLI = .903, GIF = .957 and RMSEA = .069. The estimated Cronbach’s Alpha coefficients were .81, .751 and .776 for context tactics, content tactics and social tactics, respectively.

Work-home interaction

The relationship between life work and life outside work was measured by the Survey Work-Home Interaction - Nijmegen (SWING) developed by Geurts et al. (2005). The scale consisted of 22 items with four types of work-home interaction: (1) Negative work-home interaction (8 items, e.g., “I do not have the energy to engage in leisure activities with my spouse/family/friends because of my job”), (2) Negative home-work interaction (4 items, e.g., “I have difficulty concentrating on my work because I am preoccupied with domestic matters”), (3) Positive work-home interaction (5 items, e.g., “I fulfil my domestic obligations better because of the things I have learned on my job”) and (4) Positive home-work interaction (5 items, e.g., “I take my responsibilities at work more seriously because I am required to do the same at home”). All items were on a 4-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (never) to 4 (always). The results from the confirmatory factor analysis affirmed the structure of four factors on Vietnamese employees with the data: χ2 = 377.433 (184), p < .001; CFI = .968, TLI = .960, GIF = .951 and RMSEA = .039. Cronbach’s Alpha coefficients of each factor were: Negative work-home interaction .871, Negative home-work interaction .810, Positive work-home interaction .791 and Positive home-work interaction .802.

Data analysis

Data was coded and analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS, version 23.0). For descriptive statistics (the percentage or the mean value), we used initial data. For statistical inference, we eliminated some extreme values to guarantee the criteria of normal distribution. To test our hypotheses, we employed the following statistics methods: T-test, ANOVA, Bivariate Correlation and Linear Regression Analysis.


Table 02 presents the means, standard deviations and inter-correlations of the variables. With a range from 1 to 4, the results demonstrated that Vietnamese young employees tended to highly score all three types of organizational socialization tactics, three dimensions of work engagement and the positive interaction between work and life (Positive WHI and Positive HWI). However, the scores were low on the variables of negative interaction between work and life (Negative WHI and Negative HWI).

Table 2 -
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Effect of demographic and work-related characteristics on work engagement

Variables of demographic and work-related characteristics in this study include gender, age, marital status, education level, type of organization, work experience, work position and working time per day. To test hypothesis 1, multiple of T-test, One-way ANOVA and Bivariate Correlation were carried out. Only significant results on relationship between these characteristics and work engagement are presented in the following session.


The results from an Independent Samples T-test indicated that gender had an effect on work engagement. Male employees ( M = 2.67, SD = .49) had higher work engagement score than females ( M = 2.49, SD = .50), t (667) = 4.184, p < .001.

Work position

An Independent Samples T-test showed that work engagement score was related to employee’s position at work, t (665) = 4.167, p < .001. Manager ( M = 2.78, SD = .49) had greater work engagement score than staff ( M = 2.52, SD = .49).

The above-mentioned results confirmed the effect of some demographic characteristics on employee work engagement, supporting our hypothesis 1.

Relationship between organizational socialization tactics, work-home interaction and work engagement

Below are results of significant relationships between work engagement and the other independent variables:

  • Context tactics and work engagement (r(669) = .211, p < .01);

  • Content tactics and work engagement (r(669) = .307, p < .01);

  • Social tactics and work engagement (r(665) = .187, p < .01);

  • Negative work-home interaction and work engagement (r(667) = .142, p < .01);

  • Positive work-home interaction and work engagement (r(669) = .399, p < .01);

  • Positive home-work interaction and work engagement (r(664) = .426, p < .01).

Among the seven independent variables concerning organizational tactics and home-work interaction, six are positively significant related with work engagement, except negative home-work interaction. Based on these results, we will test our hypothesis 2, 3 and 4.

Factors predicting work engagement

To test the predicting relationship of the work engagement (hypotheses 2, 3 and 4), each of the organizational socialization tactics and work-home interaction were regressed on work engagement using the enter method.

Table 03 summarizes the regression analysis with organizational socialization tactics and work-home interaction as predictors of work engagement. The application of three factors of organizational socialization tactics in the model 1 of the regression analysis produced a statistically significant model ( F (3,665) = 29.423, p < .001), accounting for approximately 11.3% of the variance. All of three factors of context tactics ( β = .124, t = 3.173, p < .01), content tactics ( β = .229, t = 5.564, p < .001) and social tactics ( β = .111, t = 2.881, p < .01) positively predicted work engagement, which supported Hypothesis 2. Content tactics seemed also to be the strongest influential factors on work engagement.

Table 3 -
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In the second model, the regression analysis with three dimensions of work-home interaction as predictors of work engagement produced a statistically significant model ( F (3,658) = 65.214, p < .001), accounting for approximately 22.6% of the variance. Positive work-home interaction ( β = .194, t = 4.244, p < .001), positive home-work interaction ( β = .306, t = 6.702, p < .001) and negative work-home interaction ( β = .161, t = 4.681, p < .001) positively predicted work engagement, providing support for Hypothesis 3. However, Hypothesis 4 was not confirmed. Specifically, negative home-work interaction was not in correlation with work engagement while negative work-home interaction was positive correlated with work engagement. In addition, results also indicated that positive home-work interaction seemed the strongest influential factors among different dimensions of work-home interaction on work engagement.

Finally, combination between three factors of organizational socialization tactics and three dimensions of work-home interaction in the model 3 of the regression analysis produced a statistically significant model ( F (6,652) = 38.288, p < .001), accounting for approximately 25.4% of the variance. In this model, positive home-work interaction always acted as the strongest influential factors on work engagement with the β value the highest ( β = .247).


General discussion

Our first purpose in this study was describing Vietnamese young employees’ work engagement by their demographic characteristics. This study found a link between some demographic characteristics of employees and their work engagement such as gender, types of the organization and work position of employees. These results were/or were not reported in some other studies.

First, in regard to gender effect on work engagement, Lovakov et al. (2014), Schaufeli and Bakker (2004b) shared the same results that men had higher work engagement score than women. Fong and Ng (2012) indicated higher level of vigour for women and higher level of dedication and absorption for men. However, Zecca et al. (2015), Garg (2014) did not affirm any difference in the level of work engagement between men and women. From a gender role perspective, high level of work engagement among men could be explained by familial tasks (Rothbard, 1999). Specifically, men can dedicate themselves fully to their work while women seem to be more or less distracted by numerous familial responsibilities. From perspective of Vietnamese culture, men are often perceived as being able to withstand more pressure to ensure success at work than women. This is because the “ideal Vietnamese man” seems to be strongly associated with his success at work, which could explain why men scored higher than women in work engagement in this study, as success in work affirms men’s social value.

Second, as for work position, managers have higher work engagement than staff. Johnson (2010) indicated that the opportunities for professional development were one of factors which could promote work engagement among managers. We adapted her finding to explain our results. In fact, in any type of organizations, managers often have an advantage over employees in accessing better career ladders. And high work engagement can enable them to seize professional development opportunities. Furthermore, we suppose that our finding is consistent with results from some studies on manager’s role in employee work engagement. According to Jyotsna (2008), the manager needs to have visionary thinking and future orientation for employees to increase their work engagement. As holding a position with strong sense of responsibility, high work engagement among managers can be a good example for employees, at the same time can maintain staff’s respect for their managers.

There are a lot of individual variables affecting work engagement indicated in others studies such as age of employees (employee engagement keeps increasing with their age, Lovakov et al., 2014); marital status (married employees have a higher level of engagement than single employees, quoted by Garg, 2014); work experience with the present organization (work experience have negative relationship with work engagement, Truss et al., 2006). But these findings have not been recorded in our research. This may be due to the similarity in terms of demographic characteristics of our participants (i.e age, qualification, work experience, etc.).

The principal purpose of the study was measuring and exploring the impacts of organizational tactics (content, context and social tactics) and work-home interaction (positive home-work, positive work-home, negative home-work and negative work-home interaction) on Vietnamese young employees’ work engagement.

With regard to the organizational socialization tactics, other studies have recognized its importance on employees’ proactive behaviour. For example, Saks, Uggerslev and Fassima (2007) indicated that social tactics were strongest predictors of adjustment outcomes. However, we have not noted any studies mentioning the relationship between organizational socialization tactics and work engagement. The findings from this study affirmed that content, context and social tactics are positively related to employee work engagement and they also can predict its variance. Moreover, content tactics appear to be the strongest influential factor on work engagement. It seems that when the employees are well-informed of their individual development at work, they stay better focused on their work.

Regarding work-home interaction, except for the negative home-work interaction, the three other types (negative work-home interaction, positive work-home interaction and positive home-work interaction) are positively related to and potential predictors of work engagement. These results are either for or against the findings of Rothmann and Baumann (2014). They indicated that negative home-work/work-home interaction was negatively associated with work engagement while positive home-work/work-home interaction was positively affected work engagement. Our findings also pointed out the positive correlation between positive home-work/work-home interaction and work engagement. In the context where almost all employees have to deal with pressure between work and private life, these findings reinforce the important role of work-life balance and reaffirm that work and life are unseparated domains. In other words, employees can be really engrossed and satisfied with their work when their private life is good. Similarly, the development at work, to some extent, is useful for their private life. Besides, the positive association between negative work-home interaction and work engagement found in our study seems to justify the argument of Halbesleben, Harvey, and Bolino (2009) that becoming so absorbed in work can negatively affect other parts of life. Whether work engagement, in this case, can be understood as “workaholism” which was described as “the compulsion or the uncontrollable need to work incessantly” (Oates, 1971). Among these three types of work-home interaction, the positive work-home interaction seems the strongest influential factor on work engagement. And its value stays the same when the combination of three types of work-home interaction and three types of organizational socialization tactics is used in predicting work engagement’s variation.


This study provided evidence for the relationships between organizational socialization tactics and work engagement, between work-home interaction and work engagement. Among all independent variables, positive work-home interaction seems the strongest influential factor on employee work engagement. These results carry an implication that it is crucial for young employees to maintain positive relationship between work and private life, apart from organizational socialization tactics to improve their work engagement. In the future, we think more studies should be conducted to understand what can mediate or moderate these relationships.


This is to acknowledge funding from Vietnam National University, Ha Noi. This study was conducted as a part of the project: “Professional socialization’s conduct of young employees and the organization’s influence”. Project number: QG.16.42


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Education, educational psychology, counselling psychology

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Thai, B. T. H., & Duc, T. T. M. (2017). Vietnamese Employee Work Engagement. Influence Of Organizational Socialization Tactics And Work-Home Interactions. In Z. Bekirogullari, M. Y. Minas, & R. X. Thambusamy (Eds.), ICEEPSY 2017: Education and Educational Psychology, vol 31. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 687-700). Future Academy.