The degree of overlap between two positive motivational constructs-morale and work engagement-was assessed in a random sample of Canadian Armed Forces personnel stationed across Canada (N = 1,224). Based on self-determination theory and past research, job-specific self-efficacy, trust in teammates, and job significance were expected to be associated with morale and work engagement. Structural equation modeling analyses revealed that morale and work engagement were highly positively correlated, but had different patterns of association with predictor and outcome variables. Although trust in teammates and job significance predicted both morale and work engagement, job-specific self-efficacy predicted morale but not work engagement. Willingness to deploy on operations, turnover intentions, and psychological distress were predicted by both morale and work engagement, but morale was a better predictor of psychological distress and work engagement was a stronger predictor of turnover intentions. Together, the results suggest that, despite their overlap, morale and work engagement, as defined and measured herein, are not interchangeable.

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Journal Journal of occupational health psychology
Ivey, G.W. (Gary W.), Blanc, J.-R.S. (J-R Sébastien), & Mantler, J. (2015). An assessment of the overlap between morale and work engagement in a nonoperational military sample. Journal of occupational health psychology, 20(3), 338–347. doi:10.1037/a0038559