Richard Kipter Rotich


The concepts of optimism and employee engagement as mechanisms to improving individual performance have been discussed in management literature. Although studies on optimism in the workplace are relatively limited, evidence certainly exists that links the concept to improvement in individual and workplace performance. This study sought to investigate the extent to which optimism influence work Engagement among middle level managers in State Corporations in Kenya. The study was informed by social learning theory. To achieve this, the study adopted a cross sectional quantitative survey design. The target population was the middle level managers in State Corporations in Kenya. A total of 389 middle level managers were sampled and self-administered questionnaires issued. The data collected was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics using SPSS computer software. Multiple regression model indicated that optimism predicts 0.036 (3.6%) of work engagement which was insignificant. Consequently, the predictor did not have a statistically significant effect on Work engagement. The coefficients show that the prediction of work engagement in relation to optimism was insignificant (β1= 0.013, p>.01). Thus optimism was not a significant predictor of work engagement, though methodological limitations may have impacted on this result. This study recommends government agencies in Kenya to assess and identify optimistic employees and also cultivate a working environment that promotes optimism. Executives would promote optimism by instituting measures and practices within its operating systems that create a work environment that assures the employees of their future. Managers ought to be faithful to its promises, particularly on matters touching employees. They should also be able to identify and nurture optimistic employees, by so doing they enhance the level of employee engagement and subsequent improvement of organizational performance.


JEL: L10; L20; L23


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