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Emma Soane

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About the author and department

Personal webpage:

Management Department:

Relevant research

Gatenby, M., Rees, C., Truss, C., Alfes, K., and Soane, E. (2015) Managing change, or changing managers: The role of middle managers in UK public service reform. Public Management Review, 17(8), pp. 1124-1145.

Shantz, A., Alfes, K., Bailey, C. and Soane, E. (2015) Drivers and outcomes of work alienation: reviving a concept. Journal of Management Inquiry, 24(4), pp. 382-393.

Truss, C., Alfes, K., Delbridge, R., Shantz, A. and Soane, E., eds. (2014) Employee engagement in theory and practice. Routledge, Abingdon, UK.

Alfes, K., Shantz, A., Truss, C. and Soane, E. (2013). The link between perceived human resource management practices, engagement and employee behaviour: a moderated mediation model. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24 (2). pp. 330-351.    

Soane, E., Shantz, A., Alfes, K., Truss, C., Rees, C. and Gatenby, M. (2013) The association of meaningfulness, wellbeing and engagement with absenteeism: a moderated mediation model. Human Resource Management, 53 (3). pp. 441-456.

Truss, C., Shantz, A., Soane, E., Alfes, K. and Delbridge, R. (2013) Employee engagement, organisational performance and individual well-being: exploring the evidence, developing the theory. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24 (14). pp. 2657-2669.

Shantz, A., Alfes, K., Truss, C. and Soane, E. (2013) The role of employee engagement in the relationship between job design and task performance, citizenship and deviant behaviours. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24 (13).

Soane, E., Alfes, K., Truss, K., Rees, C. and Gatenby, M. (2012). Employee engagement: Measure validation and associations with individual level outcomes. Human Resource Development International. 15(5), 529-547.

Truss, K., Soane, E., Alfes, K., Rees, C. and Gatenby, M. (2010) Engaging the "pole vaulters" on your staff. Harvard Business Review, 88 (2). p.24.

Evidence of impact

CIPD-sponsored research and publications

The research impacted upon the wider practitioner and HR community via the association with the CIPD. According to Mike Emmott, Advisor Employee Relations, CIPD:

“When CIPD wanted to look seriously at the concept of employee engagement in 2006, we chose the Kingston team headed by Katie Truss and Emma Soane to do the work.  Based on a nationwide survey of 2,000 employees, their report explored how employees in the UK feel about their work, what leads some employees to go the extra mile, and what employers can do to raise levels of motivation and engagement. This was the first serious attempt by academics in the UK to look in depth at an issue that had hitherto been largely the preserve of consultants.  The report threw significant light on the positive benefits of employee engagement for both organisations and individuals and produced an extensive evidence base that has supplied a solid platform for later research.  CIPD subsequently worked with the team as part of a consortium of organisations that wished to learn more about how to raise engagement levels.  This led to the publication of a series of case studies between [2008 and 2011] analysing the engagement practices of employers in different sectors.  The resulting increase in the profile of employee engagement within the HR community undoubtedly helped to stimulate wider interest by business and within government, and the setting up in 2009 of a task force headed by David MacLeod and Nita Clarke, which has further popularised the concept and led to the formation of an engagement “movement”.  The team can take a great deal of credit for having helped to make employee engagement a major continuing focus of research into organisational performance and the practical application of its findings.”

Alfes, K., Truss, C., Soane, E., Rees, C. and Gatenby, M. (2010). Creating an engaged workforce. Findings from the Kingston Employee Engagement Consortium Project. London: CIPD.

Gatenby, M., Rees, C., Soane, E. and Truss, K. (2009). Employee Engagement in Context. London: CIPD.

Citation in other CIPD publications

The research is cited extensively in The future of engagement, May 2014:

The psychological contract: resource summary, July 2012, accessible via web registration to non-CIPD members:

Where has all the trust gone?, March 2012:

Perspectives on leadership in 2012: Implications for HR, July 2012, accessible to CIPD members only:

Citation in Engage for Success publications

The research was cited five times in Engaging for success: enhancing performance through employee engagement, A report to the UK Government by David MacLeod and Nita Clarke, with a foreword by Rt Hon Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills – see pp. 8, 15, 60, 69 and 98:

The consortium research was cited 11 times, including one reference to the ISA Engagement Scale research, in the report from the Engage for Success group titled The Evidence. Employee Engagement Task Force “Nailing the evidence” workgroup, by Bruce Rayton (University of Bath School of Management), Tanith Dodge and Gillian D'Analeze (Marks & Spencer, plc), November, 2012:

Seminar series

A website hosted by the University of Kent provides information about the seminar series, slides from presentations and links to video recordings of the presentations and discussions:

The seminar series involved collaboration with the Engage for Success group. Co-chairs of David MacLeod and Nita Clarke reported: “The ESRC funded seminar series 'Employee engagement, individual well-being and organisational performance:  Exploring the evidence, developing the theory' made an extremely significant contribution to this area of research and management development. The programme brought together practitioners, experts, thinkers and consultants to share practice, shine a light on the importance of this topic, and offer best practice. The work has made a significant and critical contribution through developing the required insights for organisations to harness, and by creating networks to facilitate this. The seminars have been extremely well attended and very effectively managed. This series has been an exemplar in terms of bringing the business academic and management together for very significant mutual benefit.  The organisers are to be congratulated.”

Joyce Henderson, Organisational Insight Consultant, Department for Work and Pensions, reported:
“I've used knowledge from the seminars to feed into how we analyse, interpret and think about the results from our DWP engagement survey. This includes models of engagement, consideration of leadership roles, culture and HR policy.  This was presented to the Executive team in November and December 2012. The seminar series provided an extremely valuable development journey for me - helping to keep connected to the field of research and maintain awareness of how theory is being applied in practice. We are currently developing an insight driven HR approach in DWP (along the lines of CIPD next generation thinking). The seminar series has helped provide a sound basis for insight on engagement - the breadth and reach of the topic and critical insights that can help us focus attention on what's important. “

The ESRC seminar series and the association with Engage for Success led to the establishment of an 'Engagement Research Community' subsection of the Engage for Success LinkedIn group in March 2013:

Relevant video and audio

‘Dr Emma Soane and Dr Carol O’Connor on employee engagement’, sponsored by Investors in People in collaboration with LSE Enterprise, 13 Aril 2013:

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