Original Research

The antecedents of employee engagement and their effect on public sector service delivery: The case study of government departments in Harare

Tawaziwa Wushe, Jacob Shenje
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 17 | a1082 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v17i0.1082 | © 2019 Tawaziwa Wushe, Jacob Shenje | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 June 2018 | Published: 13 November 2019

About the author(s)

Tawaziwa Wushe, College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa; and, Country Cool Air Conditioning Pvt. Ltd, Harare, Zimbabwe
Jacob Shenje, Decision Point Consultants Pvt. Ltd, Harare, Zimbabwe


Orientation: Employee engagement has become an impetus behind business success and a deciding factor for service delivery, especially in the Zimbabwean public sector.

Research purpose: This study sought to investigate the antecedents of employee engagement and their effect on public sector service delivery with reference to selected government departments in Harare.

Motivation for the study: The government departments in Harare have witnessed gross employee disengagement as indicated by reduced employee commitment and high absenteeism.

Research approach/design and method: A quantitative research design was adopted for this study. A structured questionnaire was developed, validated and distributed to 260 employees and management working in five selected government departments.

Main findings: This study showed that the antecedents of employee engagement such as effective leadership, training and career development, compensation and incentive programmes, and organisational policies and procedures greatly influenced employee engagement in the public sector. The study also noted that employee engagement positively impacted service delivery in the public sector.

Practical/managerial implications: An important implication of this study is the need for the public sector management to understand the significance of the social exchange for employee engagement and to provide employees with resources and benefits that would oblige them to perform productively.

Contribution/value-add: This study is expected to enrich the empirical evidence on the antecedents of employee engagement and also provide recommendations for practitioners in investigating the influence of employee engagement on service delivery in the public sector.


effective leadership; employee engagement; policies and procedures; public sector; service delivery; training and career development


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Crossref Citations

1. Antecedents of Work Engagement in the Public Sector: A Systematic Literature Review
Norfadhillaton Zahari, Maniam Kaliannan
Review of Public Personnel Administration  vol: 43  issue: 3  first page: 557  year: 2023  
doi: 10.1177/0734371X221106792