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Hadas Wittenberg

Hadas Wittenberg staff profile picture

School of Management
Massey Business School


Thesis Title
The process of engaging and disengaging: An exploration within the context of Independent Professionals’ work

Research Description
Current understanding of person-work engagement lacks an integrative view through lenses of time, process, and socio-ecological context, which is particularly problematic in the current ambiguous and fast-changing work environment. This research is concerned with the broad questions of: How do people become engaged with their work? What are the individual outcomes of being engaged? This mixed-methods research aims to provide insights into the multi-levels and integrative nature of the person – work engagement and map the relationships of environmental variables (work, organisation, social), work interactions and people momentary experiences (feeling, thoughts, and actions) with longer-term outcomes. The research is designed as an iterative cyclic process, working with carefully selected participants. Data will be collected using semi-structured interviews, and mobile data entries using Daily Recustrcuted techniques. The study intends to extend our knowledge by offering an alternative model for understanding person-work engagement. The model is mapping the interplays between a range of conditions, interactions and associated experiences and their outcomes as they relate to individuals over time. The model will also be useful for organisations providing insights into developing wellbeing strategies.

Research Importance
Being engaged with one’s work is linked to both wellbeing and performance and has been the focus of scholars and practitioners in recent years; Despite the emphasis, data show that we are getting more stressed and anxious. Our experience of work is a complex social issue that requires attention.

Research Benefit
A better understanding of person-work engagement will benefit future academic research. It will offer an integrative model that is sensitive to the diverse context and the dynamic nature of work. Also, operationalisation of the model will help to better direct HR effort toward people wellbeing and organisational outcomes.

Personal Description
I have been living in Auckland for over 20 years and working in management and leadership roles ever since I graduated from university as an industrial and management engineer back in 1990. My experience is mainly in contexts of change and transformation. I searched for an open-minded, diverse, and socially conscious university to support me through this exciting next step in my career and was fortunate to get this opportunity with Massey University. Work is fundamental to a thriving society, and I hope that through my research, I can continue to contribute to the enhancement of people – work relationships.

Professor Gabriel Eweje
Dr Nazim Taskin
Dr Kate Bone