n Journal of Contemporary Management - Testing for measurement invariance for employee engagement across sectors in South Africa

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1815-7440



The purpose of the study was to assess the employee engagement questionnaire's degree of factorial invariance across the main business sectors in South Africa. One of the limitations highlighted in previous studies was that the validity does not focus on invariance testing among different demographical groups. Given the differences between business sectors, the focus of this study was to determine whether the questionnaire can be used with confidence in different business sectors.

A quantitative research study was conducted using a database of a research company, which is made up of 285 000 business people from various industries, sizes of business and occupying different roles, reflecting the profile of the South African working population. A total of 4125 employees completed the employee engagement questionnaire. The results confirmed the validity and reliability of the questionnaire. The invariance testing as determined by structural equation modelling indicated mixed results. The final analysis indicates that invariance can be assumed for all the sectors except community and manufacturing.
The employee engagement questionnaire can thus be used with confidence in most of the surveyed sectors but needs to be tested individually for validity and reliability for the community and manufacturing sectors.

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