Group comparison in social science research is a common and informative practice. The establishment of measurement invariance between groups is a statistical prerequisite before making group mean comparisons; however, researchers often do not include measurement invariance assessments before making group comparisons. The current study assessed the measurement invariance for data from the short version of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-9) for the generational cohort groups of Boomers and Millennials within the leisure and hospitality industry. Group equivalency was determined by utilizing propensity score matching before conducting measurement invariance assessments through the confirmatory factor analysis technique. Measurement invariance results between groups were discussed for both the three-factor and the single-factor models of work engagement. Latent mean analysis was conducted for each model, and latent mean differences are reported respective to each analysis. The study included an assessment of common method variance using the comprehensive confirmatory factor analysis latent marker technique. The study’s results confirmed measurement invariance for data from UWES-9 between Boomers and Millennials for the equivalent samples, and the study suggested that Boomers are not more engaged at work than Millennials. This finding was contradictory to much of the leisure and hospitality literature where Boomers are often cited as the more engaged generational cohort. Implications to theory, research, and practice were discussed.

Date of publication

Fall 12-11-2017

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Kim Nimon, Jerry Gilley, Paul Roberts, Greg Wang


Doctor of Philosophy in Human Resource Development