Employee engagement continues to gain considerable attention owing to its positive correlation with numerous desired work-related outcomes (Saks, 2019; Shuck et al., 2017). Engagement in one’s job has become of particular interest in industry sectors experiencing shortages, such as the skilled trades (Bilginsoy, 2003). The skilled trades have reportedly been the most difficult segment of the employee market to staff globally year over year (Schwartz, 2015; Wright, 2013).

As organizations wish to improve engagement in one’s job, they have looked to developmental antecedents of engagement (Ellinger, Musgrove, & Ellinger, 2012). Managerial coaching has been supported as having a significant direct effect on engagement (Ellinger, Musgrove, & Ellinger, 2012), however, recent research has supported mediated relationships between managerial coaching and engagement (Carrell, 2018; Kim, 2014). Job crafting has been correlated with an increase in work engagement and other positive work attitudes (Ghitulescu, 2006; Tims, Bakker, Derks & van Rhenen, 2013b) and is an under-researched construct that may explain how managerial coaching may lead to engagement in a job.

This study examined the mediating effect of job crafting on the relationship between managerial coaching and job engagement in the skilled trades. The study hypotheses predicted a mediated relationship between managerial coaching and job engagement through job crafting. A second hypothesis utilized the lower order job crafting factors of increasing structural job resources, increasing social job resources, and seeking challenges, as mediators without a higher order factor of job crafting. Alternative hypotheses were posed which controlled for a direct effect of managerial coaching on job engagement.

The design of the study was a quantitative, half-longitudinal survey deisgn (Cole & Maxwell, 2003), with two paper surveys administered at two distinct time periods in a skilled trades organization. Surveys were matched using a self-generated identification code and 292 surveys resulted. The findings support a higher order factor of job crafting, comprised of increasing social job resources and seeking challenges, as a full mediator between managerial coaching and job engagement. Implications for research and practice are explored.

Date of publication

Spring 5-12-2020

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Andrea D. Ellinger, Ph.D., Kim F. Nimon, Ph.D., Sewon Kim, Ph.D.


Ph.D., Human Resource Development