Work Engagement in Serbia: Psychometric Properties of the Serbian Version of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES)

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Ivana B. Petrović ; Milica Vukelić ; Svetlana Čizmić (2017)

Work engagement is defined as a positive, affective-motivational state of work-related well-being characterized by vigor, dedication and absorption. The Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES) is the most frequently used measure of work engagement. The aim of this study was to analyze the psychometric properties of the Serbian versions of the UWES-17 and UWES-9. The sample consisted of 860 employees from a number of organizations and jobs across Serbia. Based on the UWES-17 findings, the data confirm both the three-factor and one-factor solutions by giving a slight advantage to the three-factor solution. As for the UWES-9, based on the PCFA and CFA, the one-factor solution was obtained as the preferred one. Taking into account the UWES-9 reliability and correlation patterns of its subscales with other well-being variables, both one- and three-factor solutions of the UWES-9 are suggested for future research. Serbian versions of both the UWES-17 and UWES-9 have satisfactory psychometric properties with high reliability, factorial structure in line with the theoretical model, and good predictive validity. The study contributes to enhanced understanding of work engagement by offering an insight from the Serbian cultural and economic context, significantly different from the UWES originating setting. There is still a need for exploring how employees from Serbia conceptualize work engagement, as well as for further, more stringent investigating of the cultural invariance of the UWES factorial structure.
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