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  • Make a suggestion or share an insight about your work on one or more components of your Doctoral Study.
  • Ask a probing or clarifying question.
  • Offer and support an opinion, providing evidence to support your claim.
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  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Use the following suggestions to assist you in developing your Discussion posts:

  • Make a suggestion or share an insight about your work on one or more components of your Doctoral Study.
  • Ask a probing or clarifying question.
  • Offer and support an opinion, providing evidence to support your claim.
  • Validate a posting with scholarly sources.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.


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My goal this term is to refine my problem statement and align it closely with the hypothesesand theoretical framework. With these items in place, I will be able to synthesize my research and fill in other areas to complete my prospectus. So far, I have outlined the problem statement and hypothesis.

Problem Statement

A lack of employee engagement in organizations results in lack of productivity (Ghorbannejad & Esakhanim 2016), which in turn results in reduced profitability (Saxena & Srivastava, 2015). Although improving, every engaged employee at work represents 2.6 employees that are actively disengaged (Harter, 2018). The general business problem is that disengaged employees deplete an organization’s resources by receiving wages without producing value for an organization through profits. The specific business problem is that some business leaders do not understand the relationship between employee engagement, productivity, and profitability.


H1 Null: There is no significant relationship between employee engagement and profitability.

H1 Alternative: There is a significant relationship between employee engagement and profitability.

H2 Null: There is no significant relationship between productivity and profitability

H2 Alternative: There is a significant relationship between productivity and profitability

The theoretical framework will result from examination of various theories and election of the most appropriate one. This will serve to further refine the business problem and hypotheses, as I attempt to align the three concepts. I have not yet settled on a theory, and suggestions are welcome.


Ghorbannejad, P., & Esakhani, A. (2016). Capacity to engage: Studying role of individual differences in work engagement–evidences from Iran. Journal of Management Development35(9), 11741183. doi:10.1108/JMD-02-2015-0029

Harter, J. (2018, August 26). Employee engagement on the rise in the U.S. Retrieved from https://news.gallup.com/poll/241649/employee-engagement-rise.aspx

Saxena, V. & Srivastava, R. K. (2015). Impact of employee engagement on employee performance: Case of manufacturing sectors. Retrieved from http://www.ijmrbs.com/currentissue.php



Conceptual Framework

The hierarchy of needs theory and the transformational leadership theory constituted the conceptual framework for this study. Maslow (1943) developed the hierarchy of needs theory, which examined that people have hidden needs at different levels, and the most urgent need is the main driving force for people’s actions. The insurance company pays the commission to their agents and brokers for selling products and providing services to the customers. However, commissions may only satisfy agents and brokers’ basic needs (physiological and safety needs) to facilitate the realization of insurance sales. Once the basic needs are met, the incentives will be reduced. The commissions will no longer be maintained a dominant position, and spiritual needs (love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs) will replace it as the main reason for promoting behaviors. Maslow (1948) also indicated that the hierarchy of needs “is not only a series of increasing need-gratifications, it is as well a series of increasing degrees of psychological health” (p. 409). Maslow was aware that there is usually more than one motivation for one behavior and humans will pursue new needs often because another need has been met (Healy, 2016).

Burns (1978) proposed the transformational leadership theory and defined the relationship between leaders and followers. Bass (1985) indicated that the transformational leaders have charisma, individualized consideration, and intellectual stimulation behaviors, those are different from transactional leaders. Bass and Avolio (1994) further developed Four I’s: idealized influence, inspirational motivations, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration for transactional leadership behaviors. The leadership style will lead to different behaviors of different people with different human characteristics and psychological factors. Northouse (2016) pointed out that transformational leaders focus on the followers’ emotions, values, ethics, and meeting their needs, which is especially essential for organizational success. The insurance company’s leaders and their agents or brokers usually complete the transaction-oriented leadership process under the constraint of a tacit contract. Transactional leaders encourage followers to appeal to their self-interest, but the process of exchange is premised on followers’ obedience to leaders (Burns, 1979). It does not generate a positive enthusiasm in the followers, and the internal motivation of their work is limited. Transformational leaders motivate followers by encouraging them to exceed their expectations and their interests to achieve desired requirements (Getachew & Zhou, 2018) because insurance agents and brokers are based on commissions.

Maslow’s (1943) hierarchy of needs theory and Burns’ (1978) transformational leadership theory are appropriate and relevant in this study for exploring the strategies of insurance company leaders to motivate their agents and brokers performance and build loyalty.


Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. Human Resource Management25(3): 481–484. doi:10.1002/hrm.3930250310

Bass, B. M., & Avolio, B. J. (1994). Improving organizational effectiveness through transformational leadership: Sage.

Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Burns, J. M. (1979). Two excerpts from Leadership. Educational Leadership36, 380–383.

Healy, K. (2016). A theory of human motivation by Abraham H. Maslow (1942).  The British Journal of Psychiatry208(4), 313–313. http://dx.doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.115.179622

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review50(4), 370–396. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0054346

Maslow, A. H. (1948). Some theoretical consequences of basic need-gratification. Journal of Personality16, 402–416. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1948.tb02296.x

Getachew, D. S., & Zhou, E. (2018). The influences of transformational leadership on collective efficacy: The moderating role of perceived organizational support. International Journal of Organizational Innovation10(4), 7–15. Retrieved from http://www.ijoi-online.org/

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