Original Research

Work engagement and resilience at work: The moderating role of political skill

Hamfrey Sanhokwe, Willie Chinyamurindi
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 49 | a2017 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v49i0.2017 | © 2023 Hamfrey Sanhokwe, Willie Chinyamurindi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 April 2022 | Published: 24 April 2023

About the author(s)

Hamfrey Sanhokwe, Graduate School of Business Leadership, Faculty of Commerce, Midlands State University, Gweru, Zimbabwe
Willie Chinyamurindi, Department of Business Management, University of Fort Hare, East London, South Africa


Orientation: Faced with high contextual dynamics, organisational leaders are looking to resilience as a resource to help their employees manage their well-being as they adapt to the changes. Appreciating the complementary resource streams that help employees adapt or transform the context is an urgent priority.

Research purpose: Drawing on the conservation of resources theory, the study evaluated the moderating role of political skill in the relationship between work engagement and resilience at work.

Motivation for the study: The quality of the employees’ personal and social resources at work could explain the degree to which they move beyond mere adaptation to thriving.

Research approach/design and methods: The data collected from a convenient sample of over 200 individuals were used to construct a hierarchical multiple regression model.

Main findings: There was a significant association between work engagement and resilience at work. The interaction term between work engagement and political skill accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in resilience at work.

Practical/managerial implications: The result suggests that work engagement and political skill act in an integrative way to replenish adaptive resources at work. Organisational leaders must inculcate and nurture cultures that promote these complementary capabilities if they are to enjoy adaptive advantages. These capabilities are learnable and, hence, developable.

Contribution/value-add: The study model deepens our understanding of the integrative mechanisms that nourish employee resiliency.


contextual dynamics; conservation of resources, adaptive behaviour, learnable capabilities; moderation analysis


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