3c ff6 fs6 fc0 sc0 ls0 ws5">values, goals and priorities in life—, and viewing change as a challenge rather than a threat. HP has an impact
on the stress/health relationship and has been contrasted in the literature. There is also some evidence that op-
timism may be positively associated with affective measures of employee attitudes such as increased job satis-
faction and organizational commitment. Likewise, wo rkersSWB seems to be related to commitment and en-
thusiasm for work. Particularly, the broaden-and-build theory suggests that positive affective states expand the
behavioral repertoire, thus facilitating more efficacious responses and generating upward spirals of well-being.
In the workplace context, various studies have suggested that happy people are more productive. The aim of this
study was to analyze the experience of work engagement, examining cross-cultural differences in HP, optimism
and SWB among nurses from China and Spain, as representing the collectivism/individualism dimensions pro-
posed by Hofstede [3]. The present study tests the following hypotheses: Hypothesis 1. HP dimensions, optim-
ism and SWB are positively related to work engagement (vigor, dedication and absorption) when the percentag-
es of interaction with patients are taken into account in both samples. Hypothesis 2. Personality predictors of
work engagement in China and Spain will show some cross-cultural differences between nurses from China and
Spain.
2. Method
Cross-cultural study with a sample with 154 nurses from Beijing (China) and 164 nurses from Madrid (Spain)
who completed the Engagement, HP, Optimism and SWB Scales. Inclusion criteria were working in a hospital
and interacting with patients (providing patient care). A total of 90% of the participants were female and the
other 10% were male, with a mean age of 33 years (SD = 10.86). All were full-time nurses and had an average
of 12 years of experience (SD = 8.8).
3. Results
To determine the effects of the predictors on the engagement dimensions, the percentage of interaction with the
patients was entered first as a control variable, and then the HP components, optimism and SWB were sequen-
tially entered in the model. The increase in R2 (R2) was calculated to determine the relative contributions of
each set of variables. Standardized coefficients (
β
) were calculated to compare the relative importance of each
variable in the model. The data were checked for multicollinearity, using tolerance and the variance inflation
factor (VIF). Values of VIF greater than 10 and tolerance-values smaller than 0.10 may indicate multicollineari-
ty. There were no signs of multicollinearity in any of the six regression models. The analyses were performed
with the SPSS-program (see Tables 1 and 2).
4. Discussion
Nurses are frequently found among the professionals who express a higher degree of dissatisfaction, and a large
percentage of them wish to leave the profession in the next five years. We therefore need to investigate the ele-
ments that could slow down this negative tendency. Positive work processes such as dedication, absorption, and
vigor are opposed to these negative feelings of dissatisfaction. As some aspects of engagement depend on con-
crete organizational characteristics, it is important for organizations to promote the development of nurses’ har-
diness and positive personality resources so they can manage the continuous contact with pain and suffering
adaptively, and deal adequately with the negative emotions that emerge at work. Thus, the variables used in all
the analyses with both samples explain a significant percentage of the scores in engagement. However, Hypo-
E. Garrosa et al.
108
Table 1. Results of hierarchical regression analyses, standardized regression coefficients. Personality predictors of work
engagement among Chinese nurses.
Dedication Absorption Vigor
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4
% of
interaction
with patients
0.21** 0.17** 0.17** 0.15** 0.23** 0.19** 0.19** 0.18** 0.29*** 0.24*** 0.24*** 0.23**
Commitment 0.69*** 0.66*** 0.61*** 0.62*** 0.57*** 0.53*** 0.58*** 0.54*** 0.48***
Challenge 0.19** 0.19** 0.17** 0.18** 0.18** 0.16** 0.10 0.10 0.07
Control 0.07 0.06 0.06 0.06 0.04 0.05 0.08 0.07 0.06
Optimism 0.12
**
0.13
**
0.19
**
0.19
**
0.12 0.13
Positive
affect 0.09 0.08 0.13
Negative af-
fect 0.11 0.11 0.11
Affect
balance 0.09 0.09 0.09
R2
(adjusted) 0.07 0.36 0.37 0.40 0.04 0.36 0.39 0.41 -0.01 0.21 0.26 0.30
R
2
0.07 0.29 0.01 0.03 0.04 0.32 0.03 0.02 0.00 0.22 0.05 0.04
*p < 0.05. **p < 0.01. ***p < 0.001.
Table 2. Results of hierarchical regression analyses, standardized regression coefficients. Personality predictors of work
engagement among Chinese nurses.
Dedication Absorption Vigor
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4
% of interaction
with patients 0.21** 0.17** 0.17** 0.15** 0.23** 0.19** 0.19** 0.18** 0.29*** 0.24*** 0.24*** 0.23**
Commitment 069
.66
***
0.61
***
0.62
***
0.57
***
0.53
***
0.58
***
0.54
***
0.48
***
Challenge 019
.19
**
0.17
**
0.18
**
0.18
**
0.16
**
0.10 0.10 0.07
Control 0.07 .06 0.06 0.06 0.04 0.05 0.08 0.07 0.06
Optimism .12** 0.13** 0.19** 0.19** 0.12 0.13
Positive affect 0.09 0.08 0.13
Negative affect 0.11 0.11 0.11
Affect balance 0.09 0.09 0.09
R
2
(adjusted) 0.07 0.36 0.37 0.40 .04 0.36 0.39 0.41 0.01 0.21 0.26 0.30
R2 0.07 0.29 0.01 0.03 .04 0.32 0.03 0.02 0.00 0.22 0.05 0.04
*p < 0.05. **p < 0.01. ***p < 0.001.
thesis 1 was only partially confirmed because not all the personality variables included were significant in all the
analyses carried out with each dimension of engagement. With regard to Hypothesis 2, the present study is an
approximation using a cross-cultural approach that shows that cultural variables are significant, as also men-
tioned by other authors. Chinese nurses are characterized by higher scores in HP, optimism and positive affect
and lower scores in engagement. This suggests that engagement is not an exclusively personal variable, although
personality variables are relevant. Engagement also depends on the resources of the organization and on cultural
variables [4]. The cultures and the resources provided by organizations in China and Spain are different. In both
samples, the variable that was most closely associated with engagement was the commitment dimension of HP,
mainly because commitment refers to engagement with life. Nurses who score high in commitment do not shirk
their responsibilities, nor do they avoid problems; on the contrary, they deal with them adaptively and positively.
For the Chinese nurses, challenge was also a significant predictor, especially to explain the scores in dedication
and absorption. When Chinese nurses perceive change as a challenge and not as a stressful situation, their dedi-
E. Garrosa et al.
109
cation and absorption increase. This factor is essential, given the constant changes and developments currently
taking place in China, with continuous improvements in the hospitals. In both samples, the role of optimism,
positive expectations and the hopes that bad times would pass was also significant and was associated with ef-
fective work measures such as positive attitudes, increased job satisfaction and organizational commitment.
Lastly, the dimensions of SWB were only significant for the Spanish nurses. This study integrates previous re-
search on engagement, HP, optimism and SWB in nurses from a cross-cultural perspective. The present study is
an initial step to understand how the link among these variables strengthens engagement. The findings revealed
some applicable and new knowledge related to the effects of HP, optimism and SWB on engagement. These re-
sults can contribute to the implementation of hospital policies that, through the development in nurses of HP,
optimism and SWB, promote an increase in engagement and the improvement of working environment, rela-
tionships with users and co-workers, mutual help, etc. From a cross-cultural perspective, the present study has
revealed the main effects of HP, optimism and SWB, indicating that nurses from China and Spain with these
personal resources have more engagement. All things considered, the study from this perspective presents more
internationally relevant results.
References
[1] Simpson, M.R. (2009) Engagement at Work: A Review of the Literature. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 46,
1012-1024. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2008.05.003
[2] Schaufeli, W.B. and Bakker, A.B. (2004) Job Demands, Job Resources, and Their Relationship with Burnout and En-
gagement: A Multi-Sample Study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25, 293-315. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/job.248
[3] Hofstede, G. (1980) Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Sage, Newbury Park.
[4] Garrosa, E., Moreno-Jiménez, B., Liang, Y. and González, J.L. (2008) The Relationship between Socio-Demographic
Variables, Job Stressors, Burnout, and Hardy Personality in Nu rses: An Exploratory Study. International Journal of
Nursing Studies, 45, 418-427. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2006.09.003