Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Respect and Engagement by Action Learning ~ REAL ~ A Work Engage.pdf (1.82 MB)
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Respect and Engagement by Action Learning ~ REAL ~ A Work Engagement Intervention for Irish Health Services

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posted on 2019-11-22, 18:17 authored by Declan McCarthy

This thesis describes an implementation plan for a work engagement (Schaufeli & Bakker, 2010) intervention designed for the Irish heath care arena. The hypothesis is based on the principle that when people are happier and more resourced in their workplace, performance is increased, and a higher quality of care is provided. This thesis argues the need for a work engagement intervention and suggests why services and future leaders would benefit from integrating work engagement as a concept into health care organisations.

This thesis contains a proposal for the intervention, with drivers for the change and possible resistance being identified. The challenges and current organisational context are discussed and explored. The findings are identified through the process of a systematic literature review exploring work engagement interventions from 2002 to 2014. The themes that emerged from the literature review are further discussed. The dissemination process of the themes helped identify core issues which allowed for recommendations for future best practice to be implemented. The Health Service Executive Change Model (2015) was chosen as part of the methodology in order to carry out the implementation of the change initiative. The rationale for choosing this model is explained in the thesis, and each step of the model is discussed. The thesis describes how parts of the initiation and planning stages of the suggested change have already taken place. Further then is a discussion of the process and steps to be yet undertaken to implement fully the change with reference to how a robust evaluation of the change would be achieved. Measurements and expected outcomes are highlighted and identified. In conclusion, a description of strengths and weaknesses of the intervention are identified and discussed and how the practice and theory differ in the implementation of such a change. Recommendations and guidance for future leaders, with a view to implementing work engagement interventions are described, and the author concludes with learning and experiences gained from this work.


First Supervisor

Ms Jenny Hogan


A dissertation submitted in part fulfilment of the degree of MSc in Leadership, Institute of Leadership, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin 2015.

Published Citation

McCarthy D. Respect and Engagement by Action Learning ~ REAL ~ A Work Engagement Intervention for Irish Health Services [Masters dissertation]. Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; 2015.

Degree Name

  • MSc Leadership

Date of award


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