Energy at work: A measurement validation and linkage to unit effectiveness


Michael S. Cole, Neeley School of Business, Department of Management, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A. E-mail:


We introduce the notion that the energy of individuals can manifest as a higher-level, collective construct. To this end, we conducted four independent studies to investigate the viability and importance of the collective energy construct as assessed by a new survey instrument—the productive energy measure (PEM). Study 1 (n = 2208) included exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses to explore the underlying factor structure of PEM. Study 2 (n = 660) cross-validated the same factor structure in an independent sample. In study 3, we administered the PEM to more than 5000 employees from 145 departments located in five countries. Results from measurement invariance, statistical aggregation, convergent, and discriminant-validity assessments offered additional support for the construct validity of PEM. In terms of predictive and incremental validity, the PEM was positively associated with three collective attitudes—units' commitment to goals, the organization, and overall satisfaction. In study 4, we explored the relationship between the productive energy of firms and their overall performance. Using data from 92 firms (n = 5939employees), we found a positive relationship between the PEM (aggregated to the firm level) and the performance of those firms. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.