Muhammad Naeem Ahmed

Lecturer, Department of Business Administration, Sindh Madressatul Islam University, Karachi, Pakistan (naeem.ahmed@smiu.edu.pk) *Corresponding author


Afaq Ahmed Kazi

Assocaite Professor, Institute of Business Management (IoBM), Karachi, Pakistan


Aim: The study attempted to understand the effects of the autonomy-supportive behavior of managers on work engagement and job satisfaction of healthcare workers during COVID-19. The study evaluated the effect of inclusive climate as moderated.

Background: Global spread of COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for health service providers but has also exposed healthcare workers to serious psychological and physical risks. There has been not much literature available on the job attitudes of healthcare workers amid COVID-19.

Methods: Data for this research were collected through questionnaires from the healthcare workers employed in both private and public health facilities in Karachi, Pakistan. The sample size for this research was (n=396) with a response rate (73.27%). The study used PLS-SEM approach.

Results: The results indicate that values of adj. R2 for work engagement and job satisfaction were (0.487) and (0.167), respectively.  The results further show that perceived autonomy support (PAS) of managers leads to improved job satisfaction (JS) and work engagement (WE) of healthcare workers in the post-COVID-19 scenario. The results also indicates that inclusive climate moderates the relationship between PAS and JS and PAS and WE.

Conclusion: This research made a contribution to the literature on identifying an important management behavior i.e. autonomy support that has a positive effect on wellbeing, work engagement, and work satisfaction of healthcare workers even during the difficult times of COVID-19.

Implications: Since engagement and satisfaction at work of healthcare workers are directly correlated with strategies implemented to manage and control the pandemic, the findings of the research indicate what decision-makers and managers should do to enhance the work engagement and satisfaction of their healthcare professionals. Moreover, this study contributed to the existing SDT literature by analyzing a sample from a culture that is collectivist concerning autonomy support and health since work engagement and job satisfaction are part of psychological health and wellbeing based on SDT.

Keywords: COVID-19, autonomy support, work engagement, job satisfaction, healthcare worker, self-determination theory