According to Conservation of Resources (COR) theory (Hobfoll, 1989), personal resources (self-efficacy) help individuals effectively deal with threatening circumstances means that personal resources buffer the negative effect of emotional needs and emotion-rule dissonance on engagement. When employees have less control over the environment and the related requirements, then emotional demands and dissonance will constrain engagement.

Those with lower personal resources cannot successfully control the environment, view demands as an obstacle (Crawford et al, 2010), and may respond in a helpless manner that invigorates the negative effect of emotional demands and dissonance on engagement (Sweetman & Luthans, 2010). The research (Sonnentag, Mojza, Binnewies, & Scholl, 2008) has shown that work engagement and disengagement relates to a person’s affective state at the end of a working week. Disengagement is possible to occur for workers with inadequate personal resources. Low cognitive self-efficacy and optimism employees are less likely to recognize that dissonance may actually prevent more demanding conditions (Fredrickson, 2001). Reciprocal relationships between efficacy beliefs and work engagement have been reported. This relationship may also exist between positive affect and work engagement. The positive affect will promote approach behavior, which encourages people to participate in particular activities (Cacioppo, Gardner, & Berntson, 1999; Carver & Scheier, 1990; Clore, 1994). In contrast to affect, which reflects immediate adaptive responses to the environment, engagement is defined as a relatively more stable work related motivational state.

A study (Schaufeli & Van Rhenen, 2006) confirmed the theoretical claim that positive affect intervenes the connection between the work environment and work-related motivational states such as work engagement. Therefore, positive affect is expected to also intervene the relationship between personal resources such as self-efficacy and work engagement. This implies that when self-efficacious employees feel proficient at work, they are probably showing more interest in their work and, therefore, may end up feeling more incentivized and engaged. When employees are engaging at work, they will feel more efficacious, thus establishing a reciprocal relationship over time.