While anecdotal industry evidence indicates that passionate workers are engaged workers, research has yet to understand how and when job passion and engagement are related. To answer the how question, we draw from person-environment fit theory to test, and find support for, the mediating roles of perceived demands-abilities (D-A) fit and person-organization (P-O) fit in the relationships between passion and job engagement, and between passion and organizational engagement, respectively. Also, because the obsessive form of passion is contingency-driven, we answer the when question by adopting a target-similarity approach to test the contingent role of multi-foci trust in the obsessive passion-to-engagement relationships. We found that when obsessively passionate workers trust their organization, they report greater levels of organizational engagement (because of increased P-O fit). In contrast, when these workers trust both their co-workers and supervisor simultaneously, they report greater levels of job engagement (because of increased D-A fit).

Document Type

Post-print Article

Publication Date


Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2018 SAGE Publications. Article first published online: November 2017.

DOI: 10.1177/0018726717731505

The definitive version is available at:

Please note that downloads of the article are for private/personal use only.

Full citation:

Ho, Violet T. and Marina N. Astakhova. “Disentangling Passion and Engagement: An Examination of How and When Passionate Employees Become Engaged Ones.” Human Relations 71, no. 7 (July 2018): 973-1000.