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The influence of empowering leadership, empowerment and engagement on affective commitment and turnover intentions in community health service workers: Test of a model

Simon L. Albrecht (School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Monash University, Caulfield, Australia)
Manuela Andreetta (School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Monash University, Caulfield, Australia)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 19 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to extend research on the relationship between empowering leadership, empowerment and outcome variables by examining the mediating role of employee engagement. More specifically, the study sets out to test whether employee engagement mediates the effects of empowering leadership and empowerment on affective commitment and turnover intention.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample on which conclusions are based consisted of 139 employees of a community health service. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equations modelling (SEM) were used to test the measurement and structural models proposed.

Findings

CFA showed acceptable fit indices for the measurement model after respecifying a reduced number of items for the explanatory variables. Structural equations modelling of a respecified model also yielded acceptable fit indices and showed that empowerment mediated the influence of empowering leadership on engagement. Engagement was shown to partially mediate the influence of empowerment on affective commitment, which in turn influenced turnover intentions.

Research limitations/implications

The use of cross‐sectional self‐report data suggests the need to replicate the findings in a longitudinal design with additional samples.

Practical implications

Results are discussed in terms of the importance of training and development initiatives aimed at promoting empowering leadership, empowerment and engagement in health service contexts. The results will be of interest to practitioners and researchers.

Originality/value

The research provides new insights in to the relationships between empowering leadership, empowerment, engagement, affective commitment and turnover intentions in health service contexts.

Keywords

Citation

Albrecht, S.L. and Andreetta, M. (2011), "The influence of empowering leadership, empowerment and engagement on affective commitment and turnover intentions in community health service workers: Test of a model", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 228-237. https://doi.org/10.1108/17511871111151126

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited