The purpose of this paper is to integrate leadership into the job demands-resources (JD-R) model. Based on self-determination theory, it was argued that engaging leaders who inspire, strengthen, and connect their followers would reduce employee’s levels of burnout and increase their levels of work engagement.
An online survey was conducted among a representative sample of the Dutch workforce (n=1,213) and the research model was tested using structural equation modeling.
It appeared that leadership only had an indirect effect on burnout and engagement – via job demands and job resources – but not a direct effect. Moreover, leadership also had a direct relationship with organizational outcomes such as employability, performance, and commitment.
The study used a cross-sectional design and all variables were based on self-reports. Hence, results should be replicated in a longitudinal study and using more objective measures (e.g. for work performance).
Since engaged leaders, who inspire, strengthen, and connect their followers, provide a work context in which employees thrive, organizations are well advised to promote engaging leadership.
Leadership seems to be a crucial factor which has an indirect impact – via job demands and job resources – on employee well-being.
The study demonstrates that engaging leadership can be integrated into the JD-R framework.
This research was funded by the Research Fund KU Leuven.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited