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Authentic leadership, work engagement and organizational citizenship behaviors in petroleum company

Mohamed Saeed Al Sahi AL Zaabi (Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, UAE)
Kamarul Zaman Ahmad (University of Dubai, Dubai, UAE)
Chowdhury Hossan (College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, UAE)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 11 July 2016




The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between authentic leadership (AL), work engagement (WE), and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) among United Arab Emirates (UAE) nationals working in the petroleum sector. This study further intends to examine the mediating effect of psychological empowerment (PE) on above mentioned relationship.


Quantitative method involving self-reported questionnaire was used in this study. Data were collected from 189 UAE national employees from one of the major petroleum companies in the UAE. An extensive online questionnaire consisting of 70 questions was designed in Version 2.05+ of LimeSurvey, an open source-based survey tool. Structural equation modeling using Lisrel was deployed to examine the relationship between AL, PE, WE, and OCB.


The results revealed that AL significantly increases WE and OCB. Results also indicated that PE increases the strength of relationship between AL with WE and OCB while acting as a mediator.

Practical implications

The research results suggested that leaders and discussion makers in the petroleum sector in UAE should encourage their managers to adopt a more AL style. Given that AL is strongly related to WE, PE, and OCB, AL training programs is consequently important in building employees that would be more empowered and engaged.


This study contributes to organizational behavior and industrial psychology literature. The study is unique in respect to the research model that was developed and validated. It’s one of the first attempts to empirically investigate the direct relationship among AL, PE, WE, and OCB in Middle-East context. This study was conducted in UAE, where AL concept has been rarely investigated and finding from this study may help in filling up the gap in knowledge.



Declaration of conflicting interests: the authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this paper.

Funding: the authors received no financial support for the research or publication of this paper.


Al Sahi AL Zaabi, M.S., Ahmad, K.Z. and Hossan, C. (2016), "Authentic leadership, work engagement and organizational citizenship behaviors in petroleum company", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 65 No. 6, pp. 811-830.



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