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Can leader humility enhance employee wellbeing? The mediating role of employee humility

Jie Zhong (Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)
Li Zhang (Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)
Ping Li (Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)
Duo Zhen Zhang (Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 15 January 2020

Issue publication date: 27 January 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between leader humility and employee well-being. Based on social information processing (SIP) theory and previous literature concerning leader humility, this paper identifies employee humility as the mediator and suggests that perceived leader effectiveness moderates these relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed a survey involving 228 employees to test the hypothesized moderated-mediation model.

Findings

Leader humility is positively related to employee well-being. Employee humility mediates leader humility and employee well-being, except for emotional exhaustion. Moreover, the effect of leader humility on employee humility and the indirect effect of leader humility on employee job satisfaction and work engagement are stronger under high perceptions of leader effectiveness.

Originality/value

Based on the framework of SIP theory, this paper contributes to the literature on humble leadership and employee well-being by treating employee humility as the mechanism and perceived leader effectiveness as the moderator. Few previous studies have investigated the influence of leader humility on employee well-being.

Keywords

Citation

Zhong, J., Zhang, L., Li, P. and Zhang, D.Z. (2020), "Can leader humility enhance employee wellbeing? The mediating role of employee humility", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 19-36. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-03-2019-0124

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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