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The effects of empowering leadership on psychological well-being and job engagement: The mediating role of psychological capital

Jong Gyu Park (Department of Learning and Performance Systems, The Pennsylvania State University , University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)
Jeong Sik Kim (Business School, Sungkyunkwan University , Seoul, South Korea)
Seung Won Yoon (Department of Higher Education and Learning Technologies, Texas A&M University-Commerce , Commerce, Texas, USA)
Baek-Kyoo Joo (School of Business Administration, Georgia Southwestern State University , Americus, Georgia, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 2 May 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of empowering leadership on employees’ psychological well-being (PWB) and job engagement. This study also examines the mediating role of psychological capital (PsyCap) in these relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on survey data (n=285) from employees in eight large-sized firms in South Korea. Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to examine the convergent validity of the construct measures. Structural equation modeling was used to estimate the fit of the hypothesized model to the data.

Findings

The authors found that empowering leadership influenced job engagement both directly and indirectly through PsyCap. Employees’ PsyCap fully mediated the relationship between empowering leadership and employees’ PWB, while partially mediating the relationship between empowering leadership and job engagement.

Originality/value

This is the first empirical study to examine the effects of empowering leadership behaviors of leaders on both PWB and PsyCap, which are positive psychological resources of employees. The study has also provided empirical evidence for the importance of PsyCap, which plays a positive role in the ability of employees to manage their overall feelings in achievement situations and in employees’ engagement in the workplace.

Keywords

Citation

Gyu Park, J., Sik Kim, J., Yoon, S.W. and Joo, B.-K. (2017), "The effects of empowering leadership on psychological well-being and job engagement: The mediating role of psychological capital", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 350-367. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-08-2015-0182

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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