Antecedents and consequences of empowering leadership: Leader power distance, leader perception of team capability, and team innovation

Guiyao Tang, Yang Chen*, Daan van Knippenberg, Bingjie Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The evidence that empowering leadership is an effective form of team leadership brings the question on what the antecedents of empowering leadership are into focus. We propose that empowering leadership is driven by considerations of the normative and situational appropriateness of empowering leadership that are associated with leader power distance value and leader perception of team capability. We propose that leader power distance and perceived team capability interact such that the influence of leader power distance on empowering leadership is stronger with higher perceived team capability. We extend our model to show that by affecting empowering leadership, the interaction of leader power distance and perceived team capability indirectly influences team innovation, an important team outcome associated with empowered teamwork. We tested our model in two multisource surveys in China: Study 1 of 84 technical teams and Study 2 of 83 financial service teams. We discuss how our study contributes to empowering leadership theory by providing a theoretical perspective that lends itself well to identifying other trait and situational antecedents of empowering leadership.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-566
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Volume41
Issue number6
Early online date7 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

User-Defined Keywords

  • empowering leadership
  • power distance
  • team capability
  • team innovation

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