Relations between dimensions of empowering leadership and multidimensional work motivation

Machin, M. Anthony and James, Megan and Silcox, Amber (2015) Relations between dimensions of empowering leadership and multidimensional work motivation. In: 11th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health: Sustainable Work, Sustainable Health, Sustainable Organizations 2015, 06-09 May 2015, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

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Recent developments work motivation facilitate a more thorough understanding of the potential impact of constructs such as empowering leadership. Amundsen and Martinsen (2014) demonstrated that empowering leadership has two dimensions (autonomy support and development support) and that these dimensions relate positively to subordinates’ psychological empowerment and creativity. This study assessed how two dimensions of empowering leadership (autonomy support and development support) predicted six types of work motivation as part of a larger study into predictors of work performance. It was predicted that the two dimensions of empowering leadership would predict these specific types of motivation in somewhat different patterns which would not be obvious if composite forms of motivation were considered.

An online survey was used to collect data from 192 employed individuals. Of the respondents, 132 (69%) were female, 173 (90%) lived in Australia, and 150 (78%) worked at least 30 hours per week. Feedback was not provided to participants.
The survey included the 18-item Empowering Leadership Scale (ELS; Amundsen & Martinsen, 2014), the 19-item Multidimensional Work Motivation Scale (MWMS; Gagne et al., in press), as well as a number of other measures that contributed to a larger study into work performance. The correlations between the two dimensions of empowering leadership and the six types of work motivation were calculated. Autonomy Support and Development Support were highly correlated (r = .76, p<.001). These two dimensions of empowering leadership displayed a similar pattern of correlations with each of the six types of work motivation although the correlations for Autonomy Support were slightly stronger in nearly all cases. Given this similar pattern and the large degree of overlap between the two dimensions, the analysis proceeded by constructing a structural equation model in which the two dimensions of empowering leadership were specified as indicators of an underlying construct which then predicted each of the six types of work motivation. This model was respecified to accommodate the significant correlations between many of the specific types of motivation and the final model was a good fit to the data with χ2 = 5.818 (df = 8), p = .67, AGFI = .97, TLI = 1.01 and RMSEA = .00 (90%CI .00 to .07 with pclose = .88).

Empowering Leadership was a significant negative predictor of two types of work motivation: Amotivation (β = -.39, p < .001) and Extrinsic Regulation (social) (β = -.31, p < .001). However, Empowering Leadership was not a significant predictor of either Extrinsic Regulation (material) (β = .06, NS) or Introjected Regulation (β = -.01, NS). Empowering Leadership was a significant positive predictor of the final two types of work motivation: Identified Regulation (β = .38, p < .001) and Intrinsic Motivation (β = .63, p < .001). The differences in the standardised coefficients across the six types of work motivation provide a powerful argument for a more nuanced understanding of how a construct such as empowering leadership may influence employees’ work motivation. Previous research that has focused on the second order factors of controlled and autonomous motivation may have obscured important differences in the patterns of relationships.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2016 05:31
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2017 23:49
Uncontrolled Keywords: leadership; motivation; self-determination theory
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150311 Organisational Behaviour
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9405 Work and Institutional Development > 940599 Work and Institutional Development not elsewhere classified
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences

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