Will empowering leadership make a career more sustainable? Applying a paradox perspective towards the conflicting mechanisms of self-efficacy and work-related stress.

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This study aims to create insights on how positive and negative effects of empowering leadership related to career sustainability by identifying two conflicting mechanisms within that relationship. As empowering leadership has been proved to have positive as well as negative outcomes, the two conflicting mechanisms are suggested to operate via one positive mediator, self-efficacy and one negative mediator, work-related stress, for which the Job Demands-Resources framework was used to further argument these mechanisms. By looking into the negative effects and ‘dark side’ of empowering leadership this study hopes to contribute to the literature trying to capture the multifaced nature of empowering leadership. A quantitative and dyadic study (n=125) was performed in order to test the three suggested hypotheses. The results confirmed that empowering leadership positively influences career sustainability and that self-efficacy mediates this positive relationship. No evidence was found for a mediating effect of work-related stress between a negative relationship between empowering leadership and career sustainability. Therefore, the suggested conflicting mechanisms could not be confirmed. Outcomes of this showed that empowering leadership can be applied in practice to make careers of employees more sustainable, as it increases their overall well-being.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen