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      The Relationship Between Authentic Leadership, Psychological Empowerment, Role Clarity, and Work Engagement: Evidence From South Africa

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          Abstract

          Employees in the mining sector are faced with a demanding work environment due to external challenges impacting on the organization. Optimizing their engagement is vital in weathering a demanding environment. The aim of this study was to (a) position authentic leadership (AL) and psychological empowerment (PE) as enablers of work engagement (WE); (b) to investigate the processes (i.e., PE) through which AL exerts its effect on WE, and (c) to determine whether contextual factors [i.e., role clarity (RC)] influenced this process. A cross-sectional research design was employed to collect data from 236 employees employed by a coal-mining organization within South Africa. The AL inventory, PE questionnaire, measures of role conflict and ambiguity questionnaire, and UWES-9 was administered to collect data. A moderated-mediation investigation was employed to test the hypotheses. Results supported the value of AL to enhance WE, both directly and indirectly via PE. Results also concluded that AL exerts its influence on WE through PE, regardless of employees’ levels of RC. AL literature is limited, not only in the South African context but also in the mining sector. The study not only extends AL literature by investigating its outcomes in a South African mining organization, but it also does so by investigating the boundary conditions under which AL exerts its influence. The boundaries (i.e., moderation) within which leadership-subordinate relationships (i.e. mediation) function are often neglected in favor of simplified investigations of mediation processes only.

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          Most cited references 80

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          Role Conflict and Ambiguity in Complex Organizations

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            PSYCHOLOGICAL CONDITIONS OF PERSONAL ENGAGEMENT AND DISENGAGEMENT AT WORK.

             W. A. Kahn (1990)
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              Transformational leadership and organizational commitment: mediating role of psychological empowerment and moderating role of structural distance

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1664-1078
                18 August 2020
                2020
                : 11
                Affiliations
                Optentia Research Focus Area, School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, North-West University , Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
                Author notes

                Edited by: Tahir Farid, Zhejiang University, China

                Reviewed by: Umair Ahmed, Arab Open University, Bahrain; Belal Shneikat, University of Kyrenia, Cyprus; Fernando Molero, National University of Distance Education (UNED), Spain

                This article was submitted to Organizational Psychology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

                Article
                10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01973
                7461902
                Copyright © 2020 Towsen, Stander and van der Vaart.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, Equations: 0, References: 114, Pages: 13, Words: 0
                Categories
                Psychology
                Original Research

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