ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (11): 1814-1835.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.01814

• Conceptual Framework • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The double-edged sword effect of leadership empowerment behavior

XIANG Shuting1, ZHAO Kai2(), NING Nan1   

  1. 1School of International Business, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu 611130, China
    2School of Labor and Human Resources, Renming University of China, Beijing 100872, China
  • Received:2019-12-27 Online:2020-11-15 Published:2020-09-23
  • Contact: ZHAO Kai


In the era of rapid development of the digital economy, leadership empowerment behavior is an important practice with which to motivate employees. However, prior studies have shown inconsistent findings regarding its effectiveness. To deeply investigate the impacts of leadership empowerment behavior on employees, we aim to systematically examine the mechanism of the “double-edged sword” impact of leadership empowerment behavior on employees based on conservation resource theory (COR). First, from the perspective of resources, empowerment is regarded as a kind of resource that leaders provide to their employees. Then we thoroughly analyze the “enabling” and “burdening” mechanisms induced by leadership empowerment behavior. The regulatory focus of employees is considered the boundary condition that influence the “double-edged sword” impact. Second, leadership empowerment behavior is thought to be dynamically changing. We explore the ways in which daily leadership empowerment behavior and the fluctuation of leadership empowerment behavior cause the “double-edged sword” effect. Third, we consider the organizational context in which leadership empowerment behavior plays a dynamically changing role. We explore how the relative dynamic situation, namely, work events, moderates the “double-edged sword” effect of leadership empowerment behavior. We aim to combine static and dynamic perspectives to systematically explore the mechanism of the “double-edged sword” impact of leadership empowerment behavior on employees, contributing to both academic research and practical implications.

Key words: leadership empowerment behavior, conservation resource theory, work events, thriving at work, emotional exhaustion

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