Employee Responses to Empowering Leadership: A Meta-Analysis

Minseo Kim, Terry A. Beehr, Matthew S. Prewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


A recent and growing number of studies examined how empowering leadership influences employee outcomes. At the individual level, we meta-analyzed 55 independent samples to determine the association between empowering leader behaviors and subordinates’ responses. Results confirmed the positive links of empowering leadership with evaluations of the leader as well as with employee motivation and resources, attitudes, and performance; the strongest correlation was between empowering leadership and attitudes toward the leader (ρ =.59), whereas the weakest correlation was for empowering leadership with behavioral and performance outcomes (ρ =.31). However, the relationship of empowering leadership with subordinates’ emotions was not significant. Examination of potential moderators, including rating sources, nationality of sample, gender, and industry, did not explain much of the heterogeneity in the results. In sum, findings highlight the potential benefit of empowering leadership for individual and organizational outcomes. Thus, more knowledge about what causes empowering leadership could be useful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-276
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Leadership and Organizational Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • empowering leadership
  • meta-analysis
  • outcomes


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