Empowering leadership and motivation as a mediator

Empowering leadership and motivation as a mediator

In prior studies, empowering leadership and motivation are all believed to act as a mediator towards employees performances. According to Brend (2016), empowering leadership refers to a way of leadership that involves helping subordinates discover their purpose through fair treatment, listening actively, sharing experiences, and aligning around the organization mission to deliver superior results. Motivation is also defined as the driving force behind the employee’s behavior and actions (Marylene, 2014). It results in individuals taking action to fulfill an expectation or need as well as achieving a goal.  Previous studies have focused on describing the relationship between empowering leadership as well as motivation and employees performance. However, there is less focus on how it mediates towards improving their performance.

Literature has proven that there is a direct positive relationship between subordinate empowerment and empowering leadership. However, in the current literature the leader’s relationship-building with the employees in an organization is more complex than understood (Cameron, 2013). The empowerment role of mediating in the model of leadership management is consistent with studies on transformational leadership. The intellectual stimulation together with individualized consideration maximizes service quality in an organization.

According to Mendes & Stander (2011), empowerment leadership and motivation gain strong support from leadership theories notions. Transformational leadership indicates that mutual understanding between the subordinates and leaders when managing functions of an organization increases service quality through moderating their moralities. Transformational leadership theory claims that empowering interaction between the leaders and workers inspires and motivates subordinates beyond their self-interests towards supporting the interest of the organization (Bakker & Schaufeli, 2008). Therefore, empowerment leadership and motivation develop subordinates concern and moralities about organization interests through stimulation of their potentials in managing the firm’s functions. As a result, this may lead to enhanced service quality in the unit or organization.

Motivation accounts for individual’s persistence, intensity, and direction of effort towards achieving a goal (Albrecht & Andreetta, 2011). Self-determination theory differentiates between three motivation types depending on the reasons that lead to the action: motivation, extrinsic motivation, and intrinsic motivation. Motivation mediates through different internal factors, such as energy, the locus of control, effectively, impulsiveness and self-esteem, and external actors, which comprise locking-in effect and empowering leadership (Zhang & Hailong, 2010). Motivation learning psychologists see excellence level as the desire of succeeding. Thus, the achievement motivation concept in current studies claims that the three intrinsic achievement motivation factors include mastery, job ethic, and excellence. Zhang & Hailong (2010) add that motivation moderates employees’ engagement by making the workers feel satisfied with, enthusiastic for, and involved with their work.

According to the prior studies on empowerment leadership and motivation as a mediator, it is evident that there is less focus on understanding the individual level of empowering and motivational developmental readiness. The studies carry a generalized view that every individual can be motivated and empowered towards their full potential. There is an immense interest and energy in the literature of leadership development; thus, there are more activities in trying to discover the genuine empowerment leadership and motivation impact as a mediator at multiple analysis levels from organizational through to cognitive climates. Therefore, this study will help to link to cognitive psychology literature and individual and well as lifespan development to encourage further study on motivation and empowerment leadership.


















Albrecht, S. L., & Andreetta, M. (2011). The influence of empowering leadership, empowerment

and engagement on affective commitment and turnover intentions in community health service workers. Leadership in Health Services, 24(3), 228-237. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/241675274_The_Influences_of_Empowering_Leadership_Empowerment_and_Engagement_on_Affective_Commitment_and_Turnover_Intentions_in_Community_Health_Service_Workers_Test_of_A_Model Date of Access 22nd June 2016

Bakker, A. B., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2008). Positive organizational behavior: engaged employees

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Brend, B. (2016). Leading & Managing Occupational Therapy Services: An Evidence-Based

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Cameron, K. (2013). Practicing positive leadership: Tools and techniques that create

extraordinary results. Berrett-Koehler, Inc.: San Francisco, CA.

David, D. (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Leadership and Organizations. United Kingdom:

Oxford University Press.

Mendes, F., & Stander, M. W. (2011). Positive organisation: The role of leader behaviour in

work engagement and retention. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 37(1). doi:10.4102/sajip.v37i1.900

Zhang, D., & He, H. (2010). Personality traits and life satisfaction: a chinese case study. Social

Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 38(8), 1119-1122. doi:10.2224/sbp.2010.38.8.1119

Marylene, G. (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Work Engagement, Motivation, and Self

-determination Theory. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

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