A paradox perspective on the interactive effects of visionary and empowering leadership
We know that both visionary and empowering leadership can have positive effects on the performance of a team or organization. But both forms of leadership also have opposites. So can they be synergistic to each other?
In this study of 197 leader-follower dyads, we test a model that predicts positive interactive effects of visionary and reinforcing leadership on follower performance.
Based on the paradox perspective, the researchers argue that visionary and empowering leadership are synergistic in that their combination enables leaders to address a key paradox inherent in leader behavior: maintaining control while releasing control (identified by Waldman and Bowen, 2016). The research takes as its premise that visionary leadership addresses “maintaining control” and empowering leadership addresses “letting go of control.
The researchers argue that leaders will have more positive effects on the performance of followers when they simultaneously exhibit visionary and empowering leadership behaviors, thus adopting an “and-and” approach.
The results support the hypothesized interactive effect of visionary and empowering leadership on goal clarity. A conditional indirect effect is also identified; clarity of goals mediates the interactive effect of visionary and empowering leadership on individuals’ performance.
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes – Edition 155 – 2019
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