80th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AOM 2020)
Leaders are under high stress to carry the full burden of responsibilities and establish and maintain quality relationships with followers. How to direct leaders to cope with these needs, sleep well, and engage in work is a key issue. Although many studies have explored the benefits of empowering leadership for followers, how such behavior benefits actors who demonstrate it was overlooked. Drawing on the conservation of resources theory, we propose and test a model that accounts for why and when exhibiting empowering leadership provides actors benefits. Via experience-sampling survey research, we examine the impact of empowering leadership on actors’ daily work engagement by focusing on the moderating role of power distance, and the mediating roles of negative affect and sleep quality, which operate in tandem. Results from 160 supervisors in two Chinese organizations indicated that exhibition of empowering leadership negatively relates to negative affect and positively related to consequent sleep quality and next day work engagement. The strength of this beneficial impact is bounded by power distance, such that supervisors with high power distance acquire fewer benefits after exhibiting empowering leadership. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed."