The interactive effect of leader–member exchange and electronic communication on employee psychological empowerment and work outcomes

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Chris Hazeu, Ferdi, Iris

Authors: N.S. Hill, J.H. Kang, M.G. Seo

Publication Year: 2014


Journal: The Leadership Quarterly

Volume: 25

Categories: Digital Transformation, Technical Innovation


We advance understanding of the role that leaders play in promoting psychological empowerment and positive work outcomes (job satisfaction, organizational commitment and job performance) for employees who engage in a high degree of electronic communication in their job. By integrating leader–member exchange (LMX) theory and theories of electronic communication, we build and test a mediated moderation model in which employees’ degree of electronic communication in their job amplifies the positive relationship that LMX has to psychological empowerment and subsequent employee work outcomes. Based on a sample of 353 early-career professionals employed in a range of different types of organizations, we found general support for the hypothesized model. We discuss the study’s theoretical and practical implications for leading employees in electronically-enabled work environments.

Critical Reflection

This article is relevant because more and more communication inside organizations will have an electronic nature, due to growing technology development and globalization. The results show that when managers put effort into maintaining electronic communication with their employees, the empowerment of these employees can be raised. This is particularly useful in the right loop of the adaptive cycle, where innovative/intuitive behavior and change orientation is needed. This can be enhanced by improving empowerment. So when an organisation gets into the right loop of the adaptive cycle, it has to be made clear to managers that they must maintain a high degree of (electronic) communication with their employees.


Chris Hazeu, Ferdi, Iris