روابط متقابل در انتظارات توانمندسازی زیردست رهبر: تاثیر آن بر ابهام نقش و انگیزه های درونی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|5495||2013||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11110 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 24, Issue 2, April 2013, Pages 363–377
Drawing on leader role set theory, we examine the relationship between the congruence of leaders' and subordinates' empowerment expectations and subordinates' experiences of role ambiguity and intrinsic motivation. Based on cross-level polynomial regression analysis using 168 subordinates and 33 leaders, the results indicated that the relationship between congruence and role ambiguity and intrinsic motivation vary depending on whether leaders misevaluate subordinate empowerment expectations, as well as whether the expectations match. Specifically, subordinates had low role ambiguity and low intrinsic motivation when leaders' and subordinates' empowerment expectations matched at low levels and when leaders underestimated subordinates' empowerment expectations. However, subordinates had low role ambiguity and high intrinsic motivation when expectations matched at high levels. Furthermore, role ambiguity was high and intrinsic motivation was low when the leaders overestimated subordinates' empowerment expectations. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
There is a potential dilemma inherent in empowerment. On the one hand, to mobilize employees, empowerment removes bureaucratic constraints and is praised as an important means to motivate employees (Gagne and Deci, 2005 and Thomas and Velthouse, 1990). On the other hand, empowerment is challenged by increased role ambiguity due to the flexibility it encourages (Collins, 1999). In the literature, the trade-off between the span of control and the level of autonomy is widely debated (Collins, 1999 and Wall et al., 2002). It is recognized that while empowering leadership, which emphasizes delegation of decision-making responsibilities and removal of bureaucratic control, provides a more robust and dynamic infrastructure, that role ambiguity is one of the major challenges for empowerment initiatives (Cordery et al., 2010 and Wall et al., 2002). While this trade-off is well recognized, little is actually known about its underlying mechanisms. Therefore, in this study we aim to reconcile these two phenomena by developing a contingency theory of the role of mutuality in leader–subordinate expectations in the face of empowerment. Specifically, we posit that role ambiguity and intrinsic motivation vary contingent on the degree to which leader's perception of subordinate empowerment expectations and subordinate's self empowerment expectations match and on whether the match is at high or low levels of empowerment expectations. In the process of empowerment, subordinates develop aspirations and expectations (Paul, Niehoff & Turnley, 2000). Subordinates form expectations about how the focal leader should behave to empower them. These expectations influence a subordinate's judgment of leader effectiveness (Tsui, Ashford, St. Clair & Xin, 1995). Leaders, on the other hand, form their received roles based on their perceptions of the role expectations sent with some degree of distortion (Katz & Kahn, 1966). The more leaders are aware of the role expectations set by others, the more effective they will be (Tsui et al., 1995). However, a sent – and a received – role expectation may not be mutual and leader–subordinate role expectation gaps can be detrimental to employee outcomes (Hooijberg & Choi, 2000). Despite the potential importance of such gaps, this line of research is lacking in the body of empowerment literature. Investigating whether the nature of empowerment expectation gaps has implications for role ambiguity and intrinsic motivation, we also set out to contribute to the empowerment literature in two particular ways. First, we aim to motivate further theoretical efforts directed at specifying how empowerment expectations may contribute to subordinate work motivation and their perceived role ambiguity. Several studies have discussed the roles of empowerment expectations (e.g., Labianca et al., 2000 and Paul et al., 2000) and stress that expectation plays an important role in guiding subordinates' cognitive judgment on how much empowerment is appropriate in a given situation and the generation of subsequent cognitive schema toward empowerment. Using the lens of role set theory, we aim to shed light into the role of empowerment expectation and how such expectations can explain subordinates' attitudinal responses to empowerment. Second, we seek to contribute to the understanding of the relationship between leaders and subordinates in the process of empowerment. With the help of cross-level polynomial regression and response surface analytic techniques (Edwards, 1994 and Jansen and Kristof-Brown, 2005), we elicit the interplay between leaders' perception of subordinate empowerment expectations and subordinates' self empowerment expectations in predicting role ambiguity and intrinsic motivation. By doing so, our study sheds light on the role of leaders' awareness and questions whether the oversimplified “the more empowerment, the better” hypothesis may have constrained the understanding of the dynamics of empowerment. Instead, “the narrower the gap between leader and subordinate expectations for empowerment, the better” hypothesis, and/or “the type of the agreement is what matters” hypothesis (in which leaders and subordinates agree at high versus low levels) may provide a more comprehensive picture. The sample group in the current study consisted of 168 subordinates and 33 leaders within a large manufacturing company. At the time the data were collected, this company had just undergone organizational restructuring and had employed interventions to foster greater employee involvement and responsibility, not only for the products, but also for the production process. As the implementation had been rather recent, the structural changes may not have been fully integrated at the time of data collection. Therefore, many of the individuals, including both leaders and subordinates, were very likely to have been experiencing an adapting phase, in which they were trying to understand what they should expect, with respect to empowerment. This particular adapting phase serves a somewhat unique but appropriate context for this study, as the expectations of empowering leadership at that stage may not have been fully formed among leaders and subordinates within the organization. It is well recognized that organizations are facing a turbulent environment and many are using empowerment interventions to equip themselves to be more flexible and adaptive (Labianca et al., 2000 and Spreitzer and Mishra, 2002). Accordingly, this sample should be highly relevant for most contemporary organizations.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Some of the values obtained in the surface analysis for the dependent variables fell outside of the scale range, i.e., 1 to 5, and the interpretation of the results was only based on the portion of the surface that lies above the bivariate distribution of X and Y. This might imply that the findings are less stable. However, given the relative small sample size, i.e., 168 subordinates and 33 leaders, the significant results obtained are considerable. Still, attention should be paid to the potential weaknesses in terms of reliability. Moreover, the findings of the present study are based on cross-sectional data and a cross-sectional design cannot examine the causality of the relationships studied. Also, the stability of expectation is a topic of debate in expectation disconfirmation theory (Irving & Meyer, 1994). Whether leader empowerment expectation, subordinate empowerment expectation, and individual and organizational outcomes are reciprocally related would therefore be an interesting topic for future research. Longitudinal studies are recommended in order to investigate the potential reciprocal nature over time. This study focused on the mutuality of leaders' and subordinates' ratings of subordinate empowerment expectations. An interesting avenue for future research would be to investigate whether the leaders' reciprocity of subordinates' empowerment expectations would also have an effect on subordinates' outcomes (Dabos & Rousseau, 2004). Future investigation on this issue is warranted. Moreover, previous studies in the self-other agreement literature have provided us with evidence on a wide range of antecedents, such as raters' biographical characteristics, their cognitive ability and the contextual factors that could affect self-other agreement/disagreement (Fleenor et al., 2010). Although we included a wide set of demographic variables to control for their potential influence on role ambiguity and intrinsic motivation, we cannot exclude the possibility that the inferences claimed could be attributed to other variables. As noted by an anonymous reviewer, subordinates often fail to make clear distinctions about different leader behaviors as evidenced by the findings in the 360° literature wherein different leader attributes are often collapsed into a single scale. Accordingly, a research opportunity that deserves more attention is to investigate whether our findings are applicable to other and more generalized leader expectation gaps. Despite the merits of this question, however, a study by Pearce and Sims (2002) examined team effectiveness across various leadership styles including aversive, directive, transactional, transformational, and empowering leader behaviors. They found that these leadership styles were distinct from each other and that empowering leadership was most effective. Moreover, our theorizing leads to the potential dilemma inherent in empowerment (increased autonomy versus role ambiguity), to which we consider the alleged leader–subordinate empowerment expectation gaps particularly relevant. Even though our sample may have been appropriate with respect to observing empowerment expectation gaps between leaders and subordinates due to the recent structural change, it remains an empirical question whether the gaps are large enough in other organizations to impact on employee outcomes. Accordingly, whether our findings can be generalized needs to be tested by research in other organizations. Finally, since we investigated constructs that offer few alternatives to self-reported data, future research should investigate employee outcomes that can be measured by other sources (e.g., peers, managers, or measures of objective performance, if available). In conclusion, our study adds to the growing body of empowerment research by introducing empowerment expectation gaps. Prior empowerment research has revealed a robust and positive relationship between empowerment and important employee outcomes. By investigating the leader–subordinate empowerment expectation gap, we can probably explain more variances in such outcomes, as evidenced in this study by role ambiguity and intrinsic motivation.