Directive versus empowering leadership: A field experiment comparing impacts on task proficiency and proactivity

Scott L. Martin, Hui Liao, Elizabeth M. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

183 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using a field experiment in the United Arab Emirates, we compared the impacts of directive and empowering leadership on customer-rated core task proficiency and proactive behaviors. Results of tests for main effects demonstrated that both directive and empowering leadership increased work unit core task proficiency, but only empowering leadership increased proactive behaviors. Examination of boundary conditions revealed that directive leadership enhanced proactive behaviors for work units that were highly satisfied with their leaders, whereas empowering leadership had stronger effects on both core task proficiency and proactive behaviors for work units that were less satisfied with their leaders. We discuss implications for both theory and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1372-1395
Number of pages24
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Volume56
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013

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