Leadership is a key antecedent of Engagement

Leadership is a key antecedent of Engagement. Leadership research shows that certain Leadership behaviors have clear association with Engagement constructs such as motivation, job satisfaction, organizational commitment and proactive behavior (Xu & Cooper Thomas, 2011). Leadership behaviors which are associated with Engagement belong into two categories: relationship- and task- oriented behaviors. For the purpose of this study, I will analyse relationship-oriented ones.
According to Kahn (1990) psychological safety is the most important antecedent of Engagement and offers the most potential for Leadership to influence Engagement. An important aspect of safety stems from the amount of care and support employees perceive by their direct supervisor. In fact, Kahn (1990) found that supportive and trusting interpersonal relationships as well as supportive management promoted psychological safety. Organizational members, thus, react positively to Leaders who behave in ways that support the team, trust them and create a blame – free environment. For example, taking a genuine interest in team members’ personal development, celebrating team successes, and respond to this support with higher levels of Engagement (Xu ; Cooper Thomas, 2011).
Moreover, Papalexandris ; Galanaki (2009) identified a set of management/mentoring Skills characteristics which are positively linked with Engagement. This set includes behaviors such as imparting confidence to followers, integrity, power sharing, communication, providing role clarification and articulation of vision which could be characterized as inspirational, visionary, decisive and team-oriented. Those behaviors increase Engagement of the subordinates of a Leader as they reduce uncertainty, while they allow them to take initiatives and therefore increase the interest in the job (Allen ; O’Brien, 2006).
In conclusion, a Leadership decision to focus on increasing Engagement is thought to be a positive antecedent to its development; a kind of workplace which is self-fulfilling and that provide organizational initiatives such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs that involve employee volunteerism and service work have been examined as an empirically driven antecedent (Davies & Crane, 2010; Lindorff & Peck, 2010).
Organizational-level factors
First, social support is one of the conditions influencing the sense of belongingness of the Self Determination theory and improving Engagement. A lack of social support has consistently been found to be related to burnout (Maslach et al., 2001). A variable that is likely to capture the essence of social support is the perceived organizational support (POS) which refers to a general belief that one’s organization values their contribution and cares about their well-being (Rhoades ; Eisenberger, 2002). POS creates a psychological obligation on the part of employees to care about the organization’s welfare and to help the organization reach its objectives (Rhoades, Eisenberger, & Armeli, 2001). In other words, employees’ who have higher POS might become more engaged to their job and organization.
Moreover, another organizational factor influencing Engagement is the formality of procedures of distributing rewards as well as of allocating them (Colquitt, 2001; Rhoades et al., 2001). An organization which is predictable and consistent, increases the procedural justice which refers to the perceived fairness of the means and processes used to determine the amount and distribution of resources.


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