Linking proximal and distal social contextual cues to psychological empowerment: A multilevel investigation of culture, climate, and leadership’s effects on employees’ psychological empowerment and performance

April 3, 2017 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm America/New York Timezone
RCB - 1200 (12th floor Conference Room)
College of Business
35 Broad St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303

Speaker Name: Chad Hartnell
Affiliation: Managerial Sciences
Location: RCB – 1200 (12th floor Conference Room)

ABSTRACT: Efforts to understand multilevel social contextual predictors of empowerment have resulted in a somewhat fragmented picture of the effect of a unit’s social structure on employee psychological empowerment. Drawing upon Ostroff, Kinicki, and Muhammad’s (2013) theoretical model, we developed and tested a conceptual framework to contribute to multilevel empowerment research by considering how three instrumental facets of a social context – unit culture, unit climate, and leadership – influence employees’ psychological empowerment and performance. Data from 678 employees representing 116 departments in a large organization in the United States supported our predictions. Adhocracy culture was directly associated with adhocracy climate and empowering leadership. Adhocracy culture exhibited significant indirect effects on unit empowerment and employee psychological empowerment. Its indirect effect on employee performance was marginally significant at high levels of felt accountability but not at low levels of felt accountability. Theoretical and practical implications for culture and empowerment research will be discussed.