The Impact of Empowering Leadership on Employee Improvisation: Roles of Challenge-Hindrance Stress and Psychological Availability.Psychol Res Behav Manag. 2022; 15:2783-2801.PR
The purpose of this research is to explore the effect of empowering leadership on employee improvisation, including the mediating roles of challenge stress and hindrance stress as well as the moderating role of psychological availability.
Four proposed hypotheses were tested using hierarchical regression analysis and the bootstrapping method by reference to two waves of data collected in 2021 from 248 employees working for organizations located in southern China.
The results showed that empowering leadership had a positive effect on employee improvisation, which was mediated by challenge stress and hindrance stress. That is, empowering leadership promoted challenge stress and decreased hindrance stress, thereby stimulating employee improvisation. Furthermore, psychological availability strengthened the positive effect of challenge stress on employee improvisation and weakened the negative effect of hindrance stress on employee improvisation. Psychological availability also moderated the indirect relationships among empowering leadership, challenge/hindrance stress and employee improvisation.
In theoretical terms, this study identifies a new antecedent of employee improvisation: empowering leadership. This study also advances knowledge concerning the mechanism by which empowering leadership exerts its influence by drawing on cognitive transactional theory. Moreover, this study's exploration of the moderating role of psychological availability enriches the literature concerning the boundary conditions of the challenge-hindrance stress model. In practical terms, this study provides useful insights that can help organizations activate employee improvisation and manage employees' work pressure.