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Creating an Engaged Workforce: The Impact of Authentic Leadership, Transparent Organizational Communication, and Work-Life Enrichment


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Scholars have increasingly recognized the importance of studying influential factors leading to employee engagement. However, few research endeavors exist in developing theoretical models to explain the underlying mechanisms between employee engagement and the social contextual variables that are closely related to employee engagement. Based on a random sample of employees (n=391) working across different industrial sectors in the US, we proposed and tested a model (rooted in the social exchange theory and the Job Demands-Resources model) that examined how authentic leadership, transparent organizational communication, and work-life enrichment, as three influential factors were associated with employee engagement, as well as the interrelationships among the three factors. The retained simplified model yielded a great data-model fit with significant direct and indirect effects among variables. Theoretical contributions and managerial ramifications of the study were discussed.
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Communication Research
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DOI: 10.1177/0093650215613137
Creating an Engaged
Workforce: The Impact
of Authentic Leadership,
Transparent Organizational
Communication, and
Work-Life Enrichment
Hua Jiang1 and Rita Linjuan Men2
Scholars have increasingly recognized the importance of studying factors leading to
employee engagement. However, few researchers have created and tested theoretical
models that propose mechanisms linking employee engagement to social contextual
variables. Based on a random sample of employees (n = 391) working across different
industrial sectors in the United States, we proposed and tested a model (rooted in
the Social Exchange Theory and the Job Demands-Resources Model) that examined
how authentic leadership, transparent organizational communication, and work-life
enrichment are interrelated. A simplified model containing both significant direct and
indirect effects fit the data. Theoretical contributions and managerial ramifications of
the study were discussed.
employee engagement, authentic leadership, transparent organizational communication,
work-life enrichment
Management and communication researchers have increasingly recognized the impor-
tance of employee engagement in achieving business success and organizational
growth (Robinson, Perryman, & Hayday, 2004). Engagement represents employees’
1Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA
2University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
Corresponding Author:
Hua Jiang, S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University, 215 University Place,
Syracuse, 13244, USA.
613137CRXXXX10.1177/0093650215613137Communication ResearchJiang and Men
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2 Communication Research
work-related state of mind, characterized by positive affect toward their employers
and a high level of perceived empowerment in the workplace (Maslach, Schaufelli, &
Leiter, 2001). When employees are engaged, they demonstrate business awareness and
willingness to devote extra time and effort for the accomplishment of organizational
goals (Matthews, Mills, Trout, & English, 2014).
Because of the embryotic state of employee engagement scholarship, more empiri-
cal studies are needed that investigate organizational features or social contextual vari-
ables associated with it (Matthews et al., 2014). Prior business and communication studies
have suggested sundry factors that could drive engagement, such as managers’ leadership
behavior, organizational communication structure, and positive work-life interface in
relation to employees’ well-being (Robinson et al., 2004). We propose that authentic lead-
ership, transparent organizational communication, and work-life enrichment are three
important contextual factors associated with employee engagement. Walumbwa, Avolio,
Gardner, Wernsing, and Peterson (2008) conceptualized authentic leadership as a pattern
of leader behavior characterized by strong self-awareness, internalized high moral stan-
dards, balanced processing of information in ethical decision making, and transparency in
interpersonal relationship cultivation between leaders and their followers. Transparent
organizational communication refers to an overall organizational communication system
or climate that emphasizes information dissemination and the role of organizations’ stake-
holders in identifying organizational needs (Cotterrell, 2000). Work-life enrichment refers
to the extent to which work experiences can improve employees’ quality of life outside of
their work (Carlson, Kacmar, Wayne, & Grzywacz, 2006).
The current study draws on two established theoretical frameworks to explain the
aforementioned social contextual antecedents of employee engagement: (a) the Social
Exchange Theory (SET; Saks, 2006) and (b) the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) Model
(Menguc, Auh, Fisher, & Haddad, 2013). As rooted in SET and the JD-R model, super-
visors’ functional and supportive behavior and an established transparent internal com-
munication system serve as key job resources that not only facilitate employees’
management of various job demands, but, more importantly, also enrich their nonwork
life. When employees perceive their personal life is benefiting from their work experi-
ences, they may reciprocate toward their employer with high engagement in their work.
Taken together, this study proposes and tests a conceptual model that links organi-
zational contextual factors of (a) authentic leadership, (b) transparent organizational
communication, and (c) employee work-life enrichment to employee engagement.
Findings of this study will add to the growing body of literature on employee engage-
ment, leadership, internal communication, and work-life interface. It will also provide
important ramifications for organizational managers and communication profession-
als on how to effectively create an engaged workforce.
Literature Review
Employee Engagement
A plethora of management and communication research shows that employee engage-
ment has positive individual and organizational outcomes (Saks, 2006). Cutting across
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Jiang and Men 3
its various conceptualizations are two common themes of employee engagement: (a)
It refers to employees’ physical, cognitive, and emotional presence when occupying
and performing an organizational role, and (b) it is never a momentary state but a
highly persistent affective-cognitive state characterized by attention, absorption, vigor,
dedication, and empowerment (Robinson et al., 2004). Engagement represents
employees’ affective-cognitive presence in enacting their work roles and their persis-
tent, pervasive, and fulfilling state of work-related mind focused on positive affect and
empowerment (Maslach et al., 2001).
Various factors could drive employee engagement. Perceived organizational sup-
port in terms of providing resources—both financial and non-financial resources—
counters the negative effects of stressful job demands and poor working conditions
and thus increases engagement (Robinson et al., 2004). In addition to these social
contextual factors, some socio-demographic and job characteristic variables have been
suggested to influence employee engagement although to a lesser extent. For instance,
previous studies found that minority ethnic employees are more engaged than their
White colleagues and younger employees are more engaged than older employees
(Robinson et al., 2004). Apart from ethnicity and age, organizational size, income
level, and organizational position do matter—Employees from smaller companies are
more engaged than those from larger organizations, high-income employees are gen-
erally more engaged than low-income employees, employees in managerial positions
are more engaged than non-management employees (Men, 2011).
Our approach recognizes the potential influence of socio-demographic variables on
employee engagement, but focuses particularly on exploring several key drivers of
engagement as suggested by previous literature—work environment (i.e., work-life
enrichment), leadership (i.e., authentic leadership), and communication climate (i.e.,
transparent organizational communication)—and their interplay effect on employee
engagement. Conceptualizations of each of these key drivers are presented next.
Work-Life Enrichment
In defining work-life, researchers conceptualized work as employees’ paid employ-
ment and everything outside of work as life (Kossek & Lambert, 2004). Employees’
best interests are served by a balanced and healthy lifestyle that reinvigorates their life
and bolsters their morale (Haar, 2013). Resources acquired in work role as a by-prod-
uct of professional interactions and occupational development may be transferred to
and reinvested in life role (McMillan, Morris, & Atchley, 2011). When employees
enact different roles, their identities or personalities may get enhanced and expanded
as they get used to discrepancies and adjust themselves to meet the competing demands
from work and life domains (Greenhaus & Powell, 2006). The resulted role transitions
and boundary fluidity that employees manage between work and life may create
enriching effects that spill over into life role that employees play (McMillan et al.,
2011). Based on the theory of the interdependencies between work and life roles,
scholars have called for more studies examining the positive interactions between
work and life, employing the concept of work-life enrichment and investigating the
links to its own antecedents and outcomes (Kossek & Lambert, 2004).
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Our perspective uses Carlson et al.’s (2006) conceptualization of work-life enrich-
ment that has three distinct dimensions: (a) developmental, (b) affective, and (c) capi-
tal. Specifically, work-life development represents the gains of instrumental resources
such as skills, knowledge, capabilities, perspectives, and behaviors in employees’
work domain. Work-life affect is defined when involvement in work promotes employ-
ees’ positive emotional state that benefits their nonwork life. Work-life capital refers
to the gains of psychosocial resources such as confidence, accomplishment, self-ful-
fillment, security, and self-esteem that help employees become a better member in
their life role.
Authentic Leadership
Leadership as an organizational contextual factor could influence how employees feel
about their work environment and the organization as a whole (Men & Stacks, 2013).
We pay special attention to authentic leadership, which has four features. As summa-
rized in Walumbwa et al. (2008), a leader’s self-awareness reflects personal under-
standing of his or her strengths, weaknesses, and how his or her multifaceted self is
constructed through close interactions with other people. Relational transparency
emphasizes trust that is achieved through leaders’ self-disclosure, information sharing,
and self-expressions. Processing information in a balanced way, leaders analyze all
relevant information before making decisions, regardless of the sentiment of view-
points. Finally, as the dimension of internalized moral perspective indicates, authentic
leaders often incorporate a positive moral perspective that guides decision making and
behaviors, such as honesty, altruism, kindness, fairness, accountability, and optimism.
Transparent Organizational Communication
Relatedly, an organization’s communication climate and system is also an important
contextual factor that affects engagement (Wayne, Grzywacz, Carlson, & Kacmar,
2007). Transparent organizational communication is a process that generates trust and
credibility (Rawlins, 2009), which potentially drives employee engagement.
Transparent organizational communication is an organization’s deliberate information
dissemination coupled with employees’ active participation in information acquisition
and information distribution, in a manner that is truthful, substantial, and complete, for
the purpose of holding organizations accountable for their business practices and poli-
cies (Stirton & Lodge, 2001). Transparency is only meaningful when it provides infor-
mation relevant to the employees about their organizations’ actions and decisions, and
organizations invite their employees to participate in identifying, acquiring, and dis-
tributing information (Cotterrell, 2000). When achieving completeness (Rawlins,
2009), organizations voice the reasons for their actions and highlight the importance
of employees as an audience. Transparent organizational communication is also related
to source credibility and organizational accountability (Tapscott & Ticoll, 2003). It is
precisely the credibility of organizations as information sources that makes account-
ability realistic (Rawlins, 2009).
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Theoretical Framework
The central focus of SET is on reciprocity and compensation between parties who are
mutually dependent. When employees receive highly valued “socioemotional resources”
from their employers (Saks, 2006, p. 603), they may choose to reciprocate positively,
engage themselves more into their work, and devote more of their physical, emotional,
and cognitive resources to their employers. The JD-R model extends SET by noting that
job demands and job resources may affect job stress and employee outcomes (Menguc
et al., 2013). Organizational social resources such as supervisory support, communica-
tion climate, and work environment are critical for employees not only to deal with job
demands and stress but also to foster their personal growth and engagement.
As SET and the JD-R model suggest, supervisors’ supportive leadership behavior and
the presence of a transparent internal communication structure serve as key job resources
that help employees manage various job demands and, at the same time, enrich their
nonwork life. When employees perceive a high level of work-life enrichment, they may
reciprocate toward their employer by being highly engaged in their work.
Authentic Leadership and Transparent Organizational Communication
Leading to Work-Life Enrichment
The extent to which managers exhibit authentic leadership capabilities plays a critical
role in how likely an organization is to practice transparent communication. When
managers demonstrate that they understand their own strengths and weakness, clearly
communicate their ideas, openly share information, show great consistency between
their beliefs and actions, and encourage employees to voice their alternative or oppos-
ing opinions (Walumbwa et al., 2008), employees are more likely to perceive that they
have adequate control over the information they need for problem solving (Tapscott &
Ticoll, 2003). It also indicates that substantial information can be made accessible to
them in the workplace (Stirton & Lodge, 2001) and that their employers are highly
accountable for their actions and policies (Rawlins, 2009).
Although there is not ample empirical evidence, prior studies have explored how
top managers who demonstrate authentic leadership behavior can shape an organiza-
tion’s culture characterized by dialogue, transparency, and organizational learning
(Mazutis & Slawinski, 2008). A longitudinal study by Fulmer and Gelfand (2012) also
indicates that in order to gain high levels of trust across individual, group, and organi-
zational levels, authentic leaders tend to engage in positive and transparent communi-
cation. Therefore, based on the above reviewed literature and empirical evidence, we
propose the following hypothesis:
Hypothesis 1: Authentic leadership is positively linked to transparent organiza-
tional communication.
As demonstrated in SET and the JD-R model, a positive exchange between work
and life can take place when employees perceive the effectiveness of job resources in
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the workplace in helping them fulfill various job demands and in strengthening their
performance in the life domain (Wayne et al., 2007). Prior empirical findings also sug-
gest that resource-rich work environment with transparent organizational communica-
tive activities is likely to foster work-life enrichment (Greenhaus & Powell, 2006). For
instance, the substantial information and policies on scheduling that supervisors shared
and the welcoming attitude and transparent communication that supervisors had
enabled employees to voice their concerns and opposing thoughts about scheduling in
the workplace (Pedersen & Jeppesen, 2012). When employees can negotiate with their
supervisors for much-needed scheduling flexibility, they tend to get more involved in
their nonwork personal activities, leading to a high level of work-life enrichment
(Carlson et al., 2006). Thus, two more hypotheses are suggested:
Hypothesis 2: Authentic leadership is positively related to work-life enrichment.
Hypothesis 3: Transparent organizational communication is positively associated
with work-life enrichment.
Engagement as an Outcome Associated With Leadership,
Organizational Communication, and Work-Life Enrichment
According to SET, employees may feel more engaged with their work and their
employer when supervisors/managers encourage more participative information shar-
ing and ethical decision making via authentic leadership (Saks, 2006). Likewise, level
of employee engagement tends to be high when organizations enable employees to
exert adequate control over information acquisition and distribution, decision making,
and truthfully communicate to employees the reality of organizational subjects, inci-
dents, or events with substantial information (Mazutis & Slawinski, 2008). Moreover,
according to the JD-R model, managers’ authentic leadership behavior and organiza-
tions’ transparent communication structure are key sources that motivate employees to
be engaged in the workplace (Menguc et al., 2013). Having a supportive supervisor
focused on self-disclosure and self-regulation, information sharing, and ethical deci-
sion making can significantly boost employees’ motivation and effective involvement
in meeting a great variety of job demands (DeConinck, 2010). Furthermore, supervi-
sory support can ameliorate the strain that employees experience when facing chal-
lenging job demands (Babin & Boles, 1996). Consequently, employees may remain
engaged when feeling they are furnished with adequate supervisory resources (Sand &
Miyazaki, 2000). In terms of transparent communication as another critical resource,
level of employee engagement remains high when employees perceive they are receiv-
ing accurate guidance, candid feedback on their performance, and manageable sugges-
tions for improvement (Jaworski & Kohli, 1991).
Based on SET and the JD-R model, we argue that employees also make cognitive
attributions regarding the source of benefits across work and life domains. In particu-
lar, when the work domain (i.e., the sending domain) is seen as transferring helpful
resources not only to facilitate employees’ fulfillment of job demands but also to ben-
efit their personal life (i.e., the receiving domain), employees experience satisfaction
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Jiang and Men 7
with the sending domain (Carlson et al., 2006). As an outcome of enrichment, the
perception that resources accrued in jobs would help employees’ work performance
when facing challenging job demands and, at the same time, enhance employees’
functioning in their personal life, will likely result in attitudinal and behavioral reac-
tions to their employers—for instance, a high level of engagement with their work
(Nahrgang, Morgeson, & Hofmann, 2011). Therefore, we propose the following
Hypothesis 4: Authentic leadership positively relates to employee engagement.
Hypothesis 5: Transparent organizational communication is positively associated
with employee engagement.
Hypothesis 6: Work-life enrichment is positively related to employee
The Mediating Role of Transparent Organizational Communication and
Work-Life Enrichment
Supervisors who exhibit authentic leadership capabilities can help shape a nurturing
organizational culture or climate, characterized by transparency, dialogue, and orga-
nizational learning that may result in enriching effects of workplace experiences
upon employees’ social performance in their nonwork arenas (Mazutis & Slawinski,
2008). Supervisors’ individual supportive leadership behavior may not account for
the full variance in employees’ perception of high engagement with not only their
work but also their employer as a whole (DeConinck, 2010). It is likely that indi-
vidual leadership behavior may exert its effect on both work- and organization-
related outcomes via mediators at the organizational level (Menguc et al., 2013),
such as transparent organizational communication (Fulmer & Gelfand, 2012) and
employees’ feeling that their organizational life as a whole is benefiting or nurturing
their family and social activities (Nahrgang et al., 2011). Therefore, we predict the
Hypothesis 7: Transparent organizational communication mediates the effect of
authentic leadership on work-life enrichment (H7a) and the effect of that on
employee engagement (H7b).
Hypothesis 8: Work-life enrichment mediates the effect of authentic leadership
(H8a) and that of transparent organizational communication (H8b) on employee
Hypothesis 9: Transparent organizational communication and work-life enrich-
ment mediate the effect of authentic leadership on employee engagement.
In view of the preceding discussion on authentic leadership, transparent organiza-
tional communication, and work-life enrichment in association with employee engage-
ment, the hypothesized model is presented in Figure 1.
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With the assistance of a premier global provider of survey services, Survey Sampling
International (SSI;, we conducted an online survey
on a random sample of employees working across diverse industry sectors in a 2-week
period in November 2013. Through its patented online sampling platform, SSI solic-
ited participation from its 1.5 million research panel members in the United States.
Stratified and quota random sampling strategies were used to obtain a representative
sample with comparable age groups, genders, and corporation sizes across various
income and education levels. A final sample size of 391 was achieved.
Participant Profile
The average age of participants was 40 (SD = 10.58). On average, they worked 8.49
(SD = 7.35) years for their respective employers at the time of data collection. Females
made up the majority of the sample (n = 205, 52.7%). The size of participants’ employ-
ers varied from 100 to 250 employees (n = 45, 11.5%) to more than 7,000 employees
(n = 115, 29.4%) from various industry sectors. In terms of their level of position,
non-management participants accounted for 52.7% (n = 206) of the sample, followed
by middle-level management (n = 95, 24.3%), lower level management (n = 60,
15.3%), and top management (n = 30, 7.7%). Participants reported diverse annual
income levels. The income range with the largest number of participants was
US$30,000 to US$49,999 (n = 100, 25.6%).
All items used a 7-point Likert-type scale, ranging from “strongly disagree” (1) to
“strongly agree” (7). Nine items from Carlson et al. (2006) were used to measure work-
life enrichment. Measures for each type of work-life enrichment had high reliability
Figure 1. The conceptual model.
Note. Mediation hypotheses H7 to H9.
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Jiang and Men 9
(α = .90 for development, .97 for affect, and .96 for capital). Authentic leadership was
assessed with Neider and Schriesheim’s (2011) measure. Cronbach’s alphas were .91,
.91, .90, and .91 for its four distinct dimensions: self-awareness, relational transpar-
ency, internalized moral perspective, and balanced processing, respectively. A mea-
sure of 18 items from Rawlins (2009) assessed an organizational climate of transparent
communication, which demonstrated high reliability (α = .94 for participation, .95 for
substantial information, and .92 for accountability). To examine employee engage-
ment, 11 items adapted from Kang (2014) and Saks (2006) were used consisting of
two subscales: Positive Affect (α = .94) and Empowerment (α = .92).
To examine our hypotheses, we performed a two-step Structural Equation Modeling
(SEM) analysis with the Mplus 7.11 program. First, because of the a priori theoretical
conceptualizations of the constructs, we tested a second-order measurement model.
Covariance paths among items within the same latent factor were added so as to control for
content redundancy (Raykov & Marcoulides, 2006). We then tested the structural model.
Preliminary Data Analysis
Descriptive statistics. As presented in Table 1, the results of the descriptive analysis
showed that participants’ managers demonstrated moderately high authentic leadership
behavior (Mself-awareness = 4.90, SD = 1.39, n = 391; Mrelational transparency = 5.13, SD = 1.45,
n = 391; Minternalized moral perspective = 5.00, SD = 1.31, n = 391; Mbalanced processing = 4.89, SD =
1.38, n = 391). Additionally, participants believed their organizations provided with
them moderately high information (Msubstantiality = 4.92, SD = 1.25, n = 391), exhibited
moderately high participation (Mparticipation = 4.57, SD = 1.41, n = 391) and accountability
(Maccountability = 4.43, SD = 1.42, n = 391) in organizational transparent communication.
Moreover, participants reported a moderately high level of work-life development
(Mdevelopment = 4.89, SD = 1.25, n = 391), work-life capital (Mcapital = 4.83, SD = 1.43,
n = 391), and work-life affect (Maffect = 4.47, SD = 1.50, n = 391). In terms of engagement,
participants also perceived a moderately high level of positive affect (Mpositve affect = 4.70, SD
= 1.36, n = 391) and empowerment (Mempowerment = 4.47, SD = 1.44, n = 391). Correlations
between the observed variables in this study ranged from .41 to .83 (p <.01; see Table 1).
Tests on socio-demographic variables. A series of ANOVAs revealed no significant rela-
tionships between company size, industry type, ethnicity, and education level and any
of the four constructs in our hypothesized model. Hierarchical linear regression analy-
sis also did not reveal a significant relationship between age and any of the four key
constructs. Results of t tests did not reveal significant gender differences in authentic
leadership and work-life enrichment. Male participants did report significantly higher
values than female participants on employee engagement, t(384) = −3.02, p < .01, and
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Table 1. Descriptive Statistics of First-Order and Second-Order Constructs in the Study (Mean, Standard Deviation, and Correlations).
αM SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
1 .91 4.90 1.39 1.00
2 .91 5.13 1.45 .81** 1.00
3 .90 5.00 1.31 .76** .82** 1.00
4 .91 4.89 1.38 .81** .83** .80** 1.00
5 .94 4.57 1.41 .60** .57** .56** .64** 1.00
6 .95 4.92 1.25 .58** .56** .57** .57** .83** 1.00
7 .92 4.43 1.42 .50** .46** .49** .57** .81** .76** 1.00
8 .90 4.89 1.25 .44** .42** .43** .44** .44** .43** .44** 1.00
9 .97 4.47 1.50 .50** .48** .43** .51** .69** .63** .62** .66** 1.00
10 .96 4.83 1.43 .46** .45** .44** .50** .63** .61** .59** .71** .82** 1.00
11 .94 4.70 1.36 .52** .48** .48** .55** .75** .68** .69** .59** .75** .77** 1.00
12 .92 4.47 1.44 .47** .41** .42** .52** .69** .61** .65** .50** .68** .70** .82** 1.00
13 .97 4.97 1.27 .91** .93** .92** .94** .64** .61** .55** .47** .52** .50** .55** .49** 1.00
14 .97 4.66 1.26 .60** .57** .58** .64** .95** .94** .91** .47** .69** .65** .76** .70** .65** 1.00
15 .96 4.59 1.33 .52** .50** .48** .54** .65** .62** .61** .86** .92** .94** .78** .70** .55** .67** 1.00
16 .96 4.73 1.26 .52** .47** .47** .56** .76** .68** .70** .57** .75** .77** .96** .95** .55** .77** .78** 1.00
Note. 1 = AL-self-awareness; 2 = AL-relational transparency; 3 = AL-internalized moral perspective; 4 = AL-balanced processing; 5 = TC-participation;
6 = TC-substantiality; 7 = TC-accountability; 8 = WLE-development; 9 = WLE-affect; 10 = WLE-capital; 11 = EE-positive affect; 12 = EE-empowerment; 13 = AL
(authentic leadership); 14 = TC (transparent communication); 15 = WLE (work-life enrichment); 16 = EE (employee engagement).
**Correlation is significant at p < .01 (2-tailed).
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Jiang and Men 11
transparent communication, t(384) = −2.14, p < .05. Position level was not signifi-
cantly related to employees’ perception of work-life enrichment but was related to
levels of transparent organizational communication, F(3, 384) = 4.72, p < .01, work-
life enrichment, F(3, 386) = 7.67, p < .001, and employee engagement, F(3, 384) =
12.85, p < .001. In addition, salary level was not significantly associated with employ-
ees’ perceptions of authentic leadership and transparent organizational communication
but was related to work-life enrichment, F(10, 379) = 1.86, p = .05, and employee
engagement, F(10, 377) = 2.21, p < .05. Based on the results of the preliminary tests
and our reviewed literature, we controlled three variables—gender, salary level, and
position level—in our SEM analysis.
Measurement Model Results
Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) indicated that in accordance with previous litera-
ture, work-life enrichment, authentic leadership, transparent organizational communi-
cation, and employee engagement formed a second-order construct with their
respective underlying first-order factors. The model achieved good data-model fit
(comparative fit index [CFI] = .95; root mean square error of approximation [RMSEA]
= .047; 90% confidence interval [CI] = [.044, .050]; standardized root mean square
residual [SRMR] = .04; χ2 = 2466.88 [p < .001]; df = 1337; n = 381).
Structural Model Results
The hypothesized structural model demonstrated good fit with the data: CFI = .95;
RMSEA = .047 (90% CI = [.044, .050]); SRMR = .04; χ2 = 2,472.59 (p < .001); df =
1,339; n = 381. The results indicated that all standardized path coefficients were sig-
nificant except for the direct effect of authentic leadership on employee engagement
(see Figure 2). For the sake of parsimony, the model was reduced by deleting the non-
significant path. The simplified or reduced model was re-estimated and compared with
the hypothesized model via nested model comparison. Estimation of the simplified
model also yielded a satisfactory data-model fit (CFI = .95; RMSEA = .047; CI =
[.044, .050]; SRMR = .04; χ2 = 2,473.17; p < .001; df = 1340; n = 381). The model fit
change was not statistically significant: Δχ2 (1, n = 381) = .58, p = .446 (see Table 2).
Therefore, the more parsimonious and simplified model was retained (see Figure 3).
In order to identify the best-fitting model, two other theoretically plausible models
were compared with the hypothesized and simplified models, considering the role of
transparent organizational communication and work-life enrichment as mediators. In
Alternative Model 1, the link between transparent organizational communication and
employee engagement was removed from the hypothesized model. In Alternative
Model 2, both the link between authentic leadership and employee engagement and
that between transparent organizational communication and employee engagement
were removed. As demonstrated in Table 2, the χ2 differences of the two alternative
models ranged from 65.51 to 74.45 (both ps < .001) and supported the superiority of
our simplified model (see Figure 3).
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12 Communication Research
Table 2. Fit Indices of the Hypothesized, Simplified, and Alternative Models.
Model χ2df χ2/df Δ χ2Sig. of Δ CFI RMSEA SRMR
2,472.59 1,339 1.85 .95 .047 (90% CI = [.044, .050]) .04
2,473.17 1,340 1.85 .58 .446 .95 .047 (90% CI = [.044, .050]) .04
Alternative 1 2,538.10 1,340 1.89 65.51 .000 .95 .047 (90% CI = [.044, .050]) .05
Alternative 2 2,547.04 1,341 1.90 74.45 .000 .95 .049 (90% CI = [.046, .051]) .05
Note. CFI = comparative fit index; RMSEA = Root mean square error approximation;
SRMR = standardized root mean square residual; CI = confidence interval.
Test of Hypotheses
As shown in our simplified model (see Figure 3), the association between authentic
leadership and transparent communication was positive and significant (β = .67, p <
.001), supporting H1. R-square for transparent organizational communication equaled
.49. The standardized path coefficients for the relationship between authentic leadership
and work-life enrichment (β = .14, p < .05) and that between transparent communication
and work-life enrichment (β = .63, p < .001) were both significant and positive. H2 and
H3 were supported. R-square for work-life enrichment was .59. H5 and H6 were sup-
ported as well. The association between transparent organizational communication
Figure 2. The hypothesized structural model with standardized path coefficients.
Note. Mediation hypotheses H7 to H9. CFI = .95; RMSEA = .047 (90% CI = [.044, .050]);
SRMR = .04; χ2 = 2,472.59; p < .001; df = 1,339; n = 381; R2 (employee engagement) = .84; R2
(transparent communication) = .50; R2 (work-life enrichment) = .59. CFI = comparative fit index;
RMSEA = root mean square error of approximation; CI = confidence interval; SRMR = standardized root
mean square residual.
*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.
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Jiang and Men 13
and employee engagement (β = .44, p < .001) and that between work-life enrichment
and employee engagement (β = .51, p < .001) were significant and positive. R-square
for employee engagement was .84.
A test of mediation effects with a bootstrapping procedure (N = 5,000 samples) was
conducted. Results revealed a significant indirect effect of authentic leadership on work-
life enrichment via transparent organizational communication (β = .42, p < .001; 90%
CI = [.33, .51]). The indirect effect of authentic leadership on employee engagement via
transparent organizational communication was also significant (β = .30, p < .001; 90%
CI = [.21, .38]). Therefore, H7 was supported. Work-life enrichment significantly medi-
ated the effect of authentic leadership on employee engagement (β = .07, p < .05; 90%
CI = [.00, .14]). The indirect effect of transparent organizational communication on
employee engagement via work-life enrichment was significant as well (β = .30, p < .001;
90% CI = [.21, .38]). H8 was supported. Overall, transparent organizational communica-
tion and work-life enrichment significantly mediated the effect of authentic leadership on
employee engagement (β = .22, p < .001; 90% CI = [.16, .27]). H9 was thus supported.
Work-Life Enrichment as the Key Driver of Employee Engagement
Previous research has suggested that working environment such as resource support
and job demands (Attridge, 2009), and concern for employee health and well-being
(Robinson et al., 2004) drive employee engagement. Along these lines, results of the
Figure 3. The final structural model with standardized path coefficients.
Note. Mediation hypotheses H7 to H9. CFI = .95; RMSEA = .047 (90% CI = [.044, .050]);
SRMR = .04; χ2 = 2,473.17; p < .001; df = 1,340; n = 381; R2 (employee engagement) = .84; R2
(transparent communication) = .49; R2 (work-life enrichment) = .59. CFI = comparative fit index;
RMSEA = root mean square error of approximation; CI = confidence interval; SRMR = standardized root
mean square residual.
*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.
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14 Communication Research
study showed that work-life enrichment demonstrated a significant strong positive
association with employee engagement. Employees’ knowledge gained, skills
acquired, and happy and cheerful emotions, as well as personal fulfillment, accom-
plishment, and success experienced at work, could all spill over to employees’ per-
sonal life (Haar, 2013). When employees’ work role activities benefit their personal
life, they will be more attentive, absorbed, and dedicated to their work and reciprocate
with active participation and involvement in organizational activities, as indicated by
the SET (Menguc et al., 2013). This finding reinforces the new theoretical approach
(role enrichment) toward understanding how organizations can help their employees
balance their multiple roles effectively through, for instance, cultivating an organiza-
tional climate of authentic leadership and transparent communication.
Transparent Organizational Communication as Another Driver of
Employee Engagement
Transparency is the foundation for building engagement (Wayne et al., 2007). Yet
there exists little empirical literature examining such assumption. Results of our study
showed that transparent organizational communication demonstrated a strong positive
effect on employee engagement. When organizations openly share substantial, com-
plete, relevant, and truthful information with employees in a timely manner, encourage
employee participation, and convey balanced information that is open to employees’
scrutiny and holds the organization accountable, employees are more likely to feel
engaged. Involving employees to identify the information they need and incorporating
their input in organizational decision making empower employees (Men, 2011). Our
finding also supports previous researchers’ argument that open, constant, and transpar-
ent communication keeps an organization visible, gratifies its employees’ information
needs, and lets employees stay abreast of goings-on in the organization (Men & Stacks,
2014). Further, it provides empirical evidence for the JD-R model that organizational
communication climate is among the key resources that facilitate employees’ job per-
formance, help them meet organizational job demands, and motivate employees to be
engaged in the workplace (Menguc et al., 2013).
Linking Authentic Leadership to Employee Engagement: Transparent
Organizational Communication and Work-Life Enrichment
As a contextual factor, organizational leadership nurtures the communication climate
in the organization (Yukl, 2010). The present study enriches the understanding of the
connection by revealing the strong positive effect of authentic leadership on transpar-
ent organizational communication. Employees who are managed by authentic leaders
tend to perceive the organization’s communication as transparent. Authentic leaders
internalize moral values such as integrity, fairness, kindness, altruism, and account-
ability, which guide their daily leadership behavior and communication practice
(Walumbwa et al., 2008). These ethical core values provide a common ground for
authentic leadership and transparent organizational communication (Yukl, 2010).
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Jiang and Men 15
Unexpectedly, the direct effect of authentic leadership on employee engagement was
not found, but the mediation effects from authentic leadership to employee engagement
via transparent organizational communication and work-life enrichment were strong
and significant. The finding of transparent organizational communication and work-life
enrichment as mediators suggests that the effects of authentic leadership on employee
outcomes are not necessarily straightforward and readily observable. When authentic
leadership is prevalent in the organization, an effective transparent communication sys-
tem is most likely to be established. Such a system and communication climate help
convey leaders’ values, beliefs, missions, organizational expectations, and policies to
employees, engage employees into dialogues, and foster employees’ sense of work-life
enrichment. Without a transparent organizational communication system or authentic
leaders utilizing open communication to promote the positive exchange between work
and life, employee engagement may be difficult to achieve.
The Linkage Between Authentic Leadership, Transparent Organizational
Communication, and Work-Life Enrichment
Results of the study showed that authentic leadership demonstrated a relatively small
but significant relationship to work-life enrichment of employees. This again could be
attributed to the fact that authentic leaders advocate open communication, invite vari-
ous perspectives, adhere to their moral values and principles, and objectively analyze
all relevant information before coming to a conclusion or decision, which reduces
employees’ frustration and uncertainty and fosters a positive environment that contrib-
utes to employees’ overall psychological well-being (Walumbwa et al., 2008). The
positive emotional state, self-fulfillment, confidence, accomplishment, and self-
esteem that result from interactions with authentic managers could cross the work
domain and benefit employees’ personal life experiences, which is exactly what work-
life enrichment means (Carlson et al., 2006).
Likewise, transparent organizational communication demonstrated a large positive
direct effect on employee work-life enrichment. In an open environment where orga-
nizations listen closely to employees, value employees’ voice and input, and readily
accept employee criticism or scrutiny (Rawlins, 2009), employees perceive capital
gains as well as positive feelings that could transfer to employees’ other life roles
(Greenhaus & Powell, 2006). Researchers have found the positive effects of transpar-
ent communication on favorable organizational outcomes such as employee trust
(Rawlins, 2009) and employee-organization relationships (Men & Stacks, 2014). This
study extends this line of research by demonstrating the positive impact of transparent
organizational communication on one positive aspect of employee work-life interface,
that is, work-life enrichment.
Theoretical and Practical Implications
The study findings provide important guidelines and implications for communication
management scholars and professionals. Theoretically, this study draws upon SET and
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16 Communication Research
the JD-R model to advance the growing literature on employee engagement through
testing organizational context factors closely associated with it. Findings of this study
provide much-needed evidence that confirms the critical roles of leadership, commu-
nication, and work-life interface in driving employee engagement. This study enriches
the theoretical understanding of employee engagement by addressing the growing
concerns of corporate transparency and authenticity, two overused yet under-researched
constructs in communication literature. Adding into the growing body of enrichment
literature from the expansionist as opposed to the conflict perspective (Greenhaus &
Powell, 2006), the present study demonstrates the positive impact of authentic leader-
ship and transparent organizational communication on employees’ work-life enrich-
ment. It emphasizes the importance of a nurturing and supportive communication and
leadership work climate for employees’ overall well-being.
In terms of strategic implications, it is essential for organizations to invest in sys-
tematic leadership training, rewarding, and providing guidance for leaders’ behavior
and communication. Additionally, organizations should build a transparent communi-
cation culture or climate that ensures the free flow of truthful, complete, relevant, and
substantial information in a timely manner, facilitates upward communication and lis-
tening, and welcomes employee participation and comments regardless of whether
they are commending, criticizing, or complaining. To that end, collaborative efforts
between communication professionals, organizational leaders, and human resource
managers are critically needed.
Additionally, the findings also attest to the value of work-life enrichment in effec-
tively engaging employees. Employees’ work and life mutual influence is a reality.
What employees experience at work (e.g., knowledge learnt, skills acquired, feel-
ings and emotions experienced) influences employees’ personal lives, and employ-
ees’ personal lives and overall well-being have significant implications for
organizational outcomes. However, in practice, organizations often fail to under-
stand how crucial work-life issues are for organizational success because work-life
issues are often perceived as “soft” issues, the linkage of which to the organizational
bottom line is not self-explanatory. By contrast, engagement issues have gained
enormous attention from organizations and business managers in the past decades. A
large amount of academic and professional literature has provided adequate evi-
dence for the linkage between employee engagement and business success (e.g.,
productivity, financial performance, sales, etc.; Robinson et al., 2004). By demon-
strating the strong effect of positive work-life interface on employee engagement,
this study highlights the strategic importance of focusing on work-life enrichment
for organizational success and provides significant practical implications for
In sum, employee engagement has become a centrally desired outcome for organi-
zational success. To address the hype, guesswork, and confusion arising from the
prevalent professional speculations around the concept, more empirical research
explicating the underlying process of employee engagement and how it is related to
communicative factors is critically needed.
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Jiang and Men 17
Limitations and Future Research Directions
This study has several limitations that should be noted and addressed in future research.
The survey sample included only employees from large and medium-sized companies in
the United States. Organizations outside of the scope or from other cultural settings
should be careful making inferences from the findings. A cross-sectional survey approach
is also limited in suggesting order of effects revealed in this study. For instance, this
study found work-life enrichment to be an antecedent of employee engagement. Future
research may also explore the possible impact of engagement on work-life enrichment.
A bi-directional relationship may exist. Also, the study data were gathered only from the
employees’ perspective. Although a check of common method variance with Harman’s
single factor test did not imply a serious problem, incorporating the organization’s or
managers’ insights in future research efforts could provide a more complete picture and
comprehensive understanding of how leadership, communication, and work-life enrich-
ment factors drive employee engagement. Finally, future endeavors should empirically
examine other potential drivers of employee engagement such as organizational culture,
structure, communication messages and channels, and employees’ individual factors,
and most importantly, connect engagement to business outcomes to understand its value
on Return on Investment. Likewise, more theoretical deliberations and empirical studies
are in need from a management communication perspective to enrich the understanding
of employees’ work-life interface (i.e., conflict, enrichment, balance, fit, and integra-
tion), which eventually influences organizational performance and effectiveness.
The authors would like to thank the editor, Dr. Michael Elwood Roloff, and the anonymous
reviewers for their constructive feedback and helpful suggestions in revising the manuscript.
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship,
and/or publication of this article.
The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this
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Author Biographies
Hua Jiang, PhD, is an assistant professor of public relations in S.I. Newhouse School of Public
Communications at Syracuse University. Her research interests include relationship manage-
ment, employee communication, work-life issues, social media, and public relations leadership.
She has published more than two dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.
Her work has appeared in leading refereed journals including Journal of Public Relations
Research, Public Relations Review, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of
Health Communication, International Journal of Strategic Communication, Journal of Public
Affairs, Public Relations Journal, Public Relations Inquiry, Asian Journal of Communication,
and Global Media Journal-Canadian Edition.
Rita Linjuan Men, PhD, APR, is an assistant professor of public relations at the University of
Florida. Her research interests include employee engagement, leadership communication, orga-
nizational relationship and reputation management, and social media public relations. Her work
has appeared in leading refereed journals including Journal of Public Relations Research,
Management Communication Quarterly, Public Relations Review, Journal of Communication
Management, International Journal of Strategic Communication, Corporate Reputation
Review, Computers in Human Behavior, Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking,
Public Relations Journal, Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Journal of Interactive
Advertising, among others.
at Syracuse University Libraries on November 7, 2015crx.sagepub.comDownloaded from
... In a study conducted in the Pakistani service industry, Basit & Siddiqui (2020) stated that authentic leadership gives birth to transparent organizational communication because authentic leaders invite every individual they lead to participating in communications that occur internally within the company. Through their behavior, authentic leaders indicate that important information in the company can be known and each individual in the company is trusted to maintain that information through their respective actions and policies (Jiang & Men, 2017). Men (2014) found that leadership behavior strongly shapes the company's communication culture and climate through daily communication between leaders and employees so that employees perceive their leader as a trusted and chosen source of information. ...
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... For this purpose, we relied on the communication subscale of the organizational culture survey (Glaser, Zamanou, and Hacker 1987). More specifically, OC-T was assessed through 5 items, which concerned the respondents' self-assessed perception of an organizational context enabling people to make sense of their job and to develop work engagement (Jiang and Men 2017;Thelen and Formanchuk 2022). OC-T had good internal consistency (α = 0.83), adequate composite reliability (CR = 0.86), and sufficient convergent validity (AVE = 0.54). ...
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Purpose This study, informed by the Situational Crisis Communication Theory, aims to suggest two primary response strategies that can be used for effective internal crisis communication during a pandemic situation, such as COVID-19. The effect of base response strategies on employees' perceptions of communication quality, leadership and relational outcomes were investigated. Design/methodology/approach An online survey of full-time employees in the United States was conducted. Findings The findings showed that for an instructing information strategy, not all types of information were equally associated with positive employee responses in terms of perceived quality of internal communication related to the COVID-19 pandemic and transformational leadership. Specific information that employees need to know in order to safely perform daily tasks, such as organizational protocols and thorough preparation, seem to be the most needed and desired information. Adjusting information was positively associated with employee perceptions of internal communication quality and perceptions of CEO leadership. Employees' perceived quality of internal communication affected by the base crisis response strategies were positively correlated with perceptions of transformational leadership and relational outcomes (i.e. employee trust in the organization, employee perceptions of the organization's commitment to relationships with employees, employee support for organizational decision-making related to COVID-19). Originality/value This study presents important theoretical and practical insights through an interdisciplinary approach that applies the theoretical framework and relationship-oriented outcomes of public relations to public health crisis situations.
Although meta-analyses provide clear evidence of which leader behaviors result in outcomes such as employee performance, commitment, and intent to leave, qualitative approaches are necessary to understand how managers perceive and enact their roles in situ. In this mixed methods study, in-depth interviews with managers are considered in tandem with open-ended responses from managers. By soliciting metaphors from both managers and members, we can better exemplify the interdependent nature of this relationship. Data indicate metaphors describe powerful, empowered, or powerless managers, where these categories are then mapped and put into conversation with classic and contemporary approaches to enacting leadership. Findings help to explain the perceptual gap often reported between leaders and members, and pragmatic findings are offered for employees of all ranks and HR managers.
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Citation: Kossek, E. & Lambert, S. Introduction: Work-Family Scholarship: Voice & Context, p. 3-18.
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Purpose – Employee engagement has become a hot topic in recent years among consulting firms and in the popular business press. However, employee engagement has rarely been studied in the academic literature and relatively little is known about its antecedents and consequences. The purpose of this study was to test a model of the antecedents and consequences of job and organization engagements based on social exchange theory. Design/methodology/approach – A survey was completed by 102 employees working in a variety of jobs and organizations. The average age was 34 and 60 percent were female. Participants had been in their current job for an average of four years, in their organization an average of five years, and had on average 12 years of work experience. The survey included measures of job and organization engagement as well as the antecedents and consequences of engagement. Findings – Results indicate that there is a meaningful difference between job and organization engagements and that perceived organizational support predicts both job and organization engagement; job characteristics predicts job engagement; and procedural justice predicts organization engagement. In addition, job and organization engagement mediated the relationships between the antecedents and job satisfaction, organizational commitment, intentions to quit, and organizational citizenship behavior. Originality/value – This is the first study to make a distinction between job and organization engagement and to measure a variety of antecedents and consequences of job and organization engagement. As a result, this study addresses concerns about that lack of academic research on employee engagement and speculation that it might just be the latest management fad.
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This study examines how strategic leadership influences excellent internal public relations by establishing the linkage between authentic leadership, symmetrical and transparent communication, and employee–organization relationships. The results showed that authentic leadership as an antecedent factor plays a critical role in nurturing an organization's symmetrical and transparent communication system, which in turn, cultivates quality employee–organization relationships. An organization's symmetrical communication worldview greatly fosters its day-to-day transparent communication practice. Transparent communication, characterized by information substantiality, accountability, and employee participation, largely contributes to employee trust, control mutuality, commitment, and satisfaction. The impact of symmetrical communication on employees' relational outcomes is fully mediated via transparent communication. Significant theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
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Grounded in a multistudy framework, we examined the relationship between family-supportive supervisor behaviors, work engagement, and subjective well-being as a contextually dependent mediated process. In Study 1 (N = 310), based on broaden-and-build and conservation of resources theories, we tested the proposed mediated process while controlling for perceived organizational support and perceived managerial effectiveness. We also demonstrated that family-supportive supervisor behaviors are distinguishable from general supervisor behaviors. In Study 2 (N = 1,640), using multigroup structural equation modeling, we validated and extended Study 1 results by examining how the mediated model varied based on 2 contextualizing constructs: (a) dependent care responsibilities and (b) availability of family-friendly benefits. Although the mediational results were contextually dependent, they were not necessarily consistent with hypothesizing based on conservation of resources theory. Practical implications are emphasized in addition to future research directions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
A fourfold typology of supervisory feedback is developed by crossing the locus of feedback (output vs. behavior) with the valence of feedback (positive vs. negative) provided to salespeople. Findings from an empirical study suggest that positive feedback serves an informational and a motivational function and has a significant effect on salespeople's performance and satisfaction. In contrast, negative feedback serves an informational function, but not a motivational function, and improves performance to a relatively small extent. Further, whereas positive output feedback is found to have the strongest total effect on performance, positive behavioral feedback appears to have the strongest total effect on satisfaction. Interestingly, neither negative output feedback nor negative behavioral feedback seems to reduce salespeople's satisfaction with supervisors. Finally, contrary to expectations, salespeople's acceptance of supervisory feedback does not appear to moderate these relationships in general.
A fourfold typology of supervisory feedback is developed by crossing the locus of feedback (output vs. behavior) with the valence of feedback (positive vs. negative) provided to salespeople. Findings from an empirical study suggest that positive feedback serves an informational and a motivational function and has a significant effect on salespeople's performance and satisfaction. In contrast, negative feedback serves an informational function, but not a motivational function, and improves performance to a relatively small extent. Further, whereas positive output feedback is found to have the strongest total effect on performance, positive behavioral feedback appears to have the strongest total effect on satisfaction. Interestingly, neither negative output feedback nor negative behavioral feedback seems to reduce salespeople's satisfaction with supervisors. Finally, contrary to expectations, salespeople's acceptance of supervisory feedback does not appear to moderate these relationships in general.
The present study extends the established theoretical lenses for understanding the work–family interface beyond conflict and enrichment, suggesting role balance as a theory for understanding how balance among roles can be beneficial for employees. The present study develops a measure of work–life balance and tests whether work–life balance is beneficial beyond conflict and enrichment for all employees. Two employee studies were conducted on (1) 609 parents and (2) 708 non-parents, and structural equation modeling confirmed that the balance dimension was distinct from other work–life dimensions and outcomes, and the analysis of multiple models showed that work–life balance plays a significant indirect mediation effect between conflict and enrichment toward outcomes. Overall, work–life balance was important and broadly identical for both samples with consistent effects toward job and life satisfaction, and psychological outcomes, with work–life conflict being detrimental, work–life enrichment beneficial and work–life balance providing additional benefits, especially toward life satisfaction. The findings provide greater generalizability and highlight the importance of balance for all employees, especially those typically excluded in the work–family literature such as single and childless employees.
Drawing on the Job Demand-Resource (JD-R) model, this study explores the antecedents and consequences of service employee engagement. The model examines the main effect of resources (autonomy, feedback, and support) on engagement and how the interaction among resources impacts engagement. Further, the model also examines the mediating role of engagement in linking resources to customers' perceived level of service employee performance. The study uses multi-level modeling on data from 482 service employees and customers in 66 retail stores. Results suggest that supervisory feedback is positively related to engagement while supervisory support is not. More engagement is related to more positive service employee performance. Regarding the interactions, supervisory support had a positive effect while supervisory feedback had a negative effect on engagement at high levels of perceived autonomy. Also, engagement was a full mediator between supervisory feedback and service employee performance. Implications for retail service management are discussed.
Purpose ‐ The purpose of the current study is to examine the impact of organizational leadership style and employee empowerment on employees' perception of organizational reputation by testing a hypothesized model. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A quantitative on-line survey was conducted with 700 randomly selected employees from diverse work units of a Fortune 500 company in the United States in February 2011. Findings ‐ The results showed that transformational leadership positively influences employees' perception of organizational reputation, not only directly but also indirectly, through empowering employees. Transactional leadership has a significant negative direct effect on employees' perception of organizational reputation. Employees who feel more empowered in terms of perceived competence and decision-making control have a more favorable evaluation of organizational reputation. Research limitations/implications ‐ By building links between organizational reputation and the two internal antecedent factors, organizational leadership and employee empowerment, the current work extended the list of internal characteristics of excellent public relations, filled the research gap on leadership and empowerment study in public relations, and contributed to the increasing body of knowledge on internal communication. Practical implications ‐ The findings suggest that what determines the employees' views toward the company is how they feel they are treated and whether they have enough say in decision-making. To build a favorable internal reputation, communication professionals should educate organizational leaders of all levels and engage them in strategic, interactive, empowering, democratic and relational-oriented transformational leadership communication behavior. Originality/value ‐ This study was among the first empirical attempts to examine organizational leadership as an influencing factor for internal communication practice and outcomes.