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How do servant leaders promote engagement? A bottom-up perspective of job crafting

Rui Yang (Zhejiang University), Ying Ming (Zhejiang University), Jianhong Ma (Zhejiang University), Rongmian Huo (China Jiliang University)
Cite this article:  Yang, R., Ming, Y., Ma, J., & Huo, R. (2017). How do servant leaders promote engagement? A bottom-up perspective of job crafting. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 45, 1815-1828.
Publication date: December 2017


We drew on the literature addressing servant leadership and job crafting, self-determination theory, and the job demands–resources model, and hypothesized that employees who are supported by servant leadership would craft their own jobs to stay engaged and perform well. Chinese employees (N = 544) working in various organizations participated in a survey. We found that servant leadership, as evaluated by employees, predicted work engagement and that job crafting played a partial mediating role in this relationship. Results of structural equation modeling offered strong support for the proposed model. Specifically, empowering promoted employees’ absorption through task crafting, and emotional healing promoted employees’ vigor through relational crafting. Our findings enrich the literature on positive organizational behavior and will help with identifying practical considerations around promoting work engagement.

Full Text: PDF  pp. 1815-1828