Two-sided Effect of Empowering Leadership on Follower’s Job Stress The Mediation Effect of Self-efficacy and Felt Accountability and Moderated Mediation by Perceived Organizational Support

Main Article Content

Young Woo Sohn
Yun Jin Kang


In this study, we aimed to investigate the two-sided effect of empowering leadership on follower’s job stress by focusing on the potential for positive and negative effects of empowering leadership. Based on the empowerment theory and the role theory of accountability, we examined the mediating effects of self-efficacy and felt accountability and the moderated mediation effects of perceived organizational support(POS) in the relationship between empowering leadership and job stress. A total of 427 Korean employees participated in this study through an online survey. The results show that empowering leadership has indirect effects on job stress mediated by self-efficacy and felt accountability. Specifically, empowering leadership reduced job stress via increased self-efficacy, while increased job stress via increased felt accountability. Evidence was also found of the moderating role of POS: the positive relation between felt accountability and job stress was stronger for those with a low level of POS than those with a high POS. However, the moderating effect of POS was not found in the relationship between self-efficacy and job stress. In addition, the mediating effect of felt accountability was moderated by POS in the relationship between empowering leadership and follower’s job stress. Based on the results, we discuss several implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research.


Metrics Loading ...

Article Details

How to Cite
Sohn, Y. W., & Kang, Y. J. (2020). Two-sided Effect of Empowering Leadership on Follower’s Job Stress: The Mediation Effect of Self-efficacy and Felt Accountability and Moderated Mediation by Perceived Organizational Support. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 33(4), 373–407.
Empirical Articles


Ahearne, M., Mathieu, J., & Rapp, A. (2005). To empower or not to empower your sales force? An empirical examination of the influence of leadership empowerment behavior on customer satisfaction and performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(5), 945-955.

Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Amundsen, S., & Martinsen, Ø. L. (2015). Linking Empowering Leadership to Job Satisfaction, Work Effort, and Creativity: The Role of Self- Leadership and Psychological Empowerment. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 22(3), 304-323.

Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2017). Job demands-resources theory: Taking stock and looking forward. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 22(3), 273-285.

Bandura, A. (1986). The explanatory and predictive scope of self-efficacy theory. Journal of social and clinical psychology, 4(3), 359-373.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. NewYork: Freeman.

Bradley, D. (2007). Job tenure as a moderator of stressor-strain relations: A comparison of experienced and new-start teachers. Work & Stress, 21(2), 48-64.

Brislin, R. W. (1970). Back-translation for cross- cultural research. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1(3), 185-216.

Breaux, D. M., Perrewé, P. L., Hall, A. T., Frink, D. D., & Hochwarter, W. A. (2008). Time to try a little tenderness? The detrimental effects of accountability when coupled with abusive supervision. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 15(2), 111-122.

Chen, C. V., Yuan, M., Cheng, J., & Seifert, R. (2015). Linking transformational leadership and core self-evaluation to job performance: the mediating role of felt accountability. The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, 35, 234-246.

Chen, G., Gully, S. M., & Eden, D. (2001). Validation of a new general self-efficacy scale. Organizational Research Methods, 4(1), 62-83.

Chen, Z., Eisenberger, R., Johnson, K. M., Sucharski, I. L., & Aselage, J.(2009). Perceived Organizational Support and Extra-Role Performance: Which Leads to Which? The Journal of Social Psychology, 149(1), 119-124.

Cheong, M., Spain, S. M., Yammarino, F. J., Yun, S. (2016). Two faces of empowering leadership: Enabling and burdening. The Leadership Quarterly, 27(4), 602-616.

Cheong, M., Yammarino, F. J., Dionne, S. D., Spain, S. M., & Tsai, C. Y. (2019). A review of the effectiveness of empowering leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 30(1), 34-58.

Choi, H. S. (2014). A Study on the Non-linear Relationship between Empowering Leadership and Team Exhaustion: Focusing on the Procedural Justice Climate and the Moderating Effect of Perceived Team Support. (Korea University). Retrieved from

Christie, M, D, & Shultz, K. S. (1998). Gender differences on coping with job stress and organizational outcomes. Work & Stress, 12(4), 351-361.

Conger, J. A., & Kanungo, R. N. (1988). The empowerment process: Integrating theory and practice. Academy of Management Review, 13(3), 471-482.

Cropanzano, R., Howes, J. C., Grandey, A. A., & Toth, P. (1997). The relationship of organizational politics and support to work behaviors, attitudes, and stress. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 18(2), 159-180.<159::aid-job795>;2-d

De Cremer, D., & Bakker, M. (2003). Accountability and cooperation in social dilemmas: The influence of other’s reputational concerns. Current Psychology, 22(2), 155-163.

Demerouti, E., Bakker, A. B., Nachreiner, F., & Schaufeli, W. B.(2001) The job demands- resources model of burnout. Journal of Applied psychology, 86(3), 499-512.

Dewi, R. C., & Riantoputra, C. D. (2019). Felt accountability: the role of personality and organizational factors. Journal of Management Development, 38(4), 312-322.

Dust, B. D., Resick, C. J. and Mawritz, M. B. (2014). Transformational leadership, psychological empowerment, and the moderating role of mechanistic-organic contexts. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35(3), 413-433.

Eisenberger, R., Armeli, S., Rexwinkel, B., Lynch, P. D., & Rhoades, L. (2001). Reciprocation of perceived organizational support. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(1), 42-51.

Eisenberger, R., Huntington, R., Hutchison, S., & Sowa, D. (1986). Perceived organizational support. Journal of Applied psychology, 71(3), 500.

Erdogan, B. & Enders, J. (2007). Support from the top: Supervisors’ perceived organizational support as a moderator of leader-member exchange to satisfaction and performance relationships. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(2), 321-330.

Farh, J., Hackett, R. D., & Liang. J. (2007). Individual-level cultural values as moderators of perceived organizational support-employee outcome relationships in China: Comparing the effects of power distance and traditionality. Academy of Management Journal, 50(3), 715-729.

Fock, H., Hui, M. K., Au, K., & Bond, M. H. (2013). Moderation effects of power distance on the relationship between types of empowerment and employee satisfaction. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44(2), 281-298.

Forrester, R. (2000). Empowerment: Rejuvenating a potent idea. Academy of Management Executive, 14(3), 67-80.

Frink, D. D., & Klimoski, R. (2004). Advancing accountability theory and practice: Introduction to the human resource management review special edition. Human Resource Management Review, 14(1), 1-17.

Frink, D. D., & Ferris, G. R. (1998). Accountability, impression management, and goal setting in the performance evaluation process. Human Relations, 51(10), 1259-1283.

Gecas, V. (1989). The social psychology of self-efficacy. Annual Review of Sociology, 15(1), 291-316.

Gouldner, A. W. (1960). The norm of reciprocity: A preliminary statement. American Sociological Review, 25(2), 161-178.

Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1976). Motivation through the design of work: Test of a theory. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 16(2), 250-279.

Hall, A. T., & Ferris, G. R. (2011). Accountability and extra-role behavior. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 23(2), 131-144.

Hall, A. T., Frink, D. D., & Buckley. (2017). An accountability account: A review and synthesis of the theoretical and empirical research on felt accountability. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 38(2), 204-224.

Hall, A. T., Royle, M. T., Brymer, R. A., Perrewé, P. L., Ferris, G. R., & Hochwarter, W. A. (2006). Relationship between felt accountability as a stressor and strain reactions: The neutralizing role of autonomy across two studies. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 11(1), 87-99.

Ha, Y. J. (2012). Calling and work-related outcomes: career commitment as a mediator and person-supervisor fit and perceived organizational support as moderator. (Yonsei University). Retrieved from

Hambrick, D., Finkelstein, S., & Mooney, A. (2005). Executive job demands: New insights for examining strategic decisions and leader behaviors. Academy of Management Review, 30(3), 472-491.

Harman, H. H. (1967). Modern Factor Analysis. Chicago. IL: University of Chicago Press.

Harms, P. D., Credé, M., Tynaa, M., Leon, M., & Jeung, W. (2017). Leadership and stress: A meta-analytic review. The Leadership Quarterly, 28(1), 178-194.

Harris, T. B., Li, N., Boswell, W. R., Zhang, X., & Xie, Z. (2014). Getting what’s new from newcomers: Empowering leadership, creativity, and adjustment in the socialization context. Personnel Psychology, 67(3), 567-604.

Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to Mediation, Moderation, and Conditional Process Analysis. A Regression-Based Approach. New York, NY: Guilford.

Hepburn, A., & Brown, S. D.. (2001). Teacher stress and the management of accountability. Human Relations, 54(6), 691-715.

Hobfoll, S. E. (1989). The conservation of resources: A new attempt at conceptualizing stress. American Psychologist, 44(3), 513-524.

Hobfoll, S. E. (2001) The influence of culture, community, and the nested‐self in the stress process: Advancing conservation of resources theory. Applied psychology, 50(3), 337-421.

Hochwarter, W. A., Ferris, G. R., Gavin, M. B., Perrewé, P. L., Hall, A. T., & Frink, D. D. (2007). Political skill as neutralizer of felt accountability-job tension effects on job performance ratings: A longitudinal investigation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 102(2), 226-239.

Hochwarter, W. A., Perrewé, P. L., Hall, A. T., & Ferris, G. R. (2005). Negative affectivity as a moderator of the form and magnitude of the relationship between felt accountability and job tension. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26(5), 517-534.

Howell, J. P. Dorfman, P. W., & Kerr, S. (1986). Moderator variables in leadership research. Academy of Management Review, 11(1), 88-102.

Huang, X., Shi, K., Zhang, Z., & Cheung, Y. L. (2006). The impact of participative leadership behavior on psychological empowerment and organizational commitment in Chinese state-owned enterprises: the moderating role of organizational tenure. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 23(3), 345-367.

Hui, M. K., Au, K., & Fock, H. (2004). Empowerment effects across cultures. Journal of International Business Studies, 35(1), 46-60.

Humborstad, S. I. W., Nerstad, C. G., & Dysvik, A. (2014). Empowering leadership, employee goal orientations and work performance A competing hypothesis approach. Personnel Review, 43(2), 246-271.

Inceoglu, I., Thomas, G., Chu, C., Plans, D., & Gerbasi, A. (2018). Leadership behavior and employee well-being: An integrated review and a future research agenda. The Leadership Quarterly, 29(1), 179-202.

Jex, S. M., & Bliese, P. D. (1999). Efficacy beliefs as a moderator of the impact of work-related stressors: A multilevel study. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84(3), 349-361.

Jex, S. M., Bliese, P. D., Buzzell, S., & Primeau, J. (2001). The impact of self-efficacy on stressor-strain relations: Coping style as an exploratory mechanism. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(3), 401-409.

Ju, S. Y., Jeong, I. S., Kim, J. S., & Park, D. H. (2015). A Study on the Relationship between Empowering Leadership and Innovative Behavior: Investigating Mediating Effects of Self-Regulatory Focus. Korean Journal of Business Administration, 28(6), 1725-1745.

Kim, M., & Beehr, T. A. (2017). Self-efficacy and psychological ownership mediate the effects of empowering leadership on both and bad employee behaviors. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 24(4), 266-478.

Kim, M., Beehr, T. A., & Prewett, M. S. (2018). Employee responses to empowering leadership: A meta-analysis. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 25(3), 257-276.

Kim, S. S., & Bang, H. J. (2014). The Interaction Effects of Empowering Leadership on the Relationship among Job Demand, Job Control, and Job Stress. Journal of Organization and Management, 38(3), 95-120.

Kim. Y. S. (2008). The Effect of the Self-leadership on Team-work, Self-efficacy, Job satisfaction, Organizational commitment and Job performance: Focused on Deluxe Hotel’s Wine & Dining. (Sejong University). Retrieved from

Klimoski, R. J., & Ash, R. A. (1974). Accountability and negotiator behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 11(3), 409-425.

Konczak, L. J., Stelly, D. J., & Trusty, M. L. (2000). Defining and measuring empowering leader behaviors: Development of an upward feedback instrument. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 60(2), 301-313.

Kurtessis, J. M. Eisenberger, R., Ford, M. T., Buffardi, L. C., Stewart, K. A., & Adis, C. S. (2017). Perceived Organizational Support: A Meta-Analytic Evaluation of Organizational Support Theory. Journal of Management, 43(6), 1854-1884.

Laird, M. D., Perryman, A. A., Hochwarter, W. A., Ferris, G. R., & Zinko, R. (2009). The moderating effects of personal reputation on accountability-strain relationships. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 14(1), 70-83.

Lanivich, S., Brees, J. R., Hochwarter, W. A., & Ferris, G. R. (2010). P-E fit as a moderator of the accountability-employee reactions relationships. Convergent results across two samples. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 77(3), 425-436.

Laschinger, H. K. S., Wong, C., McMahon, L., & Kaufmann, C. (1999). Leader behavior impact on staff nurse empowerment, job tension, and work effectiveness. Journal of Nursing Administration, 29(5), 28-39.

Latham, G. P., Winters, D. C., & Locke, E. A. (1994). Cognitive and motivational effects of participation: A mediator study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 15(1), 49-63.

Lautizi, M., Laschinger, H. K. S., & Ravazzolo, S. (2009). Workplace empowerment, job satisfaction and job stress among Italian mental health nurses: an exploratory study. Journal of Nursing Management, 17(4), 446-452

Lazarus, R. S., DeLongis, A., Folkman, S., & Gruen, R.(1985) Stress and adaptational outcomes: The problem of confounded measures. American Psychologist, 40(7), 770-779.

Lee, A., Willis, S., & Tian, A. W. (2018). Empowering leadership: A meta-analytic examination of incremental contribution, mediation, and moderation. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39(3), 306-325.

Lee, J. H, Li, Y. R., & Jeon, J. H. (2019). The Negative Impact of Empowering Leadership on the Members: Focusing on Job Control Characteristic of Empowering Leadership. Journal of Human Resource Management Research, 26(3), 1-31.

Leiter, M. P. (1991). Coping patterns as predictors of burnout: The function of control and escapist coping patterns. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 12(2), 123-144.

Lerner, J. S., & Tetlock, P. E. (1999). Accounting for the effects of accountability. Psychological Bulletin, 125(2), 255-275.

Li, W. D., Schaubroeck, J. M., Xie, J. L., & Keller, A. C. (2018). Is being a leader a mixed blessing? A dual-pathway model linking leadership role occupancy to well-being? Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39(8), 971-989.

Liu, C., Spector, P. E., & Shi, L. (2008). Use of both qualitative and quantitative approaches to study job stress in different gender and occupational groups. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 13(4), 357-370.

Lorinkova, N. M., Pearsall, M. J., & Sims, H. P., Jr. (2013). Examining the differential longitudinal performance of directive versus empowering leadership in teams. Academy of Management Journal, 56(2), 573-596.

Lovelace. K. J., Manz, C. C., & Alves, J. C. (2007). Work stress and leadership development: The role of self-leadership. shared leadership, physical fitness and flow in managing demands and increasing job control. Human Resource Management Review, 17(4), 374-387.

Martin, S. L., Liao, H., & Campbell, E. M. (2013). Directive versus empowering leadership: A field experiment comparing impacts on task proficiency and proactivity. Academy of Management Journal, 56(5), 1372-1395.

Mero, N. P., Guidice, R. M., & Brownlee, A. L. (2007). Accountability in a performance appraisal context: The effect of audience and form of accounting on rater response and behavior. Journal of Management, 33(2), 223-252.

Mitchell, T. R., Hopper, H., Daniels, D., Falvy, J., & Ferris, G. R. (1998). Power, accountability, and inappropriate actions. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 47(4), 497-517.

Muller, D., Judd, C. M., & Yzerbyt, V. Y. (2005). When moderation is mediated and mediation is moderated. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89(6), 852.

Nimon, K., & Reio Jr, T. G. (2011). Regression commonality analysis: A technique for quantitative theory building. Human Resource Development Review, 10(3), 329-340.

Park, J. G., Kim, J. S., Yoon, S. W., & Joo, B. K. (2017). The effects of empowering leadership on psychological well-being and job engagement: The mediating role of psychological capital. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 38(3), 350-367.

Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879-903.

Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2008). Asymptotic and resampling strategies for assessing and comparing indirect effects in multiple mediator models. Behavior Research Methods, 40(3), 879-891.

Preacher, K. J., Rucker, D. D., & Hayes, A. F. (2007). Addressing moderated mediation hypotheses: theory, methods, and prescriptions. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 42(1), 185-227.

Raub, S., & Robert, C. (2010). Differential effects of empowering leadership on in-role and extra-role employee behaviors: Exploring the role of psychological empowerment and power values. Human Relations, 63(11), 1743-1770.

Rhoades, L., & Eisenberger, R. (2002). Perceived organizational support: a review of the literature. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(4), 698-714.

Riggle, R. J., Edmondson, D. R., & Hansen, J. D. (2009). A meta-analysis of the relationship between perceived organizational support and job outcomes: 20 years of research. Journal of Business Research, 62(10), 1027-1030.

Riketta, M. & Lamderer, A. (2002). Organizational commitment, accountability, and work behavior: A correlational study. Social Behavior & Personality: an international journal, 30(7), 653-660.

Rizzo, J. R., House, R. J., & Lirtzman, S. I. (1970). Role conflict and ambiguity in complex organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 15(2), 150-163.

Semmer, N. K. (2004). Individual differences, work stress and health. Handbook of work and health psychology.

Sharma, P. N., & Kirkman, B. L. (2015). Leveraging leaders: A literature review and future lines of inquiry for empowering leadership research. Group & Organization Management, 40(2), 193-237.

Siegel-Jacobs, K., & Yates, J. F. (1996). Effects of procedural and outcome accountability on judgment quality. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 65(1), 1-17.

Sosik, J. J., & Godshalk, V. M. (2000). Leadership styles, mentoring functions received, and job related stress: a conceptual model and preliminary study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 21(4), 365-390.<365::aid-job14>;2-h

Spector, P. E. (1986). Perceived control by employees: A meta-analysis of studies concerning autonomy and participation at work. Human Relations. 39(11), 1005-1016.

Spreitzer, G. M., Kizilos, M. A., & Nason, S. N. (1997). A dimensional analysis of the relationship between psychological empowerment and effectiveness, satisfaction, and strain. Journal of Management, 23(5), 679-704.

Steinbauer, R., Renn, R, W., & Taylor, R. R. (2014). Ethical Leadership and Followers’ Moral Judgment: The Role of Followers’ Perceived Accountability and Self-leadership. Journal of Business Ethics, 120(3), 381-392.

Thomas, P., Dose, J. J., & Scott, K. S. (2002). Relationships between accountability, job satisfaction, and trust. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 13(3), 307-323.

Van Dierendonck, D., Haynes, C., Borril, C., & Stride, C. (2004). Leadership behavior and subordinate well-being. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 9(2), 165-175.

Van Dijke, De Cremer, M., Mayer, D. M., & van Quaquebeke, N. (2012). When does procedural fairness promote organizational citizenship behavior? Integrating empowering leadership types in relational justice models. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 117(2), 235-248.

Van Hiel, A., & Schittekatte, M. (1998). Information Exchange in Context: Effects of Gender Composition of Group, Accountability, and Intergroup Perception on Group Decision Making. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 28(22), 2049-2067.

Vecchio, R. P., Justin, J. E., & Pearce, C. L. (2010). Empowering leadership: An examination of mediating mechanism within a hierarchical structure. The Leadership Quarterly, 21(3), 530-542.

Windeler, J. B., Maruping, L., & Venkatesh, V.(2017) Technical systems development risk factors: The role of empowering leadership in lowering developers’ stress. Information Systems Research, 28(4), 775-796.

Wikhamn, W. & Hall, A. T. (2014). Accountability and satisfaction: organizational support as a moderator. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 29(5), 458-471.

Ye, J. E., Chi., S. H., & Chin, H. (2013). A Study on the Relationship between Empowering Leadership and Work Engagement: Investigating Mediating Effects of Self-Efficacy and Meaningfulness. Korean Journal of Business Administration, 26(2), 435-452.

Zhang, X., & Bartol, K. M. (2010). Linking empowering leadership and employee creativity: The influence of psychological empowerment, intrinsic motivation, and creative process engagement. Academy of Management Journal, 53(1), 107-128.

Zhang, X., & Zhou, J. (2014). Empowering leadership, uncertainty avoidance, trust, and employee creativity: Interaction effects and a mediating mechanism. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 124(2), 150-164.