Abstract

This study investigated the moderating effects of supervisors’ personal power (i.e., expert power and referent power) on the relationships between two types of leadership, participative and directive, and work engagement. Specifically, it was expected that the two types of leadership would be positively related to work engagement, and that these relationships would be stronger when subordinates perceived high rather than low personal power in their supervisor. Data were collected from 435 workers who had a direct supervisor and analyzed using hierarchical regressions. Findings revealed that participative leadership and directive leadership significantly explained all of the three sub-factors of work engagement (i.e., vigor, dedication, and absorption) when either type of leadership was held constant. In addition, expert power enhanced the relationships of participative leadership with regard to vigor and dedication. Further, referent power enhanced the relationships of participative leadership with regard to vigor and absorption. On the other hand, the interaction between directive leadership and personal power was not significant with reference to any sub-factors of work engagement. These findings were discussed in the context of organizational culture.