Servant leadership and work engagement: The mediating role of work-life balance
Haar, J., Brougham, D., Roche, M. A., & Barney, A. (2017). Servant leadership and work engagement: The mediating role of work-life balance. New Zealand Journal of Human Resources Management (NZJHRM), 17(2), 56–72.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11707
While the effect of leadership is established, the influence and process towards work engagement is under researched. This is particularly true of servant leadership, despite the links suggesting followers of such leaders are likely to be more engaged. The present study tests servant leadership towards the three dimensions of work engagement: (1) vigour, (2) dedication and (3) absorption. In addition, we test the role of work-life balance as a potential mediator, to test whether servant leadership builds work-life balance, which ultimately leads to higher work engagement. The present study is based on a sample of 123 New Zealand employees from a wide range of professions. Using structural equation modelling we test a number of path models to determine the best fit to the data, with the best fitting model being a full mediation model. Overall, we find strong support for servant leadership predicting work-life balance and the three work engagement dimensions. However, the influence of servant leadership is fully mediated by work-life balance. Ultimately work-life balance is positively related to all three work engagement dimensions and fully mediates the effect of servant leadership, highlighting the important role that work-life balance may play in achieving higher work engagement. The implications for human resource management (HRM) are discussed.
Human Resources Institute of New Zealand Inc.
This article is published in the NZ Journal of Human Resources Management. © 2017 Human Resources Institute of New Zealand.