Leadership and Meaningful Work in the Public Sector

Public Administration Review, 2014 Forthcoming

36 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2013 Last revised: 16 Nov 2013

See all articles by Lars Tummers

Lars Tummers

Utrecht University

Eva Knies

Utrecht University

Date Written: August 2, 2013

Abstract

In the public administration discipline, there have been a number of important studies on leadership. However, here, scholarly inquiry still lags behind related disciplines such as psychology and business administration. This article contributes by analyzing the role public leaders can play in making work more meaningful for their employees, which in turn positively influences employees’ job outcomes. More specifically, it analyzes the mediating role of work meaningfulness in the relationships between Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) and organizational commitment, work effort, and work-to-family enrichment. Samples from education, healthcare, and local government are used. Results show firstly that leadership strongly influences work meaningfulness, which in turn influences job outcomes. Secondly, it was found that the impact and extent of leadership and work meaningfulness are higher in healthcare and education than in local government. The results emphasize the importance of leadership and meaningful work in the public sector.

Keywords: Leadership, Leader-member exchange, LMX, Meaningful work, Organizational commitment, Work effort, Work-to-family enrichment

JEL Classification: M1, M10, M12, M14, O3, O00, L3, L30, L31, L32, L33, L39

Suggested Citation

Tummers, Lars and Knies, Eva, Leadership and Meaningful Work in the Public Sector (August 2, 2013). Public Administration Review, 2014 Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2305115

Lars Tummers (Contact Author)

Utrecht University ( email )

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

Eva Knies

Utrecht University ( email )

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

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