Strengths-based leadership and employee work engagement: A multi-source study

Jixin Wang, Marianne van Woerkom, Kimberley Breevaart, Arnold B. Bakker, Shiyong Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Strengths-based leadership helps employees identify, utilize, and develop their strengths. Does such leadership facilitate employee work engagement and performance? In this study, we integrate Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) and Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) theories to hypothesize that strengths-based leadership is positively related to employee task performance through employee work engagement, and that this effect is moderated by LMX quality. We collected survey data at two time points – with one month interval – from 556 Chinese workers and their managers (N = 104 teams). The results of path modelling showed that strengths-based leadership was positively related to supervisor-ratings of employee task performance via employee work engagement. As predicted, the positive relation between strengths-based leadership and employee work engagement was stronger when LMX was of high-quality. However, the predicted moderated-mediation effect was not supported. We discuss the implications of these findings for research on strengths-based leadership, as well as the practical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103859
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Job Demands-Resources theory
  • Leader-Member Exchange
  • Strengths-based leadership
  • Task performance
  • Work engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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