Business and Management INK

Payal Nangia Sharma on Empowering Leadership Research

October 12, 2015 1177

GOM 39(6)_Covers.indd[We’re pleased to welcome Payal Nangia Sharma of Rutgers University. Dr. Sharma recently published an article in Group and Organization Management with Bradley L. Kirkman of North Carolina State University entitled “Leveraging Leaders: A Literature Review and Future Lines of Inquiry for Empowering Leadership Research.”]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

We were inspired to write about the topic of empowering leadership given the increasing need for leaders in today’s organizations to rely more and more on involving their employees in work processes, such as decision making, and motivating employees towards higher levels of engagement. In addition, although empowering leadership has many benefits, there is growing research evidence that not all leaders want to empower or that all employees want to be empowered, so we were inspired to help develop scholarly and practical understanding of a more complete picture of the effects of empowering initiatives in work settings.

  • How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

Our paper sets the agenda for the next decade on empowering leadership. Based on a set of testable propositions, we first encourage researchers to answer the question of why empowering leadership occurs. Second, we encourage researchers to explore less positive and unintended, negative outcomes of empowering leadership.

The abstract:

We review and synthesize the empowering leadership literature and, as a result, suggest two new provocative lines of inquiry directing future research. Based on a set of testable propositions, we first encourage researchers to answer the question of why empowering leadership occurs. Second, we encourage researchers to explore less positive and unintended, negative outcomes of empowering leadership. To identify opportunities for future work along these two lines, we use four theoretical perspectives including (1) person–situation interactions, (2) followership theory, (3) contingency approaches to leadership, and, (4) the too-much-of-a-good-thing effect. As a result, we set an agenda for the next decade of research on empowering leadership.

You can read “Leveraging Leaders: A Literature Review and Future Lines of Inquiry for Empowering Leadership Research” from Group and Organization Management by clicking here. Did you know that you can have all the latest research from Group and Organization Management sent directly to your inbox? Just click here to sign up for e-alerts!


photo-payal-sharma_0Payal Nangia Sharma is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management and Global Business at Rutgers Business School. She received her PhD degree in Organizational Behavior at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focuses on examining and understanding the role of positive and negative factors in leadership processes and team member relationships.

MIE-Kirkman-Official_Headshot.sm_Bradley L. Kirkman is the General (Ret.) H. Hugh Shelton Distinguished Professor of Leadership and head of the Management, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Department in the Poole College of Management at NC State University. He received his PhD degree in Organizational Behavior from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research focuses on leadership, international management, virtual teams, and work team leadership and empowerment.

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