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Drawing on the job-demand resource theory, the article examines the relative importance and the complementarity of three widely practiced leadership styles – transformational, paternalistic, and authoritarian. It investigates how the three styles relate to followers’ work engagement amongst employees in Russian domestic organizations. It also theorizes and tests the mediating effects of three psychological mechanisms, namely self-efficacy, self-esteem, and job control, on the examined relationships. The findings show that all three leadership styles relate to followers’ work engagement positively. The relationship of transformational leadership is dominant and mediated by all three psychological mechanisms. The remaining two styles also make their unique contributions to followers’ work engagement. Whereas authoritarian leadership influences followers by enhancing their self-efficacy and self-esteem, paternalistic leadership operates more extrinsically by increasing followers’ job control. Surprisingly, our analyses found that the role of control variables such as gender, age, and hierarchical position were insignificant in predicting how the three leadership styles influence employee work engagement. The study is among the first to shed light on the relative importance of the three focal leadership styles, their differential influences and interrelations, and the different mechanisms through which they relate to followers’ work engagement.
- Work engagement