The Role of the Follower in the Relationship Between Empowering Leadership and Empowerment: A Longitudinal Investigation


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Dirk van Dierendonck, Rotterdam School of Management, Burg Oudlaan 50, 3062 PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. E-mail:


The purpose of this longitudinal study among 212 Dutch prison officers was to enhance insight into the nature of the relationship between empowering leader behavior and follower psychological empowerment. Empowerment was conceptualized as intrinsic task motivation, manifested in a set of 4 cognitions reflecting the individual's work-role orientation. Data were analyzed with structural equation modeling using a cross-lagged panel design. The results showed that followers’ belief to be able to affect organizational outcomes (i.e., impact) at Time 1 was related to increased delegation by the leader 3 months later. Furthermore, followers’ perceptions of autonomy regarding initiation and regulation of one's own actions (i.e., self-determination) at Time 1 was related to increased accountability by the leader 3 months later.