The Intricate Pathways From Empowering Leadership to Burnout: A Deep Dive Into Interpersonal Conflicts, Work-Home Interactions, and Supportive Colleagues

Federico Fraboni, Giulia Paganin, Greta Mazzetti, Dina Guglielmi, Luca Pietrantoni
Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline  •  Volume 26  •  2023  •  pp. 149-172

This study builds upon existing research by investigating the elements contributing to or buffering the onset of burnout symptoms. We examine the relationship between empowering leadership and burnout, considering the concurrent mediation effects of interpersonal workplace conflict, work-home conflict, and support from coworkers.

Burnout is a phenomenon that has been widely considered in the scientific literature due to its negative effect on individual and organizational well-being, as well as implications for leadership, coworker support, and conflict resolution. A deeper understanding of burnout prevention strategies across various professional contexts is paramount for enhancing productivity and job satisfaction.

Using a survey-based cross-sectional design, we employed a combination of Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) and Artificial Neural Network (ANN) to investigate the direct and indirect influences of empowering leadership on four dimensions of employee burnout, mediated by coworker support, interpersonal conflict at work, and work-home conflict.

This study provides initial insights into the direct and indirect influences of empowering leadership on various dimensions of burnout, highlighting the complex interplay with coworker support, work-home conflict, and workplace interpersonal conflicts. Ultimately, the study provides a comprehensive approach to understanding and mitigating burnout.

Empowering leadership and coworker support can significantly reduce burnout symptoms, while high levels of work-home conflict and interpersonal conflict at work can exacerbate them. Our findings underscore the paramount role of interpersonal conflict in predicting burnout, urging organizations to prioritize resolving such issues for burnout prevention.

Following our findings, organizations should (a) promote empowering leadership styles, (b) foster coworker support and work-life balance, and (c) address interpersonal conflicts to reduce the likelihood of employee burnout while ensuring that these strategies are tailored to the specific context and culture of the workplace.

Future research should broaden the exploration of leadership styles’ effects on burnout, identify additional mediators and moderators, expand studies across sectors and cultures, examine differential impacts on burnout dimensions, leverage advanced analytical models, and investigate the nuanced relationship between work contract types and burnout.

burnout, empowering leadership, coworker support, interpersonal conflicts at work, work-home conflict, structural equation modeling, artificial neural network
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