Leader empowering behavior : how do trust and leader-subordinate congruence in personal need for structure influence a leader's motivation to empower?
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- Master of Science 
An important part of understanding leader empowering behavior is to establish its determinants. By understanding its determinants, leaders can become aware of what may influence their behavior, both unconsciously and consciously. This study therefore explores leader empowering behavior in relation to such assumed determinants in order to test if they have an impact on exercising leader empowering behavior. Our chosen determinants for this study are related to empowerment in both new ways and in old ways. The new angle is to look into similarity in personality characteristics, and more specifically personal need for structure. The old angle is linking trust to empowerment, which have been done in several previous studies. However, we have chosen to follow a more recent approach and look at leader’s trust in subordinates as a determinant. We propose that personality similarity in personal need for structure will lead to more trust in subordinates, and that higher trust again will influence leader empowering behavior. We justify this approach by previous researchers’ findings that personality similarities lead to more trust, and from indications that trust between leader and subordinate is likely to lead to leader empowering behavior. We further intend to establish if there is a direct relationship between personality similarities and leader empowering behavior, hence a direct relationship between similarity in personal need for structure and leader empowering behavior. Contrary to our expectations, and previous research supporting a positive influence of similarity in individual differences, leader-subordinate congruence in personal need for structure did not influence trust nor leader empowering behavior. Rather, our findings reveal that subordinates’ levels of personal need for structure appear to play an important role for leaders’ trust in subordinates, however not in relation to the display of leader empowering behavior. An elaborative discussion of our findings is shared along with possible limitations and directions for further research.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Psychology - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2014