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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0763
Print version ISSN 0258-5200


RADSTAAK, Mirjam  and  HENNES, Ayla. Leader-member exchange fosters work engagement: The mediating role of job crafting. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2017, vol.43, n.1, pp.1-11. ISSN 2071-0763.

ORIENTATION: The right balance between job demands and job resources are essential for employees to bring energy and enthusiasm to work. Employees who experience high-quality relationships with their supervisors may actively craft their job demands and job resources and feel more engaged. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The current study examined the associations between leader-member exchange (LMX), job crafting and work engagement. MOTIVATION: This study attempts to gain more insight in the associations between LMX, job crafting and work engagement. It was hypothesised that high-quality relationships with supervisors fosters work engagement because it stimulates employees to craft their jobs by increasing social and structural job resources and challenging job demands and by decreasing hindering job demands RESEARCH APPROACH, DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY: Participants (N = 402) working for a leading mail and parcels company in the Netherlands completed questionnaires measuring LMX, work engagement and job crafting. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the hypotheses. MAIN FINDINGS: Increasing social job resources (β = 0.01, SE = 0.00, p < 0.001) and increasing challenging job demands (β = 0.08, SE = 0.04, p < 0.05) were significant mediators in the association between LMX and work engagement. Increasing structural job resources (β = 0.00, SE = 0.00, p = 0.92) and decreasing hindering job demands (β = -0.00, SE 0.00, p = 0.09) were not significant mediators PRACTICAL AND MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Supervisors who are capable of building high-quality relationships with their employees based on trust, respect and loyalty will foster a positive, fulfilling work-related state of mind among employees because they are more willing to proactively craft a challenging and resourceful work environment. CONTRIBUTION OR VALUE-ADD: The findings of this study showed the importance of high-quality relationships with supervisors and were unique in examining the association between LMX and job crafting.

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