Purpose– This paper aims to enrich our understanding about the factors which encourage health science researchers’ intrinsic motivation. It integrates leadership theories regarding powers from Western and Eastern cultures to build and test a theoretical model linking two types of leadership (empowering leadership and authoritarian leadership) with intrinsic motivation through psychological empowerment. Design/methodology/approach– This paper tested the hypotheses with a sample of 235 postgraduates working in research groups at a medical university in China, using a two-step analytical strategy of structure equation modeling. Findings– The results showed that the proposed mediation model has a satisfactory fit (χ2/df = 2.24, GFI = 0.92, CFI = 0.94, RMSEA = 0.073). This paper found support for the hypotheses that empowering leadership was positively correlated and authoritarian leadership was negatively correlated with intrinsic motivation through psychological empowerment. Originality/value– This paper provides a comprehensive understanding of the mechanism between leadership-employing powers and intrinsic motivation by an initiative examining a conceptual model including empowering leadership, authoritarian leadership, psychological empowerment and intrinsic motivation. It also provides generalized findings by testing the theories from the industrial world in the area of academia and the theories about the West and the East within Chinese culture.
Nankai Business Review International – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 2, 2015