Leadership, role clarity and psychological empowerment within a petrochemical organisation
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In an era characterised by economic recessions, technological change and intensified global competition, the worldwide organisational landscape has been transformed. Organisations are positioning themselves closer to their customers and have begun adopting more cost effective practices in order to remain competitive. In addition, the ability of organisations to compete internationally is largely dependent on their ability to find, develop and retain talent by providing challenging and meaningful work, and advancement opportunities for talented people to remain at their place of work. The responsibility of leadership in talent retention is crucial. They must ensure that they exercise empowering behaviour, clarify roles and in so doing psychologically empower employees within their work contexts. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between leadership empowerment behaviour, role clarity, and psychological empowerment. Employees from a business unit in a petrochemical organisation were targeted for this research. The study population included employees from managerial, non-managerial and specialist categories. A cross-sectional design was used to achieve the research objectives. The Leadership Empowerment Behaviour Questionnaire (LEBQ), Measures of Role Clarity and Role Ambiguity Questionnaire (RCAQ), Measuring Empowerment Questionnaire (MEQ) and a biographical questionnaire were administered for the study. The statistical analysis was carried out with the help of the SPSS program. The statistical method employed in the study consisted of descriptive statistics, Cronbach alpha coefficients, Pearson product-moment correlation and multiple regression analyses. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to determine the significance of differences between the experience of psychological empowerment of demographic groups. Results indicated that when leadership empowerment behaviour increases, self determination increases. When role clarity increases, meaning will increase. Psychological empowerment is predicted by leadership empowerment behaviour and role clarity. Role clarity was found to mediate the relationship between leadership empowerment behaviour and two factors of psychological empowerment, namely meaning and competence. MANOVA analysis indicated no differences between different demographic groups in terms of levels of psychological empowerment experienced. Recommendations were made for future research.