Doctoral Thesis Leader Empowering Behaviour: The Leader's Perspective

Defended on Friday, 8 January 2010


The present dissertation tries to shed light on the phenomenon of empowering leadership. We aim to understand the antecedents of leader empowering behaviour. In doing so, we mean to remedy the stated lack of research on empowering leadership and on the effect of follower’s behaviour on leader’s behaviour. In this dissertation we will argue that follower’s behaviour can be expected to play an important role in explaining leader’s empowering behaviour. We report the findings of 4 laboratory studies and two field studies. As a first step in our reasoning we start by establishing trust as an antecedent of leader empowering behaviour and showing that leader’s characteristics moderate the influence of trust in the empowering process. We then investigate the influence of trust and epistemic motivation in the empowering process. We focused on two aspects of epistemic motivation: accountability and workload. We finally investigate the influence of trust and gender in the empowering process, emphasizing the mediating role of trust in the process.


empowerment, leadership, trust, integrity, epistemic motivation, gender, conscientiousness

Time frame

2005 - 2009

Preferred reference

N.A. Hakimi, Leader Empowering Behaviour: The Leader’s Perspective, Promotor:prof.dr. Daan Van Knippenberg,


Natalia Hakimi
Natalia Hakimi

Supervisory Team

Daan Van Knippenberg
Professor of Organizational Behavior
  • Promotor
Steffen Giessner
Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Change
  • Copromotor

Committee Members

David De Cremer
David De Cremer
Professor of Behavioral Business Ethics
Dirk van Dierendonck
Professor of Human Resource Management