Leaders enhance group members’ work engagement and reduce their burnout by crafting social identity
Niklas K. Steffens,
S. Alexander Haslam,
Sebastian C. Schuh and
Rolf van Dick
Zeitschrift fuer Personalforschung. German Journal of Research in Human Resource Management, 2014, vol. 28, issue 1-2, 173-194
Previous research has examined burnout and work engagement as a function of demands and resources at work. Yet we know little about the ways in which these are determined by people’s social experience as a member of their workgroup as shaped, in particular, by leaders’ management of shared identity. To address these issues, we propose a model in which leaders’ identity entrepreneurship (the degree to which the leader promotes understanding of shared group identity) impacts on group performance through burnout and work engagement. We tested our model in a field study with 641 participants from the US working population who responded to their workgroup leader and indicated their health. Results indicated that when leaders acted as identity entrepreneurs, group members not only reported higher group performance but also experienced less burnout and were more engaged at work. Moreover, the relationship between identity entrepreneurship and group performance was mediated by an increase in work engagement and a reduction in burnout both of which in turn facilitated group performance. These findings suggest that what it means for health-protective leaders to be ‘transformational’ is being capable of facilitating the development of a special sense of ‘us’ that they and group members share.
Keywords: leadership; health; burnout; social identity; identity entrepreneurship (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I31 L21 M12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:rai:zfpers:doi:10.1688/zfp-2014-01-steffens
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Rainer Hampp Verlag, Journals, Vorderer Lech 35, 86150 Augsburg, Germany. A subscripton is required to access pdf files. Pay per article is available at
Access Statistics for this article
Zeitschrift fuer Personalforschung. German Journal of Research in Human Resource Management is currently edited by Marion Festing, Christian Grund, editor-in chief, Axel Haunschild, Michael Mueller-Camen, editor-in chief and Thomas Spengler
More articles in Zeitschrift fuer Personalforschung. German Journal of Research in Human Resource Management from Rainer Hampp Verlag
Series data maintained by Rainer Hampp ().