Author(s), Title and Publication

Jiang, H., & Men, R. L. (2015). Creating an engaged workforce: The impact of authentic leadership, transparent organizational communication, and work-life enrichment. Communication Research, DOI: 10.1177/0093650215613137.


This study examined how organizational leadership interplays with communication to influence employees’ work-life enrichment and work engagement. Employee engagement is a work-related motivated state of mind, characterized by vigor, absorption, dedication, positive affect toward their employers, and a high level of perceived empowerment. The authors proposed that supervisors’ authentic leadership style would foster more transparent communication, which in turn would influence employees’ work-life enrichment that contributes to employee engagement.

Through a random sample survey of 391 employees across different industrial sectors in the United States, this study found that both work-life enrichment and transparent organizational communication are driving forces of workplace engagement, showing direct effects on employee engagement. When employees’ work role activities benefit their personal life, they will be more engaged. When organizations openly share substantial and truthful information with employees in a timely manner, encourage employee participation, and convey balanced information that is open to employees’ scrutiny, employees are more likely to feel engaged. Although the direct linkage between authentic leadership and workplace engagement was not supported, authentic leadership was strongly associated with work-life enrichment and transparent organizational communication. This suggests that organizations with authentic leaders are more likely to have open and transparent communication and create a positive work environment that fosters work-life enrichment and employee engagement.

Implications for Practitioners

Organizations should 1) invest in systematic leadership training, rewarding, and provide guidance for leaders’ behavior and communication; 2) build a transparent communication culture that ensures the free flow of truthful, complete, relevant, and substantial information in a timely manner; 3) facilitate upward communication and listening, and welcome employee participation and comments; and 4) establish collaboration among communication professionals, organizational leaders, and human resource managers to create a positive work environment that enhances work-life enrichment.

Location of Article

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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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