Psychological safety mediates the relationship between leader–member exchange and employees’ work engagement

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Jie Mao
Kangya Tian
Cite this article:  Mao, J., & Tian, K. (2022). Psychological safety mediates the relationship between leader–member exchange and employees’ work engagement. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 50(3), e11266.


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This study explored the association between leader–member exchange (LMX) and employees’ work engagement by developing an integrative model including psychological safety as a mediator. We designed a survey and distributed it via email; data were collected from 305 employees working at a manufacturing company in East China. Results of structural equation modeling show that LMX was positively related to work engagement, and, consistent with our predictions, psychological safety mediated this association. This research gives new insight into the processes through which LMX enhances employees’ work engagement, and provides important suggestions for how to foster work engagement in organizations. Theoretical and practical implications and future research prospects are discussed.

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