Consequences of self-leadership in an Irish public sector knowledge organisation

Thomas O'Dwyer

    Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    Abstract

    The current research project attempts to link self-leadership with psychological empowerment, while also exploring the relationships between self-leadership and both job satisfaction and work performance. Despite an extensive body of literature on psychological empowerment and self-leadership, there is a lack of empirical support for a heightened experience of empowerment resulting from self-leadership. This research is timely given the ongoing reforms of the Irish public sector which are focused on improving service delivery with reduced resources, including staff numbers. The reported research was conducted within one Irish public sector organisation, Teagasc, in two phases. Firstly, a series of semi-structured interviews was used to clarify key issues in relation to self-leadership within Teagasc. Secondly, web-based survey data from approximately 500 Teagasc employees was analysed to explore relationships between self-leadership, psychological empowerment, work performance, job satisfaction and a number of moderating and control variables. The interviews highlighted the importance of self-leadership to Teagasc while also recognising the challenges facing the organisation to allow individuals the freedom to be self-leaders within the management and governance structures of a public sector organisation. It also emerged that there exists an expectation of self-leadership by Teagasc professionals and that the organisation can help or hinder the development of self-leadership skills by employees. The results from the web-based survey showed that self-leadership is positively related to psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and self-reported work performance. Furthermore, psychological empowerment mediated the relationship between self-leadership and both job satisfaction and self-reported work performance. This research has provided empirical evidence for psychological empowerment as an outcome of self-leadership while supporting the claims for self-leadership as a tool to improve personal effectiveness (as measured by self-reported work performance). Practically, the results will be of direct benefit to Teagasc, and other similar organisations, as they attempt to cope with reduced Government support.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • O'Toole, Thomas, Supervisor
    • Harrington, Denis, Supervisor
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2014

    Keywords

    • Self-leadership

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