Leadership and meaningful work in the public sector

LG Tummers, E Knies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


In the public administration discipline, there have been a number of important studies on leadership. However, here, scholarly inquiry still lags behind related disciplines such as psychology and business administration. This article contributes by analyzing the role public leaders can play in making work more meaningful for their employees, which in turn positively influences employees’ job outcomes. More specifically, it analyzes the mediating role of work meaningfulness in the relationships between Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) and organizational commitment, work effort, and work-to-family enrichment. Samples from education, healthcare, and local government are used. Results show firstly that leadership strongly influences work meaningfulness, which in turn influences job outcomes. Secondly, it was found that the impact and extent of leadership and work meaningfulness are higher in healthcare and education than in local government. The results emphasize the importance of leadership and meaningful work in the public sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-868
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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