Engaging employees through transformational leadership: the mediating role of emotional energy

Shashan Bao, Phillip M. Jolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study investigates the role of emotional energy as a mediator of the relationship between transformational leadership (TFL) and work engagement. Design/methodology/approach: A two-wave survey was conducted through Prolific and 392 valid responses were collected from full-time hospitality and tourism employees. RStudio was used for structural equation modeling and bootstrapping analysis. Findings: Results indicate that the positive relationship between TFL and work engagement is mediated by emotional energy. Practical implications: The research particularly highlights to practitioners the important role of emotional energy and provides methods to improve emotional energy. Hospitality leaders should monitor the emotional energy levels of their employees and strive to avoid energy depletion. The findings also provide practitioners with some support in explaining the importance of leadership training workshops to leaders and their organizations. Originality/value: The study provides new insight into the process underlying the TFL–work engagement relationship and highlights the importance of emotional energy as a construct of study in the hospitality industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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