Empathetic Leadership: Motivating Organizational Citizenship Behavior and Strengthen Leader-Member Exchange Relationships

  •  LaJuan Perronoski Fuller    


Empathetic leadership can motivate employees to become more productive and improve job satisfaction. Motivation is a self-initiated behavior that influences organizational citizenship behavior. However, empathy remains a vague psychological construct that requires research into different forms of empathy. This study applied illocutionary (empathetic) speech to determine the ability to predict organizational citizenship behavior in the leader-member exchange relationship. Additionally, locutionary (meaning-making) and perlocutionary (direction-giving) speech was introduced to establish factors that may strengthen that relationship. The study consisted of three hundred nine full-time employees and revealed that illocutionary (empathetic) speech significantly predicted organizational citizenship behavior. Locutionary (meaning-making) and perlocutionary (direction-giving) speech strengthened that relationship and are consistent with felicity conditions. Therefore, leaders, managers, and supervisors should attend workshops or executive coaching to develop communication strategies based on empathetic, direction-giving, and meaning-making speech to motivate employee organizational citizenship in leader-member exchange relationships.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.