The Link Between Leadership and Job Performance

Topic(s): job performance, leadership
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (NOV 2009)

Article: How leaders cultivate social capital and nurture employee vigor: Implications for job performance

Authors: A. Carmeli, B. Ben-Hador, D.A., Waldman, D.E. Rupp

Reviewed by: Benjamin Granger

One important characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to build relationships and encourage communication and collaboration among their employees (i.e., leader relational behaviors). Although we can probably all agree that leader relational behaviors should have a positive impact on employee and organizational performance, researchers (Carmeli, Ben-Hador, Waldman, & Rupp, 2009) recently showed that the relationship between leader relational behaviors and job performance is a complex process.


Importantly, the researchers placed a heavy focus on the role of employee vigor (energetic feeling about work) in this process of linking leader relational behaviors to employee job performance. The authors collected data from 209 employees and 15 managers of several Israeli community centers.

Not surprisingly, employees with managers who exhibit more leader relational behaviors tend to have more high-quality relationships with others in the workplace.

This first link in the chain suggests that leader relational behaviors cultivate relationships, communication, and collaboration among employees. The second link in the chain suggests that enhanced relationships (i.e., increased social capital) with others have a positive influence on employee vigor. And finally, employee vigor directly and favorably impacts job performance.


Not only do these findings illustrate the importance of leader behaviors for facilitating collaboration and communication among employees, they suggest that positive relationships among employees are invigorating. A vigorous workforce is a productive workforce.


Carmeli, A., Ben-Hador, B., Waldman, D.A., & Rupp, D.E. (2009). How leaders cultivate social capital and nurture employee vigor: Implications for job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(6), 1553-1561.