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A multilevel study of leadership, empowerment, and performance in teams

A multilevel model of leadership, empowerment, and performance was tested using a sample of 62 teams, 445 individual members, 62 team leaders, and 31 external managers from 31 stores of a Fortune 500 company. Leader-member exchange and leadership climate related differently to individual and team empowerment and interacted to influence individual empowerment. Also, several relationships were supported in more but not in less interdependent teams. Specifically, leader-member exchange related to individual performance partially through individual empowerment; leadership climate related to team performance partially through team empowerment; team empowerment moderated the relationship between individual empowerment and performance; and individual performance was positively related to team performance. Contributions to team leadership theory, research, and practices are discussed.