European Business Review, 2023 (ESCI)
Purpose: This paper aims to explain the mediating role of relational energy and the moderating role of other-focused interest in the relationship between servant leadership and its outputs (namely, work effort, flourishing and organizational citizenship behavior), using the theory of resource conservation and social contagion. Design/methodology/approach: The survey method was used in the study, and longitudinal data were collected to prevent the common method variance error and to reveal the causal relationships. Structural equation modeling was used to test the proposed hypotheses. Findings: According to the results, it was observed that relational energy has a full mediator role in the relationship between servant leadership, work effort and flourishing, and relational energy has an integral part mediator role in the relationship between servant leadership and organizational citizenship behavior. In addition, it has been determined that other focus interest plays a moderating role in the relationship between servant leadership and relational energy. Practical implications: The research offers important implications for servant leaders on how to improve individual and organizational outcomes. Originality/value: The study contributes to the servant leadership literature by associating resource conservation theory with social contagion theory. The study differs from previous studies with two main features. First, the previous studies generally adopted a perspective of energy sender. This research, on the other hand, is based on the perception of energy receivers (followers of a servant leader). Second, a moderating role of other-focused interest is explored in the relationship between servant leadership and relational energy.