Impact of Leader’s Motivating Language on Employees’ Job Performance with Mediation of Job Satisfaction and Affective Commitment


Leadership communication plays a pivotal role in the effectiveness and efficiency of an organization. Successful organizations always remain concerned about every aspect of their leadership and the verbal communication being used by the leaders remains the top agenda of these organizations. This research study endeavours to investigate the model based on Sullivan’s (1988) Motivating Language Theory. This study investigates the relationship and impact that the three components, i.e.; 1) Direction-Giving Language,2) Empathetic Language, and 3) Meaning-Making Language use on job performance. It also analyse the mediating role of job satisfaction, and affective commitment between the use of all three components of motivating language and job performance.

A sample of all levels of teaching staff from all public and private universities in Pakistan was drawn based on the non-probability convenient technique. A total 770 questionnaires were administered to the target respondents; in return, 633 questionnaires were received and then 577 complete questionnaires in every aspect were considered for data analysis. At the dyadic level, the teachers were asked to tap their perception regarding the use of all three components of motivating language by their Deans/HoDs and also to provide information regarding their own level of job satisfaction and affective commitment. In response, to a six-item scale of job performance, the Deans/HoDs provided the perceived evaluation of the performance of their teaching staff members. The Correlation Coefficient Test was applied to ascertain the relationship between the studied variables. The use of direction-giving and empathetic language by Deans/HoDs has a positive significant relationship with the teachers’ affective commitment, but the less significant negative relationship was found with meaning-making language. Direction-giving and empathetic language used by the Deans/HoDs has a positive significant relationship with the teachers’ job satisfaction, but negative relationship with the use of meaning-making language.

The results of CFA and SEM indicate that job satisfaction and affective commitment mediate the relationship between the use of direction-giving language and job performance and also between the use of empathetic language and job performance. However, job satisfaction and affective commitment do not mediate the relationship between the use of meaning-making language and job performance.

The finding generates more interest in enhancing communication patterns used in the context of the university environment that develop more job satisfaction and job performance of the faculty members. This also added to the literature of leadership communication in another cultural environment. The study recommends that additional testing to be carried out with the longitudinal approach in order to check its further generalization. This study also recommends more leadership-development programmes to be imparted for enhancing the dynamics of verbal communication used by institutional leaders.

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