A meta-analysis of empowerment and voice as transmitters of high-performance managerial practices to job performance

Melissa Chamberlin, Daniel W. Newton, Jeffery LePine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Empowerment offers the predominant explanation for why employee perceptions of high-performance managerial practices are positively associated with employee job performance. Drawing on social cognitive theory, we propose that high-performance managerial practices also influence performance because these practices encourage employees to engage in voice. Additionally, we suggest that empowerment and voice together provide a more complete explanation for why high-performance managerial practices and job performance are linked. In essence, we argue that empowerment transmits the effects of high-performance managerial practices to job performance because it engenders voice. Using meta-analysis of primary research consisting of 151 independent samples involving 53,200 employees, we find that not only do empowerment and voice independently transmit the effects of high-performance managerial practices to job performance, but they sequentially mediate this relationship as well. Further, we distinguish among skill-enhancing, motivation-enhancing, and opportunity-enhancing high-performance managerial practices to identify when empowerment and voice are more or less effective in explaining associations with job performance. Although empowerment and voice transmit effects of all 3 types of high-performance managerial practices to employee performance, these mechanisms appear to provide the best explanation for the effects of opportunity-enhancing practices, and the primary reason why is because employees respond to opportunity-enhancing practices with voice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1313
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018



  • empowerment
  • high-performance managerial practices
  • job performance
  • voice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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