Autonomy supportive and controlling leadership as antecedents of work design and employee well-being

Pallavi Sarmah*, Anja Van den Broeck, Bert Schreurs, Karin Proost, Filip Germeys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The continuation of work that undermines employee well-being necessitates an investigation into the antecedents of work design. Therefore, we examined how autonomy supportive and controlling leadership—as defined in self-determination theory (SDT)—relate to employees’ job resources, job demands, and well-being. Using a cross-sectional (N = 501) and a daily diary study (N = 123), we found that autonomy supportive leadership relates to employees’ work engagement via job resources both at the between- and within-person levels. However, only the cross-sectional study evidenced a relationship between autonomy supportive leadership and exhaustion via job resources. Controlling leadership related to exhaustion via job demands at the between-person level in both studies but not at the within-person level. Alongside implications for the literature on SDT, work design theory, the leadership literature, and workplace re-enchantment, we advance concomitant insights to practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-61
Number of pages18
JournalBRQ Business Research Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Autonomy supportive leadership
  • controlling leadership
  • employee well-being
  • job demand resources model
  • self-determination theory


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