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Leaders Who Empower: A Gateway To Radical Innovation

Emilio Domínguez-Escrig, Francisco Fermín Mallén Broch, Rafael Lapiedra Alcamí, Ricardo Chiva Gómez

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Abstract The main goal of the current study is to analyze the relationship between leaders' empowerment, radical innovation and organizational performance. A total of 300 Spanish companies participated in the study. In total, 600 valid questionnaires were obtained. Structural equations were used to validate the proposed hypotheses. Two different respondents in each company were selected to provide information. All the hypotheses proposed in the theoretical model were confirmed. This research provides empirical evidence of the relationship between leaders' empowerment and organizational performance, highlighting the mediation role played by radical innovation. Leaders who empower, promote radical innovation and, in turn, performance. To our knowledge, this is the first empirical study that analyzes the effect of leader's empowerment on radical innovation. Although in the former literature there are evidences of a positive relationship between empowerment and innovation, there are no studies that differentiate between innovation typologies.