Where energy flows, passion grows: testing a moderated mediation model of work passion through a cross-cultural lens

Qingxiong Weng, Hirra Pervez Butt, Shamika Almeida, Bilal Ahmed, Asfia Obaid, Muhammad Burhan, Hussain Tariq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


This study examines how and when passionate leaders can instigate work passion in their followers. We propose relational energy as a social interaction mediator that can facilitate the crossover of work passion from leader to followers. Additionally, we introduce a moderator of culture (Anglo culture, e.g., Canada vs. Confucian Asian culture, e.g., China) as it plays a vital role in the dynamics of interpersonal relations within a leader-follower dyad. We collected two-wave data from MBA students of two Confucian Asian countries (China and Singapore, n = 120) and two Anglo countries (Canada and Australia, n = 265) to test our moderated mediation model. The results show that interactions with passionate leaders can generate relational energy in followers and subsequently lead to followers’ passion for work. Furthermore, the findings shed light on the moderating effect of culture, such that the leader-follower work passion relationship via follower relational energy was stronger for followers from Anglo culture than the followers from Confucian Asian culture. Limitations of the study and directions for future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5817-5831
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Psychology
Early online date28 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.


Financial support from the Natural Sciences Foundation of China (Project no. 71373251; no. 71422014)


  • Crossover theory
  • Culture (Anglo culture vs. Confucian Asian culture)
  • Leader-follower relationship
  • Relational energy
  • Work passion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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