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Antecedents and consequences of leader authenticity : development and testing of a model.

posted on 14.02.2017, 00:40 by Read, John Marcus
Recent major ecological disasters and economic crises were attributed in part to organizational and national leadership failures over the past decade. In 2005, scholars met to develop the concept of authentic leadership in response to the emerging need for positive forms of leadership (Avolio & Gardner, 2005) that build sustainable organizations and communities. Integrated models link psychological attributes of leaders and their ability and economic performance data to deliver positive outcomes at individual, team and organizational levels (Gardner et al., 2005; lilies, Morgeson, & Nahrgang, 2005; Lord & Hall, 2005; Michie & Gooty, 2005). This thesis reports the development of a model of leader authenticity and an examination the interactions among leader authenticity and well-established transformational leadership theory (Avolio, 2004; Bass, 1990) as well as authentic leadership (Avolio & Gardner, 2005; Gardner et al., 2005; Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, & Peterson, 2008). Predicted positive organizational outcomes of employee engagement and job satisfaction were tested. Other key associations were hypothesized and explored. Findings suggested that leaders' management of their emotions was positively related with transformational and authentic leadership. The question whether transformational leadership was more or less authentic is an important distinction proposed by earlier research (Bass & Steidlmeier, 1999). The findings showed that followers' perceptions of leader authenticity specifically, behavioral integrity, was positively related with levels of authentic leadership and transformational leadership. By contrast, according to leaders, there was no direct association found among authentic leadership and transformational leadership. Second, according to followers' perceptions, partial support was found for the mediating role of authentic leadership and transformational leadership between leader authenticity and positive organizational outcomes. Third, according to followers' perceptions, partial support was found for the mediating role of authentic leadership, transformational leadership and selected climates for innovation and ethical behavior between leader authenticity and positive organizational outcomes. Notably, an instrumental (selfish) ethical climate was found to be inversely related with authentic leadership but not with transformational leadership and resulted in significantly lower employee engagement and job satisfaction. The current study contributes significantly to conceptual and theoretical development of leader authenticity, its antecedents and consequences for leadership, as well as pointing to key factors known to promote organizational performance and sustainability.


Principal supervisor

Elisabeth Wilson-Evered

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine

Campus location



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences