A Theory Of Authentic Leadership

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Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION In the last decade, highly publicized corporate scandals, (e.g., Bernie Madoff, Enron, Pacific Gas and Electric), unethical management and illegal behavior together with broader social and economic challenges have turned public and academic attention toward the behavior of individual organizational leaders. In response to repeated unethical lapses by highly visible leaders, the general public is demanding greater accountability, calling for positive forms of leadership in organizations in order to restore confidence in our social institutions (Avolio, & Gardner, 2005; Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, & Peterson, 2007; Gardner, Cogliser, Davis, Mathew, & Dickens, 2011). A theory of authentic…show more content…
(3) There is space in the literature to study and compare follower and leader perceptions of authenticity. Defining authentic leadership has been of great interest in the field and has made for a starting point in measuring and operationalizing the concept. Currently accepted definitions of authenticity in leadership generally include some variation of a deep sense of self-awareness and intrapersonal congruence. Beyond those general characteristics there is not a widely accepted parsimonious definition of authentic leadership (Avolio, Gardner, Walumbwa, Luthans, & May, 2004; Avolio, Luthans, Walumbwa, 2004; Erickson, 1995; Hansen, Ropo, 2007; Harter 2002; Luthans & Avolio, 2003; Shledon, Gunz, Schachtman, 2012; Wang, Hsieh, 2013). For example, one study states that the “initial conceptualization [of authentic leadership] is obviously multi-dimensional…It contains elements from diverse domains-traits, states, behaviors, contexts, and attributions…Moreover, the observers or perspective involved vary from leader, to followers (at various ‘distances’), to possibly additional observers” (Cooper, Scandura, & Schriesheim, 2005, p.478). The authors also suggest identifying the key dimensions of authentic leadership to create a theoretically-based definition of the construct. Multiple conceptualizations of the same construct
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