Linking Theory to Practice: Authentic Leadership

By Covelli, Bonnie J.; Mason, Iyana | Academy of Strategic Management Journal, January 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

Linking Theory to Practice: Authentic Leadership


Covelli, Bonnie J., Mason, Iyana, Academy of Strategic Management Journal


INTRODUCTION

Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates is attributed for the maxim "know you." This sentiment appeared more than 2,000 years later in English playwright William Shakespeare's Hamlet with the use of the aphorism "to thine own self be true." Today, more than 2,400 years after Socrates emphasized the importance of self-awareness, researchers and practitioners posit that self-awareness, self-regulation and authenticity are critical aspects of leadership.

Leadership, however, in modern day international organizations is often lacking and corruption is well documented with institutions vying for resources, fame, enrollment, cheating, fake programming and more (Mohamedbhai, 2015). These scandals that have taken place both domestically and abroad over the past decade have resulted in the need for an ethical approach to leadership. Indeed, these incidents have motivated academics and business leaders to reexamine existing leadership practices and to set forth leadership models in which leaders act genuinely, morally and inspire their followers to do the same. The issue is not unique to a specific organization as evidenced by corporate bailouts, blatant abuses of power on the part of executives, false accounting practices and fraud. These unethical practices have generated public outrage and led to the support of the contention of some, including Richard Edelman, CEO of public relations firm Edelman that we are "clearly experiencing a crisis in leadership" at this time in history (Bush, 2013).

Unethical behaviors likely took place throughout other periods in history. Unlike the past however, our current society makes information regarding scandals (and any other subject imaginable) easily accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time in the world due to the reach of the internet and twenty-four-hour television news cycles and social media. Therefore, it might not be that leaders (and people in general) are more corrupt and engage in unethical management practices at a rate higher than ever before, but rather there is a greater awareness about administrative and executive malfeasance because scandals are much more widely publicized than in the past.

A recent Gallup poll found that 62% of Americans believe there is widespread corporate corruption (Feldman, 2012) and 75% believe there is widespread government corruption (Gallup, 2015). Lewis (2014) and others are indicating that the public is losing trust in organizations and leaders. This mistrust creates an environment for development of a new model of leadership that fosters ethical behaviors. Organizations can address this crisis through purposeful professional development programs that teach from the ethical, moral and authentic grounding of leadership with integrity.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Authentic Leadership Theory

As mentioned, the construct of personal authenticity was initially credited with ancient Greek philosophers, who stressed the importance of knowing and being true to one's self (Tibbs, Green, Gergen & Montoya, 2016). More than 2,400 years later, Chester Barnard in his 1938 The Functions of the Executive, made the first reference to authenticity in management and organizational literature (Kliuchnikov, 2011). Barnard (1938) (as cited in Kliuchnikov, 2011) postulated that the authentic capacity of a leader should be used as a measure of executive quality.

Bill George (2007) popularized authentic leadership in management studies and popular culture by reflecting on his success in the business world spanning 30 years with his publications, Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value and True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership, published in 2003 and 2007 respectively. According to George (2010), the five dimensions of authentic leadership include: passion, values, relationships, self-discipline and heart. Authentic leaders embody the following characteristics: 1) understanding their purpose, 2) practicing solid values, 3) establishing connected relationships, 4) demonstrating self-discipline and 5) leading with heart (George, 2010). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Linking Theory to Practice: Authentic Leadership
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.