Authentic Leadership Analysis

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In article number three, we examined how authentic leadership and laissez faire leadership in masters may combine with psychological job demands and influence SA and the willingness to take a risk. In the following, the concept of authentic leadership and laissez faire leadership will be further outlined.
1.4.4.1 Authentic leadership
Theories on leadership have evolved throughout the years. According to Ford and Harding (2011) Bernard M. Bass was the first to introduce the term ‘authentic leadership’ in his theory of ‘transformational leadership’. He included the concept of ‘authentic leadership’ in his original theory as an answer to critics who pointed at the possibility for ‘narcissistic and authoritarian managers to masquerade as transformational
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However, in article three we relied on Avolio and Gardners (2005) theory on authentic leadership, which suggest that authentic leadership is composed of the four components self-awareness, relational transparency, balanced processing and internalized moral perspective. Self-awareness refers to an awareness of how the leader makes meaning of the world and how this meaning influence the way the leader views himself/herself. Relational transparency is related to presenting an individual’s true self to others, such as openly sharing information and honestly expressing one’s thoughts and feelings. Balanced processing refers to leaders who objectively consider all relevant data before they reach a decision. Authentic leaders also encourage workers to express viewpoints that challenge the leader’s own position. Finally, the internalized moral perspective refers to the fact that authentic leaders are guided by their own moral standards in their decision-making and behaviour. Instead of complying with the expectations of others, authentic leaders hold their own positions (Shamir & Eilam, 2005). They are also aware that their behaviour and decisions will send important signals to others and thus influence worker behaviour,…show more content…
For instance, Wetzel (2015) argues that the idea of a ‘stable core self’ in the sense that it can be recognized and explained both to ourselves and others is a myth (p.41), and a leader will therefore always fail in his search for his/her true self. Ford and Harding (2011) also discuss the notion of a ‘true self’ and argue that the theory of authentic leadership ‘refuse to acknowledge the rounded subject as someone full of contradictions’ (p. 476). Wetzel (2015) further argues that a leader does not hold an unambiguous role in relation to the organization. Rather, the leader will face contradiction in expectations and demands that will influence the leader’s behaviour. In other words, both the leaders and the organization lack a stable core – whereupon authenticity will be impossible. This argument is supported by a study conducted by Nyberg and Sveningsson (2014), who reported that leaders experience a tension between their authenticity and the expectations of other members in the organization. Due to that, the leaders reported to have restrained their authenticity in order to be perceived as good leaders. According to the authors, it is thus misleading to examine leadership disconnected from the context in which it takes

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