What Defines You: A Subordinate View of Authentic Leadership




MacKinnon, Connor Alexander

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Since the beginning of the second world war, literature and the real-world application of leadership in psychology has been of great interest to the growth of Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychology. The push for developing theories on leadership has led to different leadership styles, thus providing the I/O psychology community with a wealth of information. In the past few decades, authentic leadership style has been at the forefront of most research in I/O psychology. The idea of authentic leadership describes an individual who allows themselves and their employees to freely expressive who they are as individuals. The literature on authentic leadership is broad, yet the focus of how subordinates identify and associate with the term authentic leadership is not as accessible. The literature over the years has had varying definitions of what authentic leadership is and means in the workplace (Gardner et al., 2011). The varying definitions of authentic leadership have caused some confusion in current and past research of the topic, but most researchers have agreed upon the theme of authentic leadership. There are some studies which have done a multi-dimensional study analyzing leaders and employees' perception of authentic leadership at the same time (Černe et al., 2014). However, few studies have focused specifically on the subordinate’s view of workplace leadership style or level of satisfaction with authentic leadership. This study is to see how subordinates define what authentic leadership is and to see if their current definition of authentic leadership, when presented to subordinates, is associated with higher levels of satisfaction compared to other styles of leadership.



leadership, authentic, leadership style, definition, subordinates, Honors College


MacKinnon, C. A. (2021). What defines you: A subordinate view of authentic leadership (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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