SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Nyberg, D., & Sveningsson, S. (2014). Paradoxes of authentic leadership: Leader identity strugglesLeadership10, 437–455.

Abstract: Using in-depth interview material, this article explores the socially constructed and locally mediated nature of authentic leadership. The findings illustrate an irony of authentic leadership: while leaders claim that it is their true and natural selves that make them good leaders; simultaneously, they must restrain their claimed authenticity in order to be perceived as good leaders. This generates tensions that undermine the construction of a more stable and coherent leader identity. The study finds that in order to resolve these tensions, the managers develop metaphorical selves—Mother Teresa, messiah and coach—as a way of trying to accommodate conflicting identity claims while remaining true to the idea of themselves as authentic leaders exercising good leadership. These findings contribute to a constructed, situational and contested notion of leadership by showing how authenticity is an existential project of ‘essentialising’ fragmented and conflicting selves.

Journal Article 2: Peterson, S. J., Walumbwa, F. O., Byron, K., & Myrowitz, J. (2009). CEO Positive psychological traits, transformational leadership and firm performance in high-technology start-up and established firms. Journal of Management35, 348–368.

Abstract: This study examines the relationships among positive psychological traits (hope, optimism, resiliency), transformational leadership, and firm performance in high-technology start-up (n = 49) and established firm (n = 56) contexts, using structural equation modeling. Results reveal that the positive psychological traits of CEOs positively relate to transformational leadership ratings. Furthermore, the extent to which leaders are rated as transformational fully mediates the relationship between the leaders' positive psychological traits and their firms' performance. Last, transformational leadership is more strongly related to firm performance in start-up than in established firms. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Journal Article 3: Walumbwa, F. O., Avolio, B. J., Gardner, W. L., Wernsing, T. S., and Peterson, S. J. (2008). Authentic leadership: Development and validation of a theory-based measure. Journal of Management34, 89–126.

Abstract: This study developed and tested a theory-based measure of authentic leadership using five separate samples obtained from China, Kenya, and the United States. Confirmatory factor analyses supported a higher order, multidimensional model of the authentic leadership construct (the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire [ALQ]) comprising leader self-awareness, relational transparency, internalized moral perspective, and balanced processing. Structural equation modeling (SEM) demonstrated the predictive validity for the ALQ measure for important work-related attitudes and behaviors, beyond what ethical and transformational leadership offered. Finally, results revealed a positive relationship between authentic leadership and supervisor-rated performance. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Journal Article 4: Woolley, L., Caza, A., & Levy, L. (2011). Authentic leadership and follower development: Psychological capital, positive work climate, and genderJournal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 18, 438–448.

Abstract: This article contributes to the theoretical understanding of the relationship between authentic leadership and follower psychological capital. Structural equation models using a representative national sample of working adults revealed a positive relationship between authentic leadership and followers’ psychological capital, partially mediated by positive work climate, and a significant moderating effect from gender. Findings support previous predictions about the effects of authentic leadership and begin to reveal the mechanisms by which authentic leaders affect followers. Moreover, they underscore the need to consider the influence of follower characteristics in understanding leadership outcomes. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.