Pursuing success without scandal: Exploring the relationship between transformational and authentic leadership

by Brennan, Peter T., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2010, 112 pages; 3404602


Realizing that a tarnished image is difficult to recover from, organizations seek leaders of positive core values and beliefs who unflinchingly hold to them regardless of the pressures that come against them. A potential consequence of such authentic leaders, however, is that they may not be transformational leaders of vision and direction who challenge the status quo and are catalysts for innovative thinking. Authentic leadership and transformational leadership are important for organizations seeking enduring viability in the marketplace; yet the parameters of a relationship between these theories have not been explored empirically. This study investigates the existence and strength of the relationship between authentic and transformational leadership, with and without moderating variables. Within a quantitative methodology and a cross-sectional survey research design, data was collected from formal and informal leaders working in for-profit industries in the United States using the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (ALQ), Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ-5X), and Strategic Thinking Questionnaire (STQ) instruments. Results (N = 806) indicate that a significant and moderate-to-strong positive relationship exists between authentic and transformational leadership, and further, that strength in both leadership styles is prevalent within the study population, the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) of the Boy Scouts of America. The authentic/transformational leadership relationship was significantly moderated by leader strategic thinking/orientation, but not by different leader role/responsibility levels. Limitations, implications, and directions for future research are discussed.

AdviserJanice M. Spangenburg
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBehavioral psychology; Management; Organization theory
Publication Number3404602

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