טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
Ph.D Thesis
Ph.D StudentKril-Migdal Yael
SubjectAuthentic Leadership in Practice - The Alignment of Words
and Deeds
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Professor Emeritus Dov Zohar
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract


This study proposes a methodology to examine Authentic Leadership (AL) by measuring WAF (WAF) as key dimension of AL. AL occurs when individuals enact their true selves in their roles and their actions are based on values and convictions. The AL construct is composed of four dimensions: self-awareness, internalized moral perspective, balanced processing, and relational transparency. AL was found to positively relate to numerous organizational outcomes such as:  trust, satisfaction, commitment and motivation, OCB , job performance, positive behaviors.

AL was criticized for not achieving discriminant validity beyond other leadership constructs, and in particular transformational Leadership (TL). AL dimensions point to a strong convergence with TL - To be viewed as transformational, a leader should be authentic, but being authentic does not necessarily mean transformational.  AL definition is vague, its positive nature is questioned its dimensions are broad and non-distinctive, the ALQ Authentic Leadership Questionnaire validity is criticized.

This study proposes to focus on Behavioral Integrity (BI) as key dimension of AL - BI is the perceived degree of congruence between values expressed by words and those expressed by actions. By WAF the authentic leader signals his values to his followers, and fosters self-determined work motivation and ultimately work role performance. Our model examines the effect of AL/WAF on team performance, with the moderating effect of TL on this relation. 

Study one develops scenario-based measure using WAF as AL dimension, using a methodology of randomly dividing teams into two sub-groups, requesting respondents to relate to their manager’s words/actions. Results provide evidence for the positive relationship of AL with team performance indicating that TL moderate the AL-team performance relationship in cases of low and medium levels of TL, but not in higher cases of TL. Study two was experimental study, using a consistent team split methodology we tested our hypothesis that AL can be developed and measured using WAF dimension. We predicted that the effect of the intervention on AL will be moderated by the level of TL and by Resistance to Change (RTC).  Results indicate that the intervention was effective in the increase of AL, this increase was significantly higher for the experiment group and was moderated by the level of TL and RTC. Leader who is receptive to change and exhibit higher levels of TL will result in higher levels of AL following the intervention.

The integration of the two studies lead to the following conclusions: (1) WAF can serve as a  discriminant dimension for AL study; (2) Use of competing values methodology and scenarios is effective way to overcome measurement biases; (3) Applying  team-split methodology helps mitigate same source bias, and other methodological challenges in the study of AL;  (3) AL predicts team performance above and beyond TL; (4) Organizational intervention focused on WAF can be effective in increasing AL; (5) Increase in AL as a result of the intervention is moderated by the leaders’ level of TL and RTC. (6) Organizations should consider developing AL to achieve higher levels of team performance. Recommendation for future study and limitations are discussed.