An Examination of the Similarities and Differences Between Transformational and Authentic Leadership and Their Relationship to Followers' Outcomes

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To date there is no comprehensive understanding of what leadership is, nor is there an agreement among different theorists on what a good or effective leader should be. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the theoretical and empirical similarities and differences of two styles of leadership – transformational and authentic leadership. Follower outcomes, as well as, the effects of trust and psychological capital within these paradigms are of particular interest. Although theoretical differences are proposed for the leadership style, the extent of overlap suggests the need to more closely examine each theory. Pilot studies were created to validate ... continued below

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McKee, Victoria August 2013.

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  • McKee, Victoria

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Description

To date there is no comprehensive understanding of what leadership is, nor is there an agreement among different theorists on what a good or effective leader should be. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the theoretical and empirical similarities and differences of two styles of leadership – transformational and authentic leadership. Follower outcomes, as well as, the effects of trust and psychological capital within these paradigms are of particular interest. Although theoretical differences are proposed for the leadership style, the extent of overlap suggests the need to more closely examine each theory. Pilot studies were created to validate original scenarios created for the study as well as to examine the validity and reliability of new measurement instruments. The dissertation is designed to determine whether the relationships between authentic leadership and a variety of follower outcomes including performance, affective commitment, satisfaction, trust, and organizational citizenship behavior are similar to those between transformational leadership and these outcomes. In addition, variables more unique to authentic leadership research including psychological capital and follower well-being were examined within both paradigms to determine whether their relationships are similar to each type of leadership style. An experimental study using Qualtrics was used to collect the data with the expectation that there would be significant differences in the two styles of leadership such that each explains unique variance in follower behavior. The results of this dissertation support the lack of perceptual difference between the two theories of leadership. The results of this experiment do not come completely unexpected because of the ethical overlap between the two styles of leadership. Although subjects in the experiment could differentiate authentic leadership from transformational leadership based on the manipulations, authentic leadership effects were not significantly different when compared to transformational leadership effects. As a result, analyses in my research do not support previous theoretical development of authentic leadership as a separate theory from transformational leadership. Consequently, lack of support for my hypotheses actually provides valuable information to the study of leadership and calls into question the continued pursuit of research on authentic leadership. Although this dissertation was constructed to investigate the differences between authentic leadership and transformational leadership relative to follower outcomes, results found for gender differences may highlight an additional component to these leadership paradigms not previously considered.

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  • August 2013

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  • April 23, 2014, 8:20 p.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2016, 12:53 p.m.

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McKee, Victoria. An Examination of the Similarities and Differences Between Transformational and Authentic Leadership and Their Relationship to Followers' Outcomes, dissertation, August 2013; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283823/: accessed November 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .