Description: Transformational leadership describes a leader who motivates followers to performance beyond expectations, but it has often been attacked for its potential to be abused. A newer form of leadership has been proposed, that of authentic leadership. Authentic leadership is an over-arching concept that proposes to include transformational leadership and all positive forms of leadership. At the heart of authentic leadership is the concept of ethicality. The concept of authenticity may contribute to the transformational leadership paradigm, producing an ideal form of leadership. Authentic leadership may not be an over-arching form of leadership, but one suited particularly to transformational leadership. I propose that authentic transformational leadership resides in leaders' and followers' implicit leadership theories. This experiment addresses authentic transformational leadership and the role of implicit leadership theories in directing leader behavior. A model is developed that outlines the relationship between authentic transformational leadership and implicit leadership theories, including the separate implicit theories of leader and follower, leader-member exchange (LMX), and leader effectiveness. Hypotheses concerning these relationships are developed. The study is experimental, using WebCT as a delivery tool. Scenario-based surveys were developed to collect data, using both known measures and measures developed specifically for this experiment. Two pilot studies were conducted to test the soundness of the delivery tool and the validity of the constructed scenarios and measures, which largely supported the hypotheses. In the main study, all hypotheses were supported with the exception of one. The results of the unsupported hypothesis, however, suggest authentic transformational leadership may be an ideal form of leadership. There are several contributions to the literature made by this study. The first contribution is the development of authentic transformational leadership as an ideal form of leadership. Second, the development of both follower and leader implicit leadership theories and their relationship to authentic transformational leadership is studied ...
Date: August 2008
Creator: Nichols, Thomas W.
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation