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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Authentic leadership moments: A mindful inquiry
by Skjei, Susan, Ph.D., Fielding Graduate University, 2014, 127; 3680274
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to illuminate leaders' lived experience of authentic leadership moments—those moments when leaders respond with increased authenticity, despite the challenges they face. The literature on authenticity, transformative learning, leadership, and Buddhism provided useful insights into this phenomenon.

Using a mindful inquiry method focusing on phenomenology, hermeneutics, and Buddhism (Bentz & Shapiro, 1998), 10 participants were interviewed about their experience of authentic leadership moments. Five phenomenological themes were identified: (a) abiding in ambiguity, (b) listening to the body, (c) opening to possibilities, (d) communicating with honesty and vulnerability, and (e) acting with integrity and courage. Descriptions of participants' inauthentic moments helped enhance the understanding of these themes and clarified the experience of authentic moments. Prior to the moment itself, leaders faced situational and personal challenges, acknowledged their fear and hesitation, made a commitment or decision to work with the challenge(s), and prepared for the moment in a variety of ways. The analysis also showed that after the moment, leaders experienced a positive impact on their self-esteem, their relationships, and the organizations they served.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bentz, Valerie
Commitee: Albert, Pauline, Corley, Connie, Nelson, Annabelle, Schuyler, Kathryn Goldman
School: Fielding Graduate University
Department: Human and Organization Development
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Authentic, Buddhism, Hermeneutics, Leadership, Moments, Phenomenology
Publication Number: 3680274
ISBN: 978-1-321-52187-0
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