Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Developing Authentic Leaders and Followers: A Case Study in Two Chapters of a National Nonprofit Organization
by Epperson, Thomas, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2015, 259; 3687482
Abstract (Summary)

As a result of scandals in the workplace, scholars and practitioners are increasingly focused on how to develop authentic leaders, high in trust, transparency, and clear moral standards. Additionally, with the flattening of organizations and the increasing numbers of workers in nonsupervisory roles, it is increasingly important for organizations to focus on developing followers as well as leaders.

The purpose of this study was to describe how leader modeling of authentic behaviors influences follower authenticity and how follower modeling of authentic behaviors influences the development of leader authenticity. This study primarily used Gardner’s conceptual framework of authentic leadership and follower development and Bandura’s observational learning theory as theoretical lenses. This qualitative, multisite case study examined two local chapters of a national nonprofit, the YMCA of the USA. The research sought to describe the role modeling played in the development of leader and follower authenticity in the workplace. Data were collected at two different research sites and included 16 interviews, participant observations, and an analysis of supporting documents. The analysis was conducted by coding the data, developing a summary for each site, and then conducting a cross-case analysis.

Findings from this study indicate that both leader and follower modeling influenced authenticity development, including both positive and negative models of authentic behaviors. Organizational culture and situational context were also factors that emerged in the development of authenticity in both leaders and followers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Casey, Andrea
Commitee: Hamp, Jacquie, Humphrey, Ron
School: The George Washington University
Department: Human and Organizational Learning
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Management, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Authentic followership, Authentic leadership, Authenticity, Followers, Leaders, Nonprofit, Observational learning
Publication Number: 3687482
ISBN: 9781321650655
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