Recent concerns about the integrity and transparency of business, politics, and sport leaders is spurring on new research into a framework of authentic leadership. Few empirical studies, however, have tested this theory’s constructs at the individual, group or organizational level. To fill this gap, this paper proposes to research the variables that might affect the perceptions that head coaches have concerning the authentic leadership of athletic directors. What had been a side concern of leadership scholars on the morality of transformational leadership (Bass & Steidlmeier, 1999; Price, 2003) became a major discussion among scholars following the corporate scandals of Enron and Arthur Anderson (Patsuris, 2002). A new construct of authentic leadership emerged in both the popular (George, 2003; George & Sims, 2007) and scholarly literature (Luthans & Avolio, 2003; May, Chan, Hodges, & Avolio, 2003). Authenticity, integrity and ethical decision-making have long been considered in executive management (Novicevic, Harvey, Buckley, Brown, & Evans, 2006) and organizational psychology (Harter, 2002). Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (2007, para. 50), known for listening to his critics, underscored its importance to Air Force Academy graduates, “The true measure of your leadership is how you react when the wind leaves your sails and the tide turns against you.” Attempts, however, to define a construct of authentic leadership have met with limited success (Brumbaugh, 1971; Henderson & Hoy, 1983; Terry, 1993; Kernis, 2003). The new construct of authentic leadership draws from more diverse theoretical foundations (Avolio, Gardner, Walumbwa, Luthans, & May, 2004) such as: (a) positive organizational scholarship (Cameron, Dutton, & Quinn, 2003; Gardner & Schermerhorn, 2004; Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007); (b) self-awareness, social identity and personal identification among leaders and followers (Bono & Judge, 2003); and (c) ethical leadership behavior (Zhu , May, & Avolio, 2004). The Authentic Leadership Model sees (Avolio & Luthans, 2006; Avolio et al., 2004; Luthans & Avolio, 2003) authenticity as a quality that leaders have in various degrees, perhaps ordered in developmental stages (Eigel & Kuhnert 2005). Avolio, Gardner, and Walumbwa (2005, p. xxiii) write:
Authentic leaders are leaders who: (a) know who they are and what they believe in; (b) display transparency and consistency between their values, ethical reasoning and actions; (c) focus on developing positive psychological states such as confidence, optimism, hope, and resilience within themselves and their associates; (d) are widely known and respected for their integrity.
The authentic-leader-authentic follower relationship that emerges is characterized by follower trust, workplace well-being and veritable, sustainable follower performance (Gardner, Avolio, Luthans, May, and Walumbwa, 2005a). While the concept of authentic leadership development is receiving ample attention (Gardner, Avolio, & Walumbwa, 2005b), few studies have empirically tested its theoretical framework. Scholars recognize there is much work to be done (Avolio & Gardner, 2005; Chan, 2005), including “(1) defining and measuring the construct, (2) determining the discriminant validity of the construct, (3) identifying relevant construct outcomes (i.e., testing the construct’s nomological network), and (4) ascertaining whether authentic leadership can be taught” (Cooper, Scandura & Schriesheim, 2005, p. 477). This study aims to partially fill this gap by empirically testing the authentic leader-authentic follower construct, from the follower’s viewpoint. Based on existing literature, this study will identify the variables that might affect follower perceptions of authentic leadership and propose statistics to test the relationship. This study’s intended population will be sports administrators in the United States, from NCAA Division I institutions. Today’s universities are under increasing pressure to see their athletic program generate finances and enhance their school’s reputation. Athletic directors, in turn, are coming under increased scrutiny by the NCAA and media, due to ethics violations in recruitment and allegations of sexual assault. The ability of athletic directors to relate to external stakeholders and their coaches with openness, transparency, humility, courage, and ethical consistency–in the midst of pressure–is a persistence need. This is especially so in view of increasing costs and declining revenues of sport programs other than college football or basketball (Orszag, J. M., & Orszag, 2005). In specific, this study will examine the extent to which head coaches believe their athletic directors are authentic leaders, and examine the predictor variables of attribution. A study of authentic leadership among sports administrators would fill a vital need, in an area that has received little attention from leadership theory. A similar study among a comparable sample a decade ago demonstrated that transformational leadership was applicable to intercollegiate athletic settings, not only to business (Yusof, 1998). [You have just read the introduction to this paper. The full proposal is not posted here. If you are researching in this field, and would like to work with me on this project, please contact me.
Allen, N. J. and Meyer, J. P. (1990), The measurement and antecedents of affective, continuance and normative commitment to the organization. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 63, 1-18.
Avolio, B. J., & Gardner, W. L. (2005, June). Authentic leadership development: Getting to the root of positive forms of leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 16(3), 315-338.
Avolio, B. J., Gardner, W. L., & Walumbwa, F. O. (2005). Preface. In W. L. Gardner, B. J. Avolio & F. O. Walumbwa (Eds.), Authentic leadership theory and practice (pp. xxi-xxix). Boston: Elsevier JAI.
Avolio, B. J., Gardner, W. L., Walumbwa, F. O., Luthans, F., & May, D. R. (2004, December). Unlocking the mask: A look at the process by which authentic leaders impact follower attitudes and behaviors. Leadership Quarterly, 15(6), 801-823.
Avolio, B. J., & Luthans, F. (2006). The high impact leader: Moments matter in accelerating authentic leadership development. New York: McGraw Hill.
Bass, B. M., & Avolio, B. J. (1993). Manual: The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists.
Bass, B. M., & Steidlmeier, P. (1999, Summer). Ethics, character, and authentic transformational leadership behavior. Leadership Quarterly, 10(2), 181-217.
Berleant, A. (1982, August). Multinationals, local practice, and the problem of ethical consistency. Journal of Business Ethics, 1(3), 185-193.
Bono, J. E., & Judge, T. A. (2003). Self-concordance at work: Toward understanding the motivational effects of transformational leaders. Academy of Management Journal, 46(5), 554-571.
Brumbaugh, R. B. (1971, March). Authenticity and theories of administrative behavior. Administrative Science Quarterly, 16(1), 108-112.
Cameron, K. S., Dutton, J. E., & Quinn, R. E. (2003). Positive organizational scholarship: Foundations of a new discipline. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.
Chan, A. (2005). Authentic leadership measurement and development: Challenges and suggestions. In W. L. Gardner, B. J. Avolio & F. O. Walumbwa (Eds.), Authentic leadership theory and practice (pp. 227-253). Boston: Elsevier JAI.
Cleary, K., Borngen, K., & Chelko, E. (2006). National Directory of College Athletics, 2006-2007. Cleveland, OH: Collegiate Directories.
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates.
Cooper, C. D., Scandura, T. A., & Schriesheim, C. A. (2005, June). Looking forward but learning from our past: Potential challenges to developing authentic leadership theory and authentic leaders. Leadership Quarterly, 16(3), 475-493.
Dansereau, F. (1995). A dyadic approach to leadership: Learning and nurturing this approach under fire. Leadership Quarterly, 6(4), 479-490.
Diener, E. (2000, January). Subjective well-Being: The science of happiness and a proposal for a national index. American Psychologist, 55(1), 34-43.
Eigel, K. M., & Kuhnert, K. W. (2005). Authentic development: Leadership development level and executive effectiveness. In W. L. Gardner, B. J. Avolio & F. O. Walumbwa (Eds.), Authentic leadership theory and practice (pp. 357-385). Boston: Elsevier JAI.
Fields, D. L. (2002). Taking the measure of work: A guide to validated scales for organizational research and diagnosis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Finkelstein, S., & Hambrick, D. C. (1996). Strategic leadership: Top executives and their effects on organizations. (West’s strategic management series). Minneapolis/St. Paul: South-Western.
Fordyce, M. W. (1988, August). A review of research on the happiness measures: a sixty second index of happiness and health. Social Indicators Research, 20(4), 355-381. Retrieved 28 May 2007 from: http://www.gethappy.net/accsHMart.htm
Gardner, W. L., Avolio, B. J., Luthans, F., May, D. R., & Walumbwa, F. O. (2005a, June). “Can you see the real me?” A self-based model of authentic leader and follower development. Leadership Quarterly, 16(3), 343-372.
Gardner, W. L., Avolio, B. J., & Walumbwa, F. O. (Eds.). (2005b). Authentic leadership theory and practice: Origins, effects and development. (Vol. 3). (Monographs in Leadership and Management). Boston: Elsevier JAI.
Gardner, W. L., & Schermerhorn, J. R. (2004). Performance gains through positive organizational behavior and authentic leadership. Organizational Dynamics, 33(3), 270-281.
Gates, R. M. (Secretary of Defense). (2007, 30 May). Air Force Academy Commencement Address. Colorado Springs, CO: Air Force Academy.
George, B. (2003). Authentic leadership: Rediscovering the secrets to creating lasting value. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
George, B., & Sims, P. (2007). True North: Discover your authentic leadership. San Francisco: Wiley.
Girden, E. R. (2001). Evaluating research articles: From start to finish (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Green, S. B., & Salkind, N. J. (2005). Using SPSS for Windows and Macintosh: Analyzing and understanding data (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1974). The Job Diagnostic Survey: An instrument for the diagnosis of jobs and the evaluation of job redesign projects. (Tech. Rep. No. 4). New Haven, CT: Yale University, Department of Administrative Sciences.
Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R. L., & Black, W. C. (1998). Multivariate data analysis (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Harter, S. (2002). Authenticity. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 382-394). New York: Oxford University Press.
Henderson, J. E., & Hoy, W. K. (1983). Leader authenticity: The development and test of operational measure. Educational and Psychological Research, 3(2), 63-75.
Hom, P.W., Griffeth, R.W., & Sellaro, C.L. (1984). The validity of Mobley’s 1977 model of employee turnover. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 34, 144-74.
Iaffaldano, M. T., & Muchinsky, P. M. (1985, March). Job satisfaction and job performance: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 97(2), 251-273.
Ilies, R., Morgeson, F. P., & Nahrgang, J. D. (2005, June). Authentic leadership and eudaemonic well-being: Understanding leader-follower outcomes. Leadership Quarterly, 16(3), 373-394.
Jaques, E., & Clement, S. D. (1991). Executive leadership: A practical guide to managing complexity. New York: Blackwell Cason Hall.
Jensen, S. M., & Luthans, F. (2006). Entrepreneurs as authentic leaders: Impact on employees’ attitudes. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 27(8), 646-666.
Judge, T. A., Thoresen, C. J., Bono, J. E., & Patton, G. K. (2001, May). The job satisfaction-job performance relationship: A qualitative and quantitative review. Psychological Bulletin, 127(3), 376-407.
Kerlinger, F. N., & Lee, H. B. (2000). Foundations of behavioral research (4th ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt College.
Kernis, M. H. (2003). Toward a conceptualization of optimal self-esteem. Psychological Inquiry, 14(1), 1-27.
Khandwalla, P. N. (1977). The design of organizations. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Knight, G. A. (1997, May). Cross-cultural reliability and validity of a scale to measure firm entrepreneurial orientation. Journal of Business Venturing, 12(3), 213-225.
Luthans, F., & Avolio, B. J. (2003). Authentic leadership: A positive development approach. In K. S. Cameron, J. E. Dutton & R. E. Quinn (Eds.), Positive organizational scholarship: Foundations of a new discipline (pp. 241-258). San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.
Luthans, F., Youssef, C. M., & Avolio, B. J. (2007). Psychological capital: Developing the human competitive edge. New York: Oxford University Press.
May, D. R., Chan, A. Y. L., Hodges, T. D., & Avolio, B. J. (2003, August). Developing the moral component of authentic leadership. Organizational Dynamics, 32(3), 247-260.
Meyer, J. P., & Allen, N. J. (1997). Commitment in the workplace: Theory, research, and application. (Advanced topics in organizational behavior). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Mindgarden. (2006). MLQ for Researchers. Retrieved 30 May 2007, from http://www.mindgarden.com/products/mlq.htm.
Mowday, R. T., Steers, R. M., & Porter, L. W. (1979, April). The measurement of organizational commitment. Journal of Vocational Behavior. 14(2) 224-247.
NCAA. (2007). NCAA members by Division: Division I members. Retrieved May 30, 2007, from National Collegiate Athletic Association: http://web1.ncaa.org/onlineDir/exec/divisionListing.
Newton, R. R., & Rudestam, K. E. (1999). Your statistical consultant: Answers to your data analysis questions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Novicevic, M. M., Harvey, M. G., Buckley, M. R., Brown, J. A., & Evans, R. (2006). Authentic leadership: A historical perspective. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 13(1), 64-76.
Orszag, J. M., & Orszag, P. R. (2005). The empirical effects of collegiate athletics: An update. Retrieved May 30, 2007, from National Collegiate Athletic Association: http://www.ncaa.org/library/research/athletic_spending/2005/empirical_effects_of_collegiate_athletics_update.pdf.
Patsuris, P. (2002, 26 August). The corporate scandal sheet. Forbes.com (New York), Accounting. Retrieved 28 May 2007, http://www.forbes.com/2002/07/25/accountingtracker.html.
Price, T. L. (2003, February). The ethics of authentic transformational leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 14(1), 67-81.
Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000, January). Positive psychology: An introduction. The American Psychologist, 55(1), 5-14.
Shamir, B., House, R. J., & Arthur, M. B. (1993, November). The motivational effects of charismatic leadership: A self-concept based theory. Organizational Science, 4, 1 – 17.
Snijders, T. A. B., & Bosker, R. J. (1999). Multilevel analysis: An introduction to basic and advanced multilevel modeling. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Terry, R. W. (1993). Authentic leadership: Courage in action. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Victor, B., & Cullen, J. B. (1988, March). The organizational bases of ethical work climates. Administrative Science Quarterly, 33(1), 101-125.
Yukl, G. A. (2002). Leadership in organizations (5th ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Yusof, A. (1998). The relationship between transformational leadership behaviors of athletic directors and coaches’ job satisfaction. Physical Educator, 55(4), 170-175.
Zhu, W., May, D. R., & Avolio, B. J. (2004). The impact of ethical leadership behavior on employee outcomes: The roles of psychological empowerment and authenticity. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 11(1), 16-26.