Authentic leadership: A Western notion?
Proceedings of the 33rd Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference
School of Business and Law / The Centre for Work and Organisational Performance
This paper investigates the notion that authentic leadership theory is inherently a Western construct, imbued with a contextualized leadership ideology. Culturally endorsed implicit leadership theory suggests that authentic leadership behavior appeals predominantly to followers with Western cultural values. Survey data are collected from 285 Australian business people using a two-wave approach and Hofstede’s five dimensions of culture. The results reveal that the relationship between followers’ perceptions of authentic leadership and their affect-based trust in the leader are moderated by cultural values. The positive effects on trust are stronger for followers with individualistic, masculine, and low power distance values. No significant effects are evident from followers’ uncertainty avoidance or long-term orientation. The findings therefore support that authentic leadership is culturally embedded.