Authentic Leadership: From Theory to Practice

By Mostafa Sayyadi

Executives are under a tremendous amount of pressure in today’s global economy. This article is set in place to inspire leaders to authentically lead their companies to meet and exceed the challenges of not only today but also what we see as an onset of new technological advances in the future.

 

Why Leadership Studies Have Failed?

Leadership, when assessed from a distance, is somewhat elusive. Four scholars that are well known in the Academy of Management, one of the largest leadership and management organisations in the world by the names of Francis Yammarino, Shelley Dionne, Jae Uk and Fred Dansereau found some mismatches between theoretical concepts of leadership and empirical investigations, and explained that while the theoretical concepts of leadership are extensive, empirical studies could not have sufficiently supported these theoretical concepts.1 In fact, past studies about leadership lacked a multilevel approach, and only focused on downward control. Not accounting for a middle-level leader who takes a two-way approach to influence both superiors and subordinates – more of liaison. Another reason was that there is no determined set of variables used to investigate effective leadership, owing to the diversity of leadership theories and models with different perspectives about effective leadership. A third reason relates to studies about leadership that lack a systematic approach and stem from interdisciplinary approaches. Thus, leadership has remained relatively silent on how to integrate theories, methods, and concepts from diverse disciplinary domains to provide a rich basis for understanding the true leadership theoretical and applicable concepts. 

 
Please login or register to continue reading... Registration is simple and it is free!

Mostafa Sayyadi, CAHRI, AFAIM, CPMgr, works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies, and helps companies – from start-ups to the Fortune 100 – succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to HR.com and Consulting Magazine and his work has been featured in these top-flight business publications.

References
1. Yammarino, F.J., Dionne, S.D., Uk, C.J., & Dansereau, F. (2005). Leadership and levels of analysis: A state-of-the-science review. The Leadership Quarterly, 16(6), 879-919.
2. Blair, JD & Hunt, JG 1985, A research agenda for leadership on the future battlefield. In Hunt JG & Blair JD (eds.), Leadership on the future battlefield. Pergamon, Brassey’s, Washington, DC.
3. Judge, TA, Piccolo, RF and Kosalka, T 2009 ‘The bright and dark sides of leader traits: A review and theoretical extension of the leader trait paradigm’, The Leadership Quarterly, vol. 20, no. 6, pp. 855-875.
4. Rost, JC 1991, Leadership for the twenty-first century, Praeger, New York.
5. Western, S 2008, Leadership, Sage Publications, Los Angeles. Whetten, DA & Cameron, KS 1991, Developing management skills, Harper Collins, New York.
6. Kirkpatrick, SA & Locke EA 1991 ‘Leadership: Do traits matter?’ Academy of Management Executive, vol. 5, pp. 48-60.
7. Nanus, B 1989. The leader’s edge: The seven keys to leadership in a turbulent world. Contemporary Books, Chicago.
8. Van Vugt, M, Hogan, R & Kaiser, RB 2008 ‘Leadership, followership, and evolution: Some lessons from the past’, American Psychologist, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 182-196.
9. Stogdill, RM 1974, Handbook of leadership: A survey of theory and research, Free Press, New York.
10. Fuchs, T 2007, Situational leadership theory: An analysis within the European cultural environment, Ph.D. Thesis, Capella University.
11. Avolio, BJ & Gardner, WL 2005 ‘Authentic Leadership Development Getting to the Root of Positive Forms of Leadership.’ The Leadership Quarterly, 16, 315-338.
12. Ilies, R., Morgeson, F & Nahrgang, J 2005 ‘Authentic leadership and eudaemonic well-being: understanding leader-follower outcomes.’ The Leadership Quarterly, 16(3), 373-394

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.