Clashes, Convergences and Coalescences
- New Horizons in Leadership Studies series
Edited by Donna Ladkin and Chellie Spiller
Chapter 14: Essay: from authenticity to communitas: an ecology of leadership
The notion of authenticity has developed in the context of a quest for a more humanized and ethical workplace. This search has been made more urgent by the opprobrium heaped on business and political leaders during a time when unethical business practices have contributed to global economic collapse. The theory of authentic leadership has offered a way through the subsequent loss of confidence in those charged with leading business and political organizations. The authentic leader accommodates the traditional instrumental approaches to organizational activity by being a more morally sensitized person who is able to resist the primacy of economic rationality. Hence authenticity allows for the goal-oriented, success-driven leader to express his or her nuanced emotions and ethical conundrums while encouraging followers to do the same. To be an effective leader, then, is to be authentic. This theory necessitates that the authentic leader is ‘true to himself’(Khan 2010, p. 168) and, in so doing, enables a positive and creative work climate that attends to the needs of all members of the organization (Alok and Israel 2012; Rego et al. 2012; Woolley et al. 2011). The link, then, between the authentic leader and enfranchised followers is on the overarching desire for all organizational members to be ethical and enact ‘pro-social’ behaviours (Hannah et al. 2011).However, this focus on the authentic self is not universally applauded. Indeed, Gardiner (2011) argues that ‘the new management theory of authentic leadership is deeply problematic because it fails to take into account how social and historical circumstances affect a person’s ability to be a leader’ (p. 99).
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.