Date of Award

Fall 11-20-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (PhD)

Department

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Paul Yost

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Don MacDonald

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Joey Collins

Keywords

Authentic leadership, resilience, coping, emotional social support

Abstract

Organizations with leaders high in authentic leadership behaviors tend to experience more positive outcomes both on an organizational level as well as on an individual level. One potential explanation for the positive outcomes is that authentic leadership enhances leader resilience in a positively linear fashion. However, other literature suggests that authenticity is not always beneficial for the leader and that, at high levels, it can even be detrimental as leaders become more transparent and convicted about their values and goals independent of the situation. One underlying reason for conflicting theories may be the coping skills that leaders use in combination with authenticity when engaging in the resilience process. Coping skills such as active coping (e.g., concentrating efforts or taking direct action) and instrumental social support coping may provide a synergistic effect on the relationship between authentic leadership and resilience. Similarly, heavy reliance on emotional social support coping skills may account for a synergistic curvilinear relationship between authentic leadership and resilience.

Using a self-report survey, this study explored the two conflicting theoretical relationships between authentic leadership and resilience, discovering a cubic relationship between the two variables. Furthermore, results indicate that emotional social support coping skills moderate the relationship, such that the relationship between authentic leadership and resilience is stronger for individuals high in emotional social support coping skills than those high in low emotional social support coping skills. Results indicate that the relationship between authentic leadership and resilience is dependent upon coping skills that leaders employ when faced with challenges in the workplace.

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