Authentic Leadership: Do We Really Need Another Leadership Theory?




Wood, Gabrielle

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The purpose of this study was to test the incremental validity of authentic leadership above and beyond existing leadership styles. Prior leadership research has focused primarily on transformational leadership. Recently, many researchers have observed that there are leaders who are effective and who do not conform to this style. Authentic leadership theory was advanced as an approach that may explain additional variance in leadership effectiveness. Participants included upper-year Cadets from the United States Military Academy (USMA) who served in leadership positions over lower-ranking Cadets. Cadet leadership styles were matched with personal attribute and performance scores to test a nomological network model of authentic leadership. Findings indicated some support for the notion that authentic leadership adds incremental validity over existing leadership styles, including transformational leadership. This study advances our understanding of authentic leadership theory and leadership effectiveness in challenging environments. Recommendations for future research in this area are provided.



Leadership, Integrity, Altruism, Management, Leadership theory