The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801 – 823

Review

Unlocking the mask: A look at the process by which authentic
leaders impact follower attitudes and behaviors
Bruce J. Avolio*, William L. Gardner, Fred O. Walumbwa,
Fred Luthans, Douglas R. May
Gallup Leadership Institute, Department of Management, College of Business of Administration,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States

Abstract

The conceptual and empirical links between authentic leadership and follower attitudes, behaviors, and
performance outcomes have not been fully developed. Although we have a number of articles developing the
theory of authentic leadership and testing propositions that will appear in a forthcoming special issue of The
Leadership Quarterly (Vol. 16, Issue 3, 2005), the focus of this article is to provide some of the initial foundation
work for the broader theoretical framework of how authentic leaders influence follower attitudes, behaviors, and
performance. Here, we draw from positive organizational behavior, trust, hope, emotion, identification, and
identity theories to describe the processes by which authentic leaders exert their influence on followers’ attitudes
and behaviors. Research propositions based on the proposed theoretical model and implications for future theory
building and research are presented.
D 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Authentic leadership; Positive organizational behavior; Identity theories; Follower attitudes and behaviors

Contents

1. Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 802
2. Authentic leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 827
2.1. Authentic leadership and followers’ identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 806
2.1.1. Personal identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 807
2.1.2. Social identification. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 807

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 402 472 6380; fax: +1 402 472 5855.
E-mail address: bavolio2@unl.edu (B.J. Avolio).

1048-9843/$ - see front matter D 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2004.09.003

802 B.J. Avolio et al. / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823

2.2. Authentic leadership and hope. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 829
2.3. Authentic leadership and trust in the leader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 829
2.4. Emotions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 829
2.5. Authentic leadership and positive emotions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 829
2.6. Authentic leadership and optimism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 829
2.7. Summary of the model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 829
3. Conclusions and future research directions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 829
Acknowledgements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 849
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 850

1. Introduction

The topic of authentic leadership is generating increased interest in both practitioner (George, 2003)
and academic literatures (Avolio, Luthans, & Walumbwa, 2004; Gardner & Schermerhorn, 2004;
Luthans & Avolio, 2003; May, Chan, Hodges, & Avolio, 2003). We speculate that the reason why
practitioners and scholars are interested in authentic leadership is because the influence of authentic
leaders extends well beyond bottom-line success; such leaders have a role to play in the greater society
by tackling public policy issues and addressing organizational and societal problems (George, 2003). As
Avolio et al. (2004) noted, bthe unique stressors facing organizations throughout society today call for a
new leadership approach aimed at restoring basic confidence, hope, optimism, resiliency, and
meaningfulnessQ (p. 3). Senator McCain and Salter (2004) summarized the importance of being
authentic, as bit is not enough to be honest and just and demand that we be treated honestly and justly by
others. We must learn to love honesty and justice for themselves, not just for their effect on personal
circumstances, but for their effect on the world, on the whole of human experience, on the progress of
humanity in which we have played our partQ (pp. 106–107).
Our purpose here is to develop the beginnings of a theoretical framework as a basis for guiding future
research on the underlying mechanisms that allow authentic leaders to exert their influence on followers’
attitudes, behaviors and performance. Future theoretical and empirical work that will appear in a
forthcoming special issue of The Leadership Quarterly (Vol. 16, Issue 3, 2005) will expand the focus of
the current article to include topics such as what constitutes authentic followership, authentic
followership development, authentic leadership development and authentic leader and follower
relationships. Greater attention will also be paid in the forthcoming series of articles in the special
issue to differentiating a model of authentic leadership from other leadership frameworks such as
transformational, servant and spiritual leadership.
The construct of authenticity is captured well by the injunctions of ancient Greek philosophers to
bKnow thyselfQ and bTo thine own self be trueQ (Harter, 2002). As these phrases suggest, the essence of
authenticity is to know, accept, and remain true to one’s self. Rather than conceiving of authenticity as an
either/or construct, it is best to recognize that authenticity exists on a continuum and that the more people
remain true to their core values, identities, preferences and emotions, the more authentic they become
(Erickson, 1995; Heidegger, 1962).
We conceive of authentic leaders as persons who have achieved high levels of authenticity in that they
know who they are, what they believe and value, and they act upon those values and beliefs while
transparently interacting with others. Avolio et al. (2004) defined authentic leaders as bthose individuals
who are deeply aware of how they think and behave and are perceived by others as being aware of their

/ The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 Fig. 1.J. Proposed framework linking authentic leadership to followers’ attitudes and behaviors. 803 . B. Avolio et al.

and what we consider to be essential linkages in the authentic leadership development process. little work has been conducted that examines the relation between authentic leadership and employee empowerment. motivation. 2002. trust in leadership has been identified as a crucial element in the effectiveness of leaders (Bass. In this article. We respond to this call by including positive emotions as a critical component in the authentic leadership process. bprevious leadership theories have generally focused on more cognitive elements. and intention to stay. Similarly. 2004. Kanfer & Klimoski. hopeful. in their concluding remarks. 4). and high on moral characterQ (p. Issue 5. positive emotions. Moorman. 1996. Porter. Walumbwa & Lawler. 1990). 1 recognizes that although authentic leadership is important. As shown. Podsakoff. Wang. A second contribution of our proposed model is that it recognizes for the first time the possible role that positive emotions and trust may play in the authentic leadership process. 1990). Judge. resilient. and strengths. This process seems important to address both theoretically and practically. we address this issue by suggesting that authentic leadership may help us understand such behavioral cues. MacKenzie. 2003. 2003. Bono.J. because it provides a potential foundation and point of departure for authentic leadership development (Day. but also how intervening variables. satisfaction with leaders. 13. In future work.. Gilson. knowledge. how leaders might develop trust in followers. & Harter. Butler & Cantrell. such as hope. Brief & Weiss. we will explore how trust in followership and trust among followers facilitates the successful impact of authentic leaders on developing authentic organizations. & Fetter. 2003).. Thus. commitment. Dirks and Ferrin suggested that there is a need to examine the behavioral cues that followers use to draw conclusions about the character of the leader or. 1991. In a recent meta-analysis by Dirks and Ferrin (2002). alternatively. . organizational citizenship behavior. 2003). 2004). Meyer & Allen. . and task engagement (May. optimistic. 1982). Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi. Day & O’Connor. 2000. 1990.. & Steers. empowerment (Thomas & Velthouse. Walumbwa. Luthans & Avolio. several researchers (e. While the influence of leadership on commitment and job satisfaction is well documented (e. The follower attitudes included in our model are commitment (Allen & Meyer. our model contributes not only to a better understanding of the processes through which authentic leadership operates by highlighting how such leaders may influence followers’ attitudes and behaviors. 1997. can be enhanced. A special issue of The Leadership Quarterly (Vol. All of those constructs represent states that can be positively developed. commitment. put simply. and who are confident. MacKenzie.g. . the theory and measurement of affective processes has been ignored by leadership researchers or. job satisfaction (Iaffaldano & Muchinsky. Locke. We suggest that authentic leaders are able to enhance the engagement. and involvement required from followers to constantly improve their work and performance outcomes through the creation of personal identification with the follower and social identification with the organization (Kark & Shamir. Thoresen. However. 1990. there is a process linking authentic leadership to followers’ attitudes and behaviors. trust. Mowday. 1976). has been approached from a cognitive framework that emphasizes attitudes rather than basic emotional processesQ (pp. and optimism. 2002) have pointed out the importance of emotions in the leadership process. 2000. Lawler. / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 own and others’ values/moral perspective. 2001. Podsakoff. 122–123). 2002). As noted by Lord and Brown (2004). 1985. & Shi. Recently. trust in leadership was found to be associated with a variety of important organizational outcomes. satisfaction. 2002) on the subject of emotions and leadership attests to the important role of emotions in leadership effectiveness. & Bommer.804 B. Our proposed model shown in Fig. & Patton.g. Avolio et al. aware of the context in which they operate. Ashkanasy & Tse. it is not sufficient to achieve desired goals. including belief in information.

relatively little attention has been devoted to the relationship between leadership and task engagement. the intervening variables in this process. 2002. Snyder. Harter. including productivity.. and Sparrowe (2000) examined the relation of leader–member exchanges to employee empowerment.. Hogg. Schmidt. we consider authentic leadership as a root construct that can incorporate transformational and . Yukl. Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi. customer satisfaction.. 2000a. & Sigmon. Rand. 2004. 2002). Snyder.. House. While we recognize that other forms of leadership can be effective in achieving these outcomes. Seligman.g. Authentic leadership Consistent with Avolio and colleagues (e.J. / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 805 For example. Wayne. & Arthur. Bass & Avolio. Avolio et al. and absenteeism). 1993). One specific dimension of empowerment that has garnered significant attention in the positive psychology movement is the meaning that individuals experience in life and.g. 2001). & Sivasubramaniam. & Keyes. optimism. Lowe. Dutton. 2003. 1985. especially in light of the results from Harter and colleagues (e. research by Kark. 2002. Avolio et al. After first providing a brief review of what we will call the brootQ construct of authentic leadership. transformational/charismatic leadership (Bass & Avolio. trust. 269). 2003). Hearth. 2003. Bass. hope. and employee turnover. 2000b. Meaningfulness at work has been found to be a significant determinant of psychological engagement at work (May et al. As defined by Harter et al.. 1994. The follower outcomes included in our model are performance. and Chen (2003) has looked at the role that transformational leaders play in empowering employees and Liden. we next draw on theories of identification (Pratt. 2. 2000. Snyder & Lopez. Walumbwa & Lawler. in the work place (May. 1996). and positive psychology and positive organizational scholarship (Cameron. 1994. emotion (Weiss & Cropanzano. and withdrawal behaviors (e. & Schoorman. Davis. Farina. and positive emotions our model posits to arise from authentic leadership provide an especially solid foundation for veritable and sustainable organizational performance (Luthans & Avolio. 2003). 1999. we believe that the intervening states of follower identification.. 1995. 1990. Recent developments in authentic leadership may prove the most promising as authentic leaders may inspire their followers to act authentically in the workplace and experience greater meaning by acting consistently with their moral principles (May et al. 2003) recent meta-analyses that indicate engagement is positively and strongly related to a variety of key business performance outcomes. 2000. 1996. Harter. & Popovich. 2002b). 1989. accidents. 2002a. 2002) to derive our proposed model. employee engagement brefers to the individual’s involvement and satisfaction with as well as enthusiasm for work. We believe this relationship merits increased attention. Shamir. we have chosen to focus on work outcomes that are commonly seen as being influenced by leadership processes (Bass. 2003). p. 1994. including transformational leadership (Avolio.Q We view engagement as an important consequence of authentic leadership that mediates its effects on follower outcomes. (2003. Kroeck. Indeed. Our primary goal is to identify the process by which authentic leaders exert their influence on followers’ attitudes and behaviors and advance propositions regarding the relationships between authentic leadership. Shamir. turnover. tardiness. 2004). Schmidt. positive organizational behavior (Luthans.g. Luthans & Avolio. 1998). 2002. & Quinn. May calls for more research that examines the relation between authentic leadership and experienced meaning at work and this theoretical model addresses that call. & Hayes. profit. B. 1995).. trust (Mayer. However. 2004). Here. and follower attitudes and behaviors. more specifically. social identity (Ashforth & Mael. May et al. 2003). extra effort.

. colleagues.806 B. Shamir. The behavioral style per se is not what necessarily differentiates the authentic from the inauthentic leader. p. which over time may become a basis for the organization’s culture. Gardner & Avolio. Kark & Shamir. to build credibility and win the respect and trust of followers by encouraging diverse viewpoints and building networks of collaborative relationships with followers.1. Authentic leaders act in accordance with deep personal values and convictions. & Freiberg. As this process cascades to followers. 1993. in turn influencing their self-regulatory processes (Day. we suggest that authentic leaders are likely to initially stimulate personal identification among their followers. customers and other interested stakeholders their authenticity. will be the ones who take a stand that changes the course of history for others. 2. Since there is overlap between transformational and authentic leadership in this regard (see Avolio et al.. Lord. Luthans and Avolio (2003) suggested that one of the authentic leader’s core challenges is to identify followers’ strengths and help direct and build them appropriately. and thereby lead in a manner that followers recognize as authentic. Kark et al. / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 ethical leadership. 2000. 2003.J. Kark et al. 2002. who when called upon by the hand of fate. 2003) posited and found that transformational leaders are able to influence their followers by connecting with followers’ self-concepts so that their values and beliefs become more similar to those of the leader. and could even be authoritarian. Lord & Brown. 2000) has shown the importance of social and personal identification in the leadership process. Avolio et al. authentic leaders can be directive or participative. passion. More specifically.. and are as guided by the qualities of the heart. Brown. and performance? In this paper. and compassion as they are by qualities of the mind. As noted with transformational leadership (see Avolio. Personal identification Personal identification refers to a process whereby the individual’s belief about a person [a leader] becomes self-referential or self-defining (Kark & Shamir. Shamir et al. & Popper. 248). 1999). 2000. behaviors. while linking them to a common purpose or mission. Kark and colleagues (e. 2002. be they organizations. This emerging interest in authentic leadership raises some very important research questions: What constitutes authentic leadership? What behaviors constitute acts of authentic leadership? How can authentic leadership be measured? Does authentic leadership vary across cultures? How can authentic leadership and followership be developed? How does an authentic leader impact followers’ attitudes.. 2004). 2. Zakay. Lord & Emrich. we address the last question.g. 1998).1. Kark & Shamir. authentic leaders genuinely desire to serve others through their leadership. 2002). They are bleaders. departments or just other individualsQ (May et al. Authentic leadership and followers’ identification Work by Bono and Judge (2003) and Shamir and colleagues (e. we suggest that the influence of authentic leaders on followers’ attitudes and behaviors is made more powerful and motivational through the identification of the people they lead. it has been suggested that leaders affect the identities of followers. 2003.1.. 1999. Breinin. . are more interested in empowering the people they lead to make a difference.g. they may also operate in a similar manner portraying to leaders. 2001. Luthans and Avolio (2003) note that authentic leaders recognize and value individual differences and have the ability and motivation to identify people’s talents and help them build those talents into strengths. According to George (2003)... Although we believe that authentic leadership can directly affect followers’ attitudes and behaviors. This view is consistent with the arguments advanced by Lord and Brown (2004) that the effect of leaders occurs indirectly through follower self-identities and in turn their working self-concepts.

g. Hogg (2001) noted that good leaders are people who have the attributes of the category of leader that best fits situational requirements. Authentic leaders have a highly developed sense of how their roles as leaders carry a responsibility to act morally and in the best interests of others (May et al. and endorsement becomes increasingly influenced by proto- typicality. nation). However. department. openly discussing their vulnerabilities and those of the followers. work team. Spreitzer. authentic leadership theory does not necessarily delve into the essence of transforming leadership articulated by Burns. the basis for leadership perceptions. This idea is also certainly true for transformational leadership theory as it has been revised over time from Bass’ (1985) original conceptualization and translation of Burns (1978) work.J.. honesty. authentic leadership theory stresses the idea of leading by example (i. social attraction. we expect authentic leaders to evoke followers’ self- concepts in the recognition that they share similar values with the leader. In contrast. Authentic leaders realize their ethical behavior sends a strong message to followers affecting what they attend to. We suggest that authentic leaders increase followers’ social identification by creating a deeper sense of high moral values and expressing high levels of honesty and integrity in their dealings with followers. Hogg argued that bas people identify more strongly within a group. Such leaders identify with their followers’ by leading from the front. which was to transform followers into leaders. and ultimately how they decide and behave. 191). commitment to the success of followers. 2003). which has oftentimes been associated with charismatic/transforma- tional leaders (Bass. a willingness to acknowledge their own limitations. The sharing of values does not necessarily presuppose a transformation of follower values. authentic leaders exemplify directness. and Brown (2000) suggests that leaders who are open are more effective in influencing others than those demonstrating coercive or persuasive leadership styles–characteristics associated with traditional transactional leadership theories. In summary. positivity and high ethical standards in terms of degree is far more central to authentic leadership theory. Specifically.2.. B. Work by Quinn.e.1. what they think. prototypical members are more likely to emerge as leaders. organization. and identity salience. which are values modeled through the leader’s and followers’ behavior.. and see membership in the group as an important aspect of their identity. such leaders are better able to grasp the moral implications of a given situation and keep their followers engaged over time for the benefit of the collective (e. Hogg (2001) proposed three core processes that operate in conjunction to make prototypicality an increasingly influential basis of leadership processes that are a function of increasing social identity: prototypicality. 1990). By reflecting on their own selves and others. feel pride in belonging. Avolio et al. and integrity. 2. Social identification Tajfel (1972) introduced the idea of social identity to refer to a process by which individuals identify with the group. Luthans and Avolio (2003) have noted that authentic leaders are guided by a set of end values that represent an orientation towards doing bwhat is right and fairQ for the leader and for their followers. and more prototypical leaders will be perceived to be more effectiveQ (p. even in the absence of incentives. evaluations. he defined social identity as bthe individual’s knowledge that he belongs to certain social groups together with some emotional and value significance to him [her] of this group membershipQ (p. and constantly emphasizing the growth of followers. More specifically. openness. transparency and a commitment to be . role modeling) through setting high moral standards. 292). / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 807 For example. Thus. Burns (1978) argued that leaders who activate intrinsic values instill in followers a desire to follow them. we argue that the focus on transparency. how they construct their own roles.

positive psychology. Harris. 1991. Snyder. team and organizational levels in today’s workplace. because hope is supported by theory and research to be a psychological capacity open to development through iterative processes. 2004). 2.. Thus. et al. Snyder.. are more cohesive. 2000b. Gardner (1993) wrote that bthe two tasks at the heart of the popular notion of leadership are goal setting and motivating–leaders point us in the right direction and tell us to get movingQ (p. since higher levels of commitment are associated with individuals whose personal self-concepts are tied to or identified with the mission and causes being pursued by their organizations (Shamir et al. For example. 2000.. 2002.. Snyder. Irving. The waypower (pathways) component represents one’s perceived capabilities at generating workable routes to attain desired goals (Snyder. Snyder. Luthans and Jensen (2002) have shown how hope can be developed at the individual. 2000b). 116). A closer look into the leadership literature reveals that hope has been a dominant feature in many leadership theories (Snyder & Shorey. Snyder.. Cheavans.. p. 287). Sigmon et al. 1993). Feldman. Bass (1998) noted that teams working under transformational leaders breorient their individual goals for the good of the team. & Adams. Taylor. 1991. Rand et al. 1991. 2002). Anderson. Snyder. Importantly. trust. Schroeder. our model proposes the next hurdle is to sustain this relationship in order to achieve positive organizational outcomes. 2002. and increase their focus on achieving their team goalsQ (p. Thus. .. 1997. beliefs. & Anderson. We should note that we associate identification with self-regulation. We suggest that authentic leaders can play a significant role in developing hope through identification with their followers. After the identification process is complete. we propose an integrated model that brings together constructs from the leadership.808 B. Irving. although agency and pathways thinking represent two distinct dimensions. and trust literatures for theoretical development. Authentic leadership and hope Hope is defined as ba positive motivational state that is based on an interactively derived sense of successful: (1) agency (goal-directed energy) and (2) pathways (planning to meet goals)Q (Snyder. Three important constructs that we believe are critical to building a long-term relationship between the leader and their followers are hope. 2002) recognizes hope theoretically and psychometrically as being both a dispositional and state-like positive psychological capacity. 2000a. / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 held accountable for their actions and reward honesty and integrity. & Sympson. The agency notion of willpower reflects the individual’s motivation and determination that goals can be achieved and a person’s belief that successful plans can be formulated to attain the goals (Snyder. and positive emotions. the question of how hope may be developed is important not only theoretically but also practically to provide guidance on how to maximize the identification with and attainment of personal and organizational goals. Although the theme of hope is central in most leadership models. Proposition 1. bthe force multiplier throughout history has often been attributed to the leader’s ability to generate hopeQ (p. Work by Snyder and colleagues (e. 253). Avolio et al. little is known about the processes by which leaders influence hope in their followers. Irving.J. Luthans and Avolio (2003) stated. Shorey et al. they are interrelated and operate in a combined and iterative manner to generate hope. Snyder. Rand et al. emotion.2. 2000a.g. 11). goals and activities that are identified with the leader over time. Holleran. Shorey et al. Such leadership behaviors enable followers to connect with their leaders and the values. Authentic leadership is positively related to followers’ (a) personal identification with the leader and (b) social identification with the collective.. Snyder.

2000a. Ruby. Proposition 2b. Cheavens. 2003. For example. 2004). Snyder. leader. Such leaders’ goals must be connected to followers’ self-structures for them to have powerful effects on followers’ attitudes and behavior (Lord & Brown.. by (a) maintaining high levels of commitment. a leader with a strong sense of pathways thinking sees obstacles as opportunities rather than threats. 2004). and the ability to cope with hardships and stress (Chang. 1994). we expect that hope will be positively related to followers’ attitudes and behaviors. 2004). including goal expectancies. 2000a. Avolio et al. especially during turbulent times. & Wiklund. and looks for alternative means to address them to achieve desired outcomes. B. & Walumbwa. Rand. such leaders can enhance followers’ hope by establishing not only their willpower. 2002. Personal identification by followers mediates the relationship between authentic leadership and hope. athletic and health performance outcomes. 2000). 2002. Shorey. sharing and transparency. Initial research on hope in organizations suggests that those who are hopeful are likely to be more motivated and engaged in positive psychological outcomes (Snyder et al. / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 809 According to Snyder and colleagues (e. & Rehm. Snyder. (2002) found evidence that firms with more hopeful human resources are more profitable. Similarly. . coach. rather than concentrating on whether communications are veridical or not (Shorey & Snyder. Moreover. High-hope authentic leaders are also viewed as more credible sources of input and feedback by their followers (Avolio et al. Proposition 2a. Cook. Luthans. Pulvers. 1997. Shorey. but also should have alternative pathways clearly determined so that when faced with obstacles they can revert to alternative courses of action (Luthans & Jensen. Thus. and provides the flexibility to change when appropriate (Kuhl. such leaders must identify with their followers as followers should with the leader and share their goals with them. subordinate retention. and (c) encouraging supportive inquiry. It has been suggested that as high-hope leadership becomes a known quantity within the organization.. the waypower dimension of hope suggests that high-hope leaders should not only have well formulated plans and goals. 2000b. 1997. Curry. and satisfaction outcomes than low-hope leaders. 2003). have higher retention rates. but also by including in their comments positive aspects of the waypower or directions to pursue that enhance a follower’s sense of self-efficacy (Avolio et al. Peterson and Luthans (2003) found that high-hope organizational leaders had significantly better work unit performance. and a number of positive psychological outcomes. 2000b. Social identification by followers mediates the relationship between authentic leadership behaviors and hope. VanWyk. Snyder. Snyder. Snyder. Because authentic leaders have the ability to remain realistically hopeful and trustworthy. positive affect. Adams. (b) communicating important and relevant information needed to make informed judgments. 2004). boss.J. and have greater levels of employee satisfaction and commitment. it provides a sense of security and trust that enables followers to focus their creative energies on goal- related endeavors. 2000). hope is instilled through prolonged interactions with consistently hopeful and responsive actors. we propose that for authentic leaders to have the greatest impact on followers’ hope.. Snyder. perceived control. For example. parent or another key figure in one’s life (Snyder. 1994). based on theory and recent empirical evidence. Shorey.. Yang.. & Lewin. authentic leaders are able to enhance followers’ hopefulness. teacher.g. However. Snyder et al. Adams et al. This is important because self- relevance of goals is likely to help one focus one’s mental activities. Lopez. & Feldman. Such an actor could be a caregiver. Onwuegbuzie & Snyder. Hope has also been found to be positively related to academic. That is. 2004). 1998.

The term commensurability describes the degree to which the members of the dyad share self-aspects. hope and trustworthiness as aspects of their ideal selves than would be the case if they have only two of these ideal self-aspects in common. Authentic leaders build benevolence and integrity with their followers by encouraging totally open communication.. Mayer et al. 395). Blau. When both members of the dyad share a common self-aspect. Moreover.e. Hope is positively related to followers’ work attitudes. integrity. and ability. identified three characteristics of a trustee that are critical for the development of trust: ability. (1995). engagement) and respect (i. We believe this proposition may help to explain how and why authentic leaders come to form trusting and . We also know from social exchange theory (i. 1994). According to Mayer et al. enhancing their levels of trust and willingness to cooperate with the leader for the benefit of the organization. benevolence. 2002). Avolio et al. Robins and Boldero (2003) propose that as the levels of congruence between dyadic partners’ actual. even to the extent of each side willingly going above and beyond the call of duty (Konovsky & Pugh. Authentic leadership and trust in the leader Trust has attracted considerable research attention in the last decade (Dirks & Ferrin.e. they enjoy increasingly high levels of intimacy. / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 Proposition 2c. even though both members may see themselves as trustworthy. sharing critical information. the result is a realistic social relationship arising from followers’ heightened levels of personal and social identification. Rousseau.J. a leader) characteristics such as honesty.3. and sharing their perceptions and feelings about the people with whom they work. Sitkin. encouraging diverse viewpoints) for followers. and that these inferences have consequences for work attitudes and behaviors (Dirks & Ferrin. engaging their followers. a leader’s) actual selves and self-guides. and integrity.’s notion of trust is the idea that a trustor attempts to draw inferences about the trustee’s (i. ought and ideal selves rise. and goal alignment. Work by Jung and Avolio (2000) suggests that leaders may build trust by demonstrating individualized concern (i.810 B. discrepancies may occur if differences exist in the level of that aspect present or desired. For example. 1964) that a realistic social relationship is likely to lead to gestures of goodwill being reciprocated. dependability..g..e.e. Burt and Camerer (1998) defined trust as a bpsychological state comprising the intention to accept vulnerability based upon positive expectations of the intentions or behavior of anotherQ (p.e. the best way to understand why a given party will have greater or lesser trust is to consider the attributes of the trustee (i. Implicit in Mayer et al. integrity. 2. fairness... and honesty. As a result. followers feel more comfortable and empowered to do the activities required for successful task accomplishment. trust. their actual selves are commensurate but discrepant. commensurability would be higher when both a leader and a follower share optimism.. For instance. a leader).g. 2002). a follower’s) actual selves and self-guides (ought and ideal selves) with his or her perceptions of another individual’s (e. Additional insight into the processes whereby authentic leaders build trusting relationships with followers is suggested by Robins and Boldero’s (2003) relational discrepancy theory.. if the leader sees herself as highly trustworthy and the member sees himself as only moderately trustworthy. Robins and Boldero extend Higgins’ (1987) self-discrepancy theory to dyads by exploring discrepancies that emerge from comparisons of a person’s (e. because authentic leaders exemplify high moral standards. which are in turn related to followers’ behavior. their favorable reputation fosters positive expectations among followers.

when individuals perceive a leader as lacking in honesty. which in turn will be related to positive behaviors. fairness. Avolio et al. 1996). & Whitener. 2000. trusting and cooperative relationship is not possible without authenticity and the self-awareness. values. such as intention to quit and performance (Dirks. This is surprising because many of the new theories of leadership such as charismatic and transformational leadership . Furthermore. they are more trusting and willing to engage in risk-taking behaviors (Mayer et al. 2001. Cantrell. and follower behaviors. Dirks & Ferrin. B. values. Conversely. which are in turn related to followers’ behavior. research has generally neglected the impact of everyday emotions on organizational lifeQ (p. and competence. To date. the foundations for trust and intimacy are established. we expect trust in leadership to be associated with followers’ positive attitudes.g. when followers believe in their leader’s ability. Notice. Results showed that a team’s trust in a leader had a significant effect on the team’s performance. Trust in leadership has also been found to be associated with follower attitudes. 1999. because they may be concerned about decisions that the leader might make and not want to put themselves at risk to the leader (Dirks & Ferrin. Brodt. if such insights reveal high levels of congruence between the attributes. For example. 1995). As they transparently convey their attributes. Thus. 2002). emotion represents a response or reaction to an event or person(s) (Weiss & Cropanzano. Ashforth and Humphrey (1995) noted that balthough the experience of work is saturated with emotion. Proposition 3c. such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment (Butler. positive or negative). For example. 1999) have found that trustworthy managerial behavior or trust in leadership is positively related to organizational citizenship behaviors. 2002). 2002).4. Dirks and Ferrin (2002) argued that because btrust involves beliefs about honesty. Podsakoff et al. integrity. 2. and transparent conveyance of one’s actual. that such an intimate. 2002.. and weaknesses to followers. 613– 614).. Dirks (2000) examined the effect of trust in leadership on the performance of NCAA basketball teams. Emotions There is no universally accepted definition of emotion because emotion is a constellation of related reactions (i. no one has attempted to develop a conceptual framework of leadership and followers’ emotional states (McColl-Kennedy & Anderson.e. Proposition 3a. Personal identification by followers mediates the relationship between authentic leadership and trust in the leader. and encourage them to do likewise. and the extent to which a leader will take advantage of the follower. it is likely to affect the extent to which individuals are willing to believe the accuracy of information they receive from that individualQ (pp. and that the leader understands who they are as well. the level of trust will deepen and a very close relationship will evolve. Trust is positively related to followers’ work attitudes. and aspirations of both parties. however. & Williams. Social identification by followers mediates the relationship between authentic leadership behaviors and trust in the leader. Pillai. Korsgaard. and benevolence. Considerable research evidence has demonstrated that trust in leadership is related to positive organizational outcomes (Dirks & Ferrin.J. studies (e. integrity. ought and ideal selves that accompany it. & Flick. self-acceptance. 1996). aspirations. they are more likely to consider quitting. 97). integrity.. Schriesheim. 2002). 2002.. Followers come to know what the leader values and stands for. Dirks & Ferrin. Proposition 3b. That is. / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 811 cooperative relationships with their followers.

what they own and are best at. managing our unruly feelings. Avolio et al. we are interested in how positive emotions evolve and how they can be developed and reinforced for maximum positive impact on leaders. authentic leaders can often alter followers’ thinking and behavior in ways that allow them to more effectively negotiate organizational challenges. On a more pragmatic level.g. social. 2001) have argued that the field of psychology has been too preoccupied with what is wrong with people and their weaknesses instead of asking questions about how people can build on strengths (e. which may ultimately influence the directions the individual pursues in terms of subsequent leadership development. stress. 1998. they build their physical. followers and their organizations.. and helping them find niches in which they can best live out these strengthsQ (p. keeping ourselves motivated. Gardner & Avolio. 2002. How do life’s tragedies transform people into leaders?). Sheldon & King. Emotions are important to the authentic leadership process because they provide people with invaluable information about their own self. 1991). other people. whose primary effects are exerted on followers’ cognitions and abilities. 2000. Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000) note: bit is about identifying and nurturing their strongest qualities.g. commitment. intellectual. To be clear. our focus in our proposed framework is on how positive emotions impact the relationship between authentic leaders and their followers. 2. 2001. 1985. George (2000) suggests that transformational leadership behaviors are associated with higher levels of emotional intelligence. satisfaction. and developing long-term plans and goals. Seligman. For example. Positive psychologists (e. performance. Fredrickson & Levenson. House. and psychological reserves or resources. 1998. work by Fredrickson and her colleagues (e. / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 emphasize the emotional attachment of followers to the leader (Bass. 2000. & Garland. 6). Similarly. as opposed to non-charismatic leaders. Woycke. Fredrickson. bringing into clearer focus alternative bpossible selvesQ that eventually may replace the current individual’s bactual selfQ and day to day working self-concepts (Lord & Brown. Fredrickson & Joiner. The idea to emphasize here and to be expanded upon in a more in-depth discussion of authentic leadership development is how both positive and negative moments and events can trigger deep change in an individual’s self-identity.. Specifically. and helping to develop good work-related . emotions can help individuals to develop more adaptive responses to setbacks and stressors that they face in their work environments. it has also been suggested that emotional awareness serves as a guide for fine-tuning on-the-job performance. including accurately gauging the feelings of those around us. By tapping into the rich information that emotions provide. 2004). These authors argue that as individuals discover new ideas and actions. and the various dynamic transactions that people share inside organizational environments (Lazarus. Feldman. and Fodor (1988) argued that what differentiates charismatic from non-charismatic leaders is that charismatic leaders have their major effects on the emotions and self-esteem of followers. Specifically. Authentic leadership and positive emotions Research suggests that positive emotions can predict positive human attitudes and behaviors. Thus. Brower.g. For example.5. 1998). 2001.. certain positive or negative emotional events can trigger in individuals a deep sense of self-reflection. encouraging them to discover novel lines of thought for action. Such altering of thinking and behavior may also provide clues to how emotions impact the authentic development of leadership. such as coping with adversity. Emrich.812 B.J. Thus. Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi. 1998) suggests that positive emotions broaden people’s thought action repertoires. and enable flexible and creative thinking.

which would broaden their thinking (Fredrickson. & Walumbwa. Rozell.J. persevere in the face of obstacles and difficulties. & Brown. Given the dominant role of leadership in the workplace (Redmond. Mathews. temporary. using a sample of sales representatives from Australia. / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 813 emotional skills (Zeidner. Social identification mediates the relationship between authentic leadership and positive emotions among followers. George & Zhou. McColl-Kennedy & Anderson. Gardner. & Dember. 2000. & Daus. and hence achieve superior performance and engage in fewer withdrawal behaviors (Peterson. B. and feel empowered. reported . because of the adaptive attributional styles of people who exhibit brealisticQ optimism. Spreitzer. Quinn. and performance (Brief & Weiss. which then will promote positive follower attitudes and behaviors. enhancing decision making. There is also evidence that positive affect is related to employee work-related attitudes. & Teach. Positive emotions positively impact followers’ work attitudes. Optimists tend to exhibit higher levels of work motivation. McColl- Kennedy & Anderson. Schneider. 1999). 2000. and in particular authentic leadership. they are more likely to remain committed. That is. 2001). we propose that authentic leadership will positively affect follower positive emotions through identification with leaders. satisfied. 2002. 1998. Reddy. Isen. 2002. and their organization. is leadership. performance. 2004. McColl-Kennedy and Anderson (2002). in turn elevating followers’ positive attitudes and behaviors. improving the well-being of organizations. Authentic leadership and optimism Seligman (1998) defined optimism as a cognitive process involving positive outcome expectancies and causal attributions that are external. 1998). followers. Wunderley. Authentic leaders create the conditions for higher trust and elicit positive emotions from followers. Gardner & Schermerhorn. 2004. Proposition 4a. Seligman. 2000. job satisfaction and morale. Nicholas. through positive identification between the leader. 2004. & Roberts.6. Fisher & Ashkanasy. which in turn elicit desirable follower work behaviors. Wanburg. and global for good or positive events. Proposition 4c. 1998). Thus. Avolio et al. 2002. who has not been labeled boptimisticQ. Luthans & Avolio. and experience both physical and mental invigoration (Seligman. engaged. 1997). 2000. 2000. Connolly & Viswesvaran. and ultimately building positive emotional states and high levels of engagement throughout the workforce. 2003. more direct links between authentic leadership and optimism have been suggested in the literature (Avolio et al. Authentic leaders are more likely to create positive feelings among followers and a sense of identification with the central purposes of the leader and/or organization. Weiss. 1998. Personal identification by followers mediates the relationship between authentic leadership and followers’ positive emotions.. 2001. Recently. one key situational factor that may have substantial impact on positive emotions. stable. 2. Mumford. 2002. analyze personal failures and setbacks as temporary. Erez & Isen. 1993). and in turn produce bleanerQ behaviors over time focused on value-added actions (Emiliani. motivation. 2004). As Luthans and Avolio (2003) assert. Proposition 4b. and specific in interpreting bad or negative events and internal. there is hardly an inspirational leader throughout history who made a positive difference in his or her organization or community. 1998). 2002.

2003). emotions. 2002. 2000). transformational) employ emotions to persuade their followers to engage in positive thinking in terms of developing both a positive vision and new ideas (Ashkanasy & Tse. 2004. / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 that transformational leadership was positively related to optimism. thus evoking positive emotions. the btask of the authentic leader is to raise optimism.7.. we suggest that one way authentic leaders can influence their followers’ optimism is to increase follower identification with the leader by modeling desired positive emotions. 1998. exchanges. 2000.g. 2002. Isen. Followers’ positive emotions are positively related to followers’ optimism. happiness. 2003). we chose to focus in this article on positive emotions (e. 2.g. 2005). or to be more specific.814 B. Avolio et al. there is evidence suggesting that positive emotions (as opposed to negative emotions) are linked to positive behaviors such as creativity. components. 1998. Summary of the model Our proposed model draws on and integrates existing theories and research on leadership. positive psychology. Fredrickson. Proposition 5a. & Nowicki. Fredrickson & Joiner. Proposition 5b. positive organizational behavior. stress. This issue is important to understanding the inner workings of authentic leadership and why followers of authentic leaders would be expected to be more optimistic and in turn demonstrate higher levels of commitment. mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and performance. 2004. We do this for two reasons. Moreover. . First. and classification of emotions. leading to realistic optimism. and interactions with followers from a positive perspective. Luthans & Avolio. which in turn influences followers’ behaviors. further discrimination between the theoretical framing of authentic leadership and existing models of leadership will be explored in the upcoming special issue of The Leadership Quarterly (Vol. 1987)—competencies that are required in today’s workplace.J. Issue 3. satisfaction. commitment. engagement... namely by first identifying with followers and then evoking followers’ positive emotions.g. and their outcomes. such leaders are able to interpret information. According to these authors. and ultimately followers’ positive attitudes and behaviors. because optimism can be acquired through modeling (Peterson. thereby establishing guidelines for future research.. and empowerment. Daubman. Optimism mediates the relationship between followers’ positive emotions and followers’ positive attitudes. We suggest here a two-step process mechanism by which authentic leaders influence followers’ optimism. 2001.Q Although this statement is consistent with the assertions made by Avolio and colleagues (e. Gardner and Schermerhorn (2004) succinctly state. love and joy) that occur frequently in the workplace. Avolio et al. the questions of the underlying process by which authentic leaders influence optimism. trust. coping with adversity. performance. motivation. Given a variety of perspectives on the nature. This suggestion is consistent with recent claims that authentic-like leaders (e. Work by Grossman (2000) also suggests that leaders who understand emotions appear to motivate followers to work more effectively and efficiently.. which in turn fosters positive attitudes and high levels of performance (Avolio et al. 2000). Fredrickson & Levenson. satisfaction. Our aim in this article is to focus on the process mechanisms by which authentic leaders influence followers’ attitudes and behaviors. social identity and identification. Luthans & Avolio. Some aspects of our proposed framework need to be further highlighted in this summary. Again. have not been addressed in the literature. 16. origins. and performance (Erez & Isen.

which was not the focus of the current article. as the dashed lines in Fig. and the strength-based approach (Buckingham & Clifton. the authentic leader–follower relationship.e. future research needs to explore what constitutes individual differences in authentic leadership. as expressed by its values. 1995). As stated by Avolio and colleagues (e. 1995). Finally. hope. . and organizational culture and climate. this approach is consistent with more established research approaches in positive psychology (Gardner et al. Conclusions and future research directions We offer several suggestions for future research. positive organizational behavior (e. Another critical issue that deserves research attention is how authentic leadership develops and evolves. it is also important to point out that we recognize there are key linkages among the intervening variables. 2000. 1996). subject to the forces that affect the system. leaders bare an integral part of the system. since each may influence one another.. we recommend that researchers incorporate a number of alternative research designs. However. 2001. Avolio et al. Seligman. 2000a. For example.. In the process leaders shape and are shapedQ (p. and politics may influence the effectiveness of authentic leadership. Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi. The constructs comprising our proposed model can be translated across levels as future theory builds on what constitutes authentic leadership and its development. and trust. because the theory and study of authentic leadership is still emerging. Weiss & Cropanzano. role models) and trigger events (i. 2002. norms. 1999. / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 815 Second.. organizational structure. family influences. 2002a. 2000b. the culture of an organization. . Similarly. emotional and hopeful behaviors are experienced not only as a result of early socialization. 3. early life challenges. 1). Luthans. which shifts attention to the positive attributes of people and their strengths. Buckingham & Coffman. they share some similarities (Farina et al. but as a consequence of social interaction with other persons (Snyder. it is possible that a condition of higher trust is likely to facilitate the development of more positive emotions..g. For example. optimism. Clearly. internal and external sources of turbulence that challenge the leader’s ability) in a leader’s life as potential antecedents to authentic leadership emergence... we recognize that many contextual factors also influence this process. 2001. As Gardner (1993) asserts. Luthans and Avolio (2003) proposed a leader’s personal history (i. 1 indicate. For example. although we recognize the need to identify the level at which authentic leadership occurs. Sheldon & King.g. positive emotions. Luthans & Avolio. Contextual factors that may be relevant to the study of the authentic leadership process may include organizational power and politics. 2003). 2003). By choosing the term authentic leadership development.. First. gender. we are of the view that considering only one level of analysis and excluding others can cause researchers to miss or improperly identify effects of this emerging leadership phenomenon (Yammarino & Dansereau. 2004. 2002). although the proposed model stresses the role of psychological states in the authentic leadership process. educational and work experiences.. 2003). Thus. although hope and emotions are theoretically and psychometrically distinct constructs. Luthans and Avolio (2003) argued . Clifton & Harter. shared authentic leadership and ultimately authentic organizational cultures. positive organizational scholarship (Cameron et al. Avolio et al. 2002b). 2004. For example. authentic leadership is a multifaceted construct and thus calls for multifaceted research designs.J.e. B. Snyder & Lopez. Our model proposes that authentic leadership influences followers’ attitudes and behaviors through the key psychological processes of identification. and away from becoming fixated on fixing weaknesses.

With respect to emotions. Lastly. p. Recent work on emotion as a group level phenomenon suggests that emotion can act as a catalyst for a variety of group-related outcomes. 1997. including task effectiveness. we believe that high levels of consistent commensurability are particularly conducive to the development of authentic leader–follower relationships. 2003. the deeper issues regarding authentic leadership development will need to be discussed in subsequent work on this topic. Importantly. group. Researchers could also pursue the effect of authentic leadership on emotions and trust at the individual. when actual selves provide the source of commensurability for a follower. cooperation and goal alignment will be highest for leaders and followers when their actual. he or she will conclude that bThe leader sees me as I really amQ (Robins & Boldero. 64) and experience feelings of cooperation and alliance. & Sonnenfeld. and that the challenge for the field of leadership is to improve on life’s program of leadership development. One particularly promising theoretical perspective for investigating the interrelationships of emotions. 1993). Robins and Boldero (2003) argue that this combination of actual selves and self-guides is especially likely to cause the partners to adopt leader and follower roles. Here again. Moreover. the follower will perceive that the leader bhas the same ideals and aspirations as meQ (p. 64) and interpersonal feelings of trust and intimacy are posited to emerge. Estrada. ought and ideal selves. but discrepancies in their actual selves. life is the most authentic leadership development process. making it more efficient. social identity and decision-making processes (Barsade. Of particular relevance to our focus on authentic leader–follower relationships are cases where dyadic partners experience congruence between their ought and ideal selves. relational discrepancy theory suggests that interpersonal trust.J. trust and authentic leader–member relationships is provided by Robins & Boldero’s (2003) relational discrepancy theory.g. Staw & Barsade. dyad. intimacy. and ameliorate any resultant emotional distress (e. Nevertheless. it might be interesting to examine the dynamics of emotions and trust and how they change over time as a result of authentic leadership. ought and ideal selves are congruent. and organizational levels and assess if the impact of authentic leadership might differ as a function of level of analysis. Turner. Isen. For example. will be influenced by the source of commensurability. Avolio et al. hope. 64). When ought selves serve as the source of commensurability. Ward. anxiety). hope. It is time that the field of leadership demands that all attempts at bdeveloping leadershipQ be authenticated. Recall that Robins and Boldero introduce the concept of commensurability to describe the cognitive appraisals dyadic partners make regarding their own and their partner’s actual..816 B. when ideal selves constitute the source of commensurability. future leadership work must bring to the foreground what constitutes leadership development by getting much closer to what actually develops people. creating interpersonal feelings of approval. understanding the moments that matter in life that accelerate authentic leadership development and recreating those moments may help to accelerate leadership development faster than life’s program. the party with the discrepant actual self can address the discrepancy. the follower will believe that the leader bhas the same standards as meQ (p. by moving from an bIQ (individual identity level) to a bweQ . since the two parties share similar ought and ideal selves. in effect. More importantly. their arguments apply directly to leader–member dyads. Thus. Central to their arguments is the notion that these appraisals. / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 that. and any resultant emotions. 2002. cost effective and perhaps less risky. By assuming the role of follower. and trust. & Young. as well as transparent portrayals and accurate perceptions of their actual selves. 2000. Barsade.

We believe that one contribution of this model is that it attempts to bring together several theories that have not been previously jointly connected to leadership. Researchers are encouraged to take greater care in clarifying exactly what commitment. The context is by no means a fixed entity and indeed is quite dynamic. 1999). Consider. 1999). They concluded that these two different leadership referents are likely to show systematically different trust relationships with antecedents and work outcomes. Chirkov. as well as their effects on follower work attitudes and behavior. 2004. Of course. observed that researchers have either focused on trust in a leader (i. Finally. Dirks and Ferrin (2002). awareness and nature of the leader and follower at any one point in time. satisfaction. In a truly authentic relationship. As we know. to better understand the impact of authentic leaders on followers’ attitudes and behaviors. such as self-concordance (Sheldon & Elliot. supervisor) or focused on organizational leadership (i. senior leadership). 2001) and value congruence (Jung & Avolio. while simultaneously helping the follower to grow by developing a more optimistic outlook. foster different identities and moderate the authentic leader’s effects (Kark & Shamir. as well as across time. the more optimistic partner is likely to emerge as the leader. Ryan. Elliot. Wu et al. Meglino. and trust have been defined and operationalized differently.. & Halpin. Additionally. in reviewing the literature on trust in leadership. By integrating context into our understanding of the authentic leadership process.e.. while the less optimistic partner cognitively addresses the actual–ideal self-discrepancy. The preceding example illustrates well the potential utility of relational discrepancy theory as a framework for further explicating the proposed model’s linkages between authentic leadership and follower trust. by coming to see himself or herself as a member of an optimistic team. 1999. there will a greater opportunity to control for any contextual nuisances and thus enhance the predictability of any leadership model. Schwartz. . we believe the leader will understand and accept the follower as a less optimistic partner. empowerment. commitment. empowerment. / The Leadership Quarterly 15 (2004) 801–823 817 (interpersonal or collective identity level) orientation (Lord & Brown. 2003). Schriesheim (1979) argued that leadership behavior is expected to have a greater impact on satisfaction with supervisor and satisfaction with work than say satisfaction with co-workers. in general. with the exception of task engagement. Avolio et al. depression). Zaccaro. varying depending on the experience. when incorporating context in future models of authentic leadership. Ravlin... there is still a need for a greater theoretical integration between authentic leadership and other process variables. but one is much more optimistic than the other. Lord et al. As mentioned. 2004.. hope and emotion. For example. it will be necessary to incorporate the context that is the remembered or historical context. Under these circumstances. and lessens any associated negative emotions (e. 2000. optimism. and satisfaction they are measuring because leader behavior might have a stronger impact on some than on others.J. the current/emerging context. including those that can be shaped by the leader and those that are not within a leader’s control. for example. Kim. 1991. the case where both partners value optimism as an ideal. and authentic leadership in particular. Sheldon & Houser- Marko. B. We have proposed a framework of the authentic leadership process that is only a very preliminary attempt at explaining the underlying mechanisms by which authentic leaders influence followers’ positive attitudes and behaviors. & Adkins. a word of caution is necessary in studying the employee affect variables in our proposed framework. Sheldon. A more thorough understanding is needed of whether different contextual factors. 2002). and the future/ possible context.g.e. the influence of context cannot be overlooked in the study of authentic leadership and for that matter leadership development in general (Day.

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