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The role of HEXACO in the development of authentic leadership and its consequences on task performance

Muhammad Faisal Malik (Department of Management Sciences, SZABIST, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Qurat-ul-Ain Burhan (Department of Management Sciences, SZABIST, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Muhammad Asif Khan (SZABIST, Islamabad, Pakistan)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 31 January 2023

Issue publication date: 8 March 2023




The objectives of the current study were to identify the antecedents and outcomes of authentic leadership. For antecedents, the research considered the HEXACO (Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, eXtraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Openness to Experience) personality model and thereby identified the impact of authentic leadership on employee performance with the mediating role of psychological safety and employee engagement by using the trait theory.


The current study adopted a positivism research philosophy followed by a deductive approach. Overall, 347 samples were collected from the public sector organizations using quantitative research techniques, and data were gathered through a self-administrated questionnaire. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used through structural equation modeling (SEM)-Mplus to generate the results and test the formulated hypotheses.


The results revealed that honesty-humility significantly impacts authentic leadership (β = 0.094 and p < 0.05). Similarly, other dimensions of HEXACO also play a significant role in forming authentic leadership. After analyzing the HEXACO as the antecedent of authentic leadership, sequential mediation of psychological safety and employee engagement was checked and identified that authentic leadership in the presence of mediators was insignificant. Hence the full mediation has been recorded.


Since its inception, a plethora of research has been available on the authentic leadership theory. However, the empirical evidence revealed that most research is related to outcomes of authentic leadership. As far as antecedents of authentic leadership are concerned, the literature is still silent, specifically on the development of authentic leaders. The current study is significantly contributing to the theory of authentic leadership, and in this context, the study is unique since it is taking the HEXACO personality model as an antecedent of authentic leadership to investigate its role in the development of authentic leaders. Moreover, the study is also identified as the impact of authentic leadership on task performance, not in isolation, but by taking psychological safety and employee engagement as a mediating mechanism.



Funding information: The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.

Hereby, I, Dr Muhammad Faisal Malik on behalf of my Co-Authors consciously assure that (1) this material is the authors' own original work, which has not been previously published elsewhere. (2) The paper is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere. (3) The paper reflects the authors' own research and analysis in a truthful and complete manner. (4) The paper properly credits the meaningful contributions of co-authors and co-researchers. (5) The results are appropriately placed in the context of prior and existing research. (6) All sources used are properly disclosed (correct citation). Literally copying of text must be indicated as such by using quotation marks and giving proper reference. (7) All authors have been personally and actively involved in substantial work leading to the paper and will take public responsibility for its content.

The violation of the Ethical Statement rules may result in severe consequences.I agree with the above statements and declare that this submission follows the policies of Solid State Ionics as outlined in the Guide for Authors and in the Ethical Statement.

Conflict of interest: The author(s) have no conflicts of interest to declare. All co-authors have seen and agree with the contents of the manuscript, and there is no financial interest to report. We certify that the submission is original work and is not under review at any other publication.


Malik, M.F., Burhan, Q.-u. and Khan, M.A. (2023), "The role of HEXACO in the development of authentic leadership and its consequences on task performance", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 44 No. 1, pp. 52-71.



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