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Leaders’ well-being – antecedent or consequence of authentic leadership?

Xenia Bolschakow (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany)
Thomas Rigotti (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany)
Kathleen Otto (Philipps-University Marburg, Marburg, Germany)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 11 May 2023

Issue publication date: 13 June 2023

704

Abstract

Purpose

The benefits of authentic leadership for followers have been thoroughly researched, but the effects on leaders’ well-being remain unclear. To address this research gap, the authors hypothesized reciprocal relationships between authentic leadership and work engagement as well as emotional exhaustion.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses were tested in a German sample with leaders from different work sectors using a cross-lagged panel design with a time lag of 14 months (N = 137 at T1; N = 217 at T2).

Findings

Well-being significantly predicted leaders’ engagement in authentic leadership at the second measurement point, whereas the reciprocal relationships were not significant.

Research limitations/implications

Drawing on the Conservation of Resources Theory, possible processes underlying the observed impact of leaders’ well-being on their leadership behavior are discussed. The present research provides evidence that well-being constitutes a crucial basic resource for leaders to engage in constructive leadership behaviors such as authentic leadership.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature by uncovering the causal order linking authentic leadership and leaders’ health.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The study was supported by Grant F 2199 in the context of NEW OSH ERA (New and Emerging Risks in Occupational Safety and Health) within the sixth European framework (ERA-NET scheme).

Citation

Bolschakow, X., Rigotti, T. and Otto, K. (2023), "Leaders’ well-being – antecedent or consequence of authentic leadership?", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 44 No. 3, pp. 423-436. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-08-2022-0358

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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