To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Authentic leadership and meaningfulness at work: Role of employees' CSR perceptions and evaluations

Richa Chaudhary (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Patna, Patna, Bihar, India)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 19 February 2020



This study aims to examine whether, how, and when authentic leadership shapes followers' perceptions of meaningfulness at work. Using authentic leadership theory, we posit that authentic leadership leads to more favorable perceptions of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which, in turn, results in enhanced experiences of meaningfulness at work. In addition to studying authentic leadership as a driver of CSR perceptions, and hence meaningfulness, we also examine if followers' attributions of self-centered motives to organizational engagement in CSR moderates the above relationship.


In all, 368 employees from Indian IT industry participated in the survey. Data were analyzed using Process (Hayes 2013) in SPSS.


Results supported the hypothesized moderated mediation model by revealing that attribution of self-centered motives undermines the positive impact of authentic leadership on CSR perceptions, and, subsequently, meaningfulness.

Practical implications

By presenting CSR as a source of meaningfulness at work, this study establishes CSR as an important tool for fostering employee well-being. The internal corporate communication should emphasize how CSR activities of the organization represent core organizational values and organization’s genuine concern for the society.


The study adds to the leadership literature and integrates it with a divergent discipline of CSR by signifying the role of authentic leadership in the CSR process. By presenting a refined analysis of CSR in a developing country, this research expands the understanding of the expression of CSR in markets outside the developed core.



The author would like to thank Ms. Anuja Akhouri for assistance in data collection.


Chaudhary, R. (2020), "Authentic leadership and meaningfulness at work: Role of employees' CSR perceptions and evaluations", Management Decision, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited