Personal factor effects on authentic leadership

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 27, issue 1, 2017 , pages: 47–53
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2016.1268291
Author(s): Martina KotzéUFS Business School, South Africa, Petrus NelDepartment of Industrial Psychology, South Africa


This study explored the relationship between authentic leadership and personal factors of emotional intelligence (EI), personality, cognitive abilities and gender. The convenience sample of respondents included 341 employees, and prospective students in an advanced leadership education programme at a South African Business School. The respondents completed measures on authentic leadership, emotional intelligence, personality and cognitive ability. The data were analysed by applying regression analysis to predict self-perceived authentic leadership from EI, personality attributes, cognitive abilities and gender. Findings suggest that one EI dimension (Self-awareness) and four personality attributes, namely, Emotionally Controlled, Evaluative, Independent Minded, and Adaptable predicted authentic leadership. Authentic leadership is associated with individuals who are seen as credible and aware of how they think and behave. Therefore, such individuals have various self-reflective attributes and advanced emotional capabilities.

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