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Title: Authenticity in leadership in the cultural context of Saudi Arabia
Author: Algarni, Mohammad
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 5766
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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Recent theory development in the field of leadership has focused on authentic leadership (Anderson et al., 2016). Authentic leadership is built on the concept of authenticity, which is about being real and true to oneself (Boyraz, 2014). Despite authentic leadership still being in its infancy both conceptually and empirically, a large increase in research within western cultures has emerged. However, very little is known about how it is viewed and how it works within non-western cultures (Li et al., 2014). This study addresses this significant gap and explores how Saudi leaders and followers perceive the concept of authenticity and how their perceptions of leadership are shaped by a cultural perspective. An exploratory qualitative study was undertaken using semi-structured interviews. 36 participants (18 leaders and 18 followers from 18 organisations) were interviewed within six different private sector industries in Saudi Arabia. This study takes a social constructivist view and uses an inductive design in order to give a better understanding of authenticity in leadership in a non-western culture (Gulf Cooperation Council GCC cultures), specifically within the Saudi context. This research finding conceptualise authenticity in leadership based on Islamic and Saudi perspectives, with eight distinct behaviours and practices of authenticity in leadership. It furthermore identifies the challenges and obstacles of applying authenticity in leadership within a Saudi culture. Additional findings illuminate the influence of organisational culture on authenticity in leadership and the relationship between authenticity in leadership and followership. The study yields a number of contributions. The impact of religion in general, and Islam in particular, on authenticity in leadership is a theoretical contribution to the extant body of literature concerned with authenticity in leadership. Methodologically, this study is one of few that explores authenticity qualitatively.
Supervisor: Ashleigh, Melanie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available