Advanced

Paradoxes of authentic leadership: Leader identity struggles

Nyberg, Daniel and Sveningsson, Stefan LU (2014) In Leadership 10(4). p.437-455
Abstract
Using in-depth interview material, this article explores the socially constructed and locally mediated nature of authentic leadership. The findings illustrate an irony of authentic leadership: while leaders claim that it is their true and natural selves that make them good leaders; simultaneously, they must restrain their claimed authenticity in order to be perceived as good leaders. This generates tensions that undermine the construction of a more stable and coherent leader identity. The study finds that in order to resolve these tensions, the managers develop metaphorical selves-Mother Teresa, messiah and coach-as a way of trying to accommodate conflicting identity claims while remaining true to the idea of themselves as authentic... (More)
Using in-depth interview material, this article explores the socially constructed and locally mediated nature of authentic leadership. The findings illustrate an irony of authentic leadership: while leaders claim that it is their true and natural selves that make them good leaders; simultaneously, they must restrain their claimed authenticity in order to be perceived as good leaders. This generates tensions that undermine the construction of a more stable and coherent leader identity. The study finds that in order to resolve these tensions, the managers develop metaphorical selves-Mother Teresa, messiah and coach-as a way of trying to accommodate conflicting identity claims while remaining true to the idea of themselves as authentic leaders exercising good leadership. These findings contribute to a constructed, situational and contested notion of leadership by showing how authenticity is an existential project of 'essentialising' fragmented and conflicting selves. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Authentic leadership, metaphors, discourse, identity, social, construction
in
Leadership
volume
10
issue
4
pages
437 - 455
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • wos:000342232900003
  • scopus:84907076554
ISSN
1742-7169
DOI
10.1177/1742715013504425
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4c6cd085-70c3-4fc2-b08b-cf9a8f4dfbca (old id 4803744)
date added to LUP
2014-11-26 13:22:54
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:43:50
@article{4c6cd085-70c3-4fc2-b08b-cf9a8f4dfbca,
  abstract     = {Using in-depth interview material, this article explores the socially constructed and locally mediated nature of authentic leadership. The findings illustrate an irony of authentic leadership: while leaders claim that it is their true and natural selves that make them good leaders; simultaneously, they must restrain their claimed authenticity in order to be perceived as good leaders. This generates tensions that undermine the construction of a more stable and coherent leader identity. The study finds that in order to resolve these tensions, the managers develop metaphorical selves-Mother Teresa, messiah and coach-as a way of trying to accommodate conflicting identity claims while remaining true to the idea of themselves as authentic leaders exercising good leadership. These findings contribute to a constructed, situational and contested notion of leadership by showing how authenticity is an existential project of 'essentialising' fragmented and conflicting selves.},
  author       = {Nyberg, Daniel and Sveningsson, Stefan},
  issn         = {1742-7169},
  keyword      = {Authentic leadership,metaphors,discourse,identity,social,construction},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {437--455},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {Leadership},
  title        = {Paradoxes of authentic leadership: Leader identity struggles},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1742715013504425},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2014},
}