Authentic leadership, Daoist leadership, Alpha male leadership, Social dominance orientation, Multiculturalism
Background and Purpose: The purpose of the current study was to assess the degree to which followers view authentic leadership as viable. Prior research has suggested that authentic leaders are multiculturally competent and effective in the workplace. For authentic leadership to thrive, it will help to better understand followers’ attitudes towards it. We investigated followers’ attitudes towards authentic leaders along with other influential leadership styles. Additionally, we sought to further an individual difference perspective concerning how followers view their leaders. We examined the relationship between followers’ level of social dominance orientation and their attitudes towards authentic leaders.
Materials and Methods: We recruited 117 United States participants from Amazon Mechanical Turk. Participants read three prototypical descriptions of alpha male, Daoist (an Eastern style), and authentic leaders. They provided likability and competence ratings for each leader and then completed a measure of social dominance orientation.
Results: We assessed whether participants found the authentic leader viable compared to the Daoist and alpha male leaders. The data indicated that the authentic leader was more preferred than the alpha male leader but less preferred than the Daoist leader. We found that authentic leaders were rated most competent and more likable than alpha male leaders, but just as likable as Daoist leaders. Additionally, the higher a participant’s level of social dominance orientation the less positive their attitudes towards communal leaders.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that followers view authentic leadership as a viable alternative to existing paradigms of leadership. Followers appear to find authentic leadership and Daoist leadership, both communal styles, more preferable than alpha male leadership. We argue that followers with a general desire for inequality between social groups will tend to have more negative attitudes towards authentic and Daoist leadership. Our results contribute to the field of leadership psychology by expanding our knowledge of the personal characteristics predicting leadership preferences.
Social Behavior Research and Practice - Open Journal
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Romager JA, Hughes K, Trimble JE. Personality traits as predictors of leadership style preferences: Investigating the relationship between social dominance orientation and attitudes towards authentic leaders. Soc Behav Res Pract Open J. 2017; 3(1): 1-9. doi: 10.17140/SBRPOJ-3-110
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