Bestowing Authentic Leadership: A Comparative Study of Two Organisations in Ghana

Justice Owusu-Bempah


Bestowing authentic leadership (AL) by leaders and followers in organisations involve the subjective
interpretation of the meanings and understandings given to the construct. The likely implication here is that
evaluations of the AL construct may vary in different settings. Therefore, the leaders’ and followers’ constructs
of authentic leadership in a public and a private organisation in Ghana were documented and compared using Q
methodology. Thirty leaders and followers in each of the two organisations sorted selected statements about
authentic leadership. Three factors or types of authentic leadership were identified and named for each of the
two settings yielding six different perceptions of authentic leadership. While these results suggest that authentic
leadership is idiosyncratic, further analysis showed that some attributes of authentic leadership were common to
the organisations. The study concluded that in defining authenticity in leadership in the organisations used for
this study in Ghana the following characteristics cannot be overlooked: leader goal orientedness, good listening,
leader respect for followers, objectivity and justice, inspirational teaching and leader commitment, God fearing,
leader fairness, and leader flexibility. This implies that in designing leadership training programs for
organisational success, these attributes, if incorporated could prove helpful.

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