Authentic leadership: A review of the literature and research agenda

William L. Gardner, Claudia C. Cogliser, Kelly M. Davis, Matthew P. Dickens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

483 Scopus citations


The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in scholarly interest in the topic of authentic leadership. We review this literature with the goal of clarifying the state of knowledge in the field. We begin with a historical overview of the construct's definition and evolution. Next, we present the results of a content analysis of 91 publications that focus on authentic leadership. Specifically, we examined the publication type (theoretical, empirical, and practitioner), contributors (e.g., discipline, nationality, and institutional affiliation), theoretical foundations, research strategies, sample location/type, data collection methods, analytical procedures, and nomological network of authentic leadership. We conclude by presenting an agenda for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1120-1145
Number of pages26
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Authentic leadership
  • Authenticity
  • Content analysis


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