Authentic leadership: Development and validation of a theory-based measure

Fred O. Walumbwa, Bruce J. Avolio, William L. Gardner, Tara S. Wernsing, Suzanne J. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1587 Scopus citations


This study developed and tested a theory-based measure of authentic leadership using five separate samples obtained from China, Kenya, and the United States. Confirmatory factor analyses supported a higher order, multidimensional model of the authentic leadership construct (the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire [ALQ]) comprising leader self-awareness, relational transparency, internalized moral perspective, and balanced processing. Structural equation modeling (SEM) demonstrated the predictive validity for the ALQ measure for important work-related attitudes and behaviors, beyond what ethical and transformational leadership offered. Finally, results revealed a positive relationship between authentic leadership and supervisor-rated performance. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-126
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Authentic leadership
  • Construct validation
  • Leadership development
  • Measurement development


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