Exploring Authentic Leadership in Organizations: A Case of Public Hospitals in Switzerland

Schaefler, Demet (2022) Exploring Authentic Leadership in Organizations: A Case of Public Hospitals in Switzerland. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/LL32Y7B7

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This thesis aims to explore Authentic Leadership (AL) in organizations. The extant research suggests inter alia that AL should contain a social process (i.e., behavior, values, and collective capabilities) to form a reciprocal collaboration, which should maximize the engagement of stakeholders, toward the achievement of a goal. However, as an overarching category for positive leadership, AL and its strategies are scarcely researched. One area of inquiry that needs attention is to study the AL mechanisms whereby dysfunctional behavior between leaders can be resolved (Gardner et al., 2021). Within this scope of inquiry, this thesis explores AL in Swiss public-sector hospitals that are often recognized as organizations where dysfunctional behavior results in asymmetric collaboration within the executive boards. Studying the social process of AL within executive boards, i.e., the transformation of asymmetric board collaborations into reciprocal authentic ones, reveals the contextual manifestation of AL as a dominant substantive AL strategy. Hence, the main research question of this thesis is “How does Authentic Leadership manifest within executive boards of Swiss public-sector hospitals?” Constructivist Grounded Theory Methodology was adopted to answer this question, and the major concerns executive board leaders in Swiss public-sector hospitals face and how they resolve them were researched. Twenty in-depth formal interviews and thirtyfive informal conversations were conducted. The exploration of “how AL manifests in this empirical context” led to the emergence of Power Channeling (PC), the dominant substantive AL strategy within executive boards. PC is the authentic process of social impact to form reciprocal collaborations, which maximizes the engagement of executive leaders, toward the achievement of a goal. It contains the triggers of asymmetries sorted into causes: facing prima donna, goal setting dilemma, facing power; and conditions: facing regulations, facing momentous change. To continuously resolve asymmetries and ensure reciprocal collaboration to achieve common goals, five PC tactics were used: acclimatizing (i.e., PC to shape the “climate”); collaborating (i.e., PC to develop the behavioral dialect); committing (i.e., PC to commit for common goals), unifying (i.e., PC to transform from lone fighters to united members); and influencing (i.e., PC to sensitize employees for common goals). PC is characterized by temporary, spasmodic, perpetual, and latent dynamics. The emergent substantive theory of PC reveals new and original knowledge about AL mechanisms and enhances the discourse on AL.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Turcan, Romeorturcan@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Uncontrolled Keywords: Power channeling; Authentic leadership; Swiss healthcare sector; Reciprocal collaboration; Constructivist Grounded Theory; Triggers of asymmetries
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > HD58 Organizational behavior, change and effectiveness. Corporate culture
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5549 Personnel management. Employment management
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Gloucestershire Business School
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business & Technology
Depositing User: Kamila Niekoraniec
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2023 15:41
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2023 15:41
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/12898

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