Authenticity in leadership is an old phenomenon that has recently sparked a new research interest in management and the human resource development (HRD) literature (Peus, Wesche, Streicher, Braun, & Frey, 2012). An upswing in highly publicized corporate scandals, management malfeasance, and broader societal challenges facing public and private organizations has contributed to the recent attention placed on authenticity and authentic leadership (Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, & Peterson, 2008). Authentic leadership behavior allows leaders and organizations meet the raised expectations of fairness, morality, and social responsibility held by employees and organizational stakeholders (Kiersch, 2012).

The primary purpose of this study was to explore how authentic leadership behavior influences employee engagement (Luthans & Avolio, 2003) and ethical culture (Brown & Trevino, 2006) in Nigerian organizations. Data from 457 respondents in three Nigerian organizations was analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling to test four hypotheses that explored the relationships between authentic leadership, employee engagement, and ethical culture. All hypotheses were supported, indicating support for the hypothesized model in this study and demonstrating the positive association between authentic leadership, employee engagement, and ethical culture. This study offered several implications for both research and practice and made significant recommendations for future research.

Date of publication

Fall 12-19-2016

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Dr. Greg Wang, Dr. Sherry Jackson, Dr. Judy Sun, and Dr. Venugopal Gopalakrishna-Remani


Doctor of Human Resource Development