An Understanding for Authentic Leadership

Simon Ørum Pedersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The focus of this thesis is on the concept of Authentic Leadership perceived from the context of Danish organizations. It is through the scope of the thesis concluded that the authentic leader has a series of advantages which include a stronger will to follow and act under this leader, ensuring that decision-making and productivity is efficient. This is achieved by the leader assuming the role of a human being who leads from the basis of being an individual with advantages and flaws, rather than the role of a skilled expert. the skillset necessary to make use of Authentic Leadership is mostly obtained through leadership experience. The reasons for this are found to be due to the circumstance that all organizations are different, and in consequence has a need for specific kinds of leadership, which can be due to traditions or the composition of the organization’s workforce. Therefore it is concluded that one of the main paths towards learning the skillset needed to operate as an authentic leader, is to be able to reflect on oneself and ones position in the organization and relate it to the social understanding which continues to grow on the basis of the leaders accumulated social interactions throughout his/her life or career. In consequence the leader will have to rely on experience in order to assess what and how to lead in a given organization. The results are supported by empirical studies in the form of interviews with high level management in Danish organizations, where the interviewees report relying on their own personal experiences to ensure that their respective teams of experts perform at the highest and most effective level possible. The empirical studies are compared to, and viewed in the light of, several relevant leadership theories and is thereby put into context in the world of theoretical leadership. Lastly the development of the authentic leadership skills are framed by performing an analysis with the point of origin in relevant teachings by Plato and Søren Kierkegaard

EducationsMSc in Psychology, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages97