International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss


A Critique of the Discourse of Authentic Leadership
Rita A. Gardiner

This article considers the new management discourse of authentic leadership is deeply problematic because it fails to take into account how social and historical circumstances affect a person’s ability to be a leader. It examines some of the arguments made by proponents of authentic leadership theory, and contrasts these claims about authenticity with Hannah Arendt’s concept of uniqueness, as well as considering Heidegger’s notion of authenticity as resoluteness. It also looks at the ways in which authentic leadership fails to address issues related to power and privilege by looking specifically at how silence operates. The author argues that it is vital to consider how authenticity manifests itself differently depending upon a person’s place in the world, and looks at how silence influences notions of autonomy, and a person’s ability to take up space within the public sphere.

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