There is not a common, agreed upon definition of authentic leadership. There are varying opinions as to whether authenticity is a trait or a style; however, most scholars believe authenticity is a purpose and value based characteristic (Gardner, Cogliser, Davis, & Dickens, 2011) that is developed over time (George, 2003). Transparency is a core concept of authentic leadership, and situational awareness is a critical skill for leaders to determine the degree of transparency that they should demonstrate. There is limited theoretical and empirical research on how transparency and self-monitoring can be used in conjunction with situational leadership and situational awareness theory. This study measures the impact of a leader's expression of transparency on follower's confidence in his or her ability with consideration of a number of covariates. The findings of this study are intended to help advance authentic leadership theory with specific focus on situational awareness and transparency as core concepts of authenticity. Implications are discussed on the advancement of leadership theory, authentic leadership, and transparency as a core concept of authenticity. Data collection used Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) and yielded 1,006 global participants who met the inclusion criteria. In general, higher degrees of leadership transparency yield higher levels of follower confidence. Situation can impact how expressions of transparency impact follower confidence. Thus, situational awareness and situational leadership are critical competencies for leaders to use transparency effectively. Leader-Member Exchange does not, generally, moderate the relationship between a leader's transparency and his or her follower's confidence. There was statistical significance in the difference in responses between confidence. There was statistical significance in the difference in responses between geographies, but there were not statistically significant differences in the results when considering gender, years of work experience, education, age, and race in the US.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (Ph.D.) -- Global leadership and change; Authenticity (Philosophy); Leadership; Transparency

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

McManus, John F.;