Authenticating nonprofit leader behavior styles: An investigative report on authentic leadership, leader behavior styles, and follower job satisfaction within nonprofit organizations
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This is a critical moment in history for nonprofit organizations. As the number of nonprofits in the U.S. continue to rise, so will the number of top leadership roles within have to be filled. With a culture of generally having to do more with fewer resources, many have contemplated where tomorrow's nonprofit leaders will come from. No one truly knows the exact number of leaders this sector will require in the future, while some have predicted large numbers, others don't believe the deficit will be too extreme. The Bridgespan Group (2006) conducted a survey that addressed the above, concluding, the leader deficit would be large based on newly created roles within nonprofits, vacancies due to Baby Boomer retirements, and a lack of resources by nonprofits to retain top talent. Soon after the release of their white paper, others refuted their findings. Generally, others did not believe the leadership gap would be as bad as predicted based on the sector being used to maximizing their resources, talent from the corporate sector transitioning into the nonprofit sector, and the belief that donor support will continue to rise year after year. Regardless of the above and which side you believe in terms of how many nonprofit sector leaders will be required in the near or far, engaging in this dialogue is important. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (2016) more than 1.5 million nonprofits exists in the U.S., they account for more than 9% of wages and salaries in the U.S., and GDP is more than 5% from nonprofits in the U.S. The Bridgespan Group's work highlighted the phenomenon of the nonprofit leader deficit and offered potential solutions to what type of leaders the nonprofit industry could benefit from in the future. They recommended identifying nonprofit leaders who possess functional business skills, and identifying candidates based on those who show cultural affinity towards an organization's mission (organizational fit based on candidates' experience interacting with mission-driven organizations). Their methodology consisted of an informal survey with complete responses from 433 nonprofit senior executives in the best position to answer questions regarding senior manager hiring within nonprofits. Along with adding to the overall body of research geared towards the nonprofit sector, this study contributed to the leadership literature by increasing the number of quantitative studies from the follower perspective, and adds to the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire's continued validation efforts. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between followers' perception of Authentic Leadership behaviors and followers' perception of Consideration Emphasis and Production Emphasis behaviors at nonprofit organizations, and to examine the relationship between followers' perception of Authentic Leadership behaviors and followers' self-rated Job Satisfaction within nonprofit organizations. Authentic Leadership was measured via the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (ALQ), developed by Avolio, Gardner, and Walumbwa (2007). Heuermanand and Olson (1997) defined authenticity in leaders as those with personal values that translate into action to build trust with followers. Determining whether nonprofit leaders utilized a Consideration Emphasis and/or a Production Emphasis in the nonprofit work environment was rated using the Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire Form XII (LBDQ-XII), developed by Stodgill (1963). Leaders who employ a consideration approach can be viewed as those who support and develop their employees, while those with a production emphasis are said to focus on initiating structure within the workplace. Judge, Piccolo, and Ilies (2004) found leader performance as the main effect (predictor) to come out of consideration and initiating structure studies. Nonprofit employee job satisfaction was measured using the Abridged Job Descriptive Index (AJDI) and the Abridged Job in General (AJiG) scales. The AJDI and The AJiG scales were provided by Bowling Green State University (2009). A series of multiple regressions, some leading to the need for running ANOVAs with post hocs, were conducted to determine if there is a relationship between the authentic leadership constructs (self awareness, transparency, moral/ethical, balanced processing), the leader behavior descriptor constructs of consideration and production emphasis, and employee job satisfaction.
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