How Self-reflections Helps Leaders in Developing their Followers: A Thematic Analysis

Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Research in Business, Management and Economics

Year: 2022



How Self-reflections Helps Leaders in Developing their Followers: A Thematic Analysis

Tereza Kicková, Petra Sofia Horňáková



Authentic leadership has been in the focus of researchers for almost the last two decades, thanks to its perception as valuable organizational resource. Numerous studies have explored the impact of authentic leadership on different employee areas, such as their well-being, creativity, effectiveness, or work engagement. However, little attention has been paid to exploring the relationship between the four components of authentic leadership themselves – self-awareness, relational transparency, balanced decision-making, and internalized moral perspective.  The aim of this work is to examine which of these four components have the strongest link with leaders’ ability to lead others. In the pursuit of this, a total of 10 leaders from different sectors in the Czech Republic were interviewed based semi-structured scripts. Thematic analysis was then performed, utilizing the MAXQDA 2018 software to code and categorize the data. Six themes in leadership behaviour, in particular people development, were identified and described. The findings suggest that self-reflection is a crucial aspect of authentic leadership, strengthening leaders’ ability to lead others. Empathy and perception of leading others as a priority also stood out as having a strong link to leadership abilities. Based on these findings, we consider the limitations of our work and offer recommendation for practice and for potential further research.

keywords: authentic leadership, self-awareness, employee development .