Sustainability & authentic leadership: Stumbling blocks and enablers

Liezel Lombard, Kurt April, Kai Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The literature within the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability is broad and can be classified in a variety of approaches. What remains constant in these various models is that leadership and specifically authentic leadership, is key to going beyond compliance oriented sustainability to achieve genuine implicit, sustainability. This study thus seeks to explore the construct of authentic leadership from the perspective of practicing managers. To achieve this, a group of 210 MBA students were asked to write on authentic leadership from their own experiences. This body of leadership assignments was analyzed through the use of open and axial coding, grounded theory and content analysis. Through this process, a series of family codes emerged which can be grouped into factors which either enable or hinder authentic leadership. Self-knowledge emerged as the main enabler, and the influence of others is the main hindrance, to authenticity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-84
Number of pages11
JournalCrown Research in Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • authenticity
  • corporate social
  • leadership
  • responsibility
  • self-awareness
  • sustainability
  • trust

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