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Authentic leadership and followers’ cheating behaviour : a laboratory experiment from a self-concept maintenance perspective.

Braun, S. and Hornuf, L. (2018) 'Authentic leadership and followers’ cheating behaviour : a laboratory experiment from a self-concept maintenance perspective.', in Authentic leadership and followership : international perspectives. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 215-244. Palgrave studies in leadership and followership.


This chapter presents insights into the question whether followers’ perceptions of authentic leadership attenuate cheating. From the perspective of self-concept maintenance theory, followers will cheat so long as they can maintain a positive self-concept. We suggested that authentic leadership lowers the perceptual threshold under which followers can still consider themselves honest. A laboratory experiment combined video-based variations of authentic leadership with a cheating-of-mind experiment. We collected data from 343 students at a German university. Results indicate that participants cheated, but not to the fullest extent possible. Authentic leadership did not affect the extent to which participants cheated. These results held when moderating variables were tested (e.g., cheating norm, victimization). Hence, the findings do not support the notion that a short-term authentic leadership intervention attenuates cheating.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Publisher statement:Braun, S. & Hornuf, L., Authentic leadership and followers’ cheating behaviour: A laboratory experiment from a self-concept maintenance perspective., 2018, Palgrave Macmillan reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan. This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here:
Date accepted:04 April 2017
Date deposited:04 April 2017
Date of first online publication:14 December 2017
Date first made open access:14 December 2019

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