A Multi-level Investigation of Authentic Leadership as an Antecedent of Helping Behavior

Giles Hirst, Fred Walumbwa, Samuel Aryee, Ivan Butarbutar, Chin Jeffery Hui Chen

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63 Citations (Scopus)


We develop and test a trickle-down model of how authentic leadership at the department level flows down the organizational hierarchy to encourage team leader authentic leadership and consequently, promotes team and individual-level supervisor-directed helping behavior. Analyses of multi-level and multi-source data collected from a total of 487 employees comprising 122 teams, 47 departments, and 4 different working areas of a major public sector organization in Taiwan show that team leaders’ authentic leadership mediates the relationship between departmental authentic leadership and individual-level leader–member exchange (LMX). We also found that intra-team trust completely mediates the influence of team authentic leadership on both team helping behavior and individual-level supervisor-directed helping behavior. Finally, the results reveal that self-concordance mediates the influence of team authentic leadership on individual-level supervisor helping behavior as well as the influence of individual-level LMX on individual-level supervisor-directed helping behavior. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-499
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Authentic leadership
  • Helping behavior
  • Leader–member exchange
  • Multi-level
  • Self-concordance

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