A Descriptive Study of Authentic Leadership, Teacher Empowerment, and Organizational Climate

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 1-1-2006


Campus Only

Submission Type


Degree Name



Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program for Education Leaders (IDPEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

James Henderson

Committee Member

Carol Parke

Committee Member

Robert Furman


Authentic Leadership, Teacher Empowerment, Organizational Climate


This study investigated the relationship among leader authenticity, teacher empowerment, and organizational climate. A survey assessed the perceptions of 747 elementary teachers from 41 Western Pennsylvania elementary schools, regarding their principals’ behaviors, their own empowerment, and the organizational climate of their elementary schools. Results indicated that the more teachers perceive themselves as empowered (i.e., challenged by decision-making opportunities which invite individuals to think strategically and to take personal responsibility for the quality of their task) the more likely teachers will rate their principal as authentic (i.e., non-manipulating, accepting of accountability, and exhibiting a salience of self over role). Furthermore, findings of this study indicated that the more female teachers perceived themselves as empowered, the more they perceived their school organizational climate to be open (i.e., principals and teachers sharing a genuine commitment indicated by high levels of cooperation through the exchange of ideas, frequently offered praise, professional mannerisms, respecting competencies, a void in bureaucratic practices by promoting the freedom to perform without scrutiny). Also, noted in this study are the findings indicating that teachers who work in poor school districts perceive their principals’ behaviors as more authentic than teachers who work in wealthy school districts. Additionally, the results of this study supported leader authenticity and teacher empowerment as important predictors of organizational climate. However as noted in this study and consistent with the past research, leader authenticity remains the strongest predictor of an open organizational climate.





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