Vol.09 No.01(2018), Article ID:81734,17 pages

Role of Authentic Leadership in Organizational Socialization and Work Engagement among Workers

José Luis Calderon-Mafud1, Manuel Pando-Moreno2

1Universityof Colima, Colima, Mexico

2University of Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY 4.0).

Received: November 16, 2017; Accepted: January 9, 2018; Published: January 12, 2018


This article presents an idea that aimed to show that the model of authentic leadership is characterized by the consciousness of itself, a moral internalized, transparency in relations and important levels of self-efficacy, could have relations with Organizational Socialization and work engagement in workers. A literature review was made and discussed in a theoretical way the findings reported regarding the relations between the authentic leadership and the way to learn the culture, in addition to reviewing its impact in the work engagement. Findings of some studies indicate that the leadership could act as a mediator significant and positive to learn the organizational culture and develop a state of engagement by improving productivity and job satisfaction.


Leadership, Organizational Socialization, Engagement, Management

1. Introduction

It is known that the organizational culture seems to permeate all aspects of the organization, so it is possible to consider that its effects may appear in the competitive capacity of the same (Gregory, Harris, Armenakis, & Shook, 2009; Macintosh & Doherty, 2010; Quinn & Rohrbaugh, 1983) . According to this, the cultures that show orientations toward flexibility, innovation, and social support, might have a bearing on the well-being of the employees by increasing their personal confidence, openness to change, its orientation to the development and response capacity (Henri, 2006; Van Muijen, 1999) . It is possible that many people today are increasingly interested in working in companies that have flexible cultures. These organizations can improve the way in which face economic, political and market focusing mainly on the social support, the development of the employees and openness to innovation as a source of adaptation (Lund, 2003; McKinnon, Harrison, Chow, & Wu, 2003; Taormina & Gao; 2005; Wallach, 1983) .

For Schein (1985) , the organizational culture provides a system of expectations that offers behavioral parameters and standards that serve as a guide to employees; such references can be observed through the behavior of the leaders, always and when it is clear and transparent. Such characteristics are presented in the authentic leadership (Avolio & Gardner, 2005, Avolio, Gardner, Walumbwa, Luthans, & May, 2004; Danielson, 2004; Gardner, Avolio, Luthans, May, & Walumbwa, 2005; Taormina, 2009) . Moreover, it has been established that the Organizational Socialization is linked with the commitment and job satisfaction, as a result of workers perceive greater certainty to learn the rules of the job, get the support of their coworkers and to understand how it is the functioning of the organization (Autry & Daugherty, 2003; Chao, O’Leary-Kelly, Wolf, Klein, & Gardner, 1994; Filstad, 2004, 2011; Meyer, Allen, & Topolnystky, 1998; Mitus, 2006; Schmidt, 2010; Taormina, 1997; Tierney, Bauer, & Potter, 2002) . However, there is little empirical evidence of the role played by the organizational socialization and leadership in the psychological states underlying productivity, like motivation and proactivity.

The work is presented below: in the first instance, it aims to study the relationships of the authentic leadership, organizational socialization and work engagement, in order to further develop an empirical model to test the causal relationships between the variables. And second, to establish on that basis a model of intervention in leadership and organizational culture to improve productivity and the labor climate. To that goal the engagement has been established as the dependent variable in this study, because it is conceptualized as a positive psychological state that is characterized by the vigor, dedication and absorption in a task, necessary to carry out a successful and productive way.

2. Authentic Leadership

Leadership is a theme that has been widely studied and with a long amount of relations with the results of the organization and the wellbeing of workers. One of the most important concerns for companies today is to ensure that the leadership reflects the results of the strategy and to maintain an organizational climate appropriate (Yukl & Tracey, 1992) . The different theories and findings have led to classify the leadership in distinctive styles; these have been presented in the organizations and have been described according to the knowledge, experience and context of the leader. Some of the most mentioned are: (a) Focused on the transactional relationships, (b) and (c) transformational (Bass & Avolio, 1990; Hater & Bass, 1988) .

From a few years ago, due to a combination of organizational needs, loss of credibility of the models focused on the individual and the increase in the speed of technological advances, changes have been made management models based on the authenticity of the values, organizational culture, transparency in business and environmental sustainability, giving rise to the concepts of authentic leadership (Judge & Piccolo, 2004; O’Reilly, Caldwell, Chatman, Pencil & Self, 2010; Stewart & Johnson, 2009) .

According to Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsign & Peterson (2008) authentic leadership can be conceptualized as a behavioral pattern based on psychological characteristics considered positive, which seeks to promote an ethical climate in the organization. This pattern of behavior shows a greater self-awareness, an internalized morality, balanced processing of the information of the work team and transparency in the relations between the leader and the followers.

This behavioral configuration could lead the so-called authentic leaders to know themselves better and to the context in which they develop, which would have effects in which they would take more account of their own values, making it easier for them to preserve their identity, maintain their course and communicate it to others in terms of principles, values and ethics (Avolio, Gardner, Walumbwa, Luthans, & May, 2004) .

Authentic leadership is understood as a vocation to serve and be useful to others through the privileged position that you have. The authentic leader is understood as an individual who is deeply aware of their values and beliefs, the way it behaves and how others perceive it. That is why this type of people are more interested in developing the skills of individuals with whom they work, as well as giving them more freedom to play its role, instead of using their authority to direct (Gardner, Avolio, Walumbwa, May & Luthans, 2005; Hannah, Luthans & Avolio, Harms, 2008; Shamir & Eliam, 2005) .

This model of leadership is described as attached to ethical and moral values that serve as a guide and a model of behavior, much better than the documentary rules and standards. It is also known that this type of models of leadership has a positive effect on the attitude of the workers and fosters higher levels of job satisfaction (Azanza, Moriano & Molero, 2013; Bellou, 2010; Lund, 2003; McKinnon, Harrison, Cho, & Wu, 2003 ).

A meta-analysis conducted by Dirks & Ferrin (2002) indicated, among other results, that trust in the direct leader had equal or greater effects on performance, altruism, intention to quit and job satisfaction than trust in the leadership organization.

The theory and the findings made emphasize that organizational results, such as organizational commitment, are more related to trust in organizational leadership. For these authors, the study of the relationships between boss and followers based on trust, as well as the different definitions of trust that exist, could form the basis of future research in leadership relationships, in particular the authentic one that is based on the credibility and trust. The style of authentic leadership is made up of several dimensions that are: (a) The transparency in relations, which refers to the fact that these leaders are presented in a genuine manner when they are in situations that should share information and feelings openly, also to be adapted to the situations in an appropriate form; (b) the moral internalized, which makes reference to the fact that the leader uses internal moral standards as a guide to self-regulate their behavior; (c) processing balanced, this means that the individual who possesses this style an objective analysis of the data of the situations and people to make decisions; and finally, (d) the awareness of itself, which refers to having high levels Knowledge of strengths and weaknesses, as well as that of his followers; there is also talk of which are highly aware of the way in which their own conduct has an influence on your work team (Avolio, Gardner, Walumbwa, Luthans, & May 2004; Walumbwa, Avolio Wernsing, Gardner, & Peterson, 2008) .

The model of authentic leadership of Avolio & Gardner (2005) , may arise as a result of positive psychological capacities and an adequate organizational context. The enabling context for authentic leadership includes a vision, strategy and organizational culture authentic, mature and highly developed, focused on developing optimally to their leaders.

Several studies have explored the relationship of the authentic leadership and other variables of the organization, such as the commitment of the followers with the leader (Leroy, Palanski, & Simons, 2012) , the share of the work (Walumbwa, Wang, Wang, Schaubroeck, & Avolio, 2010) and the subsequent job satisfaction, product of the positive relationships and support (Bamford, Wong, & Laschinger, 2013) .

In the literature there are few or no references to the links that exist between the leadership and the flexibility-oriented cultures, built through transparency and respect in their relationships to serve as role models at the same time improve the amount of perceived social support, as well as the confidence to reduce uncertainty. It is assumed that authentic leaders could stimulate the creativity and innovative capacity of the employees by increasing the amount of autonomy that fosters creative freedom in their partners.

Role of Authentic Leadership

The role played by authentic leadership has been explored in different studies linking it to positive psychological states; for example, Wong & Laschinger (2013) found that the authentic leadership of the managers influenced the structural empowerment, performance and job satisfaction of the nurses who were part of this study. It emphasizes that the more managers see themselves as authentic, emphasizing transparency, balanced processing, self-awareness and high ethical standards, the more nurses perceive that they can have access to empowerment structures in place of work and that makes them satisfied with their work and report a higher performance. Clapp-Smith, Vogelgesang & Avey (2009) , on the other hand, found that authentic leadership played a mediating role between PsyCap and performance thanks to the trust generated in management when managers perceived themselves as authentic.

Productivity and commitment are among the distal outputs in the leadership role, as in the study reported by Leroy, Palanski & Simons (2012) who reveal that the self-knowledge of the leader has influence as an antecedent of authentic leadership and the satisfaction of the followers with the supervisor, as well as the perceived effectiveness of the team. The relationships between authentic leadership and the attitudes related to the work of the followers, as well as the perceived effectiveness of the team, are mediated by the perceived predictability of the leader, a facet of the trust that is generated by transparency in relationships and the balanced processing.

Finally, Bamford, Wong & Laschinger (2013) report on how authentic leadership mediated the relationship between person-work adequacy with work engagement, suggesting that there is evidence that workers who work for managers who demonstrate higher levels of authentic leadership report a greater general agreement work-person in the six areas of work life and a greater labor implication, which is especially useful in demanding work environments and lacking in support for well-being. Relations have been established of the authentic leadership with loyalty to the leader; with the characteristics of the followers, the cohesion of work teams and flexible and innovative organizational culture (López, Moriano, Molero & Morales, 2015; Monzani, Ripoll, & Peiró, 2014) , however there is not enough research to show the way in which the leadership style promotes learning of the organizational culture and facilitate the process of socialization of the employees.

3. Organizational Socialization

A definition of organizational socialization describes it as a process by which an individual acquires and appreciates the values, skills, expectations, behaviors, and some basic social knowledge to assume an organizational function and to participate as a member of an organization (Louis, 1980: pp. 229-230) .

For an individual who enters a new job, a new organization, or has a promotion, it is critical to the initial period once you enter (Holton, 1996; Wanous, 1980) . During this period, the employee may develop skills for work and in general meet the demands of the organizational environment that requires for their new role.

On many occasions, the effective socialization faces the need to overcome potential negative aspects, typical of the adaptation to a new job, such as stress, anxiety and uncertainty in the face of the new situation and tasks (Louis, 1980; Nelson & Quick, 1991; Saks, 1996; Wanous, 1992) . In some cases, employees decide to leave the organization to adapt to it. According to numerous studies, up to 25% of Mexican workers could do so in the first 6 months (Calderón Mafud, Laca Arocena, Pando-Moreno, & Pedroza, 2015; Chao et al., 1994; Wanous, 1992) .

This setting called “socialization”, has several aspects that compose it and that, in general, has to do with personal changes in the new worker as effect of the change of the individuals interact (Major, Kozlowski, Chao, & Gardner, 1995) . When a person adapts to the new organizational culture, also their coworkers, boss and the organization, receive benefits from them because there are relations of the socialization that promotes job satisfaction and organizational commitment (Bauer, Morrison, Callister, & Ferris, 1998; Cable & Parsons, 2001; Fisher, 1986; Klein & Weaver, 2000) .

The rapid technological changes and socio-political experience organizations today, the process of socialization an orientation toward constant innovation of organizational system, and it is possible that the learning of the culture look for more adaptation to the cultural changes that only to maintain the established culture and hinder the ability of an organization to be agile and adapt to the environment (Danielson, 2004; Wanous, 1980; Chao et al., 1994; Taormina, 1994, 1997, 2004) .

Although most of the research on this topic has focused on the process of learning or adaptation, some authors have focused their studies on the factors of interaction involved in the success of this process (Taormina, 2009; Jones, 1986; Hesketh & Myors, 1997) . These approaches argue that it is necessary to pay greater attention to the needs of the employees (Vandenberg & Scarpello, 1994) and to the need of the organizational culture (Schein, 1996) , considering the socialization of organization from an interactionist perspective. It suggests that there is some interaction between individuals in transition and the senior members of the, who facilitate the understanding with his knowledge of the organization (Jones, 1986; Wanous, 1980; Allee, 1997; Nonaka, Takeuchi, & Umemoto, 1996; Wheatley, 1999; Danielson, 2004) .

Authentic leadership could be related to the organizational culture through the process of Organizational Socialization, due to the influences of the leaders and prominent members and well socialized in organizations. In addition to the behavior of peers, other influences can modify the behavior of the newcomers: For Moreland, Levine and McMinn (2001), attitude and perception, can increase the effectiveness of the organizational socialization. This is because the attitude of the initiates the process of socialization, is magnified due to the fact that the ways of being in co-workers are much more apparent to newcomers because they manifest themselves as innovative, and because the social environment of certainty created by the members better socialized could well affect the attitudes and behavior of the new (Ajzen, 1985; Salancik & Pfeffer, 1978; Zalesny & Ford, 1990) .

Chao et al. (1994) , Cooper-Thomas & Anderson (2006) and Taormina (1994, 1997) , showed three theoretical models of organizational socialization that expressed support for focusing on the content of the socialization, the areas and the process respectively. The approach of Taormina, composed of four dimensions of socialization (training or training, functional understanding of the organization, support from co-workers and future prospects) also considered the six areas identified by Chao et al. (1994) (efficiency of performance, politics, language, people, goals/organizational values, and history), as well as the five areas of socialization of the Cooper-Thomas & Anderson (2006) Model (task, role and performance; co-worker, social and group; history, goals and organization; and future perspectives). In summary, it can be observed that are conceptually like the model of four components of the areas of organizational socialization domain (Taormina, 1994, 1997, 2004) ; these components are:

A) The training or training are the actions, processes or methods by which they acquire functional skills or to perform a specific job (Feldman & Brett, 1983; Louis, 1980) . This domain emphasizes the value that an employee makes the level of experiences that the organization gives to develop the competencies considered appropriate and sufficient to successfully carry out the work (Taormina, 1997) .

B) The functional understanding is “the extent to which an employee fully understands and can apply knowledge about their work, the organization, its people and its culture” (Taormina, 1997: p. 34) . In this way, understanding refers to the fact that the employee understands well the rules of the organization, its culture, the way people interact and the way they operate.

C) Support of the co-workers refers to the emotional support, moral or instrumental (which does not include financial compensation on the part of the company, heads or other employees of the organization). This area refers to the amount of acceptance that an employee can obtain from their peers as an effect of having shown appropriate competencies and behaviors (Taormina, 1994, 1997; Taormina & Gao, 2005) .

D) Perspectives of Future is the amount of benefits that an employee could be expected to have in your career within the company in which they work. This domain could be represented by economic rewards, bonuses and promotion possibilities that one perceives to have in an organization.

Different authors have found that states and individual characteristics are generally little investigated, and that some of them, such as self- efficacy or the needs (present in the motivation) can influence each other the Organizational socialization process (Fisher, 1986; Bauer et al., 1998; Jones, 1986; Taormina, 2009) .

The evidences of different authors show, on the one hand, as the relations of mutual support and the support received from colleagues during the socialization, facilitates the creation of commitment to the organization (Calderon-Mafud et al., 2015; Filstad, 2004, 2011; Meyer et al., 1998; Mitus, 2006; Tierney, Bauer & Potter, 2002) . On the other hand, training, emotional support and the functional understanding that a worker gets his companions acts to enable it to deal with the organizational changes that forced him to clarify their role constantly (Feldman, 1981). In addition, the organizational socialization allows a worker is paid to have job satisfaction thanks to their peers will provide learning and support to clarify their work role (Autry & Daugherty, 2003; Chao et al., 1994; Schmidt, 2010; Taormina, 1997) .

Finally, the prospects for the future are related to retaining talent in organizations, because the extrinsic rewards delivered by the organization achieve that an employee may wish to remain a member of the same (Chen, Ployhart, Bliese, Anderson, & Thomas, 2011; Taormina, 1994, 1997, 2004) . In a study conducted by Taormina (2008) , correlations were found between the behavior of leadership with the flexibility in innovative cultures and Organizational socialization domains.

4. Work Engagement

The study of positive psychological states is very recent in the workplace. The state known as engagement, involves other factors that facilitate that an employee can develop effectively within an organization. It is defined as a state of energy, vigor, enthusiasm, motivation and commitment related to productivity; it could be said that a person who is in a state of engagement is physical, cognitive and emotionally involved with their role in the work (Kahn, 1990; Schaufeli, Salanova, Gonzales-Rome, & Bakker, 2002) .

Work engagement is defined as a positive, satisfactory and motivational-affective state of well-being related to work characterized by vigor, dedication and absorption in their tasks (Schaufeli, Bakker, & Salanova, 2006) . Employees who have this status have elevated levels of energy and are strongly identified with their work, without the occurrence of work addiction.

When workers experience this state, general characteristics such as enthusiasm, involvement, energy and efficiency could be observed; and in particular they experience vigor, in which high levels of energy, persistence and effort are observed (Maslach & Leiter, 1997) . The dedication is perceived in enthusiasm, inspiration, pride, involvement and challenges at work. Finally, absorption is characterized by time dedicated to work in a positive and enthusiastic way (Salanova, Schaufeli, Llorens, Peiró, & Grau, 2000) .

For Bakker, Schaufeli & Taris (2008) Work engagement is a concept that can be predicted as an effect of work resources (for example, autonomy, supervisor’s advice, performance feedback) and personal resources (for example, optimism, self-efficacy, self-esteem). Work engagement is a concept that can be predicted as an effect of work resources (for example, autonomy, supervisor’s advice, performance feedback) and personal resources (for example, optimism, self-efficacy, self-esteem).

The engagement may be conceived also as a mutual interdependence between the economic interests of an organization and the emotional aspects of its members, which interact make grow at all in whole, that is to say, that as long as the company meets your interests and goals, this makes it easier for its members so that they can develop, acquire programming that they agree to advance in their career and experience well-being and job satisfaction (Saks, 2006; Schaufeli, Taris, & Rhenen, 2008) .

The state of engagement is closely linked to productivity because it allows them to the members of the organizations make better use of their roles and emotional is a plug-in for the worker to be able to carry out its tasks in an efficient manner (May, Gibson & Harter, 2004; Kahn, 1990) . However, this positive state comes not only of personal factors, but that depends on some cultural characteristics of organizations such as the feedback, the promotion of the autonomy, provide learning opportunities, and options for the development of career, which generated a greater interpersonal contact, team work, and interest in the companions (Konstantellou, 2001) .

According to this, it is known that the companies that promote socialization processes in which all have access to a acculturation uniform, you can generate that the state of engagement to appear in a group, in certain items of work equipment, or even parts of the organization (Salanova, Agut, & Peiró, 2005) .

Organizational socialization plays an important role in systems that focus on increasing the productivity of a company, to take into account the needs of its members when an organization facilitating the involvement of all its members and allows them to become involved in the culture, these are interested in the values and needs of the organization, trying to meet her through her commitment and motivation (Schaufeli & Salanova, 2007) .

This desirable state for organizations and teams, has found relationships with the processes of socialization and leadership in the organization, perhaps due to the fact that a person might be influenced by the support of colleagues, whether of the same or a different hierarchy; however are the leaders who are directly involved with the working life of the individuals, thus promoting and have an important role in the determination of the level of engagement in the employees (Bamford, Wong, & Laschinger, 2013) .

The state of engagement, although it lacks a unique meaning, is defined as positive by three main features: vigor, dedication and absorption; mixtures of these features ensure that a worker is displayed committed and motivated in their work role. The importance of the three characteristics is that they are all with reference to the collaborative and positive work in factor to the needs and goals of the organization, the following is a brief description of each for your greater understanding (Schaufeli et al., 2002) .

The force is characterized by high levels of energy and mental resistance to the demands of work, by use of force to perform a task and to be able to persist in order to resolve the adversities. The dedication is perceived as the magnitude of interest for it to work, and the way in which the individual experiences enthusiasm, inspiration, and a taste for the challenges that are confronting it. The absorption is characterized by several high concentration and the manner in which the worker is engaged to perform a task without taking into account the time you spend. The absorption is perceived by individuals as if time passed quickly, and as if the difficulties of the organization were part of themselves.

5. Conclusion

In the search for ways to solve the problem of management of the organizational culture at the present time, it has been established that the leadership based on the moral values that represents transparently to the followers, it might work as a way to direct or focus the efforts of the organizational socialization to be related with the satisfaction and changes in attitudes of the workers (Azanza et al., 2013; Bellou, 2010; Lund, 2003; McKinnon, Harrison, Chow, & Wu, 2003) .

The studies of organizational culture and socialization have been conducted only with leadership of tangential way or without sufficient empirical evidence. Also, although the studies of labor climate and culture emphasize the role of the leaders to increase the levels of cohesion, also ignored the specific role they could play in terms of the generation of engagement in the workers. This is not to simplify the theories of motivation, but to find the specific contribution that a leader with these characteristics can make toward the psychological states of his followers.

Model of Work Engagement Based on Leadership and Socialization Resources

It could be concluded as a model, establishing that the dimensions of authentic leadership may be related to organizational socialization and commitment as shown in Figure 1, mainly due to the fact that: (a) The transparency in relationships, it might work for the leader to the peer support and increase the role of mentoring from the more experienced (Filstad, 2004; Taormina, 1997) , increasing their chances of being effective in the acquisition of a role, or facilitating learning and training from the relations of instrumental support gained through the recognition of the leader (Taormina, 1994, 1997, 2004) .

In turn, the influence received by fellow could cause an increase in the absorption in the task, mainly because of the efficacy achieved in the training, and also that the acceptance of the role and the organizational status would allow the workers to decide to engage in the performance of their tasks, gaining productivity and job satisfaction (Bauer, Bodner, Erdogan, Truxillo, & Tucker, 2007; Saks & Ashforth, 1997) .

Balanced processing of the authentic leader aware of their strengths and their colleagues could be an antecedent of the dedication and the force at work (Avolio & Gardner, 2005; Avolio, Gardner, Walumbwa, Luthans, & May, 2004) ; because to interact in ways balanced, taking into account the views of his followers, though these are adverse, it may reduce the uncertainty and the fear of failure, increasing the attributional optimism of the members of the teams (Seligman, 2011) in turn generating the modeling of prosocial behaviors that could be replicated as part of the cultural model of the organization (Bass & Avolio, 1990; Hater & Bass, 1988) .

It is clear that a leader to display transparent and aware of their strengths could improve its interaction to provide instrumental support to their peers in their role as leader, as well as develop better training programs that facilitate the productivity and levels of self-efficacy, including results of the transformational leadership and enabling the leader works to guide training programs and to

Figure 1. Model of Leadership, socialization and work engagement. Own elaboration.1

serve as an evaluator of the competences of the members of his team (Chen et al., 2011; O’Reilly, Caldwell, Chatman, Lapiz, & Self, 2010) .

Finally, as a summary, we propose that the balanced processing together with the relational transparency influence so that the training received thanks to the coworkers support facilitates that a worker experiences dedication and absorption to work. This, thanks to having clarified its role and reduced uncertainty through support relationships.

On the other hand, balanced processing also works so that the leader is perceived as reliable and this has an effect on the vigor and dedication that an individual can experience in a positive way.

Conducting the research of this model is a need that would result in the development of training programs and development of socialization that focus on positive aspects of organizational behavior and be more flexible to adapt to the changes and generate well-being in the employees.

Cite this paper

Calderon-Mafud, J. L., & Pando-Moreno, M. (2018). Role of Authentic Leadership in Organizational Socialization and Work Engagement among Workers. Psychology, 9, 46-62.


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1 Calderón-Mafud & Pando-Moreno (2017) , Figure 1. Model of Leadership, socialization and Work engagement. Own Elaboration.