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How do Attributes of a Leader’s Authenticity Affect Performance in a Bank Setting? A Mixed Method Survey of Commercial Banks in Kenya

Evelyne Muriuki, James M. Kilika, Robert G. Muigai

Business and Technology Pan Africa Christian University, Kenyatta University, Kirinyaga University




The primary purpose of this paper was to examine how the attributes of a leader’s authenticity affect the performance of commercial banks in Kenya. The study adopted a convergent parallel mixed methods design for the purposes of data collection where the researcher simultaneously collected quantitative and qualitative data and analysis done separately before merging the results. Data was collected from 352 commercial bank leaders in Nairobi, Kenya, while interviews with 15 selected senior management provided in-depth understanding to the constructs. Quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS to test the hypothesis while Atlas.ti 7 software used for qualitative analysis. The main findings of the study demonstrate that the attributes of balanced processing and internalized moral perspective have been deployed to a high extent while relational transparency and self-awareness have been deployed to a moderate extent. Balanced processing and relational transparency have a significantly positive influence on performance of commercial banks since they are essential for problem solving, consultation and communication. Relational transparency also leads to better performance since there is an adaptive and collaborative organizational culture. The results were not significant where internalized moral perspectives were deployed due to the accountability and transparency structures being subject to the values set by the composition of the board of directors and ownership. The study concluded that authentic leadership is seen as the cornerstone and key driver of organizational performance which is practiced from a moderate to high extent in commercial banks in Kenya thereby influencing performance. The study recommends that commercial banks should focus on leadership development programs that encourage the attributes of leader’s authenticity as they foster collaborative and consultative leadership as well as operation within flatter organizational structures in these dynamic times that facilitate agile decision making.


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