Original Research

Authentic leadership, organisational citizenship behaviour and intention to leave: The role of psychological capital

Winnie Sepeng, Marius W. Stander, Leoni van der Vaart, Lynelle Coxen
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 46 | a1802 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v46i0.1802 | © 2020 Winnie Sepeng, Marius W. Stander, Leoni van der Vaart, Lynelle Coxen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 April 2020 | Published: 23 October 2020

About the author(s)

Winnie Sepeng, School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Marius W. Stander, School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Leoni van der Vaart, School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Lynelle Coxen, Optentia Research Focus Area, Department of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The orientation of the study was towards psychological capital (PsyCap) as a mediator of the influence authentic leadership (AL) has on organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB) and intention to leave.

Research purpose: This study aimed to investigate the influence of AL on OCB and intention to leave through PsyCap amongst public healthcare employees in South Africa.

Motivation for the study: South African public healthcare needs effective leadership that is value based, transparent, supportive and exemplary in behaviour to be efficient and to provide quality service. By exploring the impact of AL and the process through which such a leader influences followers, the study sought to demonstrate that AL may be effective in achieving valued outcomes in the healthcare sector.

Research approach/design and method: A quantitative, non-experimental, cross-sectional survey was used. A sample of 633 public healthcare employees was included in the study. Measuring instruments included the Authentic Leadership Inventory, a shortened version of the Psychological Capital Questionnaire, Organisational Citizenship Behaviour Scale and the PSYCONES’ Intention to Leave Scale. Structural equation modelling was performed to evaluate the hypothesised measurement and structural models by using Mplus.

Main findings: Results indicated that employees’ perceptions of their leaders as authentic has an effect on OCB and intention to leave through PsyCap.

Practical/managerial implications: Organisations should implement leadership development programmes that are relationally focussed and should strive to develop employees’ PsyCap.

Contribution/value-add: Providing more insight into the influence of authentic leadership on follower organisational citizenship behaviour and intent to leave as well as the role that psychological capital plays in these relationships.


Keywords

authentic leadership; psychological capital; organisational citizenship behaviour; intention to leave; public healthcare.

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