Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Paul Spector, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Eric Eisenberg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joann Farrell Quinn, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Priya Dozier, D.B.A.


Leadership, Engagement, Kindness, Training


Current management scholars have defined authentic leadership as consisting of four dimensions: relational transparency, self-awareness, balanced processing, and internalized moral perspective. This research extends the concept of authentic leadership to include kindness and vulnerability. I created two scales to measure kindness and vulnerability within the context of leadership and used them to examine perceptions of authentic leadership and its impact on three organizational outcomes: trust in one’s leader, work engagement, and psychological safety. Using a two-group, pretest-posttest experimental design, 44 Tampa General Hospital managers were either selected to participate in a four-hour authentic leadership training that included instruction on kindness and vulnerability or were placed in the control group. Three-hundred ninety-two of those managers’ direct reports were invited to participate in an online survey pre- and posttraining that measured ratings of the leader’s authenticity, trust in their leader, work engagement, and psychological safety. I used the Kirkpatrick Model to evaluate the training, and I found the managers to have had positive reactions to the training and to have increased their knowledge of leadership concepts. There were no statistically significant differences in the two groups from pretest to posttest on the outcome measures; however, the data were trending in the hypothesized direction. Additionally, the psychometric properties of the kindness and vulnerability in leadership scales were excellent, and the significant correlations of kindness and vulnerability with the outcome measures provided preliminary validity evidence.