Exploring Authentic Leadership Theory in Practice: A Case Study about a School’s Leaders in a Private School in Sharjah, UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Due to the economic, technical, and environmental problems that school leaders face in the twenty-first century, authentic leadership is crucial in today's society. This research investigates authentic leadership theory in practice through the eyes of successful leaders at a private school in Sharjah, with the goal of determining how authentic leadership theory is or might be applied by school leaders in the UAE. The theoretical basis for this research is informed by the genuine leadership theory. The research methodology is a qualitative exploratory case study using constructivism as the research paradigm. To collect data, semi-structured interviews were conducted, which included in-depth discussion with one school leader who was carefully chosen and a focus group interview with the middle leaders of the school to solidify the findings. The results indicate that the school leadership practice shows authentic leadership traits such as self-awareness, internalized moral viewpoint, and balanced thinking. However, data suggests that the leader's behavior lacks relational transparency, which might be challenging in particular settings. These findings might help practitioners add value to professional development programs by teaching how to use authentic leadership theory in the workplace.
authentic leadership, genuine leadership, school leader, school middle leaders