Exploring the Perspective of a School Leader on Authentic Leadership Theory in Practice: A Case Study at a Private School in Dubai, UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Authentic leadership is essential in today's society due to the economic, technological and environmental challenges confronted by the school leaders in the twenty-first century. This study explores the authentic leadership theory in practice from the perspective of a successful leader at a private school in Dubai and to find out how authentic leadership theory is practiced or could be practiced by school leaders in the context of the UAE. The authentic leadership theory informs the theoretical framework for this research. The research design adopts a qualitative exploratory case study and uses the lens of constructivism as a research paradigm. Semi-structured interview was used to collect data; this involved in-depth interview with one school leader who was purposefully selected. The findings show that the practice of the school leader reflects the characteristics of authentic leadership evidenced by self-awareness, internalized moral perspective and balanced reasoning. However, evidence also shows absence of relational transparency in the leader’s practice as it could be difficult in some situations. These findings could be useful for practitioners to add value to professional development programs for training how the authentic leadership theory can be translated into practice.
authentic leadership, school leaders, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai schools, professional development programs