Authentic leadership and commitment to the work - comparative analysis of the public and private sector

Tomasz Gigol, Barbara A. Sypniewska


Work commitment is a desired condition due to its impact on the quality of work, organizational success as well as on satisfaction of employees. First observed in the private sector it pertains also to the public sector. Theory of management in public sector sometimes uses business management concepts. One of them is leadership. Thus, we decided to investigate the impact of leadership on employee engagement in the public sector and compare it to that in the private sector.

We have chosen the theory of authentic leadership and studied work commitment manifesting itself in three elements: vigor, dedication to work and preoccupation with work. Surveys were conducted on a group of 786 people, of whom 117 represented the public sector. Their results have proved that work commitment did not differ depending on the sector in which the respondents worked. However, there were significant differences in the relationship between authentic leadership of superiors and work commitment.

In the studied population leadership had a strong impact on all components of work commitment. However, in the public sector, we have noticed the influence of authentic leadership only on vigor - one of the three components of work commitment. This influence was smaller than among the sectors.

That leads to the conclusion that the theory of authentic leadership does not help much in creating employee commitment in the public sector. Thus, one needs to search for additional factors that build commitment and develop leadership theory in public sector.


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Tomasz Gigol

Barbara A. Sypniewska

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The article is in the printed version on pages 59-66.

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