Graduation Year

2022

Date of Submission

4-2022

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

Reader 1

Jennifer Feitosa

Abstract

While research on authenticity in the workplace links this construct to several positive individual and business outcomes (Hannah et al., 2011), there is a lack of knowledge on how to foster authenticity at work. The studies that do address this topic focus solely on authentic leadership, ignoring individuals who are not in leadership roles. In this paper, we aimed to fill this gap by designing and evaluating an intervention to foster authenticity in individuals around their teams. We focus on teams due to the relational nature of authenticity as a construct (Fusco et al., 2015), and the steady trend towards employees spending more time with their teams while at work. In Study 1, 65 alumni of a small liberal arts college filled out an open-ended questionnaire on their experiences with authenticity on their work teams. Using a mixed-methods grounded theory approach to qualitative inquiry, a three-part framework was developed that informed the content of a team authenticity intervention. The three parts of the theory, and thus intervention, were as follows: aligning individual and team values, calling out to team members for support, and reflecting on team collaboration processes. Study 2 focused on testing the effectiveness of this intervention on several students who worked on pre-established teams at a college (N= 89). A time-lagged pre-post intervention design was used to measure change in individual authenticity in team members around 1.5 weeks after undergoing the intervention. Additionally, the effects of team reflexivity and perceived psychological safety on intervention outcomes, namely post- intervention authenticity and post-intervention performance, were also investigated. As hypothesized, we observed a significant increase in authenticity after the intervention. Additionally, perceived team psychological safety, pre-intervention reflexivity, and state intervention during the intervention influenced individuals’ authenticity after the intervention. Finally, state authenticity during the intervention was positively predicted by perceived authenticity of team members. While initial results are promising, the need for more rigorous testing of the intervention is discussed and guidance for future research is provided.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.

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