The Authenticity Experiences Among Senior Managers


The aim of this study was to elaborate a deeper understanding of authenticity that was experienced by senior managers. Authenticity is linked to people’s motivation, psychological well-being at work, and self-esteem. The premise for the study was based on last researches that showed destructive influence on employees’ feelings, satisfaction, and efficiency. The authors of the study claim that authenticity can be reached and comprehended through personal experience. Proper understanding of this concept can contribute to development positive environment that is appropriate for managers’ self-development. The research does not aim to compare the investigated, but seeks to collect interviewers’ opinions and thoughts.


The qualitative research was made with the help of in-depth narrative interviews through approaching hermeneutic phenomenology. This phenomenon is based on “the study of life experiences, regarding an event, from the subject’s perspective” (Fuster, 2019, p. 217). In other words, hermeneutic phenomenology is focused on the experience of subject or a group of individuals through their narrative speech (Burkholder, Cox, Crawford, et. al, 2019, para. 6). Authors of the study used qualitative approach, as it implies obtaining the information from informant’s perspective.

The basic question that was set as an objective of the study was “How is being authentic experienced by senior public service managers?” This issue was raised in order to acknowledge the respondents concerning their feeling of authenticity in the workplace. The question correlates with the agenda of the study and logically continues it, also it suggests an obtainment of interviewers’ reflection about the topic. Considering other questions asked for collecting information from the subjective point of view, it is possible to suggest that “Why?” and “How?” questions are basic for field studies (Babbie, 2017, p. 297). Given questions relate to qualitative matter and involve an open-ending that gives participants an opportunity to dive into details. Additively, the method of interviewing is similar to the ordinary conversation (Babbie, 2017, p. 321). This allows to propose that participants may feel free to express their opinion. It was specified that the study was conducted among two males and three females aged 35-45 years in provincial government by two women authors in Public Service, a huge culturally diverse organization. During the study it was reported that given organization is cached in corruption, lack of trustful relationships between employees within the hierarchy, and leader ineffectiveness.

Five senior managers of different sexes and nationalities whose experience varied from 8 to 15 years participated in the study. Their anonymity was kept upon request and they could stop the study at any time. Besides in-depth interviews, respondents were asked follow-up and open-ended questions. These additional questions were created for a close understanding their experience of authenticity. However, at the beginning of the study researchers faced the problem of misunderstanding the concept of authenticity by senior managers. Finally, they were asked to simply describe what did authenticity mean for them. During the interview, it was found that this aspect for managers is closely connected to the ability to express themselves freely in their work environment. Employee’s inability to do it can lead to burnouts and intention to leave (Okafor, 2019, p.12). Moreover, during the investigation it was determined that managers’ authenticity at work is closely connected to the notion of identity. Some interviewers revealed that they were not always culturally corresponding with other colleagues. People expressed their wish to be free from ethnical and political stereotypes in their workplace. Furthermore, some managers spoke about their concern on identical determination at home and at work.


The given study was aiming to receive the information about senior manager’s thoughts on authenticity at work. The understanding of authenticity was established during the study. Almost all participants reported about experiencing authenticity when they felt confident, comfortable, equal, and free from judgements. Aside from supposed answers, people provided some insights into their subjective experiences. Humans’ experiences which were voiced during the interview seemed to extend the agenda of the study.

Reference list

Babbie, E. (2017). Basics of social research (7th ed.). Boston, Cengage Learning.

Burkholder, G. J., Cox, K. A., Crawford, L. M., & Hitchcock, J. (2019). Research design and methods: An applied guide for the scholar-practitioner (1st ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Fuster, D. (2019). Qualitative research: Hermeneutical phenomenological method. Propósitos y Representaciones, vol. 7, no. 1, 201-229.

Okafor, B.E. (2019). The impact of dissent and workplace freedom of speech on employees’ well-being. [A thesis submitted to the graduate faculty North Dakota State University of Agriculture and Applied Science]. North Dakota, Fargo.