authenticity; workplace relationships; proactive personality; organizational citizenship behaviors
The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science
Management scholars have long been interested in the topic of authenticity in the workplace, evidenced by the history of scholarship on authentic leadership and the many new authenticity constructs that have emerged. In this article, we take a narrower view of authenticity and focus on relational authenticity in the workplace, which we define as being genuine in workplace relationships. Adapting a validated relational authenticity scale to the organizational context, we explore the ways in which feeling authentic in workplace relationships has ramifications for discretionary behaviors. Specifically, we build on belongingness theory to posit that relational authenticity will result in an increase in engagement in both altruistic and sportsmanship behaviors. We also explore the moderating effect of proactive personality on these relationships. Results from our two-sample study (N = 352; 500) indicate that relational authenticity is positively associated with engagement in both altruistic and sportsmanship behaviors.