I. Marques & Cunha, 2012a). Our attempt is

I. Introduction
One way to address the issue of turnover is to understand the commitment that employees have to their
organization, and to determine what affects the different levels of commitment. To do this, we must have a clear
definition of organizational commitment and identify variables that might influence it (Vondrasek, 2000). Also,
it has been argued that positive organizational behavior research became the catalyst for developing the
construct of authentic leadership (Luthans & Avolio, 2009; Vondrasek, 2000). It is argued as a positive form of
leadership that goes beyond traditional leadership styles in order to influence followers through genuine, ethical
behavior (Tuttle, 2009; Luthans & Avolio, 2009). Prior research argued the influence of leadership
on organizational commitment, which emphasizes one of the strategies followed by some organizations,
including testing and implementing new types of leadership. This is the case of authentic leadership that
positively influences individuals’ commitment (Gatling, 2016). Other authors have studied the relationship
between authentic leadership and positive psychological capital, and suggest in their studies that, among other
things, authentic leadership promotes positive psychological capital and positive emotions (Rego, Sousa,
Marques & Cunha, 2012a). Our attempt is to determine the mediating role of positive psychological capital in
the relationship between authentic leadership and organizational commitment. This study makes a vital
contribution to the human behaviors and management science by adopting the case of a university as our
research context. Universities, like other institutions, are concerned with the commitment of their employees, as
weak commitment leads to low performance and loss of confidence and loyalty of employees. The research
question derives from the proposed relationship as to what point is positive psychological capital a mediator of
the relationship between authentic leadership and organizational commitment. Descriptive analytical research
will be conducted on the case of Al-Azhar University, which has more than 600 employees, including
academics and administrative staff. In order to answer the research question, we follow the research logic, first
reviewing the literature on authentic leadership, organizational commitment, and positive psychological capital.
1.1 Authentic Leadership
Authentic leadership is a new factor that is gaining both popularity and notoriety in the leadership
literature. Recently in the field of management studies there has been arenewed interest in this construct due to
the major shift to positive psychology. Authentic leadership is a root construct to any positive leadership
(Avolio & Gardner, 2005). Authentic leadership is a leadership style that is grounded in positive psychology
(Avolio & Gardner, 2005; Gardner, Cogliser, Davis, & Dickens, 2011). Authors conceptualized authentic
leadership into four main dimensions of authentic leadership, including relational transparency, selfconsciousness,
internal moral perspective, and balanced processing of information (e.g. Avolio & Gardner,
Authentic Leadership and Organizational Commitment: The Mediating Role of Positive Psychological
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2005). One of the fundamental components of the authentic leadership construct is self-awareness. Researchers
agree that self-awareness is the starting point of authentic leadership (Avolio & Gardner, 2005).
1.2 Organizational Commitment
This term was introduced by Becker (1960), who conducted early studies of organizational
commitment. In organizational science, organizational commitment is recognized to be a bond of the individual
to the organization (Samad, 2005). It is an emotional response that can be measured through people’s behaviors,
beliefs and attitudes, and can range anywhere from very low to very high. The focus of many of these studies
was to find ways to improve how workers feel about their jobs, so that these workers would become more
committed to their organizations (Meyer and Allen, 1997). Organizational commitment predicts work variables
such as turnover and organizational citizenship behavior (Gatling et al., 2016). This considers the employees’
state of commitment to assist in the achievement of the organization’s goals, and involves the employees’ levels
of identification, involvement, and loyalty (Caught & Shadur, 2000). Meyer and Allen (1997) conceptualized
three components of organizational commitment: affective, continuance and normative commitment.
1.3 Psychological Capital
For decades psychology has been viewedprimarily as a method of dealing with the treatment of mental
illness, although other areas of research and application have existed since its origins. At the end of the 1990’s,
the term “positive psychology” was introduced in the management field by M. Seligman and others in
conducting research about organizational behaviors (Çavu? and Gökçen, 2015). Psychological Capital or
positive psychology can be defined as “examining the processes by which positive attitudes, feedback, criticism
contribute to the functioning and development of an individual, group or corporation”(Çavu? and Gökçen, 2015,
PP. 245). Drawing from positive psychology constructs and empirical research, four psychological resources
were determined to best meet the scientific criteria, including Hope, Efficacy, Resilience, and Optimism. These
terms were defined by Luthans and colleagues as psychological Capital or PsyCap (Luthans et al., 2004). The
four components are defined as follows: (1) Hope, which was developed by Snyder (2000) and defined as a
positive motivational state where two basic elements – successful feeling of agency and pathways interact. (2)
Self efficacy was first introduced by Bandura et al. (1997), who define it as people’s confidence in their ability
to achieve a specific goal in a specific situation. (3) Optimism was viewed and defined by Adams and others in
2003as one that makes “Internal” or “dispositional”, fixed and global attributions for positive events and
“External” or “situational”, not fixed and specific attributions to negative events (Fritz Heider, 1958), cited by
Luthans et al. (2004). Finally (4) Resilience, found by Masten, et al. (2002) and defined it in Positive
Psychology as a positive way of coping with adversity or distress.
II. Theoretical Framework
2.1 Authentic leadership on organization’s commitment
Prior research on this important term comes in different forms. For example, Tuttle (2009) provides an
empirical investigation of authentic leadership relating to the employee’s behaviors. It was found that authentictransformational
leadership was directly related to a number of employee attitudes, and these, in turn, were
related to positive employee behaviors.Choi et al. (2016) studied authentic leadership based on its impact on the
organization’s commitment, focusing on the mediating effects of Empowerment.The study found that authentic
leadership had significant influences on nurses’ organizational commitment and job satisfaction via
empowerment.They emphasized the importance of developing such strategies to enhance nurse managers’
authentic leadership and to develop empowering education programs for nurses. Chen et al. (2011) considers the
mediating effects of employees’ experience of inclusion and the moderating effect of individual work values that
influence the relationship between authentic leadership and organization’s commitment.The results indicated
that employees’ experience of inclusion mediated the relationship between authentic leadership and both
affective and normative commitment.Beal (2016) emphasized authentic leadership as a way to retain hospitality
staff in which positive leadership attitudes can encourage commitment. Most recently an inquiry by Rego et al.
(2016) considers the mediating role of psychological capital. They show that positive psychological capital
mediates the relationship between authentic leadership and organizational commitment. We then assert the
following hypothesis: H1 Authentic leadership has a significant impact on organization’s commitment.
2.2 Authentic leadership on psychological capital.
Research argues the importanceof authentic leadership on psychological capital. Jensen and Luthans
(2009)indicate initial empirical support of the impact of authentic leadership on psychological capital.Woolley
et al. (2011) revealed a positive relationship between authentic leadership and followers’ psychological capital,
partially mediated by positive work climate. Rego et al. (2012) show that authentic leadership predicts
employees’ creativity, both directly and through the mediating role of employees’ psychological capital. While
Authentic Leadership and Organizational Commitment: The Mediating Role of Positive Psychological
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Wang et al. (2014) consider the impact on employee’s performance from different viewpoint. They show that
authentic leadership is positively related to leader-member exchange and consequently followers’ performance,
and to a larger degree, among followers who have low rather than high levels of psychological capital. Also
Zubair et al. (2015) studied the effects that moderate the impact of authentic leadership – that psychological
capital and work-related flow mediates in relationship between authentic leadership and employee creativity.
Gaddy (2016) studied resilience of a leader as an important dimension of psychological capital in which was
found a positive impact of authentic leadership on the resilience of the U.S. Army. We then assert the following
hypothesis: H2 Authentic leadership has a significant impact on psychological capital.
2.3 Psychological capital and organization’s commitment.
Larson et al. (2006)consider the impact of psychological capital that predict work attitudes and that
explores organization’s commitment in which they found a significant relationship. Etebarian et al. (2012)
studied several aspects of organizational commitment. They showed that there is a significant relationship
between psychological capital and emotional commitment, while continuous commitment and normative
commitment do not.Simons (2013) reveals a significant relationship between psychological capital, work
engagement and organizational commitment. The results indicate work engagement as being the only significant
predictor of organizational commitment. In another study by Jiaxi et al. (2013) they were interested in studying
job burnout throughout the structural equation model. The final model revealed a significant path from
psychological capital to job burnout through organizational commitment. Recently Bharat Chandra et al. (2015)
and Mehdi et al. (2016)found that psychological capital is the greatest predictor for organizational
commitment.For example, Mehdi et al. (2016) indicated that psychological capital is highly correlated with
organizational commitment and job satisfaction of employees. We then assert the following hypothesis: H3
Psychological capital has a significant impact on organization’s commitment.
2.4 Psychological, authentic leadership and organizational commitment.
As already mentioned that links the authentic leadership influences organizational commitment and
positive psychological capital. This is due to the leader’s behavioral pattern. It can be assumed that authentic
leadership directly and/or indirectly influences organizational commitment with positive psychological capital.
Based on the theories and results of the various authors, we can consider the following hypothesis on mediation:
H4 Psychological mediates the relationship between authentic leadership and organizational commitment.
III. Research Design
3.1 Samples
In the context of Al-Azhar University – Gaza, this study employs survey method for data collection.
Extensive literature reviews the basis for developing an initial list of items to measure the components of the
concepts. In order to revise the measurement items. For the pre-test, the study chooses 8 faculty members, who
have expertise in general management from the same university, to examine whether these revised measurement
items are both necessary and sufficient. In addition, the next step is conducting a pilot study involving 15
respondents to determine the efficiency of the questionnaire. Finally, this study checks item-to-total correlations
to refine the measurements.
This study designs measurements with a 7-point Likert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree.
Our target respondents were academic or administrative employees who have been working in Al-Azhar
University for over one year at least which we consider familiar ones. We sentout 100 questionnaires and
received back 85, among which 82 are valid, that considering 82% valid rate.
Table 1: Presents the demographic characteristics of the respondents.
Factors N %
Gender
Male 59 72.0
Female 07 08.5
Nonresponse 16 19.5
Work
Academic 12 14.6
Administrative 70 85.4
Qualification
PhD 08 09.8
Master 23 28.0
BA 39 47.6
Diploma 09 11.0
Other 03 03.7
Experience
Less than 5 years 08 09.8
Authentic Leadership and Organizational Commitment: The Mediating Role of Positive Psychological
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From 5 to 10 years 06 07.3
From 10 to 15 years 17 20.7
From 15 to 20 years 30 36.6
From 20 to 25 years 21 25.6
Total 82 100.0
3.2 Measures
3.2.1. Organizational Commitment
This dependent variable was measured by twelve Likert type items divided into three sub dimensions(Emotional
commitment EC, Ongoing commitment OC and Normative commitment NC) whereas each Dimension has for
items (As Appendix A shows).
3.2.2 Authentic Leadership
This independent variable as one construct consist of fifteen Likert type items (As Appendix A shows).
3.2.3 Psychological Capital
Psychological capital as a mediator that was molded in one dimension and consists of twelve Likert type items
(As Appendix A shows).
Table 2Presents the means, standard deviations, and correlations of these measures.
M SD LSH PSC EC OC NC
LSH 5.03 1.31 1
PSC 5.37 1.28 0.89* 1
EC 5.43 1.77 0.88* 0.84* 1
OC 5.48 1.77 0.76* 0.74* 0.85* 1
NC 5.40 1.66 0.75* 0.70* 0.84* 0.84* 1
3.3 Reliability and Validity
This study uses Cronbach’s ? and Composite Reliability (CR) to explore the variables reliability. As
shown in Table 3, the minimum Cronbach’s ? of the scales is 0.922, which is found to be above the critical level
of 0.7. indicating high internal consistency. The minimum (CR) is 0.944, above the critical level of 0.7 as well,
indicating high reliability. The Average Variance Extracted (AVE) is 0.618 for (LSH), 0.711 for (PSC), 0.873
for (EC), 0.848 for (OC) and 0.810 for (NC) above the critical level of 0.5, indicating high Convergent validity.
Also, we found important indicator of internal consistency that, the minimum standard loading factor is 0.60,
indicating datum collected in this study are of great validity(As Appendix A shows).
Table 3: Reliability and Validity Measurements.
Alpha CR AVE
LSH 0.955 0.960 0.618
PSC 0.962 0.967 0.711
EC 0.952 0.965 0.873
OC 0.940 0.957 0.848
NC 0.922 0.944 0.810
IV. Results
The role of psychological capital as a mediator variable in relationship between leadership and
organizational commitment.
Table 4 shows the results we obtained from our structure equation model that developed from the
studied constructs. Recalling that, organizational commitment as dependent variable, authentic leadership as
independent variable and psychological capital as mediate variable. The table includes the direct and indirect
effect of authentic leadership on organizational commitment, direct effect of psychological capital on organizational
commitment variables and R-Square for each dependent variable that forming the organizational commitments.
Table 4: Direct and indirect relationship through psychological capital between authentic leadership and
organizational commitment.
Dep.
Authentic Leadership PSC Direct Indirect R-square
B P B P B P
EC 0.71 0.00 0.18 0.15 0.20 0.13 0.795
OC 0.54 0.02 0.23 0.28 0.25 0.26 0.598
NC 0.66 0.00 0.11 0.60 0.13 0.60 0.598
OrgC. 0.67 0.00 0.18 0.28 0.20 0.27 0.739
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Figure 1: Structural equation model authentic leadership, psychological capital and sub dimension of
organizational commitment (Emotional commitment, ongoing commitment and normative commitment).
Figure 2: Structural equation model authentic leadership, psychological capital and main dimension of
organizational commitment.
V. Discussion
We recall that, our study analyzes the mediating role of positive psychological capital in the
relationship between authentic leadership and organizational commitment. Testing our hypotheses accordingly,
this has been done with a reliable and validated statistical analysis of data obtained from the case of Al-Azhar
University Gaza, using the techniques mentioned above. Our structure equation model supports H1, indicating
that authentic leadership has influence on organizational commitment, which is consistent with Tuttle (2009)
who provides an empirical investigation of authentic leadership relating to the employee’s behaviors. Choi et al.
(2016) studied authentic leadership based on its impact on the organization’s commitment, focusing on the
mediating effects of Empowerment. However, considering different degrees of organizational commitment that
influenced by this dimensions. We found the authentic leadership has greater direct impact on emotional
commitment (B= 00.71), ongoing commitment (B= 00.54), and normative commitment (B= 00.66). Also, the
impact of authentic leadership on psychological capital found to be positive in which consisted with prior
Authentic Leadership and Organizational Commitment: The Mediating Role of Positive Psychological
DOI: 10.9790/487X-1910024855 www.iosrjournals.org 53 | Page
research (e.g. Rego et al. 2012; Zubair et al. 2015). Regarding the role of psychological capital in which we
consider H3 as a single term, while in H3 as a mediator term, we reject this two hypothesis as it has an
insignificant impact on organizational commitment. We reveal that different degrees of organizational
commitment are influenced by this dimension. We found the psychological capital positive but insignificant
impact on organizational commitments, emotional commitment (B= 00.20), ongoing commitment (B= 00.25),
and normative commitment (B= 00.15). These findings are consistent with previous studies, where they found
significant and positive relationship e.g. Etebarian et al. (2012) revealed significant positive impact on several
areas of organizational commitment. Also, Bharat Chandra et al. (2015) and Mehdi et al. (2016) found that
psychological capital is the greatest predictor for organizational commitment. We refer this finding to the
special context in which we consider the context on the country level where we have special social, economic,
political environments; as well as the context on the firm’s level, where we consider higher education
institutions and academics, which forms our research sample. These variables lead to a special context in which
we revealdifferent results from the prior studies.
VI. Future Studies
Findings of our research present a number of opportunities for future research. This study is suggesting
a new context, considering different industries in similar cultural and socio-economic contexts, and comparing
the results with those obtained in this study. Considering different variables as sub diminutions of authentic
leadership and psychological capital, as both diminution is vital in organizational research, as suggested by
Walumbwa et al. (2008) in their studies, i.e. that both variables are important in an organizational context. And
so we suggest for future studies the context target of non-profit organizations, such as governmental sectors and
NGOs, as well as the manufacturing sectors too. We expect different organizational commitments from their
employees as the purpose of the exiting of their organizations is different.
Acknowledgement
Our acknowledgement goes first and foremost to our great university – Al-Azhar University of
Gaza.Also, great thanksgo to Mr. Hatem Alharazin, who has closely followed the progress with his great
experience in statistics.And thanks to everyone who either directly or indirectly contributed to this piece of
work.