U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



The Leadership Quarterly 23 (2012) 502–516; doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.12.004


This article has been retracted at the request of the Senior Editor of The Leadership Quarterly . Please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal: (http://0-www.elsevier.com.library.unl.edu/locate/withdrawalpolicy).

After concerns were raised about possible problems of reporting in this paper, the Senior Editor consulted with the two previous Senior Editors of The Leadership Quarterlyand a methodologist (M1) (not the claimant) to assess the seriousness of the allegations and to make a preliminary determination concerning the allegations’ merits. All concurred that there were serious problems in this paper. The methodologist (M1) prepared a report outlining the problems and this report was forwarded to a second methodologist (M2) to confirm the correctness of methods used by the first methodologist to detect the problems. The second methodologist attested to the correctness of the first methodologist’s analyses.

The Senior Editor then contacted the authors to inform them of the problems identified in the paper. The authors were asked to respond to concerns raised and encouraged to send the original data from this paper to the Senior Editor for reanalysis.

The authors did not provide the original data but rather sent a letter replying to the methodology report, along with new analytic results. These new results were reviewed by a third methodologist (M3) as well as the methodologist who prepared the report (M1). Both agreed that the re‐analysis failed to replicate the results that were originally reported and further supported concerns about serious reporting errors and model misspecifications and misstatements in the published article. The paper included misreported findings both for the substantive and alternative models.

The Senior Editor has concluded that the misreported findings both for the substantive and alternative models compromised the scientific review process. In particular, an alternative model was tested that was reported to fit quite badly, with a RMSEA=.10; however, based on the information reported in the paper, the RMSEA should have been .08, and the CFI for the alterative model should be .91 and not .86 as reported; similarly, the TLI for the alternative model should be .89 and not .82 as reported.

After the authors were presented with the above issues, they were unable to reproduce their results. For example, the chi‐square originally reported for the target model was 645.60; however, in the re‐analyses a chi‐square of 588.17 was reported. The attempted replication of the alternative model had similar discrepancies.

Because findings from what should have been the same models could not be replicated, it has to be considered that the data in the article and those that were used to submit supplementary analyses were not the same, the models tested were not the same, or results were initially incorrectly reported. This coupled with the fact that the fit tests for the alternative models were initially incorrect and could not be reproduced, raises doubts about the validity of the research and conclusions drawn. Additionally, following explanations provided by the authors, it is unclear to the Senior Editor how the data has been handled. In particular, the authors stated that they had to deal with missing data, with respondents giving “straight line” responses, and the data were corrected for “skewness.” Given the many ways in which the data were prepared for analysis and re‐analysis, the replication of the results was not possible. These preparation procedures were not reported in the article.

As a consequence of the processes outlined above, the scientific trustworthiness of this work cannot be established. However, intentional wrongdoing should not be inferred.


Although theory suggests a link between authentic leadership style and follower positivity and performance, little empirical research exists to confirm this notion. Given that scholars have suggested that leadership studies have generally failed to adequately address or include organizational context in prior research, we examine whether two measures of follower positivity—positive emotions and psychological capital—mediate the relationship between authentic leadership and follower job performance in two potentially extreme contexts (i.e., a police and military organization). After first explaining why extreme contexts provide a setting whereby authentic leaders play a more direct role in impacting the positivity of followers, we test several hypotheses. Results of two studies indicated that the frequency of authentic leadership behavior exhibited by leaders was positively related to followers' job performance, and this relationship was partially mediated through followers' positive emotions (Study 1) and fully mediated through leaders' influence on followers' psychological capital (Study 2).

Note: As a result of the retraction, the full text of this article is no longer available here. The Download button links to a blank document.