Authentic leadership and career satisfaction: the meditating role of thriving and conditional effect of psychological contract fulfillment

Wen Chang, James Busser, Anyu Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aims examine the impact of authentic leadership on the career satisfaction of hospitality employees through the lens of thriving. The two components of thriving, that is, learning and vitality, are tested as mediators, and psychological contract fulfillment is tested as a boundary factor. Design/methodology/approach: Data are collected using an online survey through the Qualtrics panel service in the USA. Structural equation modeling and an invariance test are conducted to investigate the framework. Findings: The findings show that authentic leadership can determine career satisfaction through the influence of learning and vitality. Moreover, psychological contract fulfillment exerts a conditional effect on this mediation. Practical implications: The findings of this study extend the understanding on authentic leadership and its impact under specific conditions. This study offers several meaningful recommendations to hospitality managers on how to influence employees’ career success to maintain sustainable performance. Detailed approaches include establishing practices for regular and authentic leadership development, increasing attention on employee thriving states and addressing employee psychological contracts. Originality/value: This study enriches research on authentic leadership and career management in the hospitality industry. Moreover, this study provides meaningful insights by examining the relationships between authentic leadership, thriving, career satisfaction and psychological contracts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2117-2136
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Authentic leadership
  • Career satisfaction
  • Psychological contract fulfillment
  • Thriving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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