Understanding Ourselves and Organizational Leadership: Theory, Instrument Development, and Empirical Investigations of Self-Awareness
What is self-awareness? Is self-awareness always helpful? Studies of self-awareness have implications for a wide variety of topics in organizational behavior. Yet, this research has been scattered, resulting in gaps, siloed insights, a lack of clear and consistent conceptualization, and the confounding of causes and effects with self-awareness itself. In this dissertation, I present a collection of papers that have been assembled to increase our understanding of not only the nature of the construct of self-awareness itself, but of also its consequences. I first review and synthesize a set of discrepant findings across organizational behavior and psychological literatures to distinguish, summarize, and assess research on self-awareness as process and content (Chapter 1). I then propose that the content of self-awareness manifests through three distinct focal targets of awareness: internal, external, and social (Chapter 2) and develop a measure of self-awareness grounded in this distinction (Chapter 3). I use this theoretical framework to investigate the downsides of self-awareness by proposing that overly high levels of self-awareness may have detrimental interpersonal consequences for leaders (Chapter 4). I close my dissertation with an evaluation of implications of my findings for future research (Chapter 5).
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