Very little research focuses on a follower's perception of leadership. Furthermore, black African female employees' perception of a male leader's botho and authentic leadership style in Botswana parastatals has never been researched. Research has made it evident that leadership not only needs to be viewed from a leader-centric perspective but a follower-centric perspective should also be taken into consideration.
Botho and authenticity are phenomena that are unique to a specific context. The conundrum to apprehend is how this influences a leader. This study thus aimed to identify how botho and authentic leadership is perceived and experienced by black African female employees, to explore whether male leaders are perceived to possess botho and authentic leadership styles, and enquire how important black African female employees regard botho and authentic leadership styles in male leaders.
The study adopted a qualitative, grounded theory methodological approach to investigate the research purpose. Unstructured and semi-structured interviews were used to investigate the particular focus area. The data collection was split into two phases. Phase one comprised of focus groups, followed by phase two with individual interviews. A sample consisting of seven black African female employees from three parastatals in Botswana was used. This sample was selected as they had experience in the field of interest. The discussions were recorded and transcribed prior to being captured in Excel. Thematic coding was adopted to scrutinise the data.
The findings of the study indicated that the followers would love for their opinions to be taken into consideration more. Facets mostly illuminated by the participants included the need for better communication, transparency and guidance. Respect and compassion were found to be the cornerstone of botho. Social awareness and self-awareness were found to be the grounding factors to being an authentic leader. Furthermore, it was found that cultural context is evidently an important factor to consider when approaching leadership.
Due to the subjective nature of the study, the researcher could not generalise the findings. The participants' responses were based on their social construction and experiences. Future research should focus on developing constructs that participants regard as vital when measuring botho and authenticity. Developing a measurement tool that is valid and reliable for botho and authentic leadership whilst taking into consideration the cultural context would be beneficial to the development of the constructs.