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The Authenticity of the Others: How Teammates’ Authenticity Relates to Our Well-Being
Small Group Research  (IF2.66),  Pub Date : 2019-10-04, DOI: 10.1177/1046496419874877
Astrid Ingrid Emmerich, Michael Knoll, Thomas Rigotti

Although prior research has linked being authentic to individual well-being, little is known about authenticity’s external effects, that is, whether being around those who are authentic is good or bad for us. Integrating authenticity research and social penetration theory, we propose that others’ authenticity facilitates a number of positive intra- and interpersonal processes. Using a sample of 715 employees nested in 109 teams working for a nonprofit organization, we found that teammate authenticity relates positively to focal employees’ work engagement and negatively to their emotional exhaustion. While teammate authenticity explained incremental validity in both outcomes beyond the focal employee’s self-authenticity, it did not moderate the link from self-authenticity to well-being. Thus, instead of further facilitating beneficial intra-individual processes, being around authentic teammates seems to trigger distinct beneficial (social) processes that are neglected when focusing merely on the authenticity of the individual employee.