I found a tremendous amount of literature on the subject of strategic leader self-awareness and self-deception. This paper provides some practical recommendations to organizations to help them encourage self-awareness in their leaders and discourage self-deception. Through this research, I identified many of the pitfalls of self-deception and many of the benefits of self-awareness.
The problem with researching a phenomenon such as this is that many aspects remain hidden in one’s psyche. This makes it challenging to present concrete, practical suggestions to help leaders. However challenging, it is an essential and valiant endeavor to undertake for practitioners and scholars alike.
Scholars have the opportunity to explore further the methods that may be effective in training leaders about self-awareness and self-deception. Caldwell recommended supporting the training of leaders by measuring attitudes and perceived trust of employees about their leaders. Karpen wondered how well conceptual mitigation strategies work in the real world. He recommended future research be dedicated to determining whether cognitive debiasing works in real-world settings.
Practitioners should also be interested in furthering the understanding of leader self-awareness and self-deception. Several scholars pointed out areas they thought were important to guide this endeavor further. Nicolaides and her colleagues studied identifying deception through psycholinguistic signals in written and oral language. However, they recommended more research into the potential linguistic signals of fraud risk. Taylor recommended future comparisons of a leader’s awareness of their strengths and weaknesses with how well they anticipate the views of others as it relates to leader effectiveness. Von Hippel and Trivers questioned how successful people are at detecting deception. They recommended future research on those who deceive and their ability to determine if and when their deception was successful.
Finally, Joosten and her colleagues studied unethical leadership behaviors in individualistic societies like that of the West. All of the research for this effort was taken from Western sources. They recommended that future research be conducted in collectivist societies to see if differences in cultures influence deviant leader behavior. Joosten and her colleagues also recommended exploring different unethical behaviors in leaders.