The relationship between leadership and job satisfaction has attracted considerable scientific interest, especially in relation to the quality of tourism businesses. This study investigated this relationship within the framework of authentic leadership. The study also explored differences between outsourced workers and internal hotel employees in terms of the influence of authentic leadership on job satisfaction. Fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) offered valuable new insight. This study was based on a sample of 58 heads of department of four/five star hotels in the Canary Islands, Spain. The results suggest that high levels of leadership in the four subscales of authentic leadership (balanced processing, relational transparency, self-awareness, and internalized moral perspective) are sufficient to increase job satisfaction. The same outcome is achieved with high levels of balanced processing, even though it is accompanied by low transparency and low levels of internalized moral perspective. There are no major differences between outsourced workers and internal employees, except in terms of the importance of self-awareness. These results can help hotel managers reflect upon leadership and can provide new approaches for scientific research in this area.
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