WHAT WOULD DOLLY DO?: Dolly Parton as Authentic Leader


While Dolly Parton may be best known for her distinguished music career, her philanthropic and community work is equally impressive. This paper explains how Parton’s work in these areas can illustrate the principles of authentic leadership from a popular media perspective. Parton’s popularity and wide range of fans across generations and demographics make a case study of her work a poignant and effective pedagogical tool as an introduction to authentic leadership. We share an array of resources in popular media that includes videos, podcasts, and popular press articles and offer questions to facilitate class discussion and about the qualities of an authentic leader.