Although recent literature on university teaching highlights “authenticity” as an
important concept, the meaning of this complex notion remains elusive. Sternberg (1990) proposed that we gain deeper insight into phenomena that are assumed to be of profound meaning but remain insufficiently understood if, alongside explicit theories of experts, we also consider the implicit theories of nonspecialists. This repertory grid study explored with a sample of lecturers their personal conceptions of authenticity in teaching and how these compare to explicit theories developed by educationalists and philosophers. Implications for theory and professional development, as well as future directions for research, are offered.