Servant Leadership and the Effectiveness of Teams
Justin A. Irving
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between servant leadership and the effectiveness of teams. While Greenleaf's (1977) seminal work on servant leadership has led to a growing body of literature surrounding the construct, up to this point, very little has been done to investigate what effect servant leadership behaviors have on the effectiveness of teams. In light of this void in the literature, the present study sought to answer the research question: “ Is there a relationship between servant leadership and team effectiveness?” by conducting an empirical study in a U.S. division of an international nonprofit organization. The data collected were gathered using three instruments: (a) The Organizational Leadership Assessment (Laub, 1999); (b) The Servant Leadership Assessment Instrument (Dennis, 2004); and (c) The Team Effectiveness Questionnaire (Larson & LaFasto, 2001). These instruments provided data around the following variables: (a) servant leadership at the organizational level; (b) job satisfaction at the individual participant level; (c) team effectiveness at the team level; and the servant leadership variables of (d) love, (e) empowerment, (f) vision, (g) humility, and (h) trust at the individual leader level. Pearson r correlation analyses were used to examine the relationship between team effectiveness and the other variables associated with servant leadership and job satisfaction. A statistically significant and positive correlation was found for each of the variables associated with servant leadership and job satisfaction when analyzed in reference to team effectiveness.
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