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Dissertation Abstract

Examining Servant Leadership within Virtual and Face-to-Face Teams

Kevin A. Lucas
June 2007

This dissertation explored servant leadership in virtual and face-to-face teams. Its primary objective was to answer the grand research question, “Is there a difference between servant leadership in face-to-face and virtual teams?” Dennis and Bocarnea’s (2005) Servant Leadership Assessment Instrument (SLAI) was used to test Patterson’s (2003) servant leadership theory within face-to-face and virtual teams located in a publicly-held U.S. corporation. For the purpose of this study, the vision statements within the SLAI were modified to better capture the spirit of Patterson’s (2003) theory. Survey results were analyzed and the causal relationships between Patterson’s seven component constructs of (a) agapao love, (b) humility, (c) altruism, (d) vision, (e) trust, (f) empowerment, and (g) service were be measured using statistical regression analysis and t-tests. The results of this study found that the statistical differences between the perception of servant leadership in virtual and face-to-face teams was minimal. As a by-product of this study, Patterson’s servant leadership theory was advanced. This was accomplished by testing its component constructs in both virtual and face-to-face team environments located within a publicly-held U.S. corporation. These represent significant contextual environments that, prior to this study, Patterson’s theory had not been examined in.