Imagery of Regent people and campus

Dissertation Abstract

The Relationship of Followers’ Perceptions of Leaders’ Servant Leadership Behaviors to Followers’ Self-Ratings of the Four Components of Psychological Capital: A Comparative Study of Evangelical Christian Leader-Follower Relationships in the United States and Cambodia


Eric D. Coggins
July 2012


Servant leadership has been proposed as a positive ethical leadership style with a moral component whereby leaders display concern for the needs and development of followers and provide added value in terms of follower well-being (including psychological well-being). Psychological capital has been posited as one measure of internal psychological resources of individuals (leaders and followers alike) relevant to personal psychological well-being. At least a few scholars (e.g., Hu & Liden, 2011; Searle & Barbuto, 2011; Walumba, Hartnell, & Oke, 2010) have conceptualized the relationship of servant leadership to individual components of psychological capital (e.g., hope and self-efficacy). This present study was the first to measure a full-scale model of servant leadership to the four individual resources of psychological capital. In general, the findings of this present study seemed to confirm that a statistically significant positive relationship may exist between the follower-perceived practice of servant leadership and the same followers’ sense of psychological capital. However, the findings further suggest that the relationship between servant leadership and follower psychological capital may be mitigated by the respective followers’ cultural setting. Specifically, this present study employed a hierarchical multiple regression (HMR) design to measure the relationship between the linear combination of five components of Barbuto and Wheeler’s (2006) five-factor servant leadership model and Luthans, Youssef, and Avolio’s (2007) four individual components of psychological capital. For the most part, the findings indicate that servant leadership is positively related to followers’ self-ratings of psychological capital in both Cambodian and American samples, but those relationships were found to be statistically significant in the Cambodian sample only. Although the resultant models were positive in general, the findings indicate that the five servant leadership components in combination with one another added to or detracted from the respective linear regression models as related to the individual psychological capital components in varying order and magnitudes.