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Dissertation Abstract

Servant Leadership Theory: Development of the Servant Leadership Assessment Instrument

Rob S. Dennis
Regent University

The following research question guided this study: Can the presence of Patterson's servant leadership concept be assessed through a written instrument? The purpose of this study was to construct and validate an instrument to measure the component constructs of Patterson's (2003) servant leadership theory. Specifically, the seven component concepts, as defined by Patterson, were used to build items for a servant leadership instrument. This study involved both a Delphi (abbreviated) survey and the development of the Servant Leadership Survey (GLE) instrument.

Statistical analysis was informed by using the literature review and Patterson's (2003) work on servant leadership concepts to build a set of survey items. Then the advice of a jury of experts was used to revise, add to, and delete some items. Next, a Delphi method was applied in order to remove duplications. This was followed by data collection.

Three separate data collections were used for the development of this instrument which resulted in refining and honing the instrument. The third data collection took place during mid-February 2004 for a one-week period. This collection netted 313 participants and 300 useable data after the clean up for missing values. The statistical results indicated that the Servant Leadership Assessment Instrument measured five factors of Patterson's (2003) seven factors on servant leadership. The final factor analysis loaded 25 items of the scale to produce six factors. Four of the five factors loaded with five items—Love, Empowerment, Vision, and Humility—with Cronbach alphas ranging from .89 to .94. The fifth factor, Trust, loaded with two items, however, this was the second consecutive data collection with loadings. The previous data collection had loaded five items.
It is the intention that this instrument has the ability to predict or give measurement to the concepts of Patterson's (2003) theory of servant leadership so that a servant leader can measure his or her effectiveness as a servant leader. According to the review of the literature, this is the first instrument to measure five factors on servant leadership.