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2017 Dissertations – Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership Program

The final requirement for School of Business & Leadership Ph.D. students is the scholarly research dissertation. To access full-text versions of these dissertations, please contact your university’s library or UMI Dissertation Services. Regent students, staff and faculty may access full-text versions from the Regent University Library.

Evaluating Fry’s Spiritual Leadership Theory in Nigeria

Michael Adebiyi | 2017


This quantitative research study examines the extent to which the spiritual leadership model previously evaluated by Fry, Vitucci, and Cedillo (2005) in the United States compares to a similar evaluation in Nigeria. Completion of this study in Nigeria, a culture differing from the United States on several cultural dimensions, further addresses the external validity of the spiritual leadership model. Fry et al. found strong support for spiritual leadership theory’s causal model and its measures in the United States with all standardized path coefficients in the hypothesized causal model positive and significant except for the relationship between calling/meaning and organizational commitment. Utilizing a sample of 252 employees from public, private, school system, military, oil and gas, and banking sectors in Nigeria, this study found that only 4 out of 12 of the path coefficients of spiritual leadership theory’s causal model in Nigeria are statistically significant. Interestingly, the relationship between calling/meaning and organizational commitment was found to be statistically significant in Nigeria. Organizational citizenship behavior was discovered not to be a possible outcome of spiritual leadership model in Nigeria. Implications of the study findings, research methodologies, limitations of the study, and recommendations for future research were discussed.

Experiences of Pentecostal Leadership: A Phenomenological Study among Norwegian Pastors

Truls Åkerlund | 2017


Despite the exceptional growth of Pentecostalism over the last century, little research has been done on the nature of Pentecostal leadership. This study offers a better understanding of the essential characteristics of the phenomenon through a phenomenological analysis of the lived leadership experience of Norwegian Pentecostal pastors. Utilizing Giorgi’s (2009) descriptive phenomenological method based on Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology, the study detected a general structure of Pentecostal leadership comprised of eight constituents: (a) motivated by a sense of higher, divine purpose—the leader’s motivation to lead comes from a deep sense of commitment to serve God’s plans and purposes for the congregation and the world; (b) derived leadership—pastors see their leadership as derived from God, implying that they lead on behalf of someone else; (c) human and divine agency in a seamless interaction between rationality and spirituality—the idea of being led by God liberates rather than limits the leader to proactively engage in organizational matters, and the Pentecostal belief that God is active in every aspect of life frees him to seamlessly combine spirituality and rationality in leading the organization; (d) pragmatic and eclectic stance towards the Pentecostal tradition—the leader draws on the Pentecostal tradition in eclectic and often unsystematic ways and approaches Pentecostal spirituality as a dynamic reservoir, something to be defined as much as defining; (e) persuasive communication—in setting the direction for the Pentecostal congregation, the leader relies more on persuasion than position, making verbal communication an important means of influence; (f) dialectic relationship between structure and agency—organizational structures simultaneously enable and constrain leadership agency, meaning that the leader’s ability to influence the organization depends on his ability to adapt to the organization; (g) adaptive to context—Pentecostal leadership considers and adapts to the sociocultural context in which it is situated; and (h) involving the leader’s entire life—the leader leads the Pentecostal organization with his life, having modeling as a prime source of influence. The findings’ implications for theory and practice are considered, as are comparisons with organizational leadership theory and suggestions for further research.

Paul’s Rhetorical Leadership in an Arena of Cultures: A Sociorhetorical and Content Analysis of Acts 21-26 and Romans 13:1-7 That Provides Guidance for Presidents of Christian Colleges During Challenges to Religious Liberty

Johathan Allbaugh | 2017


The current societal pressures regarding religious liberty and institutional sustainability for Christian higher education in America call for rhetorical leadership from presidents of Christian colleges and universities. This study provides a biblically rooted and theoretically sound, multifaceted approach using sociorhetorical criticism and content analysis of Acts 21-26 and Romans 13:1-7. The Apostle Paul was an exemplar of transformational leadership within a cultural context that contained similar societal pressures to the current climate of Christian higher education. Findings from the mixed methodology provided rhetorical, historical, philosophical, political, and theological insights that were subsequently analyzed through a construct of domains of influence with their resident cross-pressures and the arena of cultural conflict with its participating agents. The conclusions of these findings and subsequent analyses were incorporated into a model of transformational leadership with the intention of assisting presidents of Christian colleges and universities as they represent their institutions in the challenges of religious freedom in the public square.

Towards Developing Authentic Small Group Leaders: A Sociorhetorical Analysis of the Book of Exodus 18

Stuart Wayne Boyer | 2017


The study examined the leadership of Moses and the selection of developing leaders as found in Exodus 18. The focus was on the corresponding aspects of leadership, developing leaders, specifically small group leaders, towards contemporary leadership principles. Moreover, the contemporary leadership principles involved within the study included spiritual leadership and authentic leadership. The multidisciplinary exegetical process followed the methodology of sociorhetorical analysis towards the interpretation of aspects of leadership, leadership selection, and leadership development. Included within the process of leadership selection and leadership development, there remain cognitive and moral components. The textural interpretation generated 22 themes, which remain significant towards leadership. The 22 themes were then organized into five leadership principles drawn from Exodus 18. The themes and principles provided a similarity between both spiritual and authentic leadership. There were sufficient differences noted with greater connection towards authentic leadership. Nevertheless, adequate similarities exist within the themes and principles revealed towards spiritual and authentic leadership. All principles of leadership attributes were derived from the Holy Scriptures and included aspects of humility, remaining teachable and the necessity of a growing intimate relationship with God.

Unearthing the Moral and Authentic Leader: Understanding the Impact of Transcendental Leadership, Workplace Spirituality, and Corporate Social Responsibility on Performance

Mignon Sparks Burton | 2017


This study assessed a variable that might counteract a growing contemporary trend of immoral, corrupt, and self-serving leaders. It was posited that the spiritual nature of a transcendental leader promotes a work environment where spirituality is fostered, so corporate behaviors positively guide workers’ communal responsibility, which results in improved organizational performance in both the spheres of task and contextual outcomes. This study asked: Is there a positive relationship between transcendental leadership (TL) and organizational performance, and what effect do workplace spirituality (WS) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) have on this relationship? The relationships between the constructs of TL (independent variable), WS (moderator), CSR (mediator), and organizational performance (dependent variables: task and contextual) were reviewed. Two hierarchical regression analyses examined the criteria variables on their relationship with the two dependent variables (organizational performance task [OPT] and organizational performance contextual [OPC]), as well as the related descriptive statistics. The results detailed participants’ perceived TL positively predicts with both the organizational performance task and contextual variables at significant levels. Therefore, Hypothesis 1a, There is a positive relationship between TL and OPT, and Hypothesis 2a, There is a positive relationship between TL and OPC, were supported. The hypotheses relating to the WS’s moderating effect between TL and CSR as a mediating variable for the criterion variables (OPT and OPC)—Hypothesis 1b, WS moderates the relationship between TL and CSR such that at higher levels of WS the relationship is stronger; Hypothesis 1c, CSR mediates the relationship between TL and OPT such that higher levels of CSR the relationship is stronger; Hypothesis 2b, WS moderates the relationship between TL and CSR such that at higher levels of WS the relationship is stronger; and Hypothesis 2c, CSR mediates the relationship between TL and OPC such that at higher levels of CSR the relationship is stronger—were not supported.

The Dysfunction Junction: The Impact of Toxic Leadership on Follower Effectiveness

Richard Mark Bell | 2017


This study examined the effect of toxic leadership, as moderated by leader–member exchange (LMX), on a follower’s active engagement (AE) and independent, critical thinking (ICT). Schmidt’s (2008) toxic leadership theory describes the five dimensions of toxic leadership as abusive supervision, authoritarian leadership, narcissism, unpredictability, and self-promotion. LMX theory (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995) describes the dyadic relationship between leaders and followers with some followers forming the leader’s in group while others form the leader’s out group. Followership theory describes the role of followers and following in the leadership process, and Kelley (1992) described how follower style occurs based on the two behavioral dimensions of AE and ICT. Ten hypotheses considered the direct effects of the five dimensions of toxic leadership on the two follower behavior dimensions, and 10 hypotheses considered the moderating effect of LMX. A survey method was employed utilizing Schmidt’s (2014) Toxic Leadership Scale, the LMX-7 (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995), and Kelley’s (1992) Followership Styles Questionnaire. Data were collected from 203 nontraditional graduate students with professional work experience in diverse career sectors. Hierarchical multiple regression techniques were used to test the 20 hypotheses. The regression analysis indicated the self-promotion dimension of toxic leadership had a direct effect on the follower’s AE. Other direct effect hypotheses were unsupported. LMX had direct effects on both follower engagement and critical thinking, but no support was found for an interaction effect. Over 78% of the study’s participants indicated having experience as the follower of a toxic leader. The results of the study further the research related to both toxic leadership and followership, demonstrating the pervasiveness of toxic leadership in organizations and indicating the importance of LMX to the followership dimensions of AE and ICT.

The Relationship between Servant Leadership and Employee Engagement

Crystal M. Brown | 2017


Currently, little is known about servant leadership and its relationship with meaningfulness, safety, and availability as it relates to Kahn’s (1990) definition of employee engagement. Furthermore, definitions of servant leadership have varied over the past 30 years, making it difficult to clarify what it means to be a servant leader. For servant leaders to ensure employees are fully engaged in the workplace and to see if a relationship between servant leadership and meaningfulness, safety, and availability exists, a field-based, survey design with multiple regression analyses was conducted controlling for gender. A convenience sample consisted of full-time employees at a financial cooperative in the Charleston, South Carolina, area. The research findings align with most of the minimal literature that exists with respect to servant leadership and employee engagement—meaningfulness, safety, and availability. When controlling for participant gender and leader’s gender, servant leadership has a significant positive relationship with meaningfulness and safety but not with availability.

Leading from the Pews: Leadership Characteristics of Church Mothers in the Sanctified Church

Jane R. Caulton | 2017


During the 20th century, African American Pentecostal and Holiness denominations took on the moniker sanctified church (E. Y. Alexander, 2011; Synan, 2001) and represented assemblies that believed in the empowerment of the Holy Spirit evidenced through spiritual manifestations such as glossolalia, divine healing, and emotional worship. Early membership primarily was composed of poor and marginalized people, and within its structure, women found a place to contribute their skills and abilities (A. D. Butler, 2007; Gilkes, 1986b). Some of them were recognized as church mothers and gained power that they used to support and guide the direction of the church. Yet, these women were not ordained and did not have the accorded legitimate power. I conducted a phenomenological study to answer the research question: What were the leadership characteristics that enabled church mothers to gain and execute power in the sanctified church during a period when most women were denied ordination, leaving them to function in male-dominated spheres? I used the organizational leadership and courageous follower constructs and the variables of church mothers, the sanctified church, and leadership (Banks, 2013; Chaleff, 2009; Dixon, 2008; Gál, 2012). I engaged a purposive sample representing four denominations of the sanctified church: Church of God in Christ, Mount Calvary Holy Church of America, Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, and an independent interdenominational assembly to provide triangulation (Patton, 1999). I based this methodology on the social construction theory. I recorded interviews, transcribed them, dissected them to create a table for each question, and coded the data to identify themes (Creswell, 2003). I categorized the themes and inducted that the leadership traits of church mothers included influence, resourcefulness, modeling, and acclimatizing. This study contributes to the literature on ecclesial leadership, specifically female participation, and to follower studies. I limited the study to the leadership traits of church mothers and did not discuss the implications of recognizing church mothers rather than ordaining them. In the future, researchers may pursue these topics as well the roles of women in other denominations.

Religion and Spirituality in the Workplace: A Quantitative Evaluation of Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment

Debra J. Dean | 2017


Religion and spirituality were once considered taboo topics in the workplace; however, practitioners and scholars have been finding evidence of positive benefits to the triple bottom line—people, profit, and planet. Benefits include improvement in employee health, reduction of employee stress, more job involvement, increased job satisfaction, higher levels of organizational commitment, less organizational frustration, more organizational identification, and enhanced work unit performance. The first large-scale empirical study of religion and spirituality in the workplace revealed the urgency for organizations to “learn how to harness the whole person and the immense spiritual energy that is at the core of everyone . . . [or] they will not be able to produce world class products and service” (Mitroff & Denton, 1999, p. 84). Responding to the call to explore the two main instruments used to empirically test spirituality at work and contribute to the three most promising theoretical approaches to date, according to Benefiel, Fry, and Geigle (2014), this research used a quantitative, cross-sectional, field-based study to examine the relationships of religion and spirituality in the workplace to work outcomes of job satisfaction and organizational commitment. The instruments used to measure six dimensions of workplace spirituality included the Spiritual Leadership Scale and the Spirituality at Work Scale. The Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire short-form and Organizational Commitment Questionnaire evaluated work outcomes of job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Additionally, the Religious Commitment Index and demographic questions examined the control variables of age, education, gender, income, meditation experience, religion, and years of work experience. The findings of this research indicate that altruistic love is worthy of attention with regard to job satisfaction and organizational commitment. In addition to altruistic love, sense of community and meaningful work were significantly predictive of job satisfaction; however, altruistic love clearly stood out as the most important variable.

The Love-Empowered Leader: A Qualitative Case Study of a Pastoral Leadership Exemplar of an Evangelical Congregation in Virginia

Deborah Darlene Reynolds Harper | 2017


The construct of love is under investigation in this empirical qualitative case study. Love is a powerful force and thus can change landscapes. The landscapes under investigation in the study are in the domain of leadership. This is a study of a case exemplar, who demonstrates the practice and presence of love in lived experience. In this case study, love is presented from multiple perspectives so as to direct contemporary leaders to the consideration of a love-centered approach to leadership. The literature has revealed that leadership theory and praxis can be positively impacted by a strong love-empowered leadership approach. The empirical research in the study presents findings that are noteworthy in the modern application of contemporary leadership theory, as well as inspire paradigm shifts in how leadership in viewed from a leadership and organizational effectiveness perspective. Although there have been studies recently that have emphasized the need for love in leadership, not as much study has focused on how love is operationalized, how love can be the motivating factor behind a leader’s reason to lead, how love positively influences members of an organization, and the beneficial organizational consequences of a love-centered approach to leadership. Therefore, this study explored these elements further and presents finding that can contribute to an operational definition of love in leadership based on the sacred text of 1 Corinthians 13. A greater understanding of love as a viable construct in leadership was investigated through the presence and practice of love expressed in lived experience. This study sought to extend the scholarship and empirical research on the construct of love in organizational leadership.

The Effects of the Empowering Role of Followers on Leaders: A Phenomenological Perspective

Evelina Denise Harris-Wilson | 2017


Leadership and followership are interdependent phenomena; nevertheless, most of the past literature has focused on the critical role of the leader. Because of the changing landscape of the world and its economy as a result of globalization and evolving technology, scholars and practitioners have started to focus on the valuable role that followers play in achieving organizational objectives. Scholars such as Kelley (1988) and Chaleff (1995) were pioneers in the study of followership, emphasizing the mutual and complementary role of leaders and followers. Empowerment is an area in which these reciprocal roles manifest. While several scholars have focused on how leaders empower followers (Conger & Kanungo, 1988; Manz, 1992; Spreitzer, 1996; Thomas & Velthouse, 1990), little work has been conducted on how followers empower leaders. To address this gap in the literature, a qualitative phenomenological study was conducted to answer the question: How do followers empower leaders? The participants were assigned to six focus groups consisting of a leader and a follower from different organizations and diverse backgrounds in the Commonwealth of Virginia using the models proposed by Kelley (1988, 1992) and Chaleff, which highlighted components such as critical thinking, active engagement, the courage to challenge, participate in transformation, and take moral action. The perspectives of both the leader and the follower were considered. In-depth questions were formulated from literature to discover how followers possessing the characteristics of effective and courageous followership proposed by Kelley (1988) and Chaleff empowered leaders. Bracketing and triangulation were used to analyze data and to ensure validation and credibility. The findings revealed that leaders were empowered when effective and courageous followers demonstrated skills and qualities such as decision making and leadership, mindfulness, competence, commitment, conflict management, respect, communication, creativity, integrity, mindfulness, and being proactive and relational. When these attributes are utilized daily, it allows the leader to be more productive and focus on other priorities.

Towards a Theory of Leadership for Human Flourishing in a Global Community: A Hermeneutic, Phenomenological, and Process Theory Exploration of the Leadership of Jesus in the Four Gospels

Edward W. Hatch | 2017


Leadership as influence is at the root of most understandings of the phenomenon (Northouse, 2013; Yukl, 2006). Yet the myriad targets and means of influence at the individual, group/team, and social/collective levels give rise to competing values and theories of change (Cameron & Quinn, 2011; J. D. Hunter, 2006; Richter, 2011). There is, however, one common denominator of leadership change–influence that can focus all theories of change and strategies of hope. This one denominator is evident in the leadership of the life of the founder and followers of perhaps the most successful global movement the world has ever seen. Hoksbergen, Curry, and Kuperus (2009) claimed, “No question is more important for our time than what brings about human flourishing in a global community” (p. 11). Then-United Nations Secretary General Ban (2008) said the real global crisis was not a crisis of intractable problems but a crisis of global leadership. To bridge that gap, this study examined the leadership of Jesus of Nazareth in first-century Palestine with a view to developing a theory of leadership for human flourishing in global community. A comprehensive research methodology was crafted from the fields of phenomenology, process theory, and biblical hermeneutics and applied to the narrative texts of the four Christian Gospels. A three-dimensional leadership theory emerged from this study of the life work of Jesus. Following Ricouer’s (1976) phenomenological approach, three passes were made through the Gospels data set. Over 1,100 initially coded themes and patterns were synthesized through examination of recorded events as the central unit of qualitative analysis. Eleven core themes emerged leading to three macrocategories that, upon further study, became the three major leadership dimensions of the proposed theory. With an eye to theory building from the start, Whetten’s (2002) modeling as theory building methodology and the filtering questions of “‘what’s’-as-constructs” (p. 51) and “‘how’s’-as-relationships” (p. 55) further clarified the three leadership dimensions of people, process, and place as central to Jesus’ leadership and human flourishing in a global community. Pike’s (1982) tagmemic linguistic theory helped crystalize understanding of how the same things can be understood from different perspectives as particle, wave, and field. This study concluded by presenting and explicating the middle range theory called three-dimensional leadership theory. Support for the proposed theory was found in contemporary organizational leadership and philosophical and scholarly research leading to 11 supporting propositions. This study contributes to the field of leadership research by offering the first-ever leadership theory premised on the life of Jesus, who is generally accepted as one of the world’s greatest leaders (Lowney, 2003; Stark, 1997, 2006; Willard, 1997). This research also bridges a gap in biblical study by offering a blended methodology that allows other tools to combine with traditional hermeneutics of the narrative text to elicit process. Three-dimensional leadership theory is generalizable to contexts in the global community where leadership is required to raise people to new levels of flourishing, wholeness, and fruitfulness for their own good and the good of others.

Examining the Relationship Between Entrepreneurial Orientation and Organizational Performance: The Moderating Role of Organizational Learning

Michael James Mapalala | 2017


Although literature has highlighted the importance of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) in stimulating the general economic development and performance and survival of individual organizations, research on the degree to which EO is related to organizational performance (OP) suffers from the following problems: (a) it has provided inconsistent results, (b) researchers have generally ignored calls for research that investigates how characteristics internal to the organization moderate this relationship, and (c) there is a general lack of research on how EO affects OP in developing countries. The current study examined the relationship between EO and OP as moderated by organizational learning (OL) with the intention of providing quantified answers to the following two research questions: Does EO positively influence OP? Does OL moderate the relationship between EO and OP? I drew on the resource-based view theory to examine this relationship. I collected survey data from 298 selected Tanzanian organizations from a variety of industries as represented by their senior managers using previously validated instruments. I used a series of moderated hierarchical multiple regression analyses to test the study’s hypotheses. I found no evidence to support the generally held belief that EO is universally beneficial to OP; rather, I found evidence to suggest that the relationship between EO and OP is much more complicated than it is generally assumed, and that under certain circumstances, the five EO dimensions may vary independently, implying that entrepreneurial activity or processes could sometimes lead to desirable results on one performance dimension and undesirable results on a different performance dimension. I found evidence to suggest that different OL dimensions may have different moderating effects on the relationship between the different EO and OP dimensions. I discuss the theoretical and practical implications of this study and recommend areas for future research.

How Ecclesiological Values Influence Leadership Construction and Leader-Follower Alignment: A Heuristic Inquiry

John Thomas Moxen | 2017


This research sought to determine whether ecclesiological values influenced leadership construction and leader–follower alignment within an ecclesial setting. The study was a heuristic inquiry, which calls for in-depth interviews with individuals connected to a community as well as the insights that can be useful from the experience of the primary researcher. The interviewees were members of Church of the Holy Apostles—a local ecclesial community comprised of Episcopalian and Roman Catholic Christians in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Of the eight individuals selected by the two senior members of the church, seven elected to participate. The in-depth interviews sought to determine whether there are ecclesiological values that are held in common by the members. Four values were found to be most commonly held amongst the members, including a respect for tradition, a sense of urgency, humility, and unity. From the data compiled in the interviews, the researcher discovered that these values play an influential role in how the members at Holy Apostles understand leadership construction as well as how well they align with their various leaders. Future research ought to include the study of a similar ecclesial organization, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, interreligious organizations such as UNICEF, communities that experience the coexistence of citizens who follow different faiths, as well as nonreligious organizations.

Examining the Relationship of Follower Perceptions of Leaders’ Servant Leadership Behaviors to Leader Immunity to Corruption: Perspectives from Kenya

Nancy Nkirote Muriuki | 2017


The philosophy of servant leadership differentiates servant leaders as those who put the well-being of those served in the larger society as their highest priority. Servant leadership behaviors are manifestations of inner-directed choices that compel one to want to serve first as opposed to leaders who may desire to exercise power and accumulate wealth through their leadership positions. This study employed a quantitative design to examine follower perceptions of the relationship between servant leadership and leader immunity to corruption expressed as corruption propensity. A structured questionnaire was distributed to 135 followers of leaders working in organizations within the city of Nairobi, Kenya. Furthermore, the inquiry sought to establish whether leader–member exchange (LMX) had a moderating effect on the relationship between followers’ perceptions of their leaders’ servant leadership and leader immunity to corruption. The results of the study confirm that a statistically significant relationship exists between followers’ perceptions of their leader’s servant leadership behaviors and leader immunity to corruption. However, the study found that LMX does not strongly influence the strength of the relationship between perceived servant leadership and leader immunity to corruption as a positive relationship was found only in two of the seven dimensions of servant leadership studied. The study proposes to advance the theory of leadership in general and servant leadership in particular in relation to enhancing the understanding of the role of leadership in curbing corruption in organizations in diverse contexts. Theoretical and practical implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Epistemic Motivation and Actively Open-Minded Thinking’s Impact on Innovative Behavior as Moderated by a Leader’s Tolerance for Disagreement within a Dental School Community

Wes Parham | 2017


The rise of globalization has resulted in an organizational atmosphere that has been described as volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA; Horney, Pasmore, & O’Shea, 2010). The increasingly VUCA environment present in the 21st century has served as a catalyst for the emergence of the concept of innovation as a vital element of organizational success. Many scholars have argued that innovation is a key component of organizational success (Amabile, 1988; De Dreu, 2006; Hammond, Neff, Farr, Schwall, & Zhao, 2011), and “organizations benefit by knowing who is most likely to suggest and implement new ideas and what conditions best foster these processes” (Hammond et al., 2011, p. 99). However, despite the interest in innovative behavior, C. H. Wu, Parker, and De Jong (2014) argued that “to date, we know relatively little about how dispositional and contextual aspects might work together” (p. 1512). The current study utilized an interactionist approach to answer the questions of “who is most likely to suggest and implement new ideas and what conditions best foster these processes” (Hammond et al., 2011, p. 99) and examined both dispositional and contextual aspects. It also examined the cognitive dispositions of epistemic motivation and actively open-minded thinking and their impact on individual innovative behavior as a way to identify who is most likely to suggest and implement new ideas while also considering whether the contextual aspect of the leader’s tolerance for disagreement moderates the relationship between these two cognitive dispositions and innovative behavior. Six hypotheses were generated to test these relationships. The study findings support the idea that epistemic motivation and actively open-minded thinking are positively linked to individual innovative behavior but have mixed results on the role of a leader’s tolerance for disagreement as a moderator of this relationship.

The Influence of Authentic Leadership Dimensions on Organizational Commitment and Follower Job Performance of Romanian IT Workers: The Mediating Role of Trust

Ligia Petan | 2017


Authentic leadership represents a values-based approach focused on the development of both leaders and followers (Avolio & Gardner, 2005; Gardner, Cogliser, Davis, & Dickens, 2011). Authentic leadership is characterized by self-awareness, relational transparency, internalized moral perspective, and balanced processing (Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, & Peterson, 2008). Through their examples, authentic leaders inspire followers to change (Avolio & Gardner, 2005). Authentic leadership has been previously linked to a series of positive organizational outcomes. The study of authentic leadership is relevant for the Romanian context, as the country has been struggling to minimize corruption at various institutional and organizational levels. The present study explored the influence of authentic leadership dimensions on organizational commitment and follower job performance directly and indirectly, via trust in supervisor, in a sample of Romanian information technology employees (N = 135). The results indicate that authentic leadership dimensions positively influence organizational commitment, and trust in supervisor partially mediates the positive influence of authentic leadership dimensions on organizational commitment. More specifically, self-awareness and internalized moral perspective were found to significantly influence employee organizational commitment. No significant relationship was found between authentic leadership dimensions and follower job performance. A discussion of the theoretical and practical implications of these findings along with limitations and recommendations for future research conclude the present endeavor. The research makes an important contribution to authentic leadership theory by exploring the influence of authentic leadership on organizational outcomes in Romania.

The Relationship of Followership Style with YMCA Employee Outcomes

Amber Quarles | 2017


Followership is the study of an individual’s ability to follow a leader. Previous studies that have investigated followership have primarily focused on job satisfaction and organizational commitment and have either considered followership as a whole or only considered the dimension of active engagement (Blanchard, Welbourne, Gimore, & Bullock, 2009; Gatti, Claudio, Tartari, & Ghislieri, 2014). Both Blanchard et al. (2009) and Gatti et al. (2014) confirmed a connection between followership, commitment, and job satisfaction; however, each study also offered some incongruous information, suggesting a need for further research in this area. The current study investigated the relationship between two critical dimensions that make up followership style—independent critical thinking and active engagement—with employee in-role and extrarole behavior and person–organization fit. Taking into consideration that these relationships are impacted by the nature of a follower’s interaction with his or her current supervisor, the moderating effect of leader–member exchange was also tested. This study used cross-sectional data collected through a convenience sample of employees (n = 154) in a regional YMCA comprised of five branch locations within Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, Virginia. This study revealed that positive relationships between the follower dimensions of independent critical thinking and active engagement existed between performance (in-role behavior and extrarole behavior) and person–organization fit. This study also rejected leader–member exchange as a moderator between follower dimensions and organizational behavior and person–organization fit. Theoretical and practical implications of these results are presented, and suggestions for future research are discussed.

An Examination of the Role of Leadership Fatigue and Trauma in Ethical and Moral Leadership through a Sociorhetorical Analysis of 2 Samuel 11:1-27

Carlo A. Serrano | 2017


This study examined the role of leadership fatigue in ethical and moral decision making through a sociorhetorical analysis of 2 Samuel 11:1-27. The study of ethical and moral leadership was drawn from the literature on ethical leadership as it relates to values-based leadership theories, such as servant leadership, authentic leadership, transformational leadership, and spiritual leadership. The research followed the exegetical methodologies outlined in the relevant textural layers of sociorhetorical analysis. The data were interpreted for principles connecting to ethical and moral leadership and leadership fatigue. The study results yielded four themes that we expanded to five principles for ethical and moral leadership and leadership fatigue as found in 2 Samuel 11:1-27. The results of the study demonstrate a connection between the presence of leadership fatigue and unethical and immoral decision making and behavior. The five themes summarize the findings of the sociorhetorical analysis and serve as a practical guideline for future leadership practice and research.

Understanding How Transformational Servant Leadership Affects Student Leadership Development in a Higher Education Program in China

Marie Shaw | 2017


Both transformational leadership and servant leadership are dominant theories in leadership studies. I conducted a study to advance both theories in a higher educational setting in the country of China. Based on the existing literature, both transformational leadership and servant leadership have significant effects on leadership development. Though each theory shows its inadequacy when used alone, analysis of the similarities and differences demonstrates a great potential of the two theories to be synergized. This study was designed to engage a synergistic conceptual framework of transformational servant leadership (TSL) and used the conceptual framework as the theoretical foundation for the study of leadership development. The purpose of the study was to understand how TSL affects student leadership development in higher education in China. Guided by the purpose, I formulated research questions to determine how TSL was experienced in a higher education program in China and how the experiences affected student leadership development in terms of calling, character, chemistry, and competency. I engaged multiple case studies of qualitative inquiry and collected data from eight graduated students from the program of Master in Leadership (MIL) through interviews and document examination. The findings indicated that TSL, as a theoretical concept, is a dynamic balance between transformational leadership and servant leadership. It is an integration of leadership factors of values, behaviors, serving relationships, performance, and transformation. TSL has a capacity to develop and equip leaders. In the application of leadership practice, the TSL learning experience affects students’ leadership development in terms of pursuing goals through value-based behaviors, developing people holistically, building relationships and collaboration, improving individual and organization efficacy, and transforming organizations through highly effective teams. In conclusion, TSL is a powerful theoretical concept that maximizes the strengths of transformational leadership and servant leadership theories. It facilitates higher educational programs such as the MIL program to develop students into value-based leaders who can transform organizations through relationships. It was also concluded that TSL, when applied in academic program like the MIL, facilitates the fulfillment of the program’s mission by strengthening the faith of Christian believers and raising the awareness of non-Christians to seek the ultimate purpose and meaning of life.

Japanese Young Adult Female Professional Elevation and Fertility

Noriyo Shoji-Schaffner | 2017


In effort to reverse Japan’s declining fertility rate, researchers have contemplated the causal connection between gender equality, female labor participation, and female fertility. Since Japan’s economic recession began in the 1990s, coupled with globalization of finance- and production-based markets exerting neoliberal pressures on the Japanese employers to increase competitiveness by introducing market-oriented corporate strategies, the female workforce has undergone profound transitions as an increasing percentage of women has sought to establish long-term careers. However, the demographic evidence has indicated only one fourth of young adult women entering the workforce have remained on the long-term career track while the remaining three fourths of young adult women have dropped out of the workforce to pursue domestic responsibilities. For those young adult women who have chosen to remain in the workforce, the question has remained whether they are committed to pursue marriage and fulfill parenthood thus to prove the positive correlations between gender equality, female labor participation, and female fertility. This study applied a qualitative psychological phenomenology approach to discover the actual experiences of seven Japanese young adult female professionals as the representation of new female labor force creating new social identities through the mutual conditioning of work and family life structures. Through psychological phenomenological approach, consisting of content analysis of varied methods of interview findings, this study explored what motivates these young adult female professionals to identify with one fourth of young adult women in Japan who have chosen to stay on the long-term career track and how they reconfigure notions of committed relationships, marriage, and parenthood.

Leadership Style, Innovative Work Behavior, and the Mediating Effect of Innovation Climate on Individual Job Satisfaction and Team Effectiveness

Carl Preston Weaver Jr. | 2017


Creativity and innovation are increasingly important to organizational success in a progressively more connected global economy that seeks the latest new idea or product. Research has supported several major influences on creativity and innovation such as leadership and certain contextual factors. While these factors appear important in supporting subordinate efforts at creativity and innovation, studies are limited on the relationship of leadership style to contextual factors and subsequently on organizational outcomes. Using interactionist theory as the foundation for the research, this study examined the direct and indirect effects of servant leadership on innovation climate, innovative work behavior, intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction, and team effectiveness at the individual level of analysis. The study used cross-sectional survey data from 131 participants across six industry sectors. The data were analyzed using multiple regression analysis to test both direct and mediated relationships. Results indicate servant leadership has a direct positive relationship to innovation climate and both servant leadership and innovation climate have a direct positive relationship to intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction and team effectiveness. There was no mediation effect for innovation climate and a small mediation effect for innovative work behavior on intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction and team effectiveness.