Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

John A. Anderson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Melissa L. Swauger, Ph.D

Third Advisor

Beth J. Mabry, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

James K. Dittmar, Ph.D.

Abstract

This purpose of this quantitative, cross-sectional study was to examine whether differences exist between males and females in their servant leadership behaviors. Existing research concerning gender and servant leadership is inconclusive. Participants in this study were alumni of a Master's of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) program at a Christian liberal arts college in southwestern Pennsylvania. This study is unique in that the participants were similarly educated about servant leadership and have a common understanding about the practice of servant leadership. The Essential Servant Leadership behaviors scale (Winston & Fields, 2012) was distributed through emails via Survey Monkey. The college provided email addresses for 502 alumni. Of the 160 responses, 157 were usable, which yields a response rate of 31%. The participants included 63 males (39.4%) and 97 females (60.6%). Gender, age, years of supervision, work sector and whether the participant's organization was in a period or organizational change or stability served and the independent variables. Factor analysis confirmed that the ten servant leadership behaviors measured one dimension. The resulting aggregated one-dimensional servant leadership scale served as the dependent variable. Multiple regression analysis yielded a finding of no significant difference between males and females in their servant leadership behaviors. No significant differences existed in the number of years of supervision or the participants' perception of organizational change or stability. The existence of significant differences in age groups of forty and above suggest that servant leadership practitioners in those ages tend to be more affirming of servant leadership. Also, the existence of statistically significant differences in the Healthcare and the Religious/Other sectors suggest that servant leadership practitioners who work in those sectors are more affirming of servant leadership behaviors than those who work in other sectors. The results of this study contribute to the literature concerning gender and servant leadership and suggest that future research concerning servant leadership with respect to age and workplace sectors may be warranted.

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