Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Teaching & Learning
The purpose of this research was to determine and compare perceptions among educators and staff of the practice of servant leadership on an institution-wide basis at a private Christian university in the Midwest. Two separate studies were conducted as part of this research project. The first study examined perceptions of teaching faculty at the university. Perceptions of educators were compared across a spectrum of academic majors and for varying degrees of exposure to the servant leadership model. The second study examined perceptions of staff. Perceptions of these employees were compared across a spectrum of positions and for varying degrees of exposure to the servant leadership model. The Organizational Leadership Assessment was used to gather data about perceptions of servant leadership along seven dimensions of servant leadership: Values People, Develops People, Builds Community, Displays Authenticity, Provides Leadership, Shares Leadership, and Job Satisfaction. A total of 92 employees participated in this research. Employees represented in this sample included 33 full-time faculty, 23 corporate staff, 28 support staff, and eight administrators.
Educators agreed that servant leadership is being practiced on the campus. Job satisfaction was rated the dimension of servant leadership most highly perceived by educators. It had less of an effect on how servant leadership was displayed when including all seven dimensions of servant leadership. Results support development of programming on a university-wide basis as a method of enriching the potential for behaviors to be displayed in the specific areas of Develops People, Displays Authenticity, and Shares Leadership. Results of the study involving staff showed an average agreement that servant leadership is being practiced on the campus. Staff perceived a need to further Develop People. Staff also perceived a need to further develop skills in Shares Leadership. Results from these studies indicated that length of employment did not significantly impact perceptions of servant leadership.
Results of this research suggest that servant leadership is perceivable and can be measured by members of an organization. However, professional development opportunities requiring collaboration and relationship building would potentially enhance further development in dimensions of servant leadership.
Iken, Stacie L., "Servant Leadership in Higher Education: Exploring Perceptions of Educators and Staff Employed in a University Setting" (2005). Theses and Dissertations. 2728.