Servant Leadership to the test: new perspectives and insights Defended on Thursday, 12 June 2014
In support of the growing adoption of servant leadership and empirical evidence of its effectiveness, this dissertation expands on the applicability of servant leadership in different organizational and relational contexts. Two of a total of four empirical studies were focused on contrasting organizational perspectives. The first study allowed developing a new short measure of servant leadership which can be particularly suited for shared leadership assessments. Through this instrument it was possible to observe that shared servant leadership in small self-managed teams positively affected team behavioral integration and performance. A second study showed that servant leaders can be effective in ensuring workforce engagement during significant and uncertain large scale change processes through increased organizational identification and psychological empowerment. The two other studies of this dissertation emphasized relational factors. The third study allowed for a better understanding of the interaction between the virtuous and the action side of the servant leader. In particular, the virtuous side, which rests on an attitude of humility and standing-back, amplifies the impact of the action side on follower engagement, but this effect is only evident when the leader is in a high position of power. The fourth and last study focused on differences between self and other perceptions of leadership and had as main conclusion that servant leaders seem to under-estimate their own leadership behavior, confirming their humble nature. Finally, this dissertation provides also additional evidence on the potential validity of servant leadership across different national cultures.
Servant Leadership, Humility, Shared Leadership, Teams, Team Behavioural Integration, Change, Mergers & Acquisitions, Engagement, Psychological Empowerment, Organizational Identification, Self-Other Agreement