Empirical Relationships among Servant, Transformational, and Transactional Leadership: Similarities, Differences, and Correlations with Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment
Type of DegreeDissertation
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Servant leadership is espoused as a valid theory of organizational leadership but lacks crucial empirical support. Therefore, the current study endeavored to advance empirical support for this emerging approach to leadership by investigating servant leadership’s relationship with transformational leadership, transactional leadership, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment. Using questionnaire data from a sample of 207 employees, this study found employees’ perceptions of their supervisors’ servant leadership to be positively related not only to employees’ perceptions of their supervisors’ transformational leadership but also their supervisors’ transactional contingent reward leadership and transactional active management-by-exception leadership. However, perceived servant leadership was negatively related to perceived transactional passive management-by-exception leadership. Employees’ perceptions of their immediate supervisors’ servant leadership was also positively related to employee-reported job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Yet, employee-reported job satisfaction and organizational commitment did not relate differently with servant leadership than with transformational leadership or transactional contingent reward leadership. Nevertheless, both employee-reported job satisfaction and organizational commitment related to employees’ perceptions of their immediate supervisors’ servant leadership differently than it related to employees’ perceptions of their immediate supervisors’ transactional active management-by-exception leadership and passive management-by-exception leadership. Specifically, employee-reported job satisfaction and organizational commitment were positively related to supervisors’ perceived servant leadership but were not related to perceived transactional active management-by- exception leadership and negatively related to perceived transactional passive management-by-exception leadership. Implications and opportunities for future research are discussed.