Leaders focus on accomplishing things. Leadership theory seeks to define the various items that make a leader successful. The literature gap suggests servant leadership has not been fully explored or researched by the scientific community to investigate the engagement with followers supporting the leader's vision. Research involving leaders has not focused on understanding how a servant leader who emphasizes others before themselves engages followers to support their vision. Theory suggests that leadership is a means of convincing others to accomplish objectives, usually for personal gain and rewards. Servant leaders strive to provide rewards for others ahead of themselves, and research has not yet effectively considered finding out why. This study involves exploring how followers engage with and support the vision of their servant leader. This study's research design was an exploratory qualitative inquiry involving participant responses to interview questions of a sample to understand how they viewed their servant leader. The sample used for the study consisted of non-executive employees of a large non-profit organization. Analysis of the data followed a framework involving exploratory inquiry analysis. NVivo software assisted in organizing the data obtained from participants. Five major themes regarding servant leadership were revealed: focusing on the success and development of people, empowering individuals, appreciation of followers, honesty and integrity, and providing direction. The results supported that followers focused on engaging the leader’s vision and riveting with them to expand the vision. The followers became owners of the vision, allowing them to discover things about themselves by accomplishing the vision. The followers additionally found themselves focusing on other people and not their own needs. Contributing to the vision's success and fulfilling others' needs became the reward. The followers developed increased trust, valued the leader as an individual, and saw the leader as a role model. Future research could include the impact of servant leadership involving generational gaps or a study of an all-volunteer service group where servant leaders engage members to accomplish the leader’s vision.
|Commitee:||Robinson, Gary , Muchnick, Marc|
|Department:||School of Business, Technology and Health Administration|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Management, Business administration|
|Keywords:||Followship, Leadership, Servant leaders, Vision|
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