Servant Leadership and its Impact on Classroom Climate and
Student Achievement
Submitted by
Daniel F. Mulligan
A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree
Doctorate of Education
Grand Canyon University
Phoenix, Arizona
May 6, 2016
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GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY
Servant Leadership and its Impact on Classroom Climate and Student Achievement
I verify that my dissertation represents original research, is not falsified or plagiarized,
and that I have accurately reported cited, and reference all sources within this manuscript
in strict compliance with APA and Grand Canyon University (GCU) guidelines. I also
verify my dissertation complies with the approval(s) granted for this research
investigation by GCU Institutional Review Board (IRB).
Abstract
The purpose of this quantitative research was to see to what degree a relationship existed
between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement in a collegiate
environment. This was a quantitative, correlational study. The foundational theories for
this research included servant leadership and organizational climate that pertain to
transformational follower development and unifying values within an organization to align
behavior. The research questions for this study included: (R1) What was the relationship
between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and classroom climate as reported by
students? (R2) What was the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student
achievement? (R3) To what extent was the relationship between servant leadership
behavior and student achievement mediated by classroom climate? The data collection
instruments for this study included The Servant Leadership Profile–Revised and the
College and University Classroom Environment Inventory. The sample size was 18,
composed of faculty at a private university in Northwest Pennsylvania. The resultant
correlations between teacher servant leadership and both classroom climate and student
achievement were not statistically significant (r = .407, rs = -.16, p = .25). Therefore, there
was no definitive mediating effect of classroom climate. These results were not consistent
with similar prior research at the primary and secondary levels of education, and thus raised
questions regarding choice of instrumentation at the college level. This study sheds light
on important variables and dynamics of researching these correlations in a collegiate
environment.
Keywords: Servant leadership, classroom climate, student achievement, Servant
Leadership Profile–Revised, questionnaire measures or organizational culture.
vi
Dedication
This dissertation is dedicated to my family and friends who supported me
throughout this journey. Your patience and encouragement made this possible.
vii
Acknowledgments
No project of this magnitude is the result of one individual effort. Personal and
professional advice, guidance, and encouragement made the completion of this
dissertation a reality. I cannot adequately convey the contributions of my committee
chair, Dr. Patricia Chess. Her scholarship, mentorship, advice, guidance, patience,
mentorship, encouragement, and friendship throughout coursework, research, and even
health issues made this possible. The committee members, Dr. Jeanette Shutay and Dr.
Gary Piercy, have been excellent resources who continually challenged me to both learn
and become a better researcher. The participating teachers and students who completed
the surveys making this research possible are greatly appreciated. Lastly, a special thanks
to my wife, Amy, who supported me academically, emotionally, and physically (in
sickness and in health) throughout this journey.
viii
Table of Contents
List of Tables…………………………………………………………………………………………………..xii
List of Figures ………………………………………………………………………………………………. xiii
Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study ……………………………………………………………………..1
Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………1
Background of the Study………………………………………………………………………………..3
Problem Statement………………………………………………………………………………………..7
Purpose of the Study……………………………………………………………………………………..9
Research Questions and Hypotheses ………………………………………………………………11
Advancing Scientific Knowledge …………………………………………………………………..14
Significance of the Study ……………………………………………………………………………..15
Rationale for Methodology …………………………………………………………………………..16
Nature of the Research Design for the Study……………………………………………………18
Definition of Terms …………………………………………………………………………………….21
Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations…………………………………………………………22
Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Study ………………………………..24
Chapter 2: Literature Review ……………………………………………………………………………..26
Introduction to the Chapter and Background to the Problem……………………………….26
Theoretical Foundations……………………………………………………………………………….27
Servant leadership …………………………………………………………………………..29
Organizational climate……………………………………………………………………..31
Summary……………………………………………………………………………………….33
Review of the Literature ………………………………………………………………………………34
Servant leadership …………………………………………………………………………..35
ix
Servant leadership variable measurement and outcomes ………………………..47
Climate………………………………………………………………………………………….49
Methodology ………………………………………………………………………………….57
Instrumentation ………………………………………………………………………………60
Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………..61
Chapter 3: Methodology ……………………………………………………………………………………64
Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………….64
Statement of the Problem……………………………………………………………………………..64
Research Questions and Hypotheses ………………………………………………………………65
Research Methodology ………………………………………………………………………………..67
Research Design …………………………………………………………………………………………69
Population and Sample Selection …………………………………………………………………..71
Instrumentation…………………………………………………………………………………………..72
The Servant Leadership Profile-Revised Survey Instrument……………………72
The College and Classroom Environment Inventory Survey Instrument……73
Validity……………………………………………………………………………………………………..74
Reliability………………………………………………………………………………………………….75
Data Collection and Management ………………………………………………………………….75
Data Analysis Procedures …………………………………………………………………………….79
Preparation of data…………………………………………………………………………..80
Tests of assumptions………………………………………………………………………..81
Ethical Considerations …………………………………………………………………………………82
Limitations ………………………………………………………………………………………………..83
Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………..84
x
Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Results ………………………………………………………………….87
Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………….87
Descriptive Data …………………………………………………………………………………………89
Data Analysis Procedures …………………………………………………………………………….91
Servant Leadership Profile-Revised……………………………………………………91
CUCEI. …………………………………………………………………………………………95
Student achievement………………………………………………………………………..96
Preparation of data…………………………………………………………………………..98
Sources of error………………………………………………………………………………99
Results…………………………………………………………………………………………………….100
Research Question 1………………………………………………………………………101
Research Question 2………………………………………………………………………105
Research Question 3………………………………………………………………………111
Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………112
Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations……………………………………115
Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………..115
Summary of the Study ……………………………………………………………………………….117
Summary of Findings and Conclusion…………………………………………………………..119
Research Question 1………………………………………………………………………119
Research Question 2………………………………………………………………………120
Research Question 3………………………………………………………………………121
Implications……………………………………………………………………………………………..122
Theoretical implications …………………………………………………………………123
Measuring servant leadership ………………………………………………………….124
xi
Measuring classroom climate ………………………………………………………….125
Measuring achievement………………………………………………………………….125
Strengths and weaknesses……………………………………………………………….126
Practical implications …………………………………………………………………….126
Future implications………………………………………………………………………..127
Recommendations……………………………………………………………………………………..129
Recommendations for future research……………………………………………….129
Recommendations for future practice. ………………………………………………131
References ………………………………………………………………………………………………….132
Appendix A. Letter of Approval to Conduct Research ………………………………………….158
Appendix B. Survey Coordinator Informed Consent Form…………………………………….159
Appendix C. Instructor Informed Consent Form ………………………………………………….162
Appendix D. Student Informed Consent Form …………………………………………………….165
Appendix E. Confidentiality Statement………………………………………………………………167
Appendix F. Permission Email to Adapt the Conceptual Framework Model …………….168
Appendix G. Permission Email to Use the Servant Leadership Profile—Revised………169
Appendix H. Servant Leadership Profile—Revised (SLP-R)………………………………….170
Appendix I. Permission Email to Use the College and University Classroom
Environment Inventory (CUCEI) …………………………………………………….175
Appendix J. College and University Classroom Environment Inventory
(CUCEI) survey……………………………………………………………………………176
Appendix K. GCU IRB Approval Letter…………………………………………………………….179
Appendix L. Power Analyses……………………………………………………………………………180
xii
List of Tables
Table 1. Servant Leadership Profile-Revised Raw Scores………………………………………93
Table 2. Instructor Servant Leadership Rankings ………………………………………………….94
Table 3. College and University Classroom Environment Inventory Raw Scores……….95
Table 4. Classroom Environment Rankings …………………………………………………………96
Table 5. Grade Conversion Chart……………………………………………………………………….97
Table 6. Student Grade Raw Scores……………………………………………………………………97
Table 7. Class Student Achievement Scores…………………………………………………………98
Table 8. Tests of Normality …………………………………………………………………………….104
Table 9. Pearson Correlation Between Servant Leadership and Classroom
Climate, N=18…………………………………………………………………………………..104
Table 10. Spearman Correlation Between Servant Leadership and Student Grades …..111
Table 11. A Priori Power Analysis to Determine Sample Size……………………………….180
Table 12. Compromise Power Analysis …………………………………………………………….180
xiii
List of Figures
Figure 1. Research variables diagram…………………………………………………………………..10
Figure 2. Conceptual framework model. ………………………………………………………………68
Figure 3. Participating students’ grade distribution example. …………………………………..78
Figure 4. Letter grade to ordinal number conversion chart. ……………………………………..79
Figure 5. Faculty experience profile…………………………………………………………………….90
Figure 6. Class size…………………………………………………………………………………………..91
Figure 7. Servant leadership scores. …………………………………………………………………..101
Figure 8. Servant leadership scores histogram……………………………………………………..102
Figure 9. Servant leadership scores box-plot. ………………………………………………………102
Figure 10. Servant leadership to classroom climate scatterplot……………………………….103
Figure 11. Classroom climate scores………………………………………………………………….106
Figure 12. Classroom climate scores………………………………………………………………….106
Figure 13. Classroom climate scores box-plot……………………………………………………..107
Figure 14. Student grade scores. ……………………………………………………………………….108
Figure 15. Student grade scores histogram. …………………………………………………………109
Figure 16. Student grade scores box-plot. …………………………………………………………..109
Figure 17. Servant leadership to student grades scatterplot…………………………………….110
Figure 18. Post hoc power analysis for correlation using G power software ……………..181
Figure 19. Post-hoc power analysis for linear multiple regression using
G power software …………………………………………………………………………….182
1
Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study
Introduction
Many people remember the special teachers in their lives; those who make
learning easy and really connect students with new material. Unfortunately, there are also
teachers who go through the motions of teaching and are apathetic. Because teachers
plan, organize, and control student behavior and activities, they are organizational leaders
in the classroom (Drobot & RoÅŸu, 2012). Consequently, teaching and leadership intersect.
According to Shuaib and Olalere (2013), the purpose of teaching is to impart knowledge;
and one key aspect of effective teaching is learner-focused education. Therefore, it was
relevant to research how teacher leadership practices focused on and influenced student
achievement.
Several researchers have grappled with the issue of whether there is a leadership
style best suited to teaching. According to Hays (2008), the application of servant
leadership values and principles can significantly affect the learning experience for both
teachers and students. Servant leadership is an extension of the principles of
transformational leadership described by Burns (2010) whereby the leader “engages the
full person of the follower [in] a relationship of mutual stimulation in elevation that
converts followers into leaders” (p.4). This is significant in higher education as a
leadership focus towards learner-centered development is necessary to both attract and
retain students (Tinto, 2009).
Despite the scriptural origins of servant leadership, its practice is secular in nature
(van Dierendonck, 2011). In fact, religious proscriptions do not determine servant
leadership. Rather, according to Greenleaf and Spears (2002), the true measure of servant
2
leadership is the personal growth of followers. The growth aspect of this servant
leadership “Best Test” is particularly germane to the field of education (Goe, Bell, &
Little, 2008). In fact, it should be the primary goal of teachers (Goe et al., 2008).
Burns (2010) identified the causal effects of values on behavior. This is
significant because several researchers reported a direct relationship between leadership
and the creation of organizational culture and climate (Fernando & Chowdhury, 2010;
Groves, 2006; Karakas, 2011; Leithwood & Mascall, 2008). In a discussion of the
evolution of constructs about organizational culture and climate, Reichers and Schneider
(1990) defined organizational climate as formal and informal organizational practices and
procedures behavior can be manifested by the embedded values of the culture that affect
the organizational climate. Furthermore, because performance is a measure of behavior,
the leadership that creates the organizational climate is a strong determinate of
performance. Within the field of leadership, research from Hiller, DeChurch, Murase, and
Doty (2011); Robinson, Lloyd, and Rowe (2008); and Hays (2008) found strong positive
correlations between Servant Leadership and improved achievement.
This chapter contains the background and implications concerning how servant
leadership behaviors by teachers correlate with classroom climate and student
achievement. It includes an overview of the problem and purpose of the study, the
guiding research questions and hypotheses, the framework and rationale of the study,
assumptions and limitations, and the definitions of key terms. It also includes a brief
discussion of how this study can advance scientific knowledge in this area.
3
Background of the Study
The roles of leadership and accountability in education have become increasingly
important in recent years. President George W. Bush made accountability the centerpiece
of his education agenda which reinforced a central theme of state educational policies
(Linn, Baker, & Betebenner, 2002). However, legislation alone cannot yield significant
improvements.
For more than a decade, as established in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
legislation, school districts have been required to demonstrate Adequate Yearly Progress
(AYP) by showing a minimum, prescribed level of growth in student achievement
(Gamble-Risley, 2006). However, according to Gamble-Risley (2006), AYP is a
misnomer, or at least an understatement. Satisfying AYP mandates demands a far greater
than adequate effort. Subsequently, in 2009, the National Governors Association and the
Council of Chief State School Officers sponsored the Common Core State Standards
(CCSS) initiative to align educational standards and better prepare students for college
and adult careers (Forty-Nine States and Territories, 2009).
However, when the 2010 World Education rankings rated the United States
average, as quoted by Zeitvogel (2010, para 5), U.S. Education Secretary Duncan
declared, “this is an absolute wake-up call for America…the results are extraordinarily
challenging to us and we have to deal with the brutal truth. We have to get much more
serious about investing in education.” Subsequently, the federal School Improvement
Grant program awarded more than $534 million to states to assist schools with poor
standardized test scores (Zeitvogel, 2010. Fortunately, the Nation’s Report Card for 2012
started to indicate slight improvements in academic achievement and preparation for
4
post-secondary schooling (The Nation’s Report Card, 2013). Moreover, the Lumina
Foundation funded a three year Core to College initiative, and the William and Flora
Hewlett Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Carnegie
Corporation of New York created programs to further improvements by facilitating
greater implementation and coordination of the CCSS and post-secondary student
preparation (Finkelstein et al., 2013). Yet, U.S. academic achievement remains close to
that of the early 1970s, and still behind many of the industrialized nations (The Nation’s
Report Card, 2013).
According to Routman (2012), the best way to improve achievement levels is to
improve teaching and focus on strong, effective leadership. The recent emergence of
several organizations to address these issues attests to the importance of this dynamic.
For example, in 1996 Teachers College, Columbia University, founded the National
School Climate Center (NSCC) to improve educational leadership in the area of school
climate to enhance student achievement (NSCC, 1996). In 2007, the National
Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality issued a report titled Enhancing Teacher
Leadership (2007) claiming that teacher leadership is essential for successful students
and effective schools. In 2008, a group of national organizations, state education
agencies, major universities, and local school systems formed the Teacher Leadership
Exploratory Consortium. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has
worked on developing a new certification for Teacher Leaders (“Teacher Leadership,”
2013). Today, more than ever, teacher leadership is essential for student success (Ludlow,
2011). In fact, Drobot and RoÅŸu (2012) asserted that teacher relations with students (i.e.,
leadership) are the most important ingredient for student learning.
5
Education begins with teachers. While legislation prescribes standards, teachers
are responsible for helping students attain them. Logically, better teachers should
facilitate greater learning and subsequent test scores of students. Clearly, some teachers
are better than others are. Perhaps they are more knowledgeable of the subject matter.
Alternatively, perhaps they are better leaders and motivators (Adiele & Abraham, 2013).
The innocent victims of the present situation are the students who participate in
the educational system. According to statistics in the NCLB (2002) legislation, almost
70% of elementary students in inner cities cannot read at a basic level and approximately
one third of college freshman now have to take remedial classes. NCLB mandates
improving both fourth and eighth grade math results on standardized tests (Dee & Jacob,
2011). However, because one third of college freshman require remedial classes, the
attention provided to primary levels of education by NCLB could extend to higher
education. Despite improvements at lower levels of education, the United States
continues to lag behind other nations in education (Hanushek, Peterson, & Woessmann,
2012; The Nation’s Report Card, 2013).
All these factors contribute to the pervasive need to improve education in a
number of ways. Determining how leadership could best facilitate these improvements is
more difficult. Current credentialing procedures at the primary and secondary levels of
education require professional education and experience in a variety of teaching areas
such as lesson design and planning, teaching techniques, and classroom management
(Norton, 2013). The education departments that are creating primary and secondary
education teachers do not require similar training at the collegiate level of education
(Norton, 2013).
6
Consequently, the importance of leadership in the classroom cannot be overstated.
Understanding and communicating values, ideas, and tasks in a manner conducive to
motivation and compliance is essential for effective teaching (Adiele & Abraham, 2013;
Drobot & RoÅŸu, 2012; Routman, 2012; Shuaib & Olalere, 2013). Spillane (2005)
provided a useful definition of leadership in an educational environment:
Leadership refers to activities tied to the core work of the organization that
are designed by organizational members to influence the motivation,
knowledge, affect, and practices of other organizational members or that
are understood by organizational members as intended to influence their
motivation, knowledge, affect, and practices. (Spillane, 2005, p. 384)
Classroom leadership motivates and encourages students to learn (Adiele
& Abraham, 2013). It increases the likelihood of increased student effort, focus,
and retention (Adiele & Abraham, 2013). The skills required to affect this
influence originate from many fields of discipline: leadership; organizational
behavior, development, dynamics, and culture; and psychology (Adiele &
Abraham, 2013). In essence, teachers should be content area specialists,
curriculum experts, community builders, heads of safety and discipline, parent
liaisons, and head cheerleaders (Landeau Jr, VanDorn, & Ellen, 2009).
Understanding organizational structure, job redesign, group dynamics and
organizational culture all help to provide a foundational framework for a teacher.
However, the teacher is ultimately responsible for combining this knowledge into
action that–as the definition states–influences student behavior.
7
Is there a leadership style for teachers that is most conducive to facilitate student
learning? According to van Dierendonck and Nuitjen (2011), the focus of peoplecentered, ethical management inspired by servant leadership is what organizations need
now. This is especially applicable in education where the primary goal of teachers should
be the growth of their students (Goe et al., 2008).
Several researchers have shown a direct relationship between leadership and the
creation of organizational culture and climate (Duke, 2006; Fernando & Chowdhury,
2010; Groves, 2006; Karakas, 2011; Kutash, Nico, Gorin, Rahmatullah, & Tallant, 2010;
Leithwood & Mascall, 2008; Villavicencio & Grayman, 2012) . Saphier and King (1985)
identified the importance of organizational culture in education. Waters, Marzano, and
McNulty (2003) synthesized 30 years of leadership in education and recommended
careful attention to school culture. Saphier (2011) recommended changing teacherstudent paradigms to increase learning effectiveness. This culture, in turn, is observable
in the daily behaviors that shape the organizational climate. As stated previously, using
the definition of organizational climate as “shared perceptions of organizational policies,
practices, and procedures, both informal and formal” (Reichers & Schneider, 1990, p.
22), it becomes obvious that the leadership behavior of the teacher is directly responsible
for creating the classroom climate. Furthermore, the educational climate influences
student achievement (Cohen & Brown, 2013; Cunningham, 2008; Herndon, 2007).
Problem Statement
It was not known to what degree there was a relationship between teachers’
servant leadership behaviors, classroom climate, and student achievement at the
collegiate level. The research focus of this study was the correlation between servant
8
leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement. Kelley, Thornton, and
Daugherty (2005) conducted a quantitative, correlational study of 31 elementary
principals and 155 teachers and found principal servant leadership characteristics had a
significant effect on school climate. Herndon (2007) found a statistically significant
positive relationship between principals’ servant leadership and both school climate and
student achievement across 62 elementary schools. Black’s (2010) mixed method,
correlational study of 231 teachers and 15 principals in Catholic elementary schools
found a significant correlation between principal servant leadership and school climate. A
meta-analysis of 27 studies by Robinson et al. (2008) identified a significant positive
relationship between servant leadership characteristics and student outcomes. Moreover,
Boyer’s (2012) quantitative, correlational analysis of 9 principals, 54 teachers, and 537
students in secondary schools found a statistically significant relationship between
principal servant leadership and school climate.
The current United States’ World Education Ranking of average suggests
traditional educational structures and practices are no longer acceptable. U.S. Education
Secretary Duncan said this ranking served as a wake-up call for America and mandated
more serious proscriptions for improving education (Zeitvogel, 2010). One possible
course of action for educational leaders is to focus on the learning environment teachers
create. Specifically, is a servant leadership environment, as measured by the Servant
Leadership Profile-Revised (SLP-R) (Wong & Page, 2003), more conducive to improved
student achievement? Discovering ways to create better learning environments should
improve student achievement (Adiele & Abraham, 2013).
9
Since teacher leadership is an important aspect of teaching effectiveness, it is
important to add to existing literature by examining these correlations in higher
education. (Adiele & Abraham, 2013; Drobot & RoÅŸu, 2012; Routman, 2012; Shuaib &
Olalere, 2013). In a higher education environment, federal laws do not mandate student
attendance meaning the students are voluntarily seeking education. Additionally, because
college students are adults, they are likely to be more responsible. These contextual
differences may create differences in student motivation and subsequent achievement.
This researcher attempted to identify these correlations at the classroom level in
higher education. Understanding this dynamic is critical to identify, confirm, or refute a
popular leadership paradigm in an educational context (Marzano & Marzano, 2003).
Additionally, these results contribute to understanding and potentially amending current
teaching practices to improve student achievement. Although the link among
administrative servant leadership, school climate, and student achievement has been
established in the K-12 learning environment, the link between teacher servant leadership
to classroom climate and student achievement has not been established in higher
education.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this quantitative, correlational study was to investigate to what
degree a relationship existed between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student
achievement for students and faculty at a small university in Northwest Pennsylvania. In
this study, servant leadership and classroom climate were predictor variables and student
achievement was the criterion variable. Logically, while there are numerous leadership
styles that create a variety of organizational climates, identifying the appropriate
10
combination of leadership and classroom climate to improve student motivation and
achievement is beneficial (Mitchell & Bradshaw, 2013). The use of accurate measures of
teacher servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement provided the
necessary assessment data to identify possible correlations. This study was designed to
identify the correlations between teacher leadership attributes and their effect on both
classroom climate and student achievement.
This was a quantitative, correlational study. Research studies have yielded
evidence that within the primary education levels, teachers’ leadership has affected the
classroom climate and influenced student achievement (Rivers, Brackett, Reyes,
Elbertson, & Salovey, 2013; Robinson et al., 2008). Similarly, studies have shown that
climate has had an impact on student achievement (Evans, Harvey, Buckley, & Yan,
2009). Figure 1 diagrams these relationships. These relationships have not been shown in
higher education; this study therefore investigated them in the context of higher
education.
Figure 1. Research variables diagram.
The study was designed to address some potential pedagogical shortfalls in
education. Current practices are not yielding appropriate student achievement (Zeitvogel,
2010). One possible course of action is a focus on the learning environment created by
teachers. Because teachers are the organizational leaders in the classroom, they are
Student Achievement
Teacher Leadership
Classroom Climate
11
responsible for creating a classroom climate conducive to learning. While prior
researchers confirmed the positive impact of servant leadership on student achievement at
the K-12 level, they neither confirmed nor refuted this relationship at the collegiate level
(Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Hiller et al., 2011; Kelley et al., 2005;
Spillane, 2005).
Despite significant attention on professional development for teaching at the
primary and secondary levels of education (Goldhaber, Liddle, & Theobald, 2013),
collegiate professors are normally appointed based upon subject expertise with little
emphasis on curriculum design, lesson planning, and presentation (Norton, 2013).
Therefore, the results of this research may support the current practices of teacher
pedagogy at the collegiate level. Conversely, they may encourage other researchers to
conduct studies that more closely examine the development of collegiate teachers in the
areas of leadership and pedagogy (in addition to subject matter expertise).
Research Questions and Hypotheses
The research questions for this study pertain to the identification and
measurement of teachers’ servant leadership, the classroom climate created by these
teachers, and subsequent student achievement. Values determine behaviors (McClelland,
1985). This concept is not new. It is foundational for understanding human psychology
and behavior and the premise underlying behavioral models such as Maslow’s (1943)
original paper on hierarchy of needs. Collectively, “common values are the glue which
binds an organization together; they motivate and create a sense of community. If
properly implemented, the employees can be trusted in the absence of direct rules and
regulations” (Brytting & Trollestad, 2000, p. 55). These common values create the
12
culture of the organization and directly influence the climate (Schein, 2010), and climate,
in turn, influences achievement (Cunningham, 2008; Herndon, 2007).
Values-based leadership presumes moral and ethical leadership (McCoy &
McCoy, 2007). Likewise, servant leadership ensures rational and emotional commitment
to organizational objectives (McCoy & McCoy, 2007). O’Toole (1996) identified
integrity, vision, trust, listening, respect for followers, clear thinking, and inclusion as the
primary characteristics of values-based leadership.
If we use our beliefs to make decisions, our decisions will reflect our past history
in dealing with similar situations…If we use our values to make decisions; our
decisions will align with the future we want to experience. Values transcend both
contexts and experiences. (Barrett, 2007, p.1)
The inherent values that manifest leadership behavior work to create the
underlying values and beliefs (culture) of an organization. This culture, in turn, is
observable in the daily behaviors that regulate the organizational climate. The basic
research questions and hypotheses of this study pertain to whether teachers’ servant
leadership behaviors, as perceived by students, create a positive classroom climate and
the extent to which the resultant classroom climate affects student achievement.
The following research questions and hypotheses guided this study:
R1: What is the relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and
classroom climate as reported by students?
H1: There is a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,
measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate
reported by students (SLP-R) (Wong & Page, 2003).
13
H0: There is not a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,
measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate
reported by students (Wong & Page, 2003).
R2: What is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student
achievement?
H2: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors, measured by
the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course grades (Wong
& Page, 2003).
H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors,
measured by the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course
grades (Wong & Page, 2003).
R3: To what extent is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and
student achievement mediated by classroom climate?
H3: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and student
achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI (Fraser
et al., 1986).
H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and
student achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI
(Fraser et al., 1986).
One goal of education is to impart knowledge to prepare students for a successful
future. Some classrooms are friendly while others are antagonistic. The research
questions of this study are relevant to teachers’ leadership behaviors and their effect on
classroom climate. Likewise, this study helped to correlate the comparisons between
14
classroom climate and student achievement. Finally, this research included the
comparisons between a classroom climate created by teachers’ servant leadership and
students’ achievement.
Advancing Scientific Knowledge
This study advanced scientific knowledge in the areas of servant leadership,
classroom climate, and student achievement. Previous research from Kelley et al. (2005),
Herndon (2007), Robinson et al. (2008), and Black (2010), found statistically significant
relationships between servant leadership by school administrators and overall school
climate and student achievement. Boyer (2012) extended this research and confirmed
statistically significant positive effects of servant leadership from the teacher’s
perspective on school culture and student achievement. This study advances the known
self-perception analysis of teacher servant leadership on classroom (instead of schoolwide) climate and student achievement at the collegiate (instead of primary or secondary)
level of education.
This study extends prior research in the field. Although there are multiple studies
correlating the effects of administrative servant leadership on school culture and climate,
there are very few that correlate these effects based on teachers’ servant leadership
behaviors (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Kelley et al., 2005; Robinson et al.,
2008). Similarly, most prior research studied these relationships at the lower levels of
education (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Kelley et al., 2005; Robinson et al.,
2008). This study adds to the existing body of literature by increasing the small number
of studies that examined these effects at the level of the teacher in the classroom
15
(Colakoglu & Littlefield, 2010; Jacobs, 2011). Additionally, the researcher revealed these
effects in a completely different environment—collegiate education.
Significance of the Study
The results of this study should be of interest to educational accrediting agencies,
school administrators, principals, college and university deans, and teachers and students
at all levels of education. A positive correlation between classroom climate and
achievement provides strong implications about the importance of professional
development in leadership for all teachers. Since servant leadership focuses on the
development of followers, the hypotheses of this research pertain to correlations between
teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and student achievement mediated by classroom
climate. Potentially, this researcher highlighted a need for future similar research testing
other leadership models.
School accountability is a critical issue (Jennings & Rentner, 2006). Reexamining and focusing leadership in education is essential (Fullan, 2009). The No Child
Left Behind (NCLB) Act mandated testing to measure the effectiveness of teaching styles
and environments on student achievement (Bush, 2001). This legislation changed the
focus of teaching methods to garner more resources for low performing schools (Jennings
& Rentner, 2006). Tenets of NCLB make increasing student achievement imperative.
While numerous factors contribute to student success, school leaders are primarily
responsible for student success (McCoach et al., 2010). This research was designed to
help identify and compare the effects of a specific teacher leadership paradigm and
classroom climate and student achievement.
16
With the exception of collegiate education departments that must focus on
pedagogy to ensure their graduates’ accreditation to teach at the primary and secondary
levels of education, there is not a similar pedagogical requirement in collegiate education
(Norton, 2013). If these research results show significant positive correlations between
teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and student achievement, they may support a
potential paradigm shift in collegiate education to incorporate leadership into collegiate
pedagogical training. Subsequently, it is possible that such changes will help to raise the
current collegiate graduation rate of 58% (U.S. Census Bureau. (2011).
Rationale for Methodology
The purpose of this quantitative, correlational research was to examine to what
degree a relationship exists between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student
achievement. According to recent research, “the driving force of evidence-based practice
and research in the traditional sense is the ability to measure and quantify a phenomenon,
as well as the relationships between phenomenon numerically” (Vance, Talley, Azuero,
Pearce, & Christian, 2013, p. 67). This research was designed to help correlate the
variables of servant leadership and organizational climate to describe student
achievement. The study correlated teachers’ servant leadership behaviors with classroom
climate and student achievement. The aggregation of student climate surveys and grades
provided mean values for each variable. Thus, it is consistent with a quantitative,
correlational design methodology using servant leadership and classroom climate
instruments and end of course student grades.
The body of research concerning school climate and servant leadership in
education and its influence on student achievement is growing. Quantitative studies by a
17
number of researchers (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Cunningham, 2008; Herndon, 2007;
Kelley et al., 2005; MacNeil et al., 2009; Pritchard, Morrow, & Marshall, 2005; Robinson
et al., 2008) determined a statistically significant positive relationship between servant
leadership, school culture and student achievement at the primary and secondary levels of
education. Therefore, for this type of research, a quantitative, correlational methodology
was both established and accepted.
This study was consistent with the methodology of aforementioned studies.
However, it was unique by examining these variables and dynamics at the classroom
(rather than whole school) level, and with teachers (rather than administrators).
Specifically, the study location was a small, private, Catholic, liberal arts institution in
Northwest Pennsylvania. Furthermore, the context for this research was a higher
education environment. Unlike previous studies, there is no legal mandate for the
students in this study to receive instruction. They voluntarily—in fact, pay—to attend
college. Therefore, student motivation to excel may be more influential than in a
federally mandated attendance environment at lower educational levels. Because of their
age, it is reasonable to assume greater maturity than that of elementary or secondary
students. Finally, although standardized tests are readily available in primary and
secondary education as a measure of student achievement, at the collegiate level they
only apply to complete programs of study (e.g., bar exams, medical boards, CPA exams)
instead of individual courses. However, despite these environmental differences, the
similar, basic construct of the methodology justified its use.
According to the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education
Statistics (2012), the United States is below the international average with a collegiate
18
graduation rate of only 58% of students who graduate within six years. According to
Carnevale, Smith, and Strohl (2010), the United States will fall at least three million
degrees short of 22 million new college degrees necessary by 2018. Poor student
achievement is an issue at all levels of education. Any research that can add to the body
of knowledge to help curb these current trends in education is worthwhile.
Nature of the Research Design for the Study
The nature of the study outlines the overall components of the study. It explains
the rationale for a quantitative, correlational study with teachers’ servant leadership
behaviors, classroom climate, and student achievement as the key variables. The purpose
of the study was to investigate the research questions and hypotheses comparing these
variables. Finally, it includes a brief discussion of the sample population, sampling
procedures, and data collection plan.
The epistemological roots of this research spring primarily from a post positivist
worldview whereby causes determine effects. “Post-positivist inquiry does not claim
universal generalizability; however, it aims to gain an in-depth understanding of the
phenomenon under study” (Tekin & Kotaman, 2013, p. 84). This study sought to measure
and correlate real world classroom dynamics. It is, however, somewhat reductionist to
use teachers’ servant leadership behaviors as the primary determinant for both classroom
climate and student achievement.
In this study, the paired classroom climate and student achievement data were not
independent of each other. “It is important to account for this pairing in the
analysis…[and]…concentrate on the differences between the pairs of measurements
19
rather than on the measurements themselves” (Whitley & Ball, 2002, p. 3). Thus, the
selection of a quantitative, correlational research design for this study.
The foundational theory for this research included research on servant leadership
developed by Greenleaf (2007). Additionally, research on organizational climate by
Litwin and Stringer (1968), and Schein (1984), were used to study transformational
follower development and unifying values within organizations to align behavior. This
research examined these dynamics in an educational environment.
It is known that there is a direct relationship between leadership and the creation
of organizational culture and climate (Fernando & Chowdhury, 2010; Groves,
2006;Karakas, 2011; Leithwood & Mascall, 2008). Likewise, within the field of
leadership, research from Robinson et al. (2008), Hays (2008), and Hiller et al. (2011),
identified strong positive correlations between servant leadership and improved
achievement. What was not known is the strength of the correlation between a climate
created by servant leadership in education at the level of the teacher and consequent
student achievement. This was a quantitative, correlational study. It examined the
dynamics of teacher leadership on classroom climate and this relationship to student
achievement. The purpose of this study was to measure these correlations. The rationale
for this study was based upon similar studies that correlated these dynamics in education
from an administrative level to student achievement (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon,
2007; Kelley et al., 2005; MacNeil et al., 2009; Pritchard, Morrow, & Marshall, 2005;
Robinson et al., 2008). While significant, these studies may be omitting the mediating
influence of leadership by the classroom teacher. Thus, the essential research questions
sought to begin identifying and measuring servant leadership influence in the classroom
20
and student achievement. The main hypothesis was that students would perform better
when they are in a classroom environment of servant leadership.
The population for this research included all teachers and students. The targeted
population consisted of collegiate professors and students. The sample consisted of
students and faculty at a small university in Northwest Pennsylvania. The sample
characteristics reflect a small, private, Catholic university.
The necessary data for this research included instruments that helped to quantify
teachers’ servant leadership behaviors, classroom climate, and student achievement.
Fortunately, there are established survey instruments for both servant leadership and
classroom climate—SLP-R (Wong & Page, 2003) and the CUCEI (Fraser et al., 1986).
Finally, end of course student grades were collected. To alleviate bias and encourage
participation, the identities of all participants’ data was unknown to the researcher. Each
participant received a complete set of guidelines and a confidentiality statement. A
Survey Coordinator distributed and collected the survey instruments to participating
teachers. The SLP-R teachers’ servant leadership instruments were coded to protect
teacher identity. Likewise, the CUCEI student instruments were coded to correspond with
the appropriate SLP-R. Finally, end of course student grades were anonymously
aggregated on a corresponding coded form. The administration of survey instruments
occurred in the latter half of the semester to allow sufficient time for the classroom
climate to be established.
To prepare the data for analysis, each survey instrument was tabulated according
to its corresponding evaluation criteria. This resulted in scale scores (continuous and
21
interval level scores) for the SLP-R and CUCEI. Final course grades were converted into
ordinal numbers.
Empirically, the two instruments for this study, SLP-R and CUCEI, generated
scale scores. Therefore, a Pearson correlation was appropriate to address the first research
question and hypothesis. The data for the second research question and hypothesis
consisted of an interval level variable from the SLP-R and an ordinal value (student
grades).
Consequently, a Spearman correlation was appropriate for this analysis. Finally,
the data for the third research question and hypothesis consisted of two predictor
variables (servant leadership behavior and classroom climate) and one criterion variable
(student achievement). However, because the study was not seeking a fit with a causal
model, path analysis was not appropriate (Wuensch, 2012). Thus, multiple linear
regression analysis of the predictor variables (servant leadership and classroom climate)
and the criterion variable (student achievement) was appropriate.
Definition of Terms
The primary constructs of this study include servant leadership and classroom
climate as the predictor variables, and student achievement as the criterion variable. The
following terms were frequently used throughout this study:
Classroom climate. The aggregate environment created by interpersonal relations
across seven dimensions: personalization, involvement, student cohesiveness, task
orientation, satisfaction, innovation, and individualization (Fraser, Treagust, & Dennis,
1986).
22
Direction. Communicating achievement and behavioral expectations to
employees. Both employees and the organization benefit with clear direction (Laub
1999).
Humility. The ability to refrain from self-aggrandizement and keep one’s
accomplishments and talents in perspective (Patterson 2003).
Interpersonal acceptance. The ability to empathize with the feelings of others
(George, 2005)and to ignore perceived personal injustices without bearing a grudge
(McCullough, Hoyt, & Rachal, 2000) .
Organizational climate. The “shared perceptions of organizational policies,
practices, and procedures, both informal and formal” (Reichers & Schneider, 1990, p.
22).
School climate. The values, beliefs, and attitudes that influence interactions
between teachers and students (Dennis & Bocarnea, 2005).
Servant leadership. “Servant leaders empower and develop people; they show
humility, are authentic, accept people for who they are, provide direction, and are
stewards who work for the good of the whole” (van Dierendonck, 2011, p. 1232).
Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations
The constructs of servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement
clarifies the assumptions, limitations, and delimitations of this study. The following were
the assumptions of this study:
1. The survey participants in this study answered questions honestly, to the best
of their ability, and were not deceptive with their answers. The nature of the
23
survey instruments and the survey instructions specified a quantitative,
correlational study. Therefore, there were no “approved solution” answers.
2. The SLP-R and CUCEI are valid and reliable for this sample population.
These instruments are well established and have been used in studies with
similar sample populations.
3. This study was limited by population constraints. That is, the instruments
require non-science-related lecture classes without laboratory periods.
4. End of course grades are indicative of student achievement. Individual
teaching philosophies with respect to grading may vary. However, while one
instructor’s overall grades may be higher than the other, it is not likely that all
students will receive identical grades. Therefore, any grade distribution was
likely to reflect variances and student achievement.
The following were limitations of this study
1. This study was limited by a small sample. While there were more than 300
student participants, there were only 18 teachers.
2. This study was limited to the validity and reliability of the survey instruments.
3. This study was limited by variances due to the difficulty of course content.
For example, overall student achievement may be lower in a course with
difficult content. The reasons for this lower achievement may be more
attributable to the difficulty of content than the classroom climate created by
teachers’ leadership behaviors.
24
4. The survey of collegiate students was delimited to a private, Catholic
University in Northwest Pennsylvania, limiting the demographic sample. The
study habits and characteristics of students at a private Catholic University
may not be generalizable to the entire population of collegiate students.
Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Study
The purpose of this quantitative, correlational research was to see to what degree
a relationship exists between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student
achievement for students and faculty at a small university in Northwest
Pennsylvania. Taylor’s (1911) Scientific Management movement professionalized
management and leadership by demonstrating the need to attend to individual differences
among employees. Subsequent leadership paradigms focused on improving achievement
to further organizational goals (Greenleaf, 2002). Concurrently, research correlated
leadership behavior with organizational culture and climate (Schein, 2010) and
organizational climate with organizational achievement (Kaplan & Norton, 1992).
Additionally, within the field of leadership, research from Robinson et al. (2008), Hays
(2008), and Hiller et al. (2011) found strong positive correlations between servant
leadership and improved achievement.
NCLB legislation identified degradations of student achievement and mandated
investigation, professional development and instructional changes, and accountability
measures designed to improve education and improved student achievement (NCLB,
2002). Saphier and King (1985) identified the importance of organizational culture in
education. Waters et al. (2003) synthesized 30 years of leadership in education and
recommended careful attention to school culture. Saphier (2011) recommended changing
25
teacher-student paradigms to increase learning effectiveness. Research by Kelley et al.
(2005), Herndon (2007), Black (2010), Robinson et al. (2008), and Boyer (2012),
determined a statistically significant positive relationship between servant leadership,
school culture, and student achievement at the elementary and secondary levels of
education. The results of this study helped to identify these correlations at the collegiate
level of education and may be used to develop professional education modules for
educators in higher education. The literature review presented in Chapter 2 contains the
theoretical foundational framework for this study. Chapter 3 contained the methodology
of the study. Chapter 4 contained the results of the study. Finally, Chapter 5 contained the
conclusions of the study.
26
Chapter 2: Literature Review
Introduction to the Chapter and Background to the Problem
The impact of servant leadership on classroom climate and student achievement
has its roots in studies that have focused more broadly on organizational culture and
climate in a range of organizations, including schools (Glick, 1985; Ismat, Bashir, &
mahmood 2011; Melchar & Bosco, 2010; Reichers & Schneider, 1990; Scheerens,
Witziers, & Steen, 2013; Thapa, Cohen, Guffey, & Higgins-D’Alessandro, 2013). Now,
more than ever, society values education and high educational attainment (Hazelkorn,
2013). Unfortunately, there is a marked decline in the efficacy of education around the
world and within the United States (Hazelkorn, 2013; Zeitvogel, 2010). The prevalent use
of educational rankings articulates the ramifications of this decline. These rankings
demonstrate national progress, justify professional academic reputations, guide university
goals, and facilitate student selections for higher education (Hazelkorn, 2013). The
purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between servant leadership and its
influence on both classroom climate and student achievement in a collegiate
environment.
Despite more than 100 years of development of organizational and leadership
theories, many schools are still organized according to the older structures and traditions
established by early organizational theorists (Chance & Chance, 2002). Weber’s (1991)
bureaucracy focused on organizational structure, while Taylor’s (1911) Scientific
Management focused on management and efficiency. Collectively, these perspectives
helped to create the “factory model” of education that is still “highly ingrained in
schools’ organizational structure and is evident in the language often associated with
27
schooling” (Chance & Chance, 2002, p. 5). This research helped to identify one potential
differentiated path-servant leadership-to improve student outcomes at a college.
The review begins with overviews of servant leadership and organizational
climate and culture. Subsequently, it discusses the variables included in the research
study and their relationship to contemporary research. Finally, it encompasses the
methodological research and considerations relevant to this study.
Internet search engines and online databases identified pertinent articles and
publications. Search terms included various descriptors pertaining to the themes of:
leadership, servant leadership, organizational climate, and achievement. For example,
within the theme of servant leadership, descriptive variants such as servant leader
qualities, servant teacher, and servant leadership in education helped to locate relevant
research.
Scholarly, peer reviewed articles and primary source data provided the
foundations for this review. The ProQuest dissertation abstracts database identified
topical dissertations and the literature reviews and bibliographies within those
dissertations aided in identifying additional material. Relevant articles and publications
were categorized as seminal, descriptive, or empirical with preference to recently—
within five years—published research.
Theoretical Foundations
The foundational theories for this research include servant leadership and
organizational climate. These were developed by Greenleaf (2007), Litwin and Stringer
(1968), and Schein (1984), and were used to study transformational follower
development and unifying values within an organization to align behavior. Servant
28
leadership reflects one philosophical approach to leadership (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006).
Therefore, it must be understood within a contextual framework of leadership itself (van
Dierendonck, 2011).
Harding, Lee, Ford, and Learmonth (2011) conducted a mixed method study of 44
organizations and explained why the definition of leadership is so ambiguous. The
perception and promotion of leadership morphed. Historically, leadership in industry was
hierarchical and transactional. Contemporary leadership emphasizes participative,
empowering relationships (Haber, 2012).
There are four key aspects of leadership. First, leadership is a process. This
emphasizes both the interactive nature and complexity of activities involved in
leadership. Second, this process results in influencing others. The obvious implication is
that without influence leadership is not present. Third, this leadership influencing process
involves groups of people, whereby the groups provide context for leadership to occur.
Finally, the leadership process influences groups of people to achieve a common goal.
The goal provides a unifying objective for collective behavior (Loughead & Hardy,
2005).
Therefore, how and why power is exercised are important aspects of leadership.
According to Doscher and Normore (2013), leadership creates the environment to
facilitate decisions and action. More specifically, leaders prepare and manage
organizational change (Kotter, 2009; Stringer, 2012). Almost a century of psychological
leadership research generated a voluminous library of the topic (Kaiser, Hogan, & Craig,
2008). Servant leadership represents a recent addition to this leadership library (van
Dierendonck, 2011).
29
Servant leadership. Greenleaf (1970) reintroduced and articulated the concept of
Servant Leadership. The determining characteristic of a servant leader is a desire to serve.
Then there is a conscious choice to aspire to lead (Greenleaf, 1970). This principle
reiterates the messages of numerous historic and religious leaders like Confucius,
Mahatma Gandhi , Lao-tzu, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, Mother Teresa, and
Moses (Keith, 2008). Hayden (2011) articulated the philosophical consistency of Islam
with servant leadership. The word itself—Islam—means, “Self-surrender to the will of
God” (Hayden, 2011, p. 15). More specifically, The Quran (3:111) proclaims, “you are
the best people ever raised for the good of mankind because you have been raised to
serve others; you enjoin what is good and forbid evil and believe in Allah” (Hayden,
2011, p. 15). The behaviors and teachings of Jesus Christ are often described as the
perfect role model of servant leadership (Ebener & O’Connell, 2010; Lanctot & Irving,
2010). Specifically, servant leaders value power not for themselves, but for its potential
value to benefit their followers, organizations, and communities (Ebener & O’Connell,
2010).
Multiple examples from the Gospels of John and Mark illustrate servant
leadership. Specifically, Jesus’ willingness to wash his disciples’ feet and admonition that
“whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” (Mark 10:43 NIV
Bible) demonstrate servant leadership in action (Sendjaya & Sarros, 2002). Jesus
redefined the purpose and role of leadership power as an enabling factor to benefit others
(Sendjaya & Sarros, 2002).
While the goal of transformational leadership is to improve organizational
achievement, the focus of servant leadership is on the needs of individual organizational
30
members (Stoten, 2013). This higher-order, ethical leadership model unapologetically
prioritizes the welfare and development of followers over organizational goals
(Greenleaf, 1970). Consequently, an explicit goal of this leadership model is an overall
improvement in society and humanity.
Although Greenleaf (1970) received credit for reintroducing servant leadership,
his descriptions of servant leadership, like leadership itself, did not include an empirically
validated definition (van Dierendonck, 2011). Greenleaf (1970) did not propose servant
leadership as a scholarly edict or a specific how-to manual. Consequently, this dynamic
has hindered the acceptance of servant leadership theory in academia because it is
difficult to empirically test a philosophical way of life (Parris & Peachey, 2013).
However, according to De Maeyer, Rymenans, Van Petegem, van den Bergh, and
Rijlaarsdam (2007), the choice of a conceptual leadership model – including servant
leadership – significantly influences student achievement. According to Block (2006), the
definitional ambiguity of servant leadership fosters continual reflection. Justice Potter
Stewart famously articulated this undefinable dynamic in Jacobellis v. Ohio regarding
pornography when he stated that he could never succeed in intelligently defining it; but
he knew it when he saw it.
Unlike traditional leadership theories whereby a leader’s actions are evaluated to
determine the quality of the leader, servant leadership evaluates the leader’s character and
commitment to serve others (Parris & Peachey, 2013). Spears (2004) worked closely with
Greenleaf (2002) and identified 10 characteristics of a servant leader: listening, empathy,
healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to
31
the growth of people, and building community. Subsequently, researchers validated and
consolidated these characteristics and introduced others to help clarify the concept.
For example, Laub (1999) is generally credited with creating the first
organizational servant leadership assessment. The Delphi method helped define servant
leadership characteristics and created an instrument to measure those characteristics
within an organization. This instrument generates organizational perceptions from
various groups within the organization (Laub, 1999). Page and Wong (2000) extended
this research from the organizational level to the individual level by developing one of
the first servant leadership instruments that measured servant leadership of an individual.
Their original assessment (Servant Leadership Profile) measured 12 characteristics with a
100-item instrument. After further research, they created SLP-R; a 62-item opponent
process instrument measuring 10 servant leadership characteristics (Wong & Page, 2003).
Concurrently, Patterson (2003) developed a servant leadership instrument that
incorporated the characteristic of agapao love. Like the SLP-R, this instrument included
an aspect of humility as a required characteristic of servant leadership. The Review of the
Literature section discusses these characteristics in detail.
Organizational climate. Since leadership is partially defined by
organizational context, organizational development and dynamics become
important aspects of the leadership equation. Weber’s (Weber et al., 1991)
bureaucratic organizational structure and Taylor’s (1911) scientific management
shaped early organizational theory. The classical organizational development
perspective viewed organizations as rational systems valuing operational
efficiency above all (Morgan, 1997). Consequently, many saw bureaucracies as
32
dehumanizing organizations that stifled creativity, inhibited personal growth, and
caused people to fear management (Hohn, 1999). Addressing the human aspect of
organizations, Lewin’s (1951) participatory management, and Maslow’s (1943)
original article on hierarchy of needs, McGregor (1960) identified positive and
negative managerial perspectives and labeled them Theory Y and Theory X.
Akindele and Afolabi (2013) related the importance of this managerial leadership
choice with its influence on organizational climate. Specifically, Theory Y is
practically implemented in organizations through participatory management,
decentralized responsibilities, delegation of authority, and job enlargement
(Akindele & Afolabi, 2013).
Decades ago, Glick (1985) reported the inglorious prominence of climate research
in organizational science. Beginning with Lewin, Lippitt, and White (1939) and their
studies of created climates, subsequent researchers continued to identify organizational
groups and systems as part of organizational climate (Barker, 2007; Denison, 1996; Hall,
1972; Lewin, 1951, and Likert, 1961). However, researchers still do not agree on a single
definition of organizational climate. For example, according to Hellriegel & Slocum
(1974), organizational climate is induced from the attributes of organizational systems
that affect its members. More recently, Peña-Suárez, Muñiz, Campillo-Álvarez, FonsecaPedrero, and García-Cueto (2013) defined organizational climate as the set of shared
perceptions of co-workers in the same organization. Regardless of definitional
differences, Litwin and Stringer (1968) deserve credit for pioneering organizational
climate research by identifying and articulating nine dimensions of organizational
33
climate: structure, responsibility, reward, risk, warmth, support, standards, conflict, and
identity.
A brief review of organizational culture research illustrates the large overlap
between the identification and integration of organizational climate and organizational
culture. Schein (1999) attempted to explicate the definitional differences, “climate is
embedded in the physical look of the place, the emotionality exhibited by employees, in
the experiences of the visitor or new employee upon entry, and in a myriad of other
artifacts that are seen, heard, and felt” (p. 4). Organizational climate originates with the
underlying values and beliefs of the organization. In other words, organizational climate
is an artifact of the organizational culture (Schein, 1999). There are three levels of
organizational culture: artifacts, values, and basic underlying assumptions (Schein, 2010).
Summary. As noted, the difficulties in distinguishing and measuring
characteristics of organizational climate and culture results in the potential semantic
misapplication of terms in current research (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Cohen et al.,
2009; Colakoglu & Littlefield, 2010; Duke, 2006; Herndon, 2007; Hiller et al., 2011;
Ismat et al., 2011; Kelley et al., 2005; Kutash et al., 2010; Lumby & Foskett, 2011;
Luqman, Farhan, Shahzad, & Shaheen, 2012; Villavicencio & Grayman, 2012).
Additionally, according to Ashkanasy, Broadfoot, and Falkus (2000), many climate
instruments fail to include reliability information. Therefore, despite numerous attempts,
even those intimately involved with the dynamics of organizational culture and climate
experienced difficulty distinguishing between the two and a careful analysis of literature
in both areas reveals overwhelming similarities (Denison, 1996).
34
Accordingly, “these two research traditions should be viewed as differences in
interpretation rather than differences in the phenomenon” (Denison, 1996, p. 645).
Evaluating and categorizing these dimensions in current literature is beyond the scope of
this research. Therefore, the terms culture and climate, as used in the research contained
in this literature review, both address common dimensions and are often used
synonymously.
Review of the Literature
There are significant differences between a leader and leadership (Reynolds &
Warfield, 2010; Sadeghi, Yadollahi, Baygi, & Ghayoomi, 2013). A leader is often a
person with a designated title or organizational role while leadership relates to the skills
and abilities to influence others (Sadeghi et al., 2013). Moreover, different leaders
subscribe to different leadership paradigms to exert their influence over others. Because
leadership involves influence and interaction between people, good leadership is
individually phenomenological and influenced by organizational context (Akindele &
Afolabi, 2013). Consequently, organizational context becomes an important factor in
practicing leadership. One important aspect of servant leadership is focusing on the
development of followers. This aspect is particularly germane in an educational
environment wherein organizational goals explicitly focus on the development of
followers. Because the definitive principal of servant leadership espouses the
development of followers, its relationships to classroom climate and student achievement
are relevant.
In the 21st century educational environment, there is a greater need for
educational leaders than professional teachers (Luqman et al., 2012). More specifically,
35
contemporary research recommends servant leadership to enhance and improve academic
environments and achievement (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Hiller et al.,
2011; Kelley et al., 2005; Luqman et al., 2012; Spillane, 2005). Therefore, it is necessary
to understand and define educational leadership (Shuaib & Olalere, 2013). Spillane
(2005) provides a useful definition of leadership in an educational environment:
Leadership refers to the methods of motivation and practices specifically designed to
influence the motivation and knowledge of organizational members. Simply put,
classroom leadership motivates and encourages students to learn. It increases the
likelihood of increased student effort, focus, and retention.
Servant leadership. A servant leadership paradigm emphasizes the development
of the follower and the organizational climate helps to facilitate follower receptivity to
leadership direction. Operationalizing these theories in an educational environment
improves student achievement (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Cunningham, 2008; Hays,
2008; Herndon, 2007; Hiller et al., 2011; Kelley et al., 2005; Spillane, 2005). The SLP-R
developed by Wong and Page (2003) measures the following servant leader
characteristics: leading, servanthood, visioning, developing others, team building,
empowering others, shared decision-making, and integrity.
Leading. Leading focuses on the skills necessary for achieving productivity and
success (Wong & Page, 2003). Leading is about giving direction (van Dierendonck &
Nuijten, 2011). While authoritative leadership remains a common practice, servant
leadership’s application and use of positional power is more effective (Zhang, Lin, &
Foo, 2012).
36
According to Barbuto and Wheeler (2006), healing is one aspect of leading in
servant leadership. However, it is often overlooked. Everyone experiences physical and
emotional suffering; however, servant leaders recognize this as an opportunity to help
their followers (Spears, 2004). Greenleaf (1970) wrote servant leaders practice healing by
helping employees create personal and professional pathways to happiness. Most
significantly, healing is an under-appreciated variable that distinguishes servant
leadership from traditional leadership theories (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006).
This variable is widely accepted in contemporary servant leadership research
(Barbuto, 2002; Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006;; Laub, 1999; and Reed, Vidaver-Cohen, &
Colwell, 2011; van Dierendonck, 2011). Yet, it is not always specifically labeled as
leading. Barbuto (2002) describes this variable under the characteristic awareness.
Patterson (2003) described its characteristics in service. Barbuto and Wheeler (2006) and
Reed et al. (2011) encompassed this variable under the term altruism. In addition, Van
Dierendonck and Nuijten (2011) included this variable when describing the attribute of
courage.
Servanthood. Servanthood is directly related to the leader’s character (Wong &
Page, 2003). It is a reflection of a servant attitude. The focus is on helping others (Wong
& Page, 2003). Aspects of servanthood are visible in Greenleaf’s (1970) building
community. This is where leaders show the way by demonstrating service to others and
the community (Greenleaf, 1970). Through servanthood, leaders instill a sense of
community spirit in their organizations (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006).
As expected, the variable of servanthood is prevalent in contemporary servant
leadership research (Barbuto, 2002; Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006; Dennis & Bocarnea,
37
2005; Dennis & Winston, 2003; Van Dierendonck & Nuitjen, 2011; Ehrhart, 2004; Laub,
1999; Liden, Wayne, Zhao, & Henderson, 2008; Patterson, 2003; Reed et al., 2011;
Russell & Stone, 2002; Sendjaya & Cooper, 2011; Sendjaya, Sarros, & Santora, 2008).
Yet, it is not always called servanthood. Laub (1999) and Barbuto (2002) described this
variable in terms of a calling. Russell and Stone (2002) and Dennis and Winston (2003)
used the term service. Ehrhart (2004) and Liden et al. (2008) labeled this putting others
first. Finally, Patterson (2003) and Barbuto and Wheeler (2006) used the term altruism.
Moreover, Patterson (2003) also used the term agapao love as a manifestation of aspects
of servanthood.
In a quantitative correlational analysis of 291 high school students, Kurnianingsih,
Yuniarti, and Kim (2012) confirmed the importance of this variable in education. A
recent quantitative study of 524 teachers and administrators from primary and secondary
schools in Singapore by Zhang et al. (2012) correlated the extent to which educational
practitioners embraced the concept of servant leadership. Zhang (2012) confirmed the
importance of this variable in education. Their results confirmed a statistically significant
correlation between servanthood and its preference in an educational environment.
Visioning. Visioning is another variable focused on specific actions and tasks of a
servant leader (Wong & Page, 2003). It encompasses three of Greenleaf’s (1970) 10
characteristics: foresight, awareness, and conceptualization. Visioning allows a leader to
be a guidepost for followers (Wong & Page, 2003).
Foresight is the ability to anticipate future events and outcomes (Barbuto &
Wheeler, 2006). It is the central ethic of leadership (Greenleaf, 1970). Foresight allows
the leader to understand the past and apply lessons learned to the present and future
38
(Spears, 2004). It allows the servant leader to be a bellwether for future organizational
success (Boyer, 2012).
Within the context of servant leadership, awareness refers to a leader’s astuteness
at reading environmental cues (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006). Situational awareness
provides necessary information allowing leaders to evaluate issues from multiple
perspectives (Greenleaf, 1970). Likewise, awareness makes servant leaders stronger
(Spears, 2004).
The characteristic of conceptualization allows servant leaders to be great dreamers
(Spears, 2004). It is the primary leadership talent (Greenleaf, 1970). Conceptualization is
the ability to exercise lateral thinking beyond present realities (Barbuto & Wheeler,
2006). Servant leaders implement conceptualization by conveying the future vision,
values, and mission of the organization (Bell, Bolding, & Delgadillo, 2013).
Russell and Stone (2002), Dennis and Winston (2003), Patterson (2003), and
Dennis and Bocarnea (2005), all used the term vision. Barbuto (2002), Ehrhart (2004),
and Liden et al. (2008), described visioning activities as aspects of conceptualization.
Research by Kelley et al. (2005), Herndon (2007), Black (2010), Robinson et al. (2008),
and Boyer (2012), all confirmed the importance of this variable in education.
Developing others. Developing others is a manifestation of the people orientation
of a servant leader (Wong & Page, 2003). It focuses on how the leader relates to others
and his or her commitment to their growth (Wong & Page, 2003). This characteristic
most closely embodies the tenets of transformational leadership (Spears, 2004).
Moreover, a strong leadership commitment to individual growth yields positive
organizational outcomes (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006).
39
Significantly, this characteristic provides an excellent example of the semantic
problems with subsequent interpretations and consolidations of servant leadership
characteristics and measurement instruments. For example, Laub (1999) and Barbuto
(2002) described this variable as commitment to growth. Ehrhart (2004) and Liden et al.
(2008) labeled this helping subordinates grow. Then Reed et al. (2011) called this activity
interpersonal support.
Russell and Stone (2002), Patterson (2003), Dennis and Winston (2003), and
Dennis and Bocarnea (2005), all used the term vision as a characteristic of servant
leadership. With the exception of Patterson (2003), each of these authors related vision
with Greenleaf’s (1970) characteristics of conceptualization and foresight. However,
according to Patterson (2003), vision referred to the leader assisting in the development
of followers.
Developing others is a cornerstone of education (Waters et al., 2003). In a
quantitative correlational analysis of 291 high school students, Kurnianingsih et al.
(2012) confirmed the importance of this variable in education. In addition, according to
Taylor, Martin, Hutchinson, and Jinks (2007), servant leadership should be cultivated in
every classroom.
Team building. Team building focuses on making the organization more efficient
(Wong & Page, 2003). It is part of the process of servant leadership (Wong & Page,
2003). Team building encompasses Greenleaf’s (1970) aspects of listening and a
commitment to people. It requires dialogue – both speaking and listening, and reflects the
leader’s respect for employees (Greenleaf, 1970).
40
Barbuto and Wheeler (2006) clarified this characteristic as hearing and valuing
the ideas of others. Reed’s et al. (2011) servant leadership instrument labeled this
characteristic Egalitarianism. Regardless of the semantic label, most studies confirm the
importance of this variable as a characteristic of servant leadership (Dennis & Bocarnea,
2005; Dennis & Winston, 2003; Ehrhart, 2004; Laub, 1999; Liden et al., 2008; Patterson,
2003; Russell & Stone, 2002; van Dierendonck & Nuijten, 2011; Wong & Page, 2005).
Empowering others. Empowering others is another people orientation
characteristic of servant leadership (Wong & Page, 2003). It requires a commitment to
followers and a willingness to empathize with and allow followers to direct their
behaviors (Wong & Page, 2003). Empowering others facilitates followers becoming freer
and more autonomous, which are two conditions of Greenleaf’s (1970) “Best Test” for
servant leadership.
Laub (1999) determined servant leaders’ actions in developing people included
providing learning, encouragement and affirmation. Servant leaders do not
unconditionally accept all follower behaviors, but they do assume the intentions of all
follower behaviors are honorable (Spears, 2004). With this mindset, even when servant
leaders reject follower behaviors, they are not personally rejecting the follower (Spears,
2004). Van Dierendonck and Nuitjen (2011) further articulated this concept as part of
interpersonal acceptance. Being able to forgive when confronted with mistakes is a
logical servant leadership consequence of empowering others.
Dennis and Winston (2003), Patterson (2003), Dennis and Bocarnea (2005), and
Van Dierendonck and Nuijten, (2011), all considered empowerment an important
variable in servant leadership. Ehrhart (2004) and Liden et al. (2008) described this
41
variable as helping subordinates grow. Similarly, Sendjaya and Cooper (2011) used the
term covenantal relationship to describe this characteristic.
Shared decision making. Shared decision-making refers to the organizational
process of collaborating for efficiency (Wong & Page, 2003). Sharing leadership is one
of the Laub’s (1999) six key variables of servant leadership. Greenleaf’s (1970)
characteristics of listening, empathy, and persuasion are all aspects of shared decisionmaking.
The ability to influence others is a key, definitional component of leadership
(Loughead & Hardy, 2005). However, unlike leadership in traditional, autocratic,
hierarchical organizations whereby positional powers allow leaders to dictate specific
actions, servant leaders replace coercive methods with persuasion (Spears, 2004). Thus,
persuasion is the ability to influence others without a reliance on formal authority
(Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006). The leadership byproduct of shared decision-making is
credibility (Russell & Stone, 2002).
Paradoxically, most servant leadership instruments do not specifically measure
shared decision-making as a variable of servant leadership (Dennis & Bocarnea, 2005;
Dennis & Winston, 2003; ; Ehrhart, 2004; Liden et al., 2008; Patterson, 2003; Russell &
Stone, 2002; Van Dierendonck & Nuijten, 2010). The variables of servanthood,
developing others, team building, and empowering others often carry an assumption of
sharing in decisions (Dennis & Bocarnea, 2005; Dennis & Winston, 2003; ; Ehrhart,
2004; Liden et al., 2008; Patterson, 2003; Russell & Stone, 2002; Van Dierendonck &
Nuijten, 2011). However, it is a key variable in Laub’s (1999) Organizational Leadership
Assessment (OLA).
42
Integrity. Integrity is a variable at the heart of servant leadership (Wong & Page,
2003). All servant leadership tasks are impossible if the leader’s character lacks integrity
(Wong & Page, 2003). By demonstrating moral courage and integrity, leaders improve
organizational behavior and inspire followers to emulate them (Parris & Peachey, 2013).
Greenleaf (1970) posited the benefits of integrity include trust, empathy, persuasion,
stewardship, and a commitment to the growth of people. It is critical to creating a servant
leadership organization (Greenleaf, 1970).
The Reed et al. (2011) servant leadership instrument included moral integrity as a
key variable. Although many other servant leadership instruments do not use the term
integrity, they recognize its importance (Dennis & Bocarnea, 2005; Ehrhart, 2004; Laub,
1999; Liden et al., 2008; Patterson, 2003; Russell & Stone, 2002; Sendjaya and Cooper,
2011; Van Dierendonck & Nuijten, 2011). Laub (1999), and Russell and Stone (2002)
used the term honesty. Sendjaya and Cooper, (2011), and Van Dierendonck and Nuitjen
(2011) all described this variable as an aspect of authenticity. Ehrhart (2004) and Liden et
al. (2008) incorporated integrity within ethics. Finally, Patterson (2003) and Dennis and
Bocarnea (2005) included Greenleaf’s (1970) outcome of integrity – trust – as a key
variable in their servant leadership instruments.
Abuse of power and egotistic pride. Wong and Page (2003) identified two
opposing forces to servant leadership: authoritarian hierarchy and egotistical pride. They
lead to abuses of power. Moreover, they are antithetical to servant leadership and two
major causes of organizational failure (Wong & Page, 2003).
Authoritarian hierarchy refers to a vertical organizational structure that is
conducive to creating defined powers and responsibilities that encourage rigid command
43
and control practices (Wong & Page, 2003). Within these organizational structures,
leaders need to develop two sets of skills. First, they focus primarily on demonstrating
loyalty and submission to their supervisors. Second, they are willing to intimidate,
deceive, and manipulate their subordinates to demand a similar level of loyalty and
subjugation. This abusive power inevitably leads to scandals and corruption (Wong &
Page, 2003).
Unfortunately, a business culture of competitiveness and individualism fosters
egotistic pride (Wong & Page, 2003). Especially in hierarchical organizations, selfserving leaders demand the center of attention and portray themselves as the linchpin of
the organization. They demand the center of attention and will use any means available to
achieve material success—including accepting credit for the work of others (Wong &
Page, 2003).
The lure of power and its accompanying privileges can corrupt and compel people
to betray, or even kill, others (Wong & Page, 2003). Similarly, pride can manifest itself
through greed for wealth or fame. It is impossible to exercise servant leadership if a
leader is enamored with power or egotistical pride because servant leadership requires the
voluntary surrender of one’s ego and intentional vulnerability. Therefore, it is important
to include these opponent process variables in the identification of servant leadership
(Wong & Page, 2003).
Despite the prevalence and high reliability (0.937) of the SLP-R developed by
Wong and Page (2003), it remains the only instrument that considers negative aspects of
servant leadership. Just as pseudotransformational leadership presents the misuse and
abuse of leadership skills, the abuse of power and egotistical pride prevents the
44
implementation of true servant leadership. The SLP-R identifies these tendencies by
measuring intentional vulnerability and voluntary humility (Wong & Page, 2003).
Summary of servant leadership variables. Greenleaf (1970) readily admitted his
list of 10 characteristics was not meant to be exhaustive (Bugenhagen, 2006).
Chronologically, Laub (1999) reduced the list to six: values people, develops people,
builds community, displays authenticity, provides leadership, and shares leadership.
Russell and Stone (2002) identified nine functional characteristics: vision, honesty,
integrity, trust, service, modeling, pioneering, appreciation of others, and empowerment.
They also identified 11 accompanying attributes: communication, credibility,
competence, stewardship, visibility, influence, persuasion, listening, encouragement,
teaching, and delegation.
Wong and Page (2003) initially began with 12 characteristics: leading,
servanthood, visioning, developing others, team building, empowering others, shared
decision-making, integrity, humility, caring for others, goal setting, and modeling.
Subsequently, they refined their list by eliminating the last four – humility, caring for
others, goal setting, and modeling. Patterson (2003) consolidated the list to seven virtues:
love, humility, altruism, vision, trust, empowerment, and service. Likewise, Ehrhart
(2004) developed seven subscales of servant leadership: forming relationships with
subordinates, empowering subordinates, helping subordinates grow and succeed,
behaving ethically, having conceptual skills, putting subordinates first, and creating value
for those outside the organization.
Dennis and Winston (2003) identified three domains of servant leadership:
empowerment, service, and vision. Dennis and Bocarnea (2005) reduced Patterson’s
45
(2003) seven virtues to five: vision, empowerment, trust, humility, and love. Barbuto and
Wheeler (2006) developed an instrument to measure 11 dimensions of servant leadership:
calling, listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight,
stewardship, growth, and community building. Then Sendjaya and Cooper, (2011)
categorized six dimensions of servant leadership behavior: voluntary subordination,
authentic self, covenantal relationship, responsible morality, transcendental spirituality,
and transforming influence.
Liden et al. (2008) developed an instrument using Ehrhart’s (2004) seven servant
leadership behaviors: emotional healing, ethical behavior, putting subordinates first,
helping subordinates grow and succeed, empowering, creating value for the community,
and conceptual skills. Van Dierendonck and Nuijten (2010) created an instrument with
eight dimensions: standing back, forgiveness, courage, empowerment, accountability,
authenticity, humility, and stewardship. Subsequently, Van Dierendonck (2011) further
distilled this list to six: humility, authenticity, empowering and developing, accepting,
providing direction, and being good stewards. And Reed et al. (2011) created an
instrument based on five servant leadership characteristics: interpersonal support,
building community, altruism, moral integrity, and egalitarianism.
Honesty and integrity are essential variables in servant leadership (Dennis &
Bocarnea, 2005; Laub, 1999; Patterson, 2003; Reed et al., 2011; Russell & Stone, 2002;
Sendjaya and Cooper 2011; Wong & Page, 2003). Their definitions convey the essence
of servant leadership. Honesty means telling the truth and integrity means good morals
(Russell & Stone, 2002).
46
Altruism conveys the leader’s desire to place the needs of others first and making
a positive difference in others’ lives (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006). Simply put, altruism
involves helping others just for the sake of helping (Patterson, 2003). Authenticity is
closely related to altruism because it emphasizes the individual over any professional role
(Van Dierendonck & Nuijten, 2010). It is a natural construct of the term servant. Wisdom
is a combination of awareness and foresight (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006). Courage
involves taking risks, relying on values and convictions, and trying new approaches
(Greenleaf, 1970; Russell & Stone, 2002; van Dierendonck & Nuijten, 2011). Standing
back is closely related to authenticity, empowerment, humility, and stewardship (Van
Dierendonck & Nuitjen, 2011).
Humility involves understanding one’s strong and weak points and seeking
assistance from others to overcome weaknesses (Dennis & Bocarnea, 2005; Patterson,
2003; van Dierendonck & Nuitjen, 2011; Wong & Page, 2003). Finally, agapao love
includes “embracing the judgment and the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of
principle, duty, and propriety” (Patterson, 2003, p. 12). Leading with agapao love focuses
on the employees first and then on how the employees’ talents can benefit the
organization (Patterson, 2003).
In summary, servant leadership is more than a leadership style (Laub, 1999). It is
a different way of thinking about life – an opportunity to serve others. Servant leadership
is not a title, position, or status. Instead of controlling people, servant leadership enables
people towards their full potential (Laub, 1999).
To date, most servant leadership research falls into three categories: conceptually
defining and articulating, measuring, and the development of operational models (Parris
47
& Peachey, 2013). Obviously, despite the consistency and overlap of several
characteristics, the introduction and measurement of 44 different characteristics
highlights the difficulty of both defining and operationalizing servant leadership.
Measurement instruments aside, how does one identify or determine the implementation
of servant leadership? According to Greenleaf (1970), the modern originator of servant
leadership:
The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do
they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more
likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least
privileged in society; will they benefit, or, at least, not be further deprived?
(Greenleaf, 2002, p. 6)
Servant leadership variable measurement and outcomes Despite difficulties in
the definition of servant leadership and a lack of specific agreement in the semantics of
servant leadership instrument variables, numerous empirical studies capture and measure
the essence of servant leadership (Parris & Peachey, 2013). The study of servant
leadership in at least 11 countries and across multiple religions demonstrates the crosscultural interest in servant leadership. Likewise, its use in a wide range of organizational
settings (e.g., schools, profit, and non-profit) demonstrates its broad appeal for all those
interested in leadership (Parris & Peachey, 2013).
Not surprisingly, leading was a key variable determined to be statistically
significant in many studies (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Caffey, 2012; Herndon, 2007;
Irving & Longbotham, 2007; Kelley et al., 2005; Mahembe & Engelbrecht, 2013; Mayer,
Bardes, & Piccolo, 2008; McCuddy & Cavin, 2008; Robinson et al., 2008; Shekari &
48
Nikooparvar, 2012; Steyn, 2012; Tariq & Ambali, 2013; Thompson, 2012; Zhang et al.,
2012). Likewise, servanthood’s statistical significance was also prevalent (Barbuto &
Wheeler, 2006; Caffey, 2012; Dennis & Bocarnea, 2003; Dennis & Winston, 2003;
Ehrhart, 2004; Laub, 1999; Liden et al., 2008; Mahembe & Engelbrecht, 2013; Patterson,
2003; Reed et al., 2011; Russell & Stone, 2002; Sendjaya and Cooper , 2011; Shekari &
Nikooparvar, 2012; Tariq & Ambali, 2013; van Dierendonck & Nuijten, 2011; Zhang et
al., 2012). Other common themes in servant leadership research focused on variables that
facilitate individual and organizational effectiveness and follower well-being (Parris &
Peachey, 2013). These themes often included visioning, developing others, team
building, empowering others, and shared decision making.
Irving and Longbotham (2007) conducted a large quantitative, correlational study
with 6,000 team members measuring servant leadership’s influence on team effectiveness
and found significant correlations with leading, servanthood, developing others, team
building, shared decision-making, and integrity. Jaramillo, Grisaffe, Chonko, and Roberts
(2009) did a study with 501 sales professionals from a variety of industries and
determined a significant correlation between servant leadership and effectiveness.
Melchar and Bosco (2010) also supported this theme in a qualitative study of servant
leadership effectiveness in a service oriented, sales environment. Within education,
several studies found significant correlations between servant leadership and school or
teacher effectiveness (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Kelley et al., 2005;
Mahembe & Engelbrecht, 2013; Mazarei et al., 2013; Metzcar, 2009; Robinson et al.,
2008; Thompson, 2012). However, it is notable that Jacobs’ (2011) study of 68 teachers
49
in four universities did not find a statistical significance between servant leadership and
teaching effectiveness.
Numerous studies positively correlated the follower benefits of servant leadership
(Cerit, 2009; Hunter et al., 2013; Jaramillo et al., 2009; Jenkins & Stewart, 2010; Mayer
et al., 2008; Rieke, Hammermeister, & Chase, 2008). Many of these benefits included: a
positive climate, job satisfaction, increased commitment, and lower employee turnover
(Parris & Peachey, 2013). In keeping with the opponent process model of Wong and Page
(2003), a study of 300 workers in Punjab measuring servant leadership variables to earn
employee trust reported statistical significance for the characteristic of humility, which is
the opposite of egotistic pride (Tariq & Ambali, 2013). Caffey (2012) and Mazarei et al.
(2013) recently identified opponent process variables in an educational environment with
statistical significance. Caffey’s (2012) study measuring job satisfaction of 133 new
teachers revealed a strong correlation with the variable humility. More significantly, the
study by Mazarei et al. (2013) of 205 physical education teachers measuring servant
leadership and its influence on organizational commitment revealed significant
correlations with both humility and modesty. This study acknowledged characteristics of
modesty as a counter characteristic of the abuse of power problems affiliated with
authoritarian hierarchical organizations and humility to counter egotistic pride (Mazarei,
Hoshyar, & Nourbakhsh, 2013).
Climate. Understanding organizational climate is important for leaders; however,
it is essential if leaders are to lead (Schein, 2010). It is the only thing of real importance
that leaders do (Schein, 2010). Ismat et al. (2011) confirmed the correlation between the
role of leadership and the creation of organizational culture and climate.
50
Organizational culture and climate in education gained significant attention over
the past few decades (Lumby & Foskett, 2011). While a search of the Education
Resources Information Center (ERIC) lists fewer than 10 articles concerning culture in
education during the 1950s, it reveals more than 7,000 between 1953 and 2012.
Collectively, this research indicates the necessity to critically engage culture and climate
to develop leaders at all levels of education (Lumby & Foskett, 2011).
There are three levels of organizational culture: artifacts, values, and basic
underlying assumptions (Schein, 2010). In an educational environment, a classroom
layout is an example of an artifact. The grouping or separation of desks provides insight
regarding potential or expected communication patterns. National standards and
benchmarks, known as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is an example of a
current value in K–12 education. The intent is to have students, in all states, master
common standards in English, Language Arts, Science, and Mathematics. Finally, one
basic underlying assumption in American education is mainstreaming special needs
students. While it was once common to separate learning support students from their
classmates, values against a segregated model changed to require inclusion of such
students in the least restrictive educational environment possible.
Obviously, organizations do not possess a culture or climate; they exhibit them
(Colakoglu & Littlefield, 2010). Consequently, Fraser, Treagust, and Dennis (1986)
developed The CUCEI to help identify and measure climate in an educational
environment. The CUCEI measures the following dimensions of classroom climate:
student cohesiveness, individualization, innovation, involvement, personalization,
satisfaction, and task orientation.
51
Student cohesiveness. Student cohesiveness is a measure of student interactions
(Fraser et al., 1986). This dimension includes two of the nine climate dimensions
identified by Litwin and Stringer (1968): support and identity. A supportive
organizational climate emphasizes employee helpfulness. This support extends beyond
organizational peers. Both managers and employees reciprocate it (Litwin & Stringer,
1968). Similarly, the extent to which an employee feels included within the group reflects
identity. It includes a sense of value as a contributing member to organizational goals. It
creates a common organizational spirit (Litwin & Stringer, 1968). Duke (2006) positively
correlated these attributes with a high achievement school climate.
This is a common variable in educational climate instruments (Fisher & Fraser,
1981; Fraser et al., 1986; Fraser et al., 1996; Fraser, Fisher, & McRobbie, 1996; Trickett
& Moos, 1973; Walberg & Anderson, 1968). The Classroom Environment Scale (CES)
uses the term affiliation (Trickett & Moos, 1973). The CLES dimension of student
negotiation requires the establishment of socially acceptable behavior (Taylor et al.,
1995). However, this dimension is conspicuously absent from the Individual Classroom
Environment Questionnaire (ICEQ) (Fraser, 1990).
Individualization. Individualization refers to the specific treatment of students
based on their interests, abilities, and rates of work (Fraser et al., 1986). It also considers
the extent to which students are allowed to make decisions. This is similar to Litwin’s
(Litwin & Stringer, 1968) dimension of responsibility. Responsibility refers to
employees’ feelings of empowerment and of being their own boss. Responsibility means
employees do not have to double check every decision. It is recognizing that each
individual is accountable for specific tasks (Litwin & Stringer, 1968).
52
Surprisingly, this dimension is only included in one other educational climate
instrument: the ICEQ (Fraser, 1990). Fraser (1990) also developed this instrument.
Nevertheless, in this case, he labeled this dimension independence.
Innovation. Unusual class activities and new teaching techniques are examples of
innovation in a classroom environment (Fraser et al., 1986). It is a positive outcome of
the dimension of risk as defined by Litwin and Stringer (1968) because it demonstrates a
willingness to take chances instead of playing it safe. Research by (Oliveira & Ferreira,
2012) confirmed a servant leadership climate fosters communication and innovation by
removing communication barriers.
Aspects of this dimension appear in several common educational environment
instruments: the SLP-R, the LEI, the CLES, the SLEI, and the CES. (Fraser et al., 1996;
Taylor et al., 1995; Trickett & Moos, 1973; Walberg & Anderson, 1968). The LEI
includes these characteristics in its dimension of diversity (Walberg & Anderson, 1968).
In this case, the need to provide for individual student differences requires innovation in
lieu of a standard cookie-cutter approach (Walberg & Anderson, 1968). The uncertainty
of science dimension in the CLES promotes innovation by welcoming unconventional
theories (Taylor et al., 1995). Likewise, the SLEI promotes innovation through divergent
approaches to experimentation (Fraser et al., 1996).
Involvement. The dimension of involvement measures the extent to which
students participate in discussions and activities (Fraser et al., 1986). Two climate
dimensions from Litwin and Stringer (1968) that encourage involvement are conflict and
identity. Conflict addresses the degree to which managers and workers encourage
different opinions. It supports open communication and problem sharing. Moreover,
53
without involvement as a contributing member of the group, students are less likely to
obtain a sense of group identity (Litwin & Stringer, 1968). Research by Oliveira and
Ferreira (2012) confirmed a servant leadership climate fosters communication and
involvement. It seeks member participation (Ebener & O’Connell, 2010).
At the classroom level involving teachers, servant leadership improves student
engagement, learning, and achievement (Bowman, 2005; Hays, 2008; Metzcar, 2009;
(Scardino, 2013). These communication patterns become organizational artifacts (Schein,
2010). Duke (2006) positively correlated these attributes with a high achievement school
climate.
The CES and WIHIC instruments each contain a scale labeled involvement
(Trickett & Moos, 1973; Fraser et al., 1996). The LEI scale of democracy measures
involvement through shared decision-making (Walberg & Anderson, 1968). By
measuring shared control, the CLES also includes this dimension (Fraser et al., 1996).
Additionally, the ICEQ uses the term participation (Fraser, 1990). Yet, this dimension is
not included in the MCI or SLEI instruments (Fisher & Fraser, 1981; Fraser et al., 1996).
Personalization. The dimension of personalization reflects both the opportunities
for individual student interactions with the teacher and the teacher’s concern for each
student’s personal welfare and social growth (Fraser et al., 1986). Litwin and Stringer
(1968) categorized this type of caring as helpfulness. However, it is also indicative of
characteristics within the dimension of warmth (Litwin & Stringer, 1968).
Caring for members is a direct servant leadership attribute that contributes to a
positive organizational climate (Ebener & O’Connell, 2010). Improving student-teacher
relationships, study conditions, and student metacognitive orientation has both direct and
54
indirect effects on student learning and achievement (Pitkäniemi & Vanninen, 2012).
Again, Duke (2006) positively correlated these attributes with a high achievement school
climate.
This dimension is present in the CES, ICEQ, and WIHIC instruments (Fraser,
1990; Fraser et al., 1996; Trickett & Moos, 1973). Trickett and Moos (1973) and Fraser
et al. (1996) called this dimension teacher support. Nevertheless, it is absent from the
LEI, MCI, SLEI, and CLES instruments.
Satisfaction. According to Fraser et al. (1986), satisfaction is simply a measure of
how much the students enjoy the class. There are two aspects to this dimension. First, do
the students believe the class is worthwhile? Second, do the students enjoy working in the
class? This is an important dimension in educational pedagogy (Marzano & Marzano,
2003; Waters et al., 2003). Beginning at the school level with administrators, a servant
leadership approach increased both teacher job satisfaction and student achievement
(Caffey, 2012; Watkins, 2012). These findings were confirmed by Cerit, (2009) and
Thompson (2012).
Ironically, many educational climate instruments (CES, ICEQ, SLEI, CLES, and
WIHIC) do not consider this dimension an essential aspect of climate (Fraser et al., 1996;
Taylor et al., 1995; Trickett & Moos, 1973). However, Walberg and Anderson (1968)
included it in the LEI. Likewise, Fisher and Fraser (1981) included it in the MCI.
Task orientation. The clarity and organization of work determine the task
orientation (Fraser et al., 1986). Students do well in this dimension when they know
exactly what the teacher expects (Walberg & Anderson, 1968). Litwin and Stringer
(1968) used two dimensions to encompass task orientation: standards and values.
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Standards reflect the implicit and explicit achievement goals. And values reflect the
acceptable standards of behavior and thinking regarding the way things are done around
here. Values are reflected when leaders propose solutions to problems. Values that
successfully solve problems become organizational beliefs, and eventual underlying
assumptions (Schein, 1990).
The LEI, CES, SLEI, and WIHIC instruments all incorporate task orientation
(Fraser et al., 1996; Walberg & Anderson, 1968; and Trickett & Moos, 1973). The LEI
labels this dimension goal direction (Walberg & Anderson, 1968). Fraser et al. (1996)
refer to this dimension as rule clarity. The MCI, ICEQ, and CLES instruments do not
include this dimension.
Climate characteristic refinements. In subsequent research, Litwin and
Stringer (1968) identified strong relationships between warmth and identity,
identity and support, and warmth and support. Consequently, the characteristic of
warmth and support combined these dimensions (Sims Jr. & Lafollette, 1975).
And the characteristic approval replaced standards (Canaan Messarra & ElKassar, 2013). Furthermore, several authors identified structural, perceptual, and
interactive aspects of creating climate (Campbell, Dunnette, Lawler, & Weick,
1970); Field & Abelson, 1982) ; Glick, 1985; Hellriegel & Slocum, 1974; James
& Jones, 1974; Litwin & Stringer, 1968; (Payne & Pugh, 1976; Schneider, 1975;
Tagiuri & Litwin, 1968; Woodman & King, 1978). Unfortunately, there is still a
lack of agreement regarding the basic dimensions of organizational climate
(Thumin & Thumin, 2011).
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Despite consistency with many variables, analysis of the most common
educational climate instruments reveals 37 different dimensions. Moreover,
according to Ashkanasy, Broadfoot, and Falkus (2000), many climate instruments
fail to include reliability information. Therefore, despite numerous attempts, even
those intimately involved with the dynamics of organizational culture and climate
experienced difficulty distinguishing between them (Denison, 1996).
Accordingly, these should be considered differences in interpretation rather than
differences in phenomenon (Denison, 1996).
Climate variable measurement and outcomes. Due to a plethora of
climate instruments in a variety of contextual environments, this review of climate
variables focuses only on those affiliated within an educational environment. In
this arena, several recent studies consolidate and review current research in more
than 90 empirical studies, 50 literature reviews, and 100+ educational climate
instruments (Clifford, Menon, Gangi, Condon, & Hornung, 2012; Faster & Lopez,
2013; Fraser, 2012; Gangi, 2010; Guffey, 2012; Haggerty, Elgin, & Woolley,
2011; Thapa et al., 2013). From this literature, three main research themes of
climate instruments include measuring innovation, practical attempts to improve
the environment, and the correlation between climate and student achievement
(Fraser, 2012). Gangi (2010) reviewed 102 educational climate instruments and
identified wide usage, established reliability, and a long history as essential
aspects of the best instruments. Faster and Lopez (2013) subsequently confirmed
this finding.
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Reviews by Clifford et al. (2012), Guffy (2012), Fraser (2012), Haggerty
et al. (2011), and Thapa et al. (2013) identified cohesiveness, task orientation,
individualization, innovation, involvement, and personalization as statistically
significant, key variables in climate assessment. A review of 73 instruments by
Haggerty et al. (2011) identified the best instruments as those measuring socioemotional issues that include variables like student cohesiveness,
individualization, involvement, personalization, satisfaction, and task orientation.
In addition, a rigorous analysis of 25 instruments by Clifford et al. (2012) also
identified these variables as components of the 11 best instruments.
In a yearlong study of classroom climate with 144 students, Skinner and Belmont
(1993) significantly correlated individualization and involvement with student motivation
and behavior. Similarly, a study of 382 African American and 1,456 European American
students identified student cohesiveness as the most significant variable influencing both
student behavior and achievement (Mattison & Aber, 2007). Higgins-D’Alessandro
(2011) concluded innovation is a core characteristic of a liberal education. Finally, in a
decade long, longitudinal study of school climate in more than 400 schools in Chicago,
Bryk (2010) concluded personalization was the key variable that affects school climate.
Methodology. Despite multiple variations, combinations, and
permutations, most research in the social sciences can be generally categorized as
qualitative, quantitative, or a combination of the two often referred to as mixed
method (Murakami, 2013). Yet, a researcher’s selection of a methodology should
not be arbitrary (Downey & Duane Ireland, 1979). Careful consideration of the
58
predominant characteristics of each methodology leads to the appropriate
methodological selection (Dobrovolny & Fuentes, 2008).
There are several characteristics common to both qualitative and
quantitative methodologies (Dobrovolny & Fuentes, 2008). Both methodologies
involve decision making or judging that is susceptible to accusations of political
or emotional bias. However, both are also based on established codes of conduct
and ethical standards (Dobrovolny & Fuentes, 2008).
A qualitative methodology frequently helps to develop theory (Bynum &
Pranter, 2013; Higgins, 2009). According to Dobrovolny and Fuentes (2008),
researchers typically start from a broad perspective and attempt to describe or
understand its context. Data are usually narrative in nature and the researcher is
frequently instrumental as an observer with direct influence on data input in the
form of coded transcripts (Dobrovolny & Fuentes, 2008). Consequently, the
subjectivity and expertise of the researcher is critical to the validity of the study
(Downey & Ireland, 1979).
Conversely, quantitative research is usually appropriate to test, rather than
develop, theory (Higgins, 2009). Usually, the purpose of the research is to
confirm or refute one or more hypotheses (Dobrovolny & Fuentes, 2008).
Statistical analysis of numerical data does not include input from the researcher
and subjectivity in the study comes only from the subjects (Dobrovolny &
Fuentes, 2008). Furthermore, study validity is related to statistical analysis
(Downey & Ireland, 1979).
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Understandably, these characteristic differences are subject to specific criticisms
(Hubbard & Meyer, 2013; Murakami, 2013). Qualitative studies must guard against bias
and their narrative nature, by their choices of specific words, may lead to different
interpretations by readers (Murakami, 2013). However, Hubbard and Meyer (2013)
included and concurred with 28 studies in their argument that the statistically significant
p value in most quantitative studies is grossly over rated.
Each methodology has both benefits and detriments (Dobrovolny &
Fuentes, 2008). Fortunately, there are some general guidelines to assist
researchers in selecting an appropriate methodology for their studies (Alonso &
Barredo, 2013; Fairbrother, 2007; Dobrovolny & Fuentes, 2008; Murakami,
2013). Dobrovolny and Fuentes (2008) created a methodological flowchart to
assist in navigating through the characteristics of each methodology.
In conclusion, Alonso and Barredo (2013) recommended a quantitative
methodology when the research investigated models of theory. Likewise,
Fairbrother (2007) concluded the quantitative method is most appropriate to
clarify a relationship. Therefore, a quantitative methodology was chosen for this
research to correlate the models of servant leadership and classroom climate. Use
of the flowchart created by Dobrovolny and Fuentes (2008) also supported the
selection of a quantitative methodology for this research. Finally, similar studies
correlating servant leadership in an educational environment all used a
quantitative methodology (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Kelley et
al., 2005; Robinson et al., 2008).
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Instrumentation. This study aimed to advance scientific knowledge by
examining to what degree there was a relationship between teachers’ servant
leadership behaviors and classroom climate and student achievement at the
collegiate level. Prior research studies demonstrated a positive correlation
between servant leadership, school culture, and student achievement at the
elementary and secondary levels of education (Boyer, 2012; Hays, 2008; Hiller et
al., 2011; Robinson et al., 2008). While this study was different in that it sought to
discover a correlation at the collegiate level, it was reasonable to anticipate
similar results. It was also reasonable to utilize instruments that had been used in
the previous studies (Bowman, 2005; Boyer, 2012; Cunningham, 2008; Drobot &
RoÅŸu, 2012; Hays, 2008; Metzcar, 2009; Scardino, 2013). As discussed in detail
above in relation to specific characteristics of servant leadership and classroom
climate, several measures have been developed that the researcher reviewed.
These include the LEI, the CLES, the SLEI, CES, ICEQ, and WIHIC (Fraser et
al., 1996; Taylor et al., 1995; Trickett & Moos, 1973; Walberg & Anderson, 1968
WIHIC). Two of the instruments used in this research, which were used in prior
studies, provided the best fit: The Servant Leadership Profile—Revised [SLP-R]
(Wong & Page, 2003) and The College and University Classroom Environment
Inventory [CUCEI] (Fraser et al., 1986). The SLP-R was the only instrument that
also accounted for the potential negative leadership characteristics of egotistic
pride and abuse of power and the CUCEI is the most frequently used classroom
climate instrument in similar research (Fraser, Tobin, & McRobbie, 2012). The
third instrument, end of course student grades, served as a measure of student
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achievement. While studies at the elementary and secondary school levels relied
on standardized test results as a measure of student achievement, there was no
equivalent at the collegiate level.
Summary
History provides multiple examples demonstrating the irony of great leaders who
influence others by placing themselves in subordinate positions (Keith, 2008). The
foundational theories for this research—servant leadership and organizational climate—
partially explicate this paradox. These theories were developed by Greenleaf (2007),
Litwin and Stringer (1968), and Schein (1984), and were used to study transformational
follower development and unifying values within organizations to align behavior. In
concert, leadership and organizational culture and climate are symbiotic (Kotter, 2009;
Stringer Jr., 2012).
Saphier and King (1985) identified the importance of organizational culture in
education. The historic factory model of education is no longer producing desired results
(Chance & Chance, 2002; Zeitvogel, 2010). Waters et al. (2003) synthesized 30 years of
leadership in education and recommended careful attention to school culture. Saphier
(2011) recommended changing teacher-student paradigms to increase learning
effectiveness. In the 21st century educational environment, there is a greater need for
educational leaders than professional teachers (Luqman et al., 2012). Furthermore, it is
known that educational climate influences student achievement (Cunningham,
2008;Herndon, 2007). More specifically, contemporary research recommended servant
leadership to enhance and improve academic environments and achievement (Black,
2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Hiller et al., 2011; Kelley et al., 2005; Luqman et al.,
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2012; Spillane, 2005).
At the macro environmental level of education, research identified strong positive
correlations between servant leadership and improved achievement (Hays, 2008; Hiller et
al., 2011; Robinson et al., 2008; van Dierendonck & Nuitjen, 2011). However, while
overall school climate affects student achievement, the past studies create a gap in the
literature with respect to leadership in the classroom and the influence of servant
leadership in higher education (Black, 2010; Herndon, 2007). This research addresses the
following problem: It is not known to what degree there is a relationship between
teachers’ servant leadership behaviors, classroom climate, and improved student
achievement in a college setting. Specifically, the extent to which a servant leadership
classroom climate affects student achievement is not known.
Quantitative, correlational research is the most frequent empirical design
examining the trivariate correlations of servant leadership, climate, and student
achievement. Fortunately, there are established survey instruments for both servant
leadership and classroom climate—SLP-R (Wong & Page, 2005) and the CUCEI (Fraser
et al., 1986). Teachers’ servant leadership behavior and classroom climate were the
predictor variables in this study. Student achievement was the criterion variable.
This study examined the correlations between servant leadership, classroom
climate, and student achievement. To date, these studies only exist at the administrative
levels for primary and secondary education (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007;
Hiller et al., 2011; Kelley et al., 2005; Spillane, 2005). This study sought to identify these
correlations at the classroom level in higher education. Understanding this dynamic was
critical to identify, confirm, or refute a popular leadership paradigm—servant
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leadership—in an educational context. Additionally, although this research supported
current practices of teacher pedagogy at the collegiate level, it also recommends a closer
examination of the professional development of collegiate teachers in the areas of
leadership and pedagogy (in addition to subject matter expertise). Chapter 3 contains the
specific methodological elements of this research.
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Chapter 3: Methodology
Introduction
Teacher leadership styles are as varied as teachers are. However, the principles,
values, and practices of servant leadership can make a profound difference on the
learning experience for both students and teachers (Hays, 2008). These findings are
significant because the United States’ world education rankings have declined.
Fortunately, the link has been established between administrative servant leadership,
school climate and student achievement (Black, 2010; Kelley et al., 2005; Herndon 2007;
and Robinson et al., 2008). Unfortunately, the link has not been established for teacher
servant leadership to classroom climate and student achievement in higher education. The
purpose of this quantitative research was to see to what degree a relationship exists
between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement for students and
faculty at a small university in Northwest Pennsylvania.
The methodology of the study is explained in this chapter. Components of this
process include the statement of the problem, research hypotheses, research
methodology, research design, population and sampling procedures, instrumentation,
validity, reliability, data collection and analysis procedures, and ethical considerations.
Each of these areas are discussed in detail.
Statement of the Problem
This quantitative, correlational study examined the relationships between servant
leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement. It was not known whether and to
what degree teachers’ servant leadership behaviors correlated with classroom climate and
student achievement. The educational environment of this research was a small, private,
65
Catholic university in Northwest Pennsylvania. The data for this study were drawn from
two survey instruments and final course grades. The first instrument, the SLP-R, was
used to collect data on the servant leadership characteristics of the teachers. The second
instrument, the CUCEI, was used to collect data on the nature of each classroom climate.
Finally, students’ end of course grades were used to reflect student achievement.
Research Questions and Hypotheses
The research questions and hypotheses for this study focused on the identification
and measurement of teachers’ servant leadership behaviors, the classroom climate created
by these behaviors, and subsequent student achievement. Values determine behaviors
(McClelland, 1985). This concept is not new. It is foundational to understanding human
psychology and behavior and the premise underlying behavioral models such as
Maslow’s (1954) hierarchy of needs and Herzberg’s motivation to work (Herzberg,
1959). Collectively, “common values are the glue that binds an organization together;
they motivate and create a sense of community. If properly implemented, the employees
can be trusted in the absence of direct rules and regulations” (Brytting & Trollestad,
2000, p. 55). These common values create the culture of the organization and directly
influence the climate (Schein, 2010). And, as stated previously, climate influences
achievement (Cunningham, 2008; Herndon, 2007).
Values-based leadership presumes moral and ethical leadership, in its purest form,
like servant leadership, ensures rational and emotional commitment to organizational
objectives (McCoy & McCoy, 2007). O’Toole (1996) identified integrity, vision, trust,
listening, respect for followers, clear thinking, and inclusion as the primary
characteristics of values-based leadership.
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If we use beliefs to make decisions, our decisions will reflect our past history
in dealing with similar situations…If we use our values to make decisions; our
decisions will align with the future we want to experience. Values transcend
both contexts and experiences. (Barrett, 2007, p.1)
As stated previously, the inherent values that manifest leadership behavior work
to create the underlying values and beliefs (culture) of an organization. This culture, in
turn, is observable in the daily behaviors that regulate the organizational climate. While
there is an abundance of research that correlates leadership behavior with follower
achievement, empirical research directly correlating an organizational classroom climate
(because of leader behaviors) to student achievement is missing.
The following research questions and hypotheses guided this study:
R1: What is the relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and
classroom climate as reported by students?
H1: There is a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,
measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate
reported by students.
H0: There is not a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,
measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate
reported by students.
R2: What is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student
achievement?
H2: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors, measured by
the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course grades.
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H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors,
measured by the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course
grades.
R3: To what extent is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and
student achievement mediated by classroom climate?
H3: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and student
achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI.
H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and
student achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI.
Research Methodology
This research used a quantitative methodology and correlational research design
because that methodology could help to ascertain whether and to what extent there was a
relationship between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement. It
did not explain why the dynamics of servant leadership and classroom climate affected
student achievement. Rather, it helped to identify the strength of the relationship between
these variables. Evidence-based practice and research measures and quantifies a
phenomenon (Vance et al., 2013). The research questions would not be supported by a
qualitative methodology, which aims to discover how and why a phenomenon occurs, but
does not support the correlation between variables (Bernard & Ryan, 2009) . Fortunately,
the availability of established instruments to look at the relationships between teacher
servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement precluded the need to
establish and validate questions or instruments for a qualitative or mixed methods
68
approach and lent themselves to a quantitative correlational study. Furthermore, this
study was designed to be consistent with prior research studies in this area of research.
There is extensive research on leadership and organizational climate (Fernando &
Chowdhury, 2010; Groves, 2006; Karakas, 2011; Leithwood & Mascall, 2008). Similar
studies demonstrated a positive correlation between servant leadership, school culture,
and student achievement at the elementary and secondary levels of education (Boyer,
2012; Hays, 2008; Hiller et al., 2011; Robinson et al., 2008). While this study was
different in that it sought to discover a correlation at the collegiate level, it was
reasonable to anticipate similar results. Prior research and results were the genesis of the
Figure 2. Conceptual framework model.
Adapted from Latham (2013). Original copyright 2005. Used with permission.
69
research questions and hypotheses for this study. Moreover, since the focus of this
research was on correlating leadership and climate to student achievement instead of.
correlating leadership with student achievement or climate with student achievement
individually, it was possible to use established leadership and climate instruments
This study was conducted at a small, private, Catholic, university. There was a
presumption that the predictor variable of teachers’ servant leadership behaviors was the
predictor stimuli. Classroom climate was the primary moderating variable in the
relationship between the teacher and the criterion variable student achievement. Using
established survey instruments as the criterion response, based upon similar studies, the
primary hypothesis was that the presumed effect will be a more favorable classroom
climate and improved student achievement. However, it was important to acknowledge
the potential influence of confounding variables that may have intervened with our
results. Figure 2 shows a diagram of the conceptual framework.
Research Design
This was a quantitative, correlational study. The study sought to measure and
correlate real world classroom dynamics. In this study, mean values for servant
leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement were used to support or refute the
research hypotheses. While subsequent research may examine more complicated
relationships, for this research, the framing of these variables was linear. Since classroom
climate and student achievement data were paired—not independent of each other—“It is
important to account for this pairing in the analysis…[and]…concentrate on the
differences between the pairs of measurements rather than on the measurements
themselves” (Whitley & Ball, 2002, p. 3).
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Epistemologically, a postpositivist worldview is one in which causes determine
effects; this perspective framed the origins of this research. The SLP-R and CUCEI
research instruments in this study converted individual values into numerical values.
“The aim of descriptive statistics is to quantitatively summarize a data set …used to
support statements about the population that the data are thought to represent” (Marusteri
& Bacarea, 2010, p.16). Therefore, a real world, numeric comparison of individual
differences in teachers’ servant leadership behaviors, classroom climate, and student
achievement reflects the realism of a postpositivist worldview.
The foundational theories for this research included servant leadership and
organizational climate. These were developed by Greenleaf (2007), Litwin and Stringer
(1968), and Schein (1984), and were used to study transformational follower
development and unifying values within an organization to align behavior. These theories
indicate that a servant leadership paradigm emphasizes the development of the follower
and the organizational climate helps to facilitate follower receptivity to leadership
direction.
This correlational study did not question established theories in use; rather, it
attempted to identify the strength of the correlation between the variables. Thus, it was
consistent with a quantitative, correlational research study. In this study, correlating the
variables of teacher servant leadership behavior with classroom climate and classroom
climate with student achievement required servant leadership and climate instrumentation
and end of course grades.
For this research, the SLP-R and CUCEI surveys provided numerical scale scores
to determine the correlation between the level of teacher servant leadership in a
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classroom and classroom climate. The survey results were correlated with student
achievement as measured by end of course grades. Teachers’ servant leadership behavior
and classroom climate were the predictor variables in this study. Student achievement
was the criterion variable. The unit of analysis for this study was the classroom.
Population and Sample Selection
The general population for this study included teachers and students. According to
the most recent academic year of complete educational statistics (2009-2010), the U.S.
Census Bureau reported 76.3 million students and 4.7 million teachers in the United
States. Within the general population, there are 20.6 million collegiate students
comprised of 11.7 million women and 8.9 million men. It also includes 313,156 female
and 415,821 male collegiate teachers totaling 728,977 faculty (U.S. Census Bureau,
2011).
The study population was drawn from approximately 3,600 students and 260
faculty members at a small, private university in Northwest Pennsylvania. The average
class size was fewer than 25 students and teaching assistants did not teach classes. The
tenets of the university’s Catholic origins remain a strong cultural influence.
An a priori power analysis calculation recommended a sample size of 34 (see
Appendix L). However, the small faculty population and instrumentation constraints
(non-science-related lecture classes without laboratory periods) made attainment of this
sample size unlikely. A compromise power analysis with a hypothetical sample size of 15
determined a power of .83 (see Appendix L). Finally, a post hoc power analysis
computed a power of 0.76 for correlation and 0.47 for multiple linear regression (see
Appendix L).
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The University email system was used to contact and recruit potential
participants, who were adult students; the email was sent to instructors inviting them to
participate by handing out sealed paper-based surveys to the adult students in their
classes. The study was geographically limited to students and teachers at the main
campus location only. Additionally, participation requirements limited the study to nonscience-related lecture classes without laboratory periods. To avoid participant
identification and encourage candid responses, each set of class data was assigned an
alphabetic code. The alphabetic coding of survey instruments in the research design
protected participant confidentiality by recording all data anonymously. In an attempt to
obtain the largest possible sample from the university, the sampling procedure was
purposely open to the entire university.
Instrumentation
The necessary data for this research was provided by instruments that reveal
teacher servant leadership, classroom climate and student achievement. Fortunately, there
are established survey instruments for both servant leadership and classroom climate—
The SLP-R (Wong & Page, 2005) and the CUCEI (Fraser et al., 1986). Finally, end of
course student grades were collected. While collegiate grades may not follow a
traditional bell curve, within this environment, they are the only established differentiator
of student achievement where, unlike the K-12 educational environment, there is no
standardized test to measure student achievement.
The Servant Leadership Profile-Revised Survey Instrument. Page and Wong
(2000) created the Servant Leadership Profile instrument to “measure what servantleadership is and how it achieves its positive results” (p.12). This 100 item instrument
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focused on four over-arching characteristics of servant leadership: (1) character –
orientation (focuses on the attitude toward integrity, humility, and servanthood of the
leader); (2) people-orientation (focuses on how the leader cares for, empowers, and
develops followers); (3) task-orientation (focuses on the leader’s concern with
productivity and success); and (4) process-orientation (focuses on the leaders concern for
increasing the efficiency of the organization).
Subsequently, Wong and Page (2003) developed SLP-R based on empirical
research and an opponent-process model which “explicitly identifies autocratic leadership
as antithetic to the practice of servant leadership” (Wong, Davey, & Church, 2007, p. 5).
This revised 62 item instrument includes two additional subscales: abuse of power and
egotistic pride (Wong & Page, 2003). The instrument employs a seven point Likert scale
ranging from (1) strongly disagree to (7) strongly agree. Validity of this instrument is
established by voluminous research in the creation of its predecessor – the 99-item
Servant Leadership Profile. According to Page and Wong (2000), this instrument has an
alpha reliability score of 0.937. It is the preferred servant leadership instrument of the
Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership (Page, 2012).
The College and Classroom Environment Inventory Survey Instrument. In
1986, Fraser et al. concluded despite numerous classroom psychosocial environment
instruments available at the primary and secondary levels of education, “surprisingly little
analogous work has been conducted at the tertiary level” (p.43). The CUCEI assesses
perceptions of seven classroom dimensions: personalization, involvement, student
cohesiveness, task orientation, satisfaction, innovation, and individualization. Each of the
49 items is rated on a five-point scale: strongly agree, agree, neutral or no answer,
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disagree, and strongly disagree. Cross validation of the instrument over several studies
determined alpha reliability scores ranging from 0.85 to 0.96 across the seven
dimensions. It is an established instrument. According to the most recent addition of the
Second International Handbook Of Science Education (Fraser, Tobin, & McRobbie,
2012), the CUCEI is still one of the two most frequently used instruments specifically
designed for use at the collegiate level of education. The other instrument, The Science
Laboratory Environment Inventory (SLEI), is only applicable for science laboratory
classes. The SLP-R instrument produces a scale score. Likewise, the CUCEI produces a
scale score. And students’ final letter grades were numerically coded to produce a scale
score as follows: A equaled six; B+ equaled five; B equaled four; C+ equaled three; C
equaled two: D+ or lower equaled one.
Validity
There are two aspects to research validity. Face validity is a subjective evaluation
whether the instrument appears to measure what it purports to measure (Kouzes &
Posner, 2002). The SLP-R was created to “measure what servant-leadership is and how it
achieves its positive results” (Wong & Page, 2002, p.12). This 62 question instrument
assesses six dimensions of servant leadership: character orientation, people orientation,
task orientation, process orientation, abuse of power, and egotistic pride (Wong & Page,
2003). The CUCEI is a 49-question instrument assessing perceptions of seven classroom
dimensions: personalization, involvement, student cohesiveness, task orientation,
satisfaction, innovation, and individualization (Fraser et al., 1986). In both cases, these
instruments appear to measure appropriate aspects of servant leadership and classroom
climate.
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The second aspect of research validity includes empirical research, or internal
validity (Kouzes & Posner, 2002). Internal validity refers to “the extent to which the
design and conduct of a study are likely to have prevented bias” (Collaboration, 2005, p.
22). The SLP-R was originally validated by more than 1,000 participants in development
of the instrument (Wong & Page, 2003). Subsequently, a Google Scholar search
identifies dozens of studies confirming its validity. The creators of the CUCEI crossvalidated their instrument in multiple studies in both Australia and the United States with
more than 400 participants (Fraser et al., 1986).
Reliability
Experimental reliability is “the degree to which results obtained by a
measurement procedure can be replicated” (Collaboration, 2005, p. 38). An alpha
reliability score of 0.937 indicates high internal reliability for the SLP-R (Page and
Wong, 2000). Likewise, alpha reliability scores between 0.85 and 0.96 over several
studies indicates high internal reliability for this CUCEI (Fraser et al., 2012, pp. 1196-
1197).
Data Collection and Management
The general population for this research included all teachers and students at a
small university in Northwest Pennsylvania. The targeted population consisted of
collegiate professors and students. The sample consisted of approximately 260 faculty
and 3600 students at a small university in Northwest Pennsylvania. The study was
geographically limited to students and teachers at the main campus location only.
Additionally, participation requirements limited the study to non-science related lecture
76
classes without laboratory periods. The University email system was used to contact and
recruit potential participants.
The data required for this research included the SLP-R instrument completed by
teachers and a corresponding CUCEI instrument for the students in each teacher’s class.
Lastly, end of course student grades were collected. The teachers’ servant leadership
behavior as measured by the SLP-R and the classroom climate as measured by CUCEI
were the predictor variables. The students’ final course grade was the criterion variable.
The data collection occurred in the latter half of the semester (to allow sufficient time for
the classroom climate to be established).
Participating teachers received a coded packet from the survey coordinator that
included participant informed consent forms, one SLP-R survey instrument with a
sealable envelope, and enough CUCEI instruments for each student in the class
(approximately 25). To ensure teacher anonymity and confidentiality, the survey
coordinator distributed and collected these packets to/from participating teachers. This
step was included to ensure teachers that the researcher would not know which specific
packet corresponded to them.
First and foremost, each survey instrument begin with an explanation of this
research and a request for participation by asking each respondent to sign an informed
consent form. This form included an explanation that informed participants that the
survey was to be completed anonymously to ensure confidentiality. Additionally, this
explanation included a statement that participation in this study was voluntary.
The survey instruments were paired with their instructor’s SLP-R. For example,
the SLP-R instrument completed by the teacher labeled “A” and the corresponding
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CUCEI instruments completed by students in that class were also labeled “A”. Upon
completion of the survey instruments, teachers were asked to replace their completed
SLP-R survey into the envelope provided and seal it. Thus, while the survey coordinator
knew which survey the teacher completed (in this example, A), the sealed envelope
ensured the coordinator could not see the teacher’s data and, therefore, protected teacher
confidentiality and anonymity. This sealed envelope, all completed consent forms, and all
completed CUCEI surveys were replaced into the research packet, in separate groups, and
returned to the survey coordinator.
The researcher collected the completed survey packets from the survey
coordinator. Based upon completed Student Informed Consent forms, the researcher
prepared a student participation roster. Again, while the researcher knew the identity of
participating students based on completed consent forms, the separate groups of consent
forms and surveys ensured the researcher was not be able to identify which student
completed each survey. The intent of this roster was to ensure that final course grades
collected only included the grades of students who voluntarily participated in the study.
This participation roster served as a collection aid for each teacher. The coded Student
Participation Rosters were given to the Survey Coordinator to be returned to each
appropriate teacher. Again, this ensured the researcher could not identify the teachers.
Finally, at the conclusion of the semester, teachers were asked to use this
participation roster to aggregate and record final grades of participating students. To
reiterate, while the teacher knew who participated in the study – an unavoidable dynamic
when informed consent forms are required–like the researcher, the teacher did not see
which student provided specific data, so student confidentiality was maintained. Each
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roster was accompanied by a final grade chart where the total grade distribution was
recorded (see Figure 3). Again, to ensure teacher anonymity with the researcher, the
completed Participating Students’ Grade Distribution sheets were returned to the Survey
Coordinator.
Figure 3. Participating students’ grade distribution example.
In summary, the researcher received a coded packet from each teacher. The
packet contained the SLP-R survey completed by the teacher, the corresponding CUCEI
surveys completed by students, and the final grade distributions from the Participating
Students’ Grade Distribution sheets. This procedure protected the individual data of
participating teachers and students. Even though the data were recorded anonymously to
protect the identity and security of participants, per institutional IRB guidelines, they
were also maintained in secure storage in a locked file cabinet at the researcher’s home
office. To prepare the data for analysis, each survey instrument was tabulated according
to its corresponding evaluation criteria. This resulted in scale scores (continuous and
interval level scores) for the SLP-R and CUCEI. Final course grades were converted into
ordinal numbers per the following chart (see Figure 4). All data will be kept in the secure,
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locked location at the researcher’s home office for 5 years following conferral of the
doctoral degree, and will then be destroyed by shredding.
Figure 4. Letter grade to ordinal number conversion chart.
Data Analysis Procedures
This research helped to identify the correlations between servant leadership,
climate, and student achievement in an educational environment. These correlations
provide insight and helped answer the following research questions. First, what is the
relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and classroom climate as
reported by students? Second, what is the relationship between servant leadership
behavior and student achievement? Third, to what extent is the relationship between
servant leadership behavior and student achievement mediated by classroom climate?
Based upon results of similar studies at lower levels of education, the hypotheses for this
study were as follows:
H1: There is a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,
measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate reported by
students.
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H0: There is not a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,
measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate reported by
students.
H2: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors, measured by the
SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course grades.
H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors, measured by
the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course grades.
H3: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and student
achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI.
H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and student
achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI.
Preparation of data. The raw data for this research was comprised of servant
leadership profile scores, classroom climate scores, and students’ final grades. The
researcher screened the data to ensure there were properly recorded answers to each
question in the instruments. Incomplete instruments were not used. The SLP-R and
CUCEI survey instruments require the use of coding keys to aggregate and tabulate
overall leadership and climate scores for each participant. For example, The SLP-R
included 62 questions and categorized seven factors of servant leadership. Use of the
coding key determined a score for each factor. Then, the average of the seven category
scores created an overall servant leadership score. Finally, the professors received a
participant worksheet to identify and provide participant student grades. Responses to the
surveys were entered into an excel spreadsheet and then uploaded to SPSS. Due to the
nature of the study design, the ratio of servant leadership profile data to classroom
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climate and final grade data approximated the teacher to student ratio of participating
classes. Consequently, the sample size of teachers was expected to be much smaller than
the sample size of students.
Empirically, the two instruments for this study, SLP-R and the CUCEI, generate
scale scores. Therefore, a Pearson correlation was appropriate to address the first research
question and hypothesis. The data for the second research question and hypothesis
consisted of an interval level variable from the SLP-R and an ordinal value (student
grades). Consequently, a Spearman correlation was appropriate for this analysis. Finally,
the data for the third research question and hypothesis consisted of two predictor
variables (servant leadership behavior and classroom climate) and one criterion variable
(student achievement). “Regression analysis is a statistical tool for the investigation of
relationships between variables. Usually, the investigator seeks to ascertain the causal
effect of one variable upon another” (Sykes, 1993, p. 1). Thus, multiple linear regression
analysis of the predictor variables (servant leadership and classroom climate) and the
criterion variable (student achievement) was appropriate.
The established survey instruments for this research report high levels of
statistical significance. The SLP-R instrument reports an alpha reliability score of 0.937.
The CUCEI instrument reports alpha reliability scores between 0.85 and 0.96. Therefore,
for this analysis, a reasonable level of statistical significance-alpha-was set at p=.05.
Tests of assumptions. The Pearson’s correlation measures the strength of a linear
association. The variables must be continuous and linear (see Figure 10), there must be a
normal distribution (see Table 8 for the Schapiro-Wilk’s test and the more stringent
Kolmogorov-Smirnov test), and no significant outliers as shown in scatterplots Figure 10
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and Figure 17. The Spearman’s correlation measures the strength and direction of an
association of two variables. The tests of assumptions for the Spearman’s correlation
were that the data consisted of an interval level variable from the SLP-R and an ordinal
value (student grades). Figure 17 shows a monotonic relationship between the two
variables. The test of assumptions for the multiple linear regression included the fact that
there were two predictor variables, the criterion variable was continuous, and there was a
linear relationship between the variables. The study assumed equal error variance across
all levels of the predictors which is usually tested using a scatterplot. The study also
assumed that there was no multicollinearity and no significant outliers in the data that
were collected.
Ethical Considerations
This correlational study was completed with minimal intrusions on the privacy
and rights of the subjects. Names of the subjects were not required. Numbered servant
leadership instruments protected the identities of the teachers. The classroom climate
instruments were anonymous. However, they were coded to be associated with the same
code assigned to the teacher. This anonymity was important for several reasons. First,
because this research used instruments that evaluated leadership and classroom climate, it
was likely that some teachers would not be willing to participate out of fear that they may
be labeled a poor leader or have a poor classroom climate. Respect for individuals
demanded extreme care with data that may be perceived as embarrassing or harmful to
the participants. Second, to ensure research design integrity, survey anonymity reduced
the likelihood of participants attempting to manipulate their survey answers to look
better. Therefore, participant anonymity was highly likely to reduce bias. All participants
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completed the surveys on paper, and the final class grades were also provided on paper.
The data were collected in coded, sealed envelopes, unsealed by the researcher, and are
stored in those same envelopes in a locked file cabinet in the researcher’s home office.
All data will be kept for five years after conferral of the doctoral degree. At that time, the
records will be shredded.
The study required institutional IRB approval. Information for informed consent
emphasized the voluntary nature of this research and was provided to all prospective
participants. Additionally, site authorization was obtained through IRB and individual
Department Chair approval at the university (See Appendix A).
Limitations
There were several limitations to this study, which are described in detail below.
1. This study was limited by a small sample. While there were more than 300
CUCEI responses from student participants, there were only 18 SLP-R
instruments from teachers. Therefore, in essence, there were only 18 data
points of servant leadership to be correlated against 18 aggregated classroom
climate scores. The unit of analysis was the classroom.
2. This study was limited to the validity and reliability of the survey instruments.
3. This study was limited by the disproportionate sample sizes of criterion versus
predictor variables. The ratio of predictor variables teacher servant leadership
and classroom climate surveys to the criterion variable, final grades, was
approximately 1:17 (average class size).
4. This study was limited by population constraints. That is, the instruments
required non-science-related lecture classes without laboratory periods.
5. This study was limited by the double blind study design that precluded indepth analysis of potential differences in data. At face value, based upon the
correlation between teacher servant leadership, classroom climate, and student
achievement, several individual correlations did not reveal a statistical
significance and, therefore, lowered the overall statistical significance of these
correlations. However, upon review, the kind of courses that were selected for
inclusion in the study (e.g., basic, university-required courses as well as senior
elective courses) were sufficiently different in kind as to affect the results. The
data from the senior elective courses showed disproportionally high grades on
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average, which may have reflected higher knowledge levels among the
learners than did non-elective courses. In those cases of senior elective
courses, teacher leadership may not have been the true determinant of student
achievement. In contrast, a large class of students in a university-required
course may have been more likely to approximate a normal bell curve of
grades. In those cases, teacher servant leadership may have been a more
influential determinant of classroom climate and student achievement.
Likewise, lower achievement may be more attributable to the difficulty of
content than the classroom climate created by a teacher’s leadership.
Unfortunately, due to the double blind design, intended as a strong identity
protection measure of this study, prevented the researcher from exploring this
dynamic.
6. The survey of collegiate students was delimited to a private, Catholic
University in Northwest Pennsylvania, limiting the demographic sample. The
study habits and characteristics of students at a private Catholic University
may not be generalizable to the entire population of collegiate students.
Summary
This chapter contained the problem statement, research questions and hypotheses,
research methodology and design, population and sampling selection. The chapter also
contained descriptions of the sampling, data collection, and analysis procedures.
Instrumentation, validity, reliability, ethical considerations, and limitations associated
with the methodology of this study. Finally, an explanation of the foundational
framework supported the quantitative research methodology.
The problem statement revealed the focus of this research: it was not known
whether and to what degree teachers’ servant leadership behaviors correlated with
classroom climate and improved student achievement. The research questions and
hypotheses expected positive correlations between servant leadership, classroom climate,
and student achievement. The foundational theories for this research included servant
leadership and organizational climate as developed by Greenleaf (2007) and Schein,
(1984). These theories suggest a servant leadership paradigm that emphasizes the
development of the follower and the organizational climate that could facilitate follower
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receptivity to leadership direction. Since this correlational study attempted to identify the
strength of the correlation between variables, it was consistent with a quantitative,
correlational research study.
Power analysis revealed an acceptable sample size of 18 teachers and their
assigned students (see Appendix L) from a sample population of approximately 260
faculty and 3000 students at a small, private, Catholic institution in Northwest
Pennsylvania. Fortunately, the use of established instrumentation provided alpha
reliability scores ranging from 0.85 to 0.96. These scores and the popularity of these
instruments in contemporary research indicated high degrees of validity and reliability.
The raw data for this research was comprised of servant leadership profile scores,
classroom climate scores, and student’s final grades. A Pearson correlation was
appropriate to address the relationship between teacher servant leadership behavior and
classroom climate because the two instruments in this study generate scale scores. A
Spearman correlation was appropriate to address the relationship between teacher servant
leadership and student achievement because the relevant data consisted of an interval
level variable from the SLP-R and an ordinal value (student grades). Finally, multiple
linear regression analysis of the predictor variables (servant leadership and classroom
climate) and criterion variable (student achievement) was appropriate to identify the
mediation effects of classroom climate between teacher servant leadership and student
achievement (Sykes, 1993).
The anonymity of the research design and data collection procedures
demonstrated a high regard for ethical considerations associated with this research. Study
participation was voluntary and it was impossible to link study data to individual study
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participants. While these procedures decreased possible bias limitations to this research,
disproportionate, variable sample sizes, a relatively homogenous sample population
(small, private, Catholic institution), and the inability to conduct further in depth analysis
on individual data sets revealed potential limitations. The raw data, results, and analysis
of this research are presented and discussed in Chapter 4.
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Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Results
Introduction
The purpose of this study was to determine the degree to which a relationship
existed between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement for
students and faculty at a small university in Northwest Pennsylvania. It was not known
how teacher servant leadership correlated with classroom climate and student
achievement at the collegiate level. The researcher sought to examine to what degree
servant leadership characteristics were present in classroom teachers in one university as
measured by the revised Servant Leadership Profile (SLP-R) developed by Wong and
Page (2005). The SLP-R scores were obtained from 18 teachers and 301 students. In
addition, the researcher sought to examine to what degree there was a relationship
between servant leadership and classroom climate, the latter measured by the College and
University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) developed by Fraser et al. (1986).
The research targeted 18 faculty members within the university, and collected data from
301 students within those 18 classes.
The basic research questions and hypotheses of this study asked whether teachers’
servant leadership behaviors, as perceived by students, created a positive classroom
climate and the extent to which the resultant classroom climate affected student
achievement. Specifically:
R1: What is the relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and
classroom climate as reported by students?
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H1: There is a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,
measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate
reported by students (SLP-R) (Wong & Page, 2003).
H0: There is not a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,
measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate
reported by students (Wong & Page, 2003).
R2: What is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student
achievement?
H2: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors, measured by
the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course grades (Wong
& Page, 2003).
H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors,
measured by the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course
grades (Wong & Page, 2003).
R3: To what extent is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and
student achievement mediated by classroom climate?
H3: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and student
achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI (Fraser
et al., 1986).
H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and
student achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI
(Fraser et al., 1986).
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The research methodology that was used within the study was quantitative, with a
correlational research design. The approach examined the results of two survey
instruments, the SLP-R and CUCEI, and end of semester student grades.
This chapter explained the descriptive data, data analysis procedures, and results
of the study. After the descriptive data, the individual results of each instrument are
presented. Then, the analyses of correlations between data sets are presented. These
results will be presented for each research question and hypothesis. The chapter will
conclude with a summary of major findings of the research.
Descriptive Data
The setting for this study was a small, private, Catholic, liberal arts university in
Northwest Pennsylvania. The population for this research included teachers and students.
The targeted population comprised of collegiate professors and students. The sample
included students and faculty at a small, private, Catholic, liberal arts university in
Northwest Pennsylvania. The sample characteristics reflected a small, private, Catholic
university.
The sample for this research included 18 classrooms from several departments
(Business, World Languages, Criminal Justice, Philosophy, Communications,
Intelligence Studies, English, Economics, and Political Science) with a sample size of
301 students at a small university in Northwest Pennsylvania. The courses taught in the
classrooms that participated in this study included both university-required and elective
programs of study. The course curricula thus ranged from introductory to advanced
material. The average class size was 17 students. Faculty experience ranged from 5 ½ to
more than 30 years, and the majority (10), had at least 10 years of collegiate teaching
90
experience. Students enrolled from freshman through senior years were included. The
teacher/class profiles for each class are presented in Figures 5 and 6. Figure 5 illustrates
faculty teaching experience. All teacher participants had significant teaching experience.
Attaining tenure at this university requires a minimum of seven years of teaching
experience. Every faculty participant had at least seven years of experience. Moreover,
the majority of the faculty (62.5%) had more than 10 years of collegiate teaching
experience.
Figure 5. Faculty experience profile.
The majority of the classes (66%) had at least 15 students who participated in the study.
While the actual student sample size was 301, the average class size for this study was 17
students. Since the unit of analysis was the classroom and there was one teacher per
classroom (18 classrooms), the sample size was 18.
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Faculty Experience
Years of Experience
91
Figure 6. Class size.
Due to an expected small sample size, an original compromise power analysis
determined a reasonably acceptable sample of 15. As the faculty participation of 6.9%
coincided with the usual social sciences study return rate of 7%, the actual study sample
size of 18 yielded a Post hoc power analysis of .76 for correlational analysis.
The details are listed in Appendix L.
Data Analysis Procedures
Descriptive statistics were used to draw conclusions from the sample. Three sets
of data were necessary for this analysis: the SLP-R, the CUCEI, and end of course
student grades. The data for each instrument are described in the following sections.
Details about the data analysis procedures follow.
Servant Leadership Profile-Revised. The SLP-R measures servant leadership
and employs a seven point Likert scale ranging from (1) strongly disagree to (7) strongly
agree. It is an opponent process model instrument that defines servant leadership by both
the presence of certain positive qualities, and the absence of certain negative qualities.
The positive qualities include: (a) Servanthood, (b) Leadership, (c) Visioning, (d)
Developing others, (e) Empowering others, (f) Team-building, (g) Shared decision0
5
10
15
20
25
30
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Class Size
Number of Students Average
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making, and (h) Integrity. The SLP-R combines some of these eight characteristics into
six factors. For example, Developing others and Empowering others were combined and
created Factor 1: Developing and Empowering others. It also combined the negative
characteristics of Abuse of Power and Control, and Pride and Narcissism, into Factor 2:
Power and Pride (vulnerability and humility). Thus, the SLP-R measures six positive and
one negative factor: Developing and Empowering others, Power and Pride, Authentic
Leadership, Participatory Leadership, Inspiring Leadership, Visionary Leadership, and
Courageous Leadership.
The negative qualities include: (a) Abuse of Power and Control, and (b) Pride and
narcissism. A simple way to determine whether one is a servant leader is to see whether
one scores high on Servanthood and Leadership, but low on Abuse of Power and Pride.
Thus, scoring high on Abuse of Power and Pride automatically disqualifies one as a
servant leader, regardless of high scores on the other subscales. That is why the inclusion
of these two negative subscales was important in the revised Servant Leadership Profile.
Therefore, Factor Two: Power and Pride (Vulnerability and Humility) became the initial
determinant of a servant leader. Subsequently, the scores for the other factors indicated a
relative strength of servant leadership attributes. The raw data scores for the SLP-R are
listed in Table 1.
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Table 1
Servant Leadership Profile-Revised Raw Scores
Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7
Survey Code
Developing &
Empowering
Others
Power & Pride
(vulnerability &
Humility)
Authentic
Leadership
Participatory
Leadership
Inspiring
Leadership
Visionary
Leadership
Courageous
Leadership
1 4.00 5.00 4.18 6.20 4.42 4.80 5.40
2 5.00 3.12 4.36 5.60 4.71 3.80 5.40
3 6.12 2.62 5.90 6.40 6.00 6.40 6.40
4 5.00 3.25 5.09 6.00 4.57 4.80 5.40
5 6.75 1.75 6.90 7.00 6.57 6.80 7.00
6 3.50 4.25 3.81 3.50 4.00 3.40 3.00
7 5.00 3.12 4.36 5.60 4.71 3.80 5.40
8 6.81 1.37 6.18 6.90 6.85 6.60 6.60
9 5.75 2.87 5.45 5.80 6.14 5.60 6.60
10 6.62 1.00 6.63 7.00 6.71 6.40 6.60
11 5.37 1.75 5.63 5.60 4.71 3.80 5.20
12 7.00 1.00 6.63 6.90 6.57 6.40 7.00
13 5.56 1.00 5.27 6.40 5.42 4.80 6.40
14 5.00 3.12 4.36 5.60 4.71 3.80 5.40
15 5.75 3.25 5.90 6.40 5.85 6.00 6.20
16 5.31 2.50 5.63 6.00 5.28 5.80 6.00
17 5.56 3.75 5.54 6.00 5.42 5.20 6.20
18 5.68 3.75 5.54 6.00 5.42 5.20 6.20
Note: Shaded cells represent scores indicating these were not servant leaders.
Based upon the data in Table 1, instructors 1, 6, 17 and 18 scored higher than 3.5
in Factor 2 and were thus identified as non-servant leaders. This identification, however,
did not disqualify these teachers from the sample. On the contrary, their inclusion
afforded the potential to further validate the basic research hypothesis that better servant
leaders would produce higher student achievement. The remaining 14 teachers scored
high enough in these areas to be labeled servant leaders. The servant leadership score (an
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average of all attributes) reveals the relative strength of servant leadership and is listed in
descending order in Table 2.
Table 2
Instructor Servant Leadership Rankings
Rank Instructor Average
Score
1 5 6.11
2 12 5.93
3 8 5.9
4 10 5.85
5 3 5.69
6 15 5.62
7 9 5.46
8 18 5.40
9 17 5.38
10 16 5.22
11 13 4.98
12 4 4.87
13 1 4.86
14 11 4.58
15 2 4.57
16 7 4.57
17 14 4.57
18 6 3.64
Ironically, while the overall servant leadership scores of instructors 18, 17 and 1
were higher than several other instructors, as stated previously, the high scores in Factor
Two (Power and Pride) identified these instructors as self-serving, thus preventing them
from meeting the criteria that defines true servant leaders. The servant leadership scores
were used to correlate servant leadership and classroom climate (Hypothesis 1), servant
leadership and student achievement (Hypothesis 2), and the extent to which servant
leadership and student achievement are mediated by classroom climate (Hypothesis 3).
Those correlations are presented later in this chapter.
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CUCEI. The CUCEI assessed perceptions of seven classroom dimensions:
personalization, involvement, student cohesiveness, satisfaction, task orientation,
innovation, and individualization. Each of the 49 items is rated on a five-point scale:
strongly agree, agree, neutral or no answer, disagree, and strongly disagree. The
questions measure each of the above dimensions in cyclic order. Additionally, to prevent
students from recognizing the cyclical pattern, the scoring is reversed for approximately
half of the questions. Higher scores (greater than 3.0) indicate a favorable classroom
climate. The raw data scores for the CUCEI are listed in Table 3.
Table 3
College and University Classroom Environment Inventory Raw Scores Personalization Involvement Student Cohesiveness Satisfaction Task Orientation Innovation
Individualization
1 4.49 4.22 4.20 4.53 4.37 3.10 3.10
2 4.70 3.97 4.56 4.06 3.88 3.16 3.08
3 3.78 3.18 2.18 3.96 4.27 2.41 2.25
4 3.82 3.44 3.09 4.04 4.20 2.45 2.42
5 4.23 3.98 3.77 4.11 4.41 2.70 2.49
6 3.27 2.46 2.47 2.18 2.89 2.04 2.52
7 4.17 3.56 3.24 4.02 4.09 3.30 2.68
8 4.23 3.95 4.46 4.38 3.63 3.69 3.55
9 4.43 4.00 4.13 4.06 4.57 3.59 2.54
10 4.23 3.74 4.01 3.97 3.74 3.41 3.14
11 3.62 2.87 2.11 3.20 3.95 2.06 2.16
12 4.34 3.39 2.51 4.11 4.30 2.57 2.45
13 4.14 3.48 3.46 3.04 3.82 2.86 2.46
14 4.34 3.56 3.36 4.15 3.91 3.17 3.15
15 3.83 3.66 3.09 3.14 3.24 2.76 2.85
16 4.42 4.00 4.55 4.31 4.24 3.45 2.65
17 4.26 3.54 3.46 3.94 4.31 3.40 2.71
18 3.55 3.86 3.57 4.10 3.76 3.00 2.45
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The classroom environment score (an average of all seven dimensions) revealed
the relative strength of each classroom climate and is listed in descending order in Table
4. The classroom environment scores were used to correlate servant leadership and
classroom climate (Hypothesis 1) and mediating effects between servant leadership and
student achievement (Hypothesis 3). Those correlations are presented later in this
chapter.
Table 4
Classroom Environment Rankings
Rank Class Score
1 1 4.00
2 8 3.98
3 16 3.95
4 2 3.92
5 9 3.90
6 10 3.75
7 5 3.67
8 14 3.67
9 17 3.66
10 7 3.58
11 18 3.47
12 12 3.38
13 4 3.35
14 13 3.32
15 15 3.22
16 3 3.15
17 11 2.85
18 6 2.55
Student achievement. Student achievement was measured by final course grades.
The university follows an alphabetic grading system with letter grades as follows: A, B+,
B, C+, C, D+, D, and F. For this study, the alphabetic grades were converted to ordinal
numbers. The grade conversion matrix and raw student grade data are listed in Tables 5
and 6.
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Table 5
Grade Conversion Chart
Numeric % Letter Grade Study Conversion Score
93 – 100 A 6
90 – 92.9 B+ 5
83 – 89.9 B 4
80 – 82.9 C+ 3
73 – 79.9 C 2
70 – 72.9 D+ 1
65 – 69.9 D 1
<65 F 1
Table 6
Student Grade Raw Scores
A B+ B C+ C ≤ D+ No. of
Students
1 2 3 2 7
2 6 4 0 1 11
3 12 9 2 1 1 25
4 14 2 7 2 25
5 14 9 2 25
6 10 6 5 2 2 25
7 7 5 4 1 2 1 20
8 6 2 3 1 12
9 5 1 3 9
10 4 2 6 3 2 17
11 11 9 5 4 29
12 6 5 2 1 1 15
13 9 3 3 2 17
14 5 3 3 2 1 1 15
15 11 4 4 1 20
16 8 5 3 1 17
17 3 1 1 5
18 3 1 2 1 7
Using the grade conversion chart above and then averaging the class grades
generated an overall class student achievement score. It is important to notice the
variability of class sizes. For example, Class 17 only had five students, so the variability
for that class should be much smaller. In fact, in this case, there was no variability. These
class scores are listed in descending order in Table 7.
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Table 7
Class Student Achievement Scores
Rank Class Score
1 17 6
2 5 5.48
3 2 5.36
4 9 5.22
5 3 5.20
6 15 5.20
7 16 5.18
8 13 5.12
9 8 5.08
10 4 5.04
11 1 5.00
12 11 4.93
13 12 4.93
14 18 4.86
15 6 4.80
16 7 4.55
17 14 4.40
18 10 4.18
The student achievement scores were used to correlate servant leadership and
student achievement (Hypothesis 2) and the mediating effects of classroom climate on
servant leadership and student achievement (Hypothesis 3). Those correlations are
presented later in this chapter.
Preparation of data. To prepare the data for analysis, each survey instrument
was tabulated according to its corresponding evaluation criteria. This resulted in scale
scores (continuous and interval level scores) for the SLP-R and CUCEI. Final course
grades were converted into ordinal numbers. The first set of data—Teacher Servant
Leadership Scores—was used to correlate the relationship between teachers’ servant
leadership behaviors and classroom climate as reported by students. Empirically, the two
instruments for this study, SLP-R and CUCEI, generated scale scores. Therefore, a
Pearson correlation was appropriate to address the first research question and hypothesis.
A Pearson correlation measures the strength of a linear association of two continuous
variables. It was developed to determine a line of best fit between two sets of data points.
99
It is denoted by r. The coefficient r denotes the distance between the data points and the
line of best fit (Hauke & Kossowski, 2011).
The data for the second research question and hypothesis were used to correlate
the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student achievement. It
consisted of an interval level variable from the SLP-R and an ordinal value (student
grades). Consequently, a Spearman correlation was appropriate for this analysis. A
Spearman correlation describes the relationship between two variables. However, unlike
a Pearson correlation, it does not require variables measured on interval scales.
Therefore, it is appropriate for a correlation with ordinal values (Hauke & Kossowski,
2011).
Finally, the data for the third research question and hypothesis was used to
determine the extent to which the relationship between servant leadership behavior and
student achievement was mediated by classroom climate. It consisted of two predictor
variables (servant leadership behavior and classroom climate) and one criterion variable
(student achievement). However, because the study sample size was too small and did not
seek a fit with a causal model, path analysis was not appropriate (Wuensch, 2012). Thus,
a descriptive analysis of the relationship between the predictor variables (servant
leadership and classroom climate) and the criterion variable (student achievement) was
appropriate. The instrument results denoted high levels of internal consistency. The SLP–
R had a high level of internal consistency, as determined by a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.96.
Likewise, Cronbach’s alpha for the CUCEI was 0.89.
Sources of error. There are, however, several potential sources of error that may
have influenced the data. Foremost, while the overall number of participants was more
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than 300, the key correlations pertained to the teachers and their servant leadership as an
influence on classroom climate and student achievement. Therefore, with regard to the
key parameter of teachers, the sample was only 18. This is an extremely small sample
size and a severe limitation to the study.
This same limitation of small sample size is also present in a few individual
classes where there were not many students. Because some of the class sizes were very
small, the relative significance of each individual student’s answer may be exaggerated.
This exaggeration would then be carried forward to the overall data correlations. The
effect of an outlier score in a very small class has a larger impact on the overall class
score. For example, just one student outlier response in a class of five represents a 20%
potential variance. Similarly, because the servant leadership scores are aggregated across
all seven variables, the disqualifying factor of servant leadership (Factor 2: Abuse of
Power and Pride) does not negate the scores of the positive characteristics of those
disqualified. Additionally, the substantial differences in class size (ranging from 5 to 25)
and variability within each group added an additional dimension not accounted for in the
study design. Finally, regarding student grades, the influence of potential grade inflation
by the instructors could skew the overall student achievement data upward.
Results
This section will present and analyze the data in a non-evaluative and unbiased
manner. The data were analyzed using IBM® SPSS® Statistics version 21 data analysis
software. Results from the teacher servant leadership profiles and the classroom climate
surveys were entered into the SPSS database for further analysis. Statistical analysis was
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performed on all gathered data. The data are framed in concert with the research
questions and hypotheses.
Research Question 1. The first research question of this study was: What is the
relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and classroom climate as
reported by students? The corresponding hypotheses were:
H1: There is a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,
measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate
reported by students (SLP-R) (Wong & Page, 2003).
H0: There is not a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,
measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate
reported by students (Wong & Page, 2003).
The SLP-R scores for servant leadership have a possible range from 0.00 to 7.00. The
specific range of this study data is from a low servant leadership score of 3.64 to a high
of 6.11 as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7. Servant leadership scores.
0.00
1.00
2.00
3.00
4.00
5.00
6.00
7.00
Servant Leadership Scores
Professors
Servant Leadership Scores
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The mean servant leadership score in this study was 5.18. This was slightly lower than
the median of 5.30. And the data set mode is 4.57. These data are also depicted in a
histogram as shown below in Figure 8.
Figure 8. Servant leadership scores histogram.
The distribution of scores reflected a majority of scores at a servant leadership rating
between 5.00 and 6.00. More specifically, the data are represented in a box-plot as shown
in Figure 9.
Figure 9. Servant leadership scores box-plot.
The lower extreme was 3.64, while the upper extreme was 6.11. The median was
5.30 with a 1st quartile value of 4.58 and a 3rd quartile value of 5.69. Therefore, 50% of
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Frequency of Scores
Range of Scores
Servant Leadership Scores Histogram
3. 4. 5.0 5. 6.
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the data fell between servant leadership score values of 4.58 and 5.69. The data were
clustered more closely between the median and upper limit.
Using these results to test the first hypothesis, a Pearson correlation between
servant leadership scores and classroom climate scores was computed. A Pearson
correlation requires meeting several assumptions. First, the relationship between the
variables must be linear. This linearity was confirmed by the following scatterplot in
Figure 10.
Figure 10. Servant leadership to classroom climate scatterplot.
In this scatterplot, the majority of data points occur between a climate score of 3
or 4 and range from 4.5 to 6 on the servant leadership scale. Therefore, a line of best fit is
a horizontal line at the climate score level of approximately 3.5. If the data points were
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distributed throughout the chart there would not be a line of best fit and the relationship
between the variables would not be linear. Second, both variables were normally
distributed, as assessed by Shapiro-Wilk’s test (p > .05). The significance levels for each
of these variables was .325 and .157 for servant leadership and classroom climate
respectively as shown in Table 8 below.
Table 8
Tests of Normality
Kolmogorov-Smirnova Shapiro-Wilk
Statistic Df Sig Statistic Df Sig
SLPR .123 18 .200* .943 18 .325
CUCEI .135 18 .200* .925 18 .157
Having met the requirements for a Pearson correlation, the computed correlation
identified a moderate positive correlation between servant leadership and classroom
climate, (r = .407). However, the correlation was not significant at a 0.05 level (see Table
9).
Table 9
Pearson Correlation between Servant Leadership and Classroom Climate, N=18.
SL Climate
SL score
Pearson Correlation 1 .41
Sig. (2-tailed) .09
N 18 18
Climate score
Pearson Correlation .41 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .09
N 18 18
The results of the analysis confirm hypothesis 1:
H1: There is a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,
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measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate reported by
students (SLP-R) (Wong & Page, 2003). However, the significance is at the .09 level,
which does not meet the 95% confidence interval level.
While this level of significance is not academically significant, research by Bosco
et al. (2015) suggested that it may be worthy of consideration. A meta-analysis of
147,328 correlations from empirical behavioral research in the social sciences between
1980 and 2010 bear little resemblance to the standard classification and interpretation of
effect sizes (Bosco, Aguinis, Singh, Field, & Pierce, 2015). Specifically, in the area of
leadership, any correlation greater than .14 is in the top quartile of correlations (Bosco et
al., 2015). This research confirms Maxwell’s (2004) findings that the current benchmarks
in applied psychology research lead to upwardly biased forecasts and – consequently –
underpowered studies.
Research Question 2. The first research question examined the relationship
between servant leadership and classroom climate. The second research question of this
study was: What is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student
achievement? The corresponding hypotheses were:
H2: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors, measured by
the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course grades (Wong
& Page, 2003).
H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors,
measured by the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course
grades (Wong & Page, 2003).
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The scores for classroom climate have a possible range from 1.00 to 5.00. The specific
range of this study data were from a low classroom climate score of 2.55 to a high of 4.0
as shown in Figure 11.
Figure 11. Classroom climate scores.
The mean classroom climate score in this study was 3.52. This was slightly lower
than the median of 5.62. The data set mode was 3.67. These data are also depicted in a
histogram as shown in Figure 12.
Figure 12. Classroom climate scores.
0.00
0.50
1.00
1.50
2.00
2.50
3.00
3.50
4.00
4.50
Classroom Climate Score
Classes
Climate Scores
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
1 2 3 4 5
Frequency of Scores
Range of Scores
Classroom Climate Scores Histogram
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The distribution of scores reflected a majority of scores at a classroom climate rating
between 3.0 and 4.0. More specifically, the data are represented in a box-plot as shown in
Figure 13.
Figure 13. Classroom climate scores box-plot.
The lower extreme was 2.55 while the upper extreme was 4.00. The median was
3.62 with a 1st quartile value of 3.32 and a 3rd quartile value of 3.90. Therefore, 50% of
the data fell between classroom climate score values of 3.32 and 3.90. The 1st and 3rd
quartile values were almost evenly distributed around the median with a greater
dispersion between the 1st quartile and the lower extreme. The student grade scores have
a possible range from 1.00 to 6.00. The specific range of this study data was from a low
grade score of 4.18 to a high of 6.00 as shown in Figure 14.
2.0 2.7 3.5 4.2 5.0
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Figure 14. Student grade scores.
The mean classroom student grade score in this study was 5.00. This was slightly lower
than the median of 5.06. Additionally, the data set was bimodal with values of 4.93 and
5.20. These data were also depicted in a histogram as shown in Figure 15.
0.00
1.00
2.00
3.00
4.00
5.00
6.00
7.00
Student Grades
Classes
Student Grade Scores
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Figure 15. Student grade scores histogram.
The distribution of scores reflected a majority of scores between 5.00 and 6.00. More
specifically, the data are represented in a box-plot as shown in Figure 16.
Figure 16. Student grade scores box-plot.
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Frequency of Scores
Range of Scores
Student Grade Scores Histogram
3. 4. 5.0 6. 7.
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Figure 17. Servant leadership to student grades scatterplot.
Using these results to test the second hypothesis, the Spearman rank correlation
between the servant leadership scores and student grade scores was computed. A
scatterplot showing the relationship of these variables is shown in Figure 17 above.
As displayed above, the data points for grades occurred on the Servant Leadership axis
between 4.0 and 6.0. This is a narrow range. Consequently, there may not be sufficient
variability in grades to detect the true relationship between grades and SLP-R scores.
The Spearman rank correlation between servant leadership scores and effective
teaching scores was weak, rs = -.16, p = .25. Based on the value associated with this
correlation, the null hypothesis was accepted, and it was concluded that there was no
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statistically significant relationship between servant leadership and teaching
effectiveness. The results are shown in Table 10 below.
Table 10
Spearman Correlation between Servant Leadership and Student Grades
SLP-R Grades
SLPR
Correlation Coefficient 1.00 -.16
Sig. (2-tailed) . .533
N 18 18
Grades
Correlation Coefficient -.16 1.00
Sig. (2-tailed) .53 .
N 18 18
Research Question 3. The third research question of this study was: To what
extent is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student achievement
mediated by classroom climate? The corresponding hypotheses were:
H3: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and student
achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI (Fraser
et al., 1986).
H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and
student achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI
(Fraser et al., 1986).
The original study design called for a regression analysis to test this hypothesis. That
design was based upon prior research (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Cohen & Brown, 2013;
Cunningham, 2008; Herndon, 2007; Kelley, Thornton, & Daugherty, 2005; Reichers &
Schneider, 1990; Robinson et al., 2008; Saphier 2011; Saphier & King, 1985; Waters et
al., 2003). Those studies were conducted with samples in elementary and high schools,
where the relationship between servant leadership, climate and student achievement had
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been established. This study was conducted at the collegiate level. As discussed in the
limitations section of Chapter 3, there were additional challenges at the collegiate level
that may have affected the results. In this study, the lack of a significant correlation
between servant leadership and student achievement rendered the mediating effect
between these variables moot. Therefore, neither the hypothesis nor its null hypothesis
could be accepted or rejected, and no statistical testing was conducted on the third
research question.
Summary
The researcher used a correlational research design to measure the relationships
between teacher servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement at the
collegiate level of education. This chapter presented the complete analyses for the servant
leadership and classroom climate quantitative surveys and the alphabetic grades of
students. Initially, the descriptive statistics explained the sample with respect to collegiate
departments involved, types of courses taught, class size, and faculty experience.
This quantitative research summarized the statistical findings in relation to three
research questions and hypotheses. The first research question was: What is the
relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and classroom climate as
reported by students? The data indicated both variables were normally distributed, as
assessed by Shapiro-Wilk’s test (p > .05). The significance levels for each of these
variables were .325 and .157 for servant leadership and classroom climate, respectively.
Having met the requirements for a Pearson correlation, the computed correlation failed to
achieve a statistical significance level of 0.05.
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The first hypothesis (H1) was: There is a positive correlation between teachers’
servant leadership behaviors, measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and
classroom climate reported by students (SLP-R) (Wong & Page, 2003).
Since the data did not show a statistical significance at the .05 level, the hypothesis was
rejected. Consequently, the null hypothesis was supported: There is not a positive
correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors, measured by “The Servant
Leadership Profile” and classroom climate reported by students (Wong & Page, 2003).
The second research question was: What is the relationship between servant
leadership behavior and student achievement? The results of a Spearman correlation
identified a range of grades that were not significantly influenced by the SLRP scores.
The Spearman rank correlation between servant leadership scores and effective teaching
scores was weak, rs = .14, p = .25. Accordingly, the hypothesis (H2) for this research
question was rejected: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership
behaviors, measured by the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course
grades (Wong & Page, 2003). Based on the value associated with this correlation, the null
hypothesis (H0,) there is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors,
measured by the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course grades
(Wong & Page, 2003), was accepted. Therefore, it was concluded that there was no
statistically significant relationship between servant leadership and teaching
effectiveness.
The third research question was: To what extent is the relationship between
servant leadership behavior and student achievement mediated by classroom climate?
The corresponding hypotheses were:
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H3: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and student
achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI (Fraser
et al., 1986).
H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and
student achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI
(Fraser et al., 1986).
As discussed previously, the lack of a significant correlation between servant leadership
and student achievement rendered the mediating effect between these variables moot.
Therefore, neither the hypothesis nor its null hypothesis could be accepted or rejected.
The data revealed several important concepts. First, the relationship between
teacher servant leadership and classroom climate was not significant. Second, the concept
of a positive classroom climate positively influencing student achievement was rejected.
Finally, the lack of an established significance between servant leadership and the
mediating effects of classroom climate between teacher servant leadership and student
achievement was not determined to be statistically significant.
Several limitations emerged that may help to explain the study results. First, the
small teacher sample size of 18 makes generalizations of these results to the overall
population suspect. Second, in some cases, the same limitation of a small sample applies
to classes where there were few students. Chapter 5 discusses the implications of these
results and presents recommendations for further study of the relationships between
teacher servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement.
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Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations
Introduction
Is leadership important for effective teaching? According to Shuaib and Olalere
(2013), the purpose of teaching is to impart knowledge; one key aspect of effective
teaching is learner-focused education. Therefore, it is relevant to look at how teacher
leadership practices focus on and influence student achievement.
Is there a leadership style best suited for teaching? According to Hays (2008)
“applying the principles, values, and practices of servant leadership to teaching can make
a profound difference on the impact of learning and in the learning experience of both
students and teachers” (p. 113). Several research studies have shown a direct relationship
between leadership and the creation of organizational culture and climate (Fernando &
Chowdhury, 2010; Groves, 2006; Karakas, 2011; Leithwood & Mascall, 2008). Based
upon the definition of organizational climate as “shared perceptions of organizational
policies, practices, and procedures, both informal and formal” (Reichers & Schneider,
1990, p. 22), determined the behavior manifested by the embedded values of the culture
affects the organizational climate. Furthermore, because achievement is a measure of
behavior, the leadership that creates the organizational climate also becomes a strong
determinate of achievement. According to Routman (2012), the best way to improve
achievement levels is to improve teaching and, more specifically, by focusing on strong,
effective leadership.
Today, more than ever, teacher leadership is essential for student success
(Ludlow, 2011). In fact, teacher relations with students (i.e., leadership) is the most
important ingredient for student learning (Drobot & RoÅŸu, 2012). Metzcar (2008) found a
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strong positive relationship between effective teaching and servant leadership in 764
preschool through 12th grade teachers. In his study, Metzcar (2008) noted that 93.72% of
the effective teachers scored themselves as servant leaders utilizing the TLA. A metaanalysis of 27 studies by Robinson et al. (2008) identified a significant positive
relationship between servant leadership characteristics and student outcomes.
While prior researchers confirmed the positive impact of servant leadership on
student achievement at the K-12 level, they neither confirmed nor refuted this
relationship at the collegiate level (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Hiller et
al., 2011; Kelley et al., 2005; Spillane, 2005). It was not known to what degree there was
a relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors, classroom climate, and
student achievement at the collegiate level. The purpose of this quantitative research was
to see to what degree a relationship existed between servant leadership, classroom
climate, and student achievement in a collegiate environment. This was a quantitative,
correlational study. The foundational theories for this research included servant
leadership and organizational climate that pertain to transformational follower
development and unifying values within an organization to align behavior.
This study attempted to determine whether teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,
as perceived by students, created a positive classroom climate and the extent to which the
resultant classroom climate affected student achievement. Specifically:
R1: What is the relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and
classroom climate as reported by students?
R2: What is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student
achievement?
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R3: To what extent is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and
student achievement mediated by classroom climate?
This chapter presents a summary of the research study and a discussion related to
findings of the three research questions. These research questions assessed: the
relationship between teacher servant leadership behaviors and classroom climate; the
relationship between servant leadership and student achievement; and the extent to which
servant leadership and student achievement is mediated by classroom climate. Survey
based instruments and a quantitative correlational research design was used to conduct
the study.
The Servant Leadership Profile – Revised (SLP-R) scores were used to measure
the servant leadership behaviors of the teachers. The College and University Classroom
Environment Inventory (CUCEI) scores were used to measure the climate of each
classroom. And end of course student grades were used to evaluate student achievement.
Participants in the study included teachers from 18 classrooms with a total of 301
students at a small, private, catholic university. The remainder of the chapter summarizes
the findings and conclusions of the research and provides recommendations for future
research. It also describes the implications of this research study.
Summary of the Study
The primary purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between
teacher servant leadership behavior, classroom climate, and student achievement. The
problem statement stated it was not known to what degree there was a relationship
between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors, classroom climate, and student
achievement at the collegiate level. This quantitative study sought to determine whether
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high teacher servant leadership behavior was correlated with a more favorable classroom
climate and improved student achievement.
This study is significant in that it contributes to a larger body of literature on the
relationship between servant leadership and student achievement. Robinson et al. (2008)
analyzed 27 studies and identified a significant positive relationship between servant
leadership characteristics and student outcomes. Boyer (2012), Hiller et al. (2011), Black
(2010), Herndon (2007), Kelley et al. (2005), and Spillane (2005) all identified the
positive influence of servant leadership on student achievement. However, these prior
studies correlated this effect at the primary and secondary levels of education.
The results of this study were not statistically significant. This result was
unexpected since research by Adiele and Abraham (2013), Shuaib and Olalere (2013),
Drobot and Rosu (2012), and Routman (2012), all of whose studies showed statistically
significant results in primary and secondary levels of education, recommended
conducting a study to examine these correlations in higher education. This study sheds
light on important variables and dynamics of researching these correlations in a collegiate
environment.
This chapter presents a summary of the research study and a discussion related to
the findings of the research questions. Specifically:
R1: What is the relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and
classroom climate as reported by students?
R2: What is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student
achievement?
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R3: To what extent is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and
student achievement mediated by classroom climate?
A correlational research design with established survey-based instruments was
used for this study. The Servant Leadership Profile – Revised (SLP-R) scores were used
to measure the servant leadership behaviors of the teachers. The College and University
Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) scores were used to measure the climate of
each classroom. End of course student grades were used to evaluate student achievement.
Participants in the study included teachers from 18 classrooms with a total of 301
students at a small, private, catholic university. The remainder of the chapter summarizes
the findings and conclusions of this research and provides recommendations for future
research and practice as well as implications of this study.
Summary of Findings and Conclusion
This was a correlational study of collegiate teachers, their servant leadership
behavior, their classroom climates, and student achievement. Teacher servant leadership
was determined using the Servant Leadership Profile–Revised (SLP-R). The College and
University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) was used to assess classroom
climate. Moreover, end of course student grades were used to measure student
achievement. Data were analyzed to assess the strength of correlations between these
variables. This section provides analysis and conclusions related to the three hypotheses
of this study.
Research Question 1. This question focused on the relationship between teacher
servant leadership behaviors and classroom climate. It was hypothesized that higher
levels of teacher servant leadership would create better classroom climates. Data analysis
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failed to achieve a statistical significance level of 0.05. Based on these results, one could
conclude teacher leadership is not an important variable in creating classroom climate.
This conclusion has little support in the literature. Several research studies have
shown a statistically significant relationship between leadership and the creation of
organizational culture and climate (Duke, 2006; Fernando & Chowdhury, 2010; Groves,
2006; Karakas, 2011; Kutash et al. 2010; Leithwood & Mascall, 2008; Villavicencio &
Grayman, 2012). Saphier and King (1985) identified the importance of organizational
culture in education. Waters et al. (2003) synthesized 30 years of leadership in education
and recommended careful attention to school culture. Saphier (2011) recommended
changing teacher-student paradigms to increase learning effectiveness. This culture, in
turn, is observable in the daily behaviors that shape the organizational climate. Using the
definition of organizational climate as “shared perceptions of organizational policies,
practices, and procedures, both informal and formal” (Reichers & Schneider, 1990, p.
22), it becomes obvious that the leadership behavior of the teacher is directly responsible
for creating the classroom climate. More specifically, according to Hays (2008),
“applying the principles, values, and practices of servant leadership to teaching can make
a profound difference on the impact of learning and in the learning experience of both
students and teachers” (p. 113).
Research Question 2. The second research question focused on the relationship
between teacher servant leadership behavior and student achievement. It was
hypothesized that higher levels of servant leadership behavior would result in higher
levels of student achievement. The results of a Spearman correlation identified a range of
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grades that was not significantly influenced by the SLP-R scores. Accordingly, the
hypothesis for this research question was also rejected.
Once again, this finding is not consistent with prior research in this area.
According to Routman (2012), the best way to improve achievement levels is to improve
teaching and, more specifically, by focusing on strong, effective leadership. In 1996, the
National School Climate Center was created to improve educational leadership in the area
of school climate to enhance student achievement (“National School Climate Center :
School Climate,” 1996). In 2007, the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher
Quality issued a report titled Enhancing Teacher Leadership (“Enhancing Teacher
Leadership,” 2007) claiming that teacher leadership is essential for successful students
and effective schools. In 2008, the Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium was
formed by a group of national organizations, state education agencies, major universities,
and local school systems (“Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium – Home,” 2008).
And the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is developing a new
certification for Teacher Leaders (“Teacher Leadership,” 2013). Today, more than ever,
teacher leadership is essential for student success (Ludlow, 2011). In fact, teacher
relations with students (i.e., leadership) is the most important ingredient for student
learning (Drobot & RoÅŸu, 2012).
Research Question 3. The third research question focused on the mediating
effects of classroom climate between teacher servant leadership and student achievement.
Unfortunately, because the study failed to establish a significant correlation between
servant leadership and student achievement, it was not possible to measure or analyze
mediating effects between two uncorrelated variables. Therefore, the third hypothesis
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could be neither accepted nor rejected. However, this phenomenon is recognized in the
literature.
Saphier and King (1985) identified the importance of organizational culture in
education. Waters et al. (2003) synthesized 30 years of leadership in education and
recommended careful attention to school culture. Saphier (2011) recommended changing
teacher-student paradigms to increase learning effectiveness. Using the definition of
organizational climate as “shared perceptions of organizational policies, practices, and
procedures, both informal and formal” (Reichers & Schneider, 1990, p. 22), it becomes
obvious that the leadership behavior of the teacher is directly responsible for creating the
classroom climate. Furthermore, it is known that educational climate influences student
achievement (Cohen & Brown, 2013; Cunningham, 2008; Herndon, 2007).
In conclusion, these study results did not statistically significantly support the
hypotheses. This result was unexpected as it is not consistent with prior research on
servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement in education. It is
important to note, however, that this study environment was also not consistent with prior
research. The different environmental and participant dynamics of this research study are
obviously significant. The theoretical and practical implications arising from this study
are discussed in the next section.
Implications
The research focus of this study was to determine if and to what extent there was
a correlation between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement at
the collegiate level. Kelley, Thornton and Daugherty (2005), Black (2010), and Boyer
(2012) found principal servant leadership characteristics had a significant effect on
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school climate. Herndon (2007) and a meta-analysis of 27 studies by Robinson et al.
(2008) found a statistically significant relationship between principals’ servant leadership
and both school climate and student achievement. The educational environment in which
all these studies were conducted was in elementary and high schools. The intent of this
study was to add to existing literature by responding to calls to examine these correlations
in higher education (Adiele & Abraham, 2013; Drobot & RoÅŸu, 2012; Routman, 2012;
Shuaib & Olalere, 2013). The proposed hypotheses for this study were expected to
confirm the significance of servant leadership and classroom climate on student
achievement at the collegiate level.
Theoretical implications. The lack of statistical significance necessary to
confirm the theoretical frameworks of this study calls attention to the leadership
outcomes of servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement. However, it
also calls attention to the need for more research of these frameworks in an educational
environment. This study begs the question as to whether the theoretical frameworks
themselves require additional verification or whether the design and implementation of
such research is practical within higher education.
Servant Leadership unapologetically prioritizes the development and welfare of
followers over organizational goals (Greenleaf, 1970). This precept is congruent with the
goals of higher education. Consequently, in theory, servant leadership is ideally suited for
an educational environment. Yet, the results of this study did not statistically significantly
confirm this synergy. The lack of statistically significant results may have implications
for the choice of instruments as measures of servant leadership and classroom climate, as
well as the research design itself.
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Measuring servant leadership. Since servant leadership has been positively
correlated with improved climate and student achievement at the primary and secondary
levels of education, it was important to look at the instruments used to validate these
relationships. There are dozens of servant leadership instruments. This researcher chose
the Servant Leadership Profile–Revised (SLP-R) by Wong and Page (2003) because it
included and measured the cancelling effects of authoritarian hierarchy and egotistic
pride on servant leadership—two negative aspects of leadership higher education. The
SLP-R is a self-reported instrument. Consequently, it is possible that while the teacher
may have sincerely believed that he or she were a servant leader–-and reflected that
perception in their responses on the instrument, the students may not have perceived the
same servant leadership characteristics in action. This difference could have influenced
the strength of the correlation between the variables.
Research site. Additionally, this study was conducted at a private, Catholic
university with experienced teachers. Therefore, it is possible that some of the
university’s embedded Catholic values may have already proscribed teacher behavior that
was consistent with servant leadership. Consequently, regardless of the teachers’ selfreported SLP-R scores, classroom policies may have influenced the teachers and students
perceptions of servant leadership so that higher levels of servant leadership behaviors
were already present.
Sampling strategy. If the inclusion criteria for teachers had been more clearly
defined, that may have helped to distinguish the teacher behaviors in creating classroom
climate. This might have produced results that more clearly showed whether the
experience and professional development of the teachers, already in place, provided a
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foundation for creating a positive classroom environment? The question remains
regarding whether such experience or servant leadership was responsible for classroom
climate.
Measuring classroom climate. With respect to classroom climate, the plethora of
organizational climate instruments (100+) could make choosing the appropriate
instrument to use for this type of research in higher education difficult. This researcher
chose to use the College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI)
because of its high internal validity (between 0.85 and 0.96, and 0.89 in this study) and its
use in other studies ( Fraser et al., 2012, pp. 1196-1197). Yet, its exclusionary limitations
may not have made it ideally suited to correlate the relationship between servant
leadership and student achievement. For example, because the instrument excludes hard
science courses with labs, teacher subjectivity and grade inflation may unduly influence
student achievement measures (in this case, student grades).
Measuring achievement. These issues call attention to the basic study design
itself. Why was this research not consistent with similar research at lower educational
levels? Why did it not attain statistical significance? It is possible that the study design
identified the appropriate criterion variable, but the sample (18) was too small. Perhaps it
is also possible that the criterion variable was correct but the study did not identify
effective measures of achievement. Alternatively, was the study design flawed with
respect to measuring student achievement?
Similar research at the primary and secondary levels of education were able to use
standardized tests to measure student achievement, and there are no equivalent measures
at the collegiate level. This suggests that subjective, end of course grades may not be the
126
best measure of student achievement in higher education. Instead, like the self-reported
SLP-R, an end of course student survey might be a more effective way to measure
student achievement.
Strengths and weaknesses. A strength of this study has emerged through the lack
of statistically significant results in this study, which has raised a question about why the
results unexpectedly differed from similar studies conducted at lower educational levels.
The fact that the results at the collegiate level were not statistically significant raises the
important issue about whether the instruments used to measure the variables are only
effective in certain settings. A weakness of the study, in hindsight, was its sampling
strategy; the double-blind approach was designed to maintain confidentiality and
perceived as a strength in the planning phase for that reason. However, it effectively
made some of the data “invisible” to the researcher, thus impeding fuller analysis.
Because there are significant differences between a collegiate environment and the
educational environments in elementary and high school, the study design could not
mirror the design of similar research conducted at lower levels of education. This was not
apparent during the planning stage of this research, and it thus has implications for future
research.
Practical implications. Practical implications from this research are difficult to
identify. The lack of statistical significance of this research makes recommendations for
current practitioners (i.e., collegiate teachers) questionable. However, as with most
research, an examination of the study design and conduct of this research can serve as a
starting point for future research.
127
Future implications. Collegiate education is not federally mandated. Therefore,
in addition to being more physically and emotionally mature, collegiate students are there
by choice. Consequently, the motivational aspects of teacher leadership at the collegiate
level may not be as readily apparent.
Current credentialing procedures at the primary and secondary levels of education
require professional education and experience in a variety of teaching areas such as
lesson design and planning, teaching techniques, and classroom management. Similar
training is not required at the collegiate level of education—except in the education
departments that train primary and secondary education teachers (Norton, 2013).
Therefore, it may be the lack of training in specific teaching skills at the collegiate level
could interfere with the influencing aspects of leadership in the classroom.
This study was limited by the disproportionate sample sizes of criterion and
predictor variables, thus a final sample size of 18 may have been too small to produce
significant results. Since the primary focus of the research was on teacher servant
leadership, increasing the number of teachers involved will decrease the possibility of
outlier data skewing the overall results.
Similarly, the classroom climate instrument required participation by non-science
related lecture classes without laboratory periods. This requirement to avoid hard
sciences, and the grouping of results into a letter grade scale, assumed teacher
subjectivity in grading was sufficiently discriminating to portray variances in student
achievement. It is possible that the numerical grading often associated with hard science
exams may have precluded any potential rounding effect created by letter grade
groupings.
128
Furthermore, the design of this study, which included a mixture of both required
as distinct from elective, and introductory as distinct from advanced courses, did not
reveal possible disparities in the student achievement. For example, the data from the
senior elective courses showed disproportionately high grades on average; this may have
reflected higher knowledge levels among the learners than was present in non-elective
(e.g., required) courses. In those cases, teacher leadership may not have been the most
accurate measure of student achievement. Likewise, lower achievement may be more
attributable to the unfamiliarity and difficulty of non-elective courses than the classroom
climate created by a teacher’s leadership. Future research could therefore design studies
that more carefully select the level of courses (basic versus advanced) at the collegiate
level.
Finally, because this study was conducted at a small, private, Catholic University,
the potential philosophical tendencies of both students and teachers may be skewed
towards a servant leadership paradigm. Consequently, both teacher and student
perceptions of behaviors may be somewhat biased. Thus, these results may not be
generalizable to the entire population of collegiate teachers and students.
The strengths and weaknesses of this research reinforce the need for further
research. While the individual theoretical frameworks are widely accepted and confirmed
at the primary and secondary levels of education, this research failed to confirm their
precepts at the collegiate level. Therefore, the question arises as to whether the
frameworks are valid throughout education or whether this research design did not
appropriately allow the results to measure the theories in practice.
129
The practical implications of this research highlight the need for future research to
be conducted on a more homogenous sample with greater attention to the potential
variances likely when conducted across a broad spectrum of courses. Such research
would help to confirm or refute the disparities between leadership, climate, and
achievement in higher education. Furthermore, it will help to improve our understanding
of the roles and importance of these dynamics at the collegiate level.
Recommendations
This research added to the body of knowledge pertaining to servant leadership,
classroom climate, and student achievement in education. In an effort to determine the
extent of the correlations between these variables, many potential recommendations for
further research became evident. The recommendations were developed from the
summary of findings presented in the preceding section. The recommendations for future
research are suggestions to clarify and improve upon the design and conduct of this
research.
Recommendations for future research. While there are many studies of servant
leadership, organizational climate, and student achievement, there are limited studies
correlating these variables at the collegiate level of education. Moreover, there is a dearth
of such studies at the collegiate level. This area of study continues to challenge
researchers. Based upon this limited research and the findings of this study,
recommendations for future research are as follows:
1. Identify an instrument to measure student achievement at the collegiate level.
The study design of the correlations between servant leadership, classroom
climate, and student achievement at the collegiate level cannot mirror similar
studies at the elementary and secondary levels of education. Numerous state
and nationally standardized tests to measure student achievement at lower
levels of education provide multiple opportunities for direct correlations with
130
large sample populations. Unfortunately, similar tests at the collegiate level
(CPA exams, State Bar exams, medical boards, GREs, etc.) occur after
completion of an entire curriculum with multiple courses. Consequently, it is
not feasible to use these tests to correlate student achievement with individual
teachers or classrooms.
2. Conduct a mixed-methods study. Design a study at the collegiate level
utilizing a mixed-methods approach will allow researchers to capture
additional insights regarding teacher servant leadership instead of relying on
self-reported servant leadership.
3. Conduct a study with a more specific sampling strategy. Expanding the study
across multiple colleges and universities varying specific design variables
(e.g., only introductory or general education courses, limiting the study to a
specific year group course–i.e., freshman, seniors, etc.) could produce more
fine-grained information pertaining to servant leadership, classroom climate,
and student achievement in higher education.
4. Conduct a similar study at secular universities. This research was conducted at
a small, private, Catholic university. Because the theoretical foundations of
servant leadership may be traced to Jesus and catholic principles, it is possible
the proclivities of the teachers at the university were already biased towards
servant leadership.
5. Conduct a study with a larger sample size. Conducting the study with a larger
sample would make the findings of the study more generalizable. This study
was limited by a sample of 18 teachers. A single site study at a large
university where the same course is taught by multiple teachers would allow
for a larger, more directed study that could minimize potential variances.
6. Conduct the study that does not disguise the identity of teachers to the
researcher. This almost double blind research design protected the anonymity
of the teachers. However, this design did not allow the researcher to conduct
drill down analyses of year groups, courses, teacher experience and
development or grading tendencies (i.e., grade inflation).
7. Consider using different instruments. Use of a different classroom climate
instrument may prevent the exclusion of hard science courses. In those cases,
course-wide standardized tests may be used with greater accuracy than
courses with predominately subjective grading.
8. Develop clearly defined inclusion criteria for teachers in the sampling
strategy. Use teachers with a range of experience. Regardless of formal
professional development, experienced teachers are more likely to have
developed classroom management skills that may not be attributed to their
specific leadership paradigm.
131
9. Collect more clearly defined demographic data for all respondents. Further
delineation and examination of how demographic data are related to the
relationships between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student
achievement.
Recommendations for future practice. There are two key recommendations for
practice based on the results of this study.
1. Share the results of this research with the teachers and management at the
university where the research was conducted. Even though the results did not
rise to the level of statistical significance, as reinforced by research by Bosco
et al. (2015), they are worth consideration in practice.
2. Share the results of this research with those interested in how leadership can
influence achievement in higher education. This research helps to identify the
difficulty in isolating and correlating the dynamics of servant leadership,
classroom climate, and student achievement at the collegiate level.
132
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Appendix A
Letter of Approval to Conduct Research
159
Appendix B
Survey Coordinator Informed Consent Form
RISKS
There are no known risks from taking part in this study, but in any research, there is some
possibility that you may be subject to risks that have not yet been identified.
Grand Canyon University
College of Doctoral Studies
3300 W. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85017
Phone: 602-639-7804
Fax: 602- 639-7820
SURVEY COORDINATOR INFORMED CONSENT FORM
SERVANT LEADERSHIP AND ITS IMPACT ON CLASSROOM CLIMATE AND
STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
INTRODUCTION
The purposes of this form are to provide you (as a prospective research study participant)
information that may affect your decision as to whether or not to participate in this research and
to record the consent of those who agree to be involved in the study.
RESEARCH
Dan Mulligan, doctoral student at Grand Canyon University, has invited your participation in a
research study.
STUDY PURPOSE
Several studies have been conducted looking into the subject of school leadership and culture
with student achievement in primary and secondary education. None have explored these
relationships at colleges and universities.
DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH STUDY
If you decide to participate, then as a study participant you will join a study involving research of
leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement. Your participation will consist of
distributing and collecting the surveys in sealed envelopes to participating instructors and
collecting participating student aggregate grades (e.g., 5=A, 7=B+, 10=B, 3=C+) from the
instructors at the end of the semester.
If you say YES, then your participation should require no more than one hour of your time.
Approximately 300 subjects will be participating in this study.
160
BENEFITS
Although there may be no direct benefits to you, the possible benefits of your participation in
the research are improving leadership and the professional education of College and
University faculty.
NEW INFORMATION
If the researcher finds new information during the study that would reasonably change your
decision about participating, then they will provide this information to you.
CONFIDENTIALITY
All information obtained in this study is strictly confidential. The results of this research study
may be used in reports, presentations, and publications, but the researcher will not identify
you. In order to maintain confidentiality of your records, Dan Mulligan will alphanumerically
code each survey and your ANONYMOUS survey data will be confidentially stored at the
researcher’s residence. No identifying information that you provide will be published or
disclosed. Only the researcher will have access to your completed survey.
WITHDRAWL PRIVILEGE
Participation in this study is completely voluntary. It is ok for you to say no. Even if you say yes
now, you are free to say no later, and withdraw from the study at any time. Nonparticipation in
this research WILL NOT affect course grades.
COSTS AND PAYMENTS
The researcher wants your decision about participating in the study to be absolutely voluntary.
Yet he recognizes that your participation may pose some inconvenience. In appreciation for
your participation, after all data is collected (but no later than May 30, 2014), you will receive a
$250.00 GIFT CERTIFICATE to Barnes & Noble Bookstores.
VOLUNTARY CONSENT
Any questions you have concerning the research study or your participation in the study,
before or after your consent, will be answered by Dan Mulligan, 120 Beau Drive, Edinboro, PA.
(814-434-6502).
If you have questions about your rights as a subject/participant in this research, or if you feel
you have been placed at risk, you can contact the Chair of the Institutional Review Board,
through the College of Doctoral Studies at (602) 639-7804.
This form explains the nature, demands, benefits and any risk of the project. By signing this
form you agree knowingly to assume any risks involved. Remember, your participation is
voluntary. You may choose not to participate or to withdraw your consent and discontinue
participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefit. In signing this consent form, you are
not waiving any legal claims, rights, or remedies. A copy of this consent form will be given
(offered) to you.
Your signature below indicates that you consent to participate in the above study.
________________________ _______________________ ____________ _Group A
Subject’s Signature Printed Name Date
161
INVESTIGATOR’S STATEMENT
“I certify that I have explained to the above individual the nature and purpose, the potential
benefits and possible
risks associated with participation in this research study, have answered any questions that
have been raised, and
have witnessed the above signature. These elements of Informed Consent conform to the
Assurance given by Grand Canyon University to the Office for Human Research Protections to
protect the rights of human subjects. I have provided (offered) the subject/participant a copy of
this signed consent document.”
Signature of Investigator______________________________________
Date___________
162
Appendix C
Instructor Informed Consent Form
Grand Canyon University
College of Doctoral Studies
3300 W. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85017
Phone: 602-639-7804
Fax: 602- 639-7820
INSTRUCTOR INFORMED CONSENT FORM
SERVANT LEADERSHIP AND ITS IMPACT ON CLASSROOM CLIMATE AND
STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
INTRODUCTION
The purposes of this form are to provide you (as a prospective research study participant)
information that may affect your decision as to whether or not to participate in this research and
to record the consent of those who agree to be involved in the study.
RESEARCH
Dan Mulligan, doctoral student at Grand Canyon University, has invited your participation in a
research study.
STUDY PURPOSE
Several studies have been conducted looking into the subject of school leadership and culture
with student achievement in primary and secondary education. None have explored these
relationships at colleges and universities.
DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH STUDY
If you decide to participate, then as a study participant you will join a study involving research
of leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement. Your participation will consist of
ANONYMOUSLY completing a short survey while your students who wish to participate also
ANONYMOUSLY complete a short survey. These surveys will be placed in sealed envelopes
and returned. At the end of the semester, you will be asked to turn in the aggregate grades of
participating students (e.g., 5=A, 7=B+, 10=B, 3=C+). If you are uncomfortable with any survey
questions, you may skip them.
If you say YES, then your participation will last for about 10 minutes in class and 10 minutes to
compile aggregate grades.
Approximately 300 subjects will be participating in this study.
RISKS
There are no known risks from taking part in this study, but in any research, there is some
possibility that you may be subject to risks that have not yet been identified.
163
BENEFITS
Although there may be no direct benefits to you, the possible benefits of your participation in
the research are improving leadership and the professional education of College and University
faculty.
NEW INFORMATION
If the researcher finds new information during the study that would reasonably change your
decision about participating, then they will provide this information to you.
CONFIDENTIALITY
All information obtained in this study is strictly confidential. The results of this research study
may be used in reports, presentations, and publications, but the researcher will not identify
you. In order to maintain confidentiality of your records, Dan Mulligan will alphanumerically
code each survey and your ANONYMOUS survey data will be confidentially stored at the
researcher’s residence. No identifying information that you provide will be published or
disclosed. Only the researcher will have access to your completed survey.
WITHDRAWL PRIVILEGE
Participation in this study is completely voluntary. It is ok for you to say no. Even if you say yes
now, you are free to say no later, and withdraw from the study at any time. Nonparticipation in
this research WILL NOT affect course grades.
COSTS AND PAYMENTS
The researcher wants your decision about participating in the study to be absolutely voluntary.
Yet he recognizes that your participation may pose some inconvenience. In appreciation for
your participation, those who complete the survey and submit aggregate grades, after all data
is collected (but no later than Jan 1, 2014), will receive a $25.00 GIFT CERTIFICATE to
Barnes & Noble Bookstores.
VOLUNTARY CONSENT
Any questions you have concerning the research study or your participation in the study,
before or after your consent, will be answered by Dan Mulligan, 120 Beau Drive, Edinboro, PA.
(814-434-6502).
If you have questions about your rights as a subject/participant in this research, or if you feel
you have been placed at risk, you can contact the Chair of the Institutional Review Board,
through the College of Doctoral Studies at (602) 639-7804.
This form explains the nature, demands, benefits and any risk of the project. By signing this
form you agree knowingly to assume any risks involved. Remember, your participation is
voluntary. You may choose not to participate or to withdraw your consent and discontinue
participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefit. In signing this consent form, you are
not waiving any legal claims, rights, or remedies. A copy of this consent form will be given
(offered) to you.
Your signature below indicates that you consent to participate in the above study.
___________________________ _________________________ ____________
Subject’s Signature Printed Name Date
164
INVESTIGATOR’S STATEMENT
“I certify that I have explained to the above individual the nature and purpose, the potential
benefits and possible
risks associated with participation in this research study, have answered any questions that
have been raised, and
have witnessed the above signature. These elements of Informed Consent conform to the
Assurance given by Grand Canyon University to the Office for Human Research Protections to
protect the rights of human subjects. I have provided (offered) the subject/participant a copy of
this signed consent document.”
Signature of Investigator______________________________________
Date___________
165
Appendix D
Student Informed Consent Form
Grand Canyon University
College of Doctoral Studies
3300 W. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85017
Phone: 602-639-7804
Fax: 602- 639-7820
ADULT STUDENT INFORMED CONSENT FORM
SERVANT LEADERSHIP AND ITS IMPACT ON CLASSROOM CLIMATE AND
STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
INTRODUCTION
The purposes of this form are to provide you (as a prospective research study participant)
information that may affect your decision as to whether or not to participate in this research
and to record the consent of those who agree to be involved in the study.
RESEARCH
Dan Mulligan, doctoral student at Grand Canyon University, has invited your participation in a
research study.
STUDY PURPOSE
Several studies have been conducted looking into the subject of school leadership and culture
with student achievement in primary and secondary education. None have explored these
relationships at colleges and universities.
DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH STUDY
If you decide to participate, then as a study participant you will join a study involving research
of leadership and classroom climate. Your participation will consist of ANNONYMOUSLY
completing a short survey. Your final course grade will be ANONYMOUSLY aggregated. If you
are uncomfortable with any survey questions, you may skip them.
If you say YES, then your participation will last for about 10 minutes in class. Approximately 300
subjects will be participating in this study.
RISKS
There are no known risks from taking part in this study, but in any research, there is some
possibility that you may be subject to risks that have not yet been identified.
BENEFITS
Although there may be no direct benefits to you, the possible benefits of your participation in
the research are improving leadership and the professional education of College and University
faculty.
166
NEW INFORMATION
If the researcher finds new information during the study that would reasonably change your
decision about participating, then they will provide this information to you.
CONFIDENTIALITY
All information obtained in this study is strictly confidential. The results of this research study
may be used in reports, presentations, and publications, but the researcher will not identify you.
In order to maintain confidentiality of your records, Dan Mulligan will alphanumerically code
each survey and your ANONYMOUS survey will be confidentially stored at the researcher’s
residence. No identifying information that you provide will be published or disclosed. Only the
researcher will have access to your completed survey.
WITHDRAWL PRIVILEGE
Participation in this study is completely voluntary. It is ok for you to say no. Even if you say yes
now, you are free to say no later, and withdraw from the study at any time. Nonparticipation in
this research WILL NOT affect course grades.
COSTS AND PAYMENTS
There is no payment for your participation in the study.
VOLUNTARY CONSENT
Any questions you have concerning the research study or your participation in the study, before
or after your consent, will be answered by Dan Mulligan, 120 Beau Drive, Edinboro, PA. (814-
434-6502).
If you have questions about your rights as a subject/participant in this research, or if you feel
you have been placed at risk, you can contact the Chair of the Institutional Review Board,
through the College of Doctoral Studies at (602) 639-7804.
This form explains the nature, demands, benefits and any risk of the project. By signing this
form you agree knowingly to assume any risks involved. Remember, your participation is
voluntary. You may choose not to participate or to withdraw your consent and discontinue
participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefit. In signing this consent form, you are
not waiving any legal claims, rights, or remedies. A copy of this consent form will be given
(offered) to you.
Your signature below indicates that you consent to participate in the above study.
________________________ _______________________ ____________ _Group A
Subject’s Signature Printed Name Date
INVESTIGATOR’S STATEMENT
“I certify that I have explained to the above individual the nature and purpose, the potential
benefits and possible risks associated with participation in this research study, have answered
any questions that have been raised, and have witnessed the above signature. These
elements of Informed Consent conform to the Assurance given by Grand Canyon University to
the Office for Human Research Protections to protect the rights of human subjects. I have
provided (offered) the subject/participant a copy of this signed consent document.”
Signature of Investigator______________________________________ Date___________
167
Appendix E
Confidentiality Statement
168
Appendix F
Permission Email to Adapt the Conceptual Framework Model
169
Appendix G
Permission Email to Use the Servant Leadership Profile—Revised
170
Appendix H
Servant Leadership Profile—Revised (SLP-R)
©Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D. & Don Page, Ph.D.
Leadership matters a great deal in the success or failure of any organization. This
instrument was designed to measure both positive and negative leadership characteristics.
Please use the following scale to indicate your agreement or disagreement with
each of the statements in describing your own attitudes and practices as a leader. If you
have not held any leadership position in an organization, then answer the questions as if
you were in a position of authority and responsibility. There are no right or wrong
answers. Simply rate each question in terms of what you really believe or normally do in
leadership situations.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Strongly
Disagree
(SD)
Undecided Strongly
Agree
(SA)
For example, if you strongly agree, you may circle 7, if you mildly disagree, you
may circle 3. If you are undecided, circle 4, but use this category sparingly.
# Item Scale
1
To inspire team spirit, I
communicate enthusiasm and
confidence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
2
I listen actively and
receptively to what others
have to say, even when they
disagree with me.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
3
I practice plain talking—I
mean what I say and say
what I mean
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
4
I always keep my promises
and commitments to others. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
171
# Item Scale 5
I grant all my workers a fair
amount of responsibility and
latitude in carrying out their
tasks.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
6
I am genuine and honest with
people, even when such
transparency is politically
unwise.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
7
I am willing to accept other
people’s ideas, whenever
they are better than mine.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
I promote tolerance,
kindness, and honesty in the
workplace.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
9
To be a leader, I should be
front and center in every
function in which I am
involved.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
10
I create a climate of trust and
openness to facilitate
participation in decision
making
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
11
My leadership effectiveness
is improved through
empowering others.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
12 I want to build trust and
honesty and empathy
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
13 I am able to bring out the
best in others.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
14
I want to make sure that
everyone follows orders
without questioning my
authority.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
15
As a leader, my name must
be associated with every
initiative.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
16
I consistently delegate
responsibility to others and
empower them to do their
job.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
17 I seek to serve rather than be
served.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
18
To be a strong leader, I need
to have the power to do
whatever I want without
being questioned.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
19
I am able to inspire others
with my enthusiasm and
confidence in what can be
accomplished.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
20
I am able to transform an
ordinary group of individuals
into a winning team.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
172
# Item Scale
21
I try to remove all
organizational barriers so
that others can freely
participate in decision

making.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
22
I devote a lot of energy to
promoting trust, mutual
understanding and team
spirit.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
23
I derive a great deal of
satisfaction in helping others
succeed.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
24
I have the moral courage to
do the right thing, even when
it hurts me politically.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
25
I am able to rally people
around me and inspire them
to achieve a common goal.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
26
I am able to present a vision
that is readily and
enthusiastically embraced by
others.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
27
I invest considerable time
and energy in helping others
overcome their weaknesses
and develop their potential.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
28
I want to have the final say
on everything, even areas
where I don’t have the
competence.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
29
I don’t want to share power
with others, because they
may use it against me.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
30 I practice what I preach.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
31
I am willing to risk mistakes
by empowering others to
“carry the ball.”
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
32
I have the courage to assume
full responsibility for my
mistakes and acknowledge
my own limitations.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
33
I have the courage and
determination to do what is
right in spite of difficulty or
opposition
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
34 Whenever possible, I give
credits to others.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
35
I am willing to share my
power and authority with
others in the decision making
process.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
36
I genuinely care about the
welfare of people working
with me.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
173
# Item Scale
37 I invest considerable time
and energy equipping others.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
38
I make it a high priority to
cultivate good relationships
among group members.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
39 I am always looking for
hidden talents in my workers.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
40 My leadership is based on a
strong sense of mission.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
41
I am able to articulate a clear
sense of purpose and
direction for my
organization’s future.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
42
My leadership contributes to
my employees/colleagues’
personal growth.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
43
I have a good understanding
of what is happening inside
the organization.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
44
I set an example of placing
group interests above selfinterests
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
45 I work for the best interests
of others rather than self.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
46
I consistently appreciate,
recognize, and encourage the
work of others.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
47 I always place team success
above personal success.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
48
I willingly share my power
with others, but I do not
abdicate my authority and
responsibility.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
49
I consistently appreciate and
validate others for their
contributions
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
50 When I serve others, I do not
expect any return.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
51
I am willing to make
personal sacrifices in serving
others.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
52
I regularly celebrate special
occasions and events to
foster a group spirit.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
53 I consistently encourage
others to take initiative.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
54
I am usually dissatisfied with
the status quo and know how
things can be improved.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
55
I take proactive actions rather
than waiting for events to
happen to me.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
174
# Item Scale
56
To be a strong leader, I need
to keep all my subordinates
under control.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
57
I find enjoyment in serving
others in whatever role or
capacity
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
58 I have a heart to serve others.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
59
I have great satisfaction in
bringing out the best in
others.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
60
It is important that I am seen
as superior to my
subordinates in everything.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
61
I often identify talented
people and give them
opportunities to grow and
shine.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
62
My ambition focuses on
finding better ways of
serving others and making
them successful.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
175
Appendix I
Permission Email to Use the College and University Classroom Environment
Inventory (CUCEI)
176
Appendix J
College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) survey
Group ______
Directions:
The purpose of this questionnaire is to find out your opinion about the class you are
attending right now. This form of the questionnaire assesses your opinion about what this
class is actually like. Indicate your opinion about each question or statement by circling:
SA if you STRONGLY AGREE: that it describes what this class is actually like.
A if you AGREE: that it describes what this class is actually like.
D if you DISAGREE: that it describes what this class is actually like.
SD if you STRONGLY DISAGREE: that it describes what this class is actually like.
Item Indicate your opinion about each question or
statement by circling one:
1. The instructor considers students’ feelings. SA A D SD
2. The instructor talks rather than listens. SA A D SD
3. The class is made up of individuals who
don’t know each other well. SA A D SD
4. The students look forward to coming to
classes. SA A D SD
5. Students know exactly what has to be done
in our class SA A D SD
6. New ideas are seldom tried out in this
class. SA A D SD
7. All students in the class are expected to do
the same work, in the same way in the
same time.
SA A D SD
8. The instructor talks individually with
students SA A D SD
9. Students put effort into what they do in
classes. SA A D SD
177
Item Indicate your opinion about each question or
statement by circling one:
10. Each student knows the other members of
the class by their first names. SA A D SD
11. Students are dissatisfied with what is done
in the class. SA A D SD
12. Getting a certain amount of work done is
important in this class SA A D SD
13. New and different ways of teaching are
seldom used in this class. SA A D SD
14. Students are generally allowed to work at
their own pace. SA A D SD
15. The instructor goes out of his/her way to
help students. SA A D SD
16. Students “clock watch” in this class. SA A D SD
17. Friendships are made among students in
this class. SA A D SD
18. After the class, the students have a sense of
satisfaction. SA A D SD
19. The group often gets sidetracked instead of
sticking to the point. SA A D SD
20. The instructor thinks of innovative
activities for students to do. SA A D SD
21. Students have a say in how class time is
spent.
SA A D SD
22. The instructor helps each student who is
having trouble with the work. SA A D SD
23. Students in this class the attention to what
others are saying. SA A D SD
24. Students don’t have much chance to get to
know each other in this class. SA A D SD
25. Classes are a waste of time. SA A D SD
26. This is a disorganized class. SA A D SD
27. Teaching approaches in this class are
characterized by innovation and variety. SA A D SD
28. Students are allowed to choose activities
and how they will work. SA A D SD
29. The instructor seldom moves around the
classroom to talk with students. SA A D SD
30. Students seldom present their work to the
class area. SA A D SD
178
Item Indicate your opinion about each question or
statement by circling one:
31. it takes a long time to get to know
everybody by his/her first name in this
class.
SA A D SD
32. Classes are boring. SA A D SD
33. Class assignments are clear so everyone
knows what to do. SA A D SD
34. The seating in this class is arranged in the
same way each week. SA A D SD
35. Teaching approaches allow students to
proceed at their own pace SA A D SD
36. The instructor isn’t interested in students’
problems SA A D SD
37. There are opportunities for students to
express their opinions in this class SA A D SD
38. Students in this class get to know each
other well. SA A D SD
39. Students enjoy going to this class. SA A D SD
40. This class seldom start on time. SA A D SD
41. The instructor often thinks of unusual class
activities SA A D SD
42. There is little opportunity for a student to
pursue his/her particular interest in this
class.
SA A D SD
43. The instructor is unfriendly and
inconsiderate towards students. SA A D SD
44. The instructor dominates class discussions. SA A D SD
45. Students in this class aren’t very interested
in getting to know other students. SA A D SD
46. Classes are interesting. SA A D SD
47. Activities in this class are clearly and
carefully planned. SA A D SD
48. Students seem to do the same type of
activities every class. SA A D SD
49. It is the instructor who decides what will
be done in our class. SA A D SD
179
Appendix K
GCU IRB Approval Letter
180
Appendix L
Power Analyses
Table 11
A Priori Power Analysis to Determine Sample Size
Input Parameters: Output Parameters:
Tails = 1 Noncentrality parameter = 3.36
Effect size (d) = .5 critical t = 1.69
α err prob. = .05 Df = 32
Power = .95 Total Sample Size = 34
A Compromise Power Analysis with a hypothetical sample size of 15 revealed
parameters as noted.
Table 12
Compromise Power Analysis
Input Parameters Output Parameters
Effect size = .5 Noncentrality parameter = 1.94
Q = beta/alpha ratio = 1 Critical t = .98
Sample size = 15 Df = 14
error probability = .17
Power (1 .17 error) = .83
181
Figure 18. Post hoc power analysis for correlation using G power software
182
Figure 19. Post-hoc power analysis for linear multiple regression using G power software


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We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment Help Service Works

1. Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2. Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3. Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4. Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

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