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Abstract

The study aimed at examining the impact of servant leadership on workplace spirituality. Throughout history among various leadership models, servant leadership is a peculiar model of leadership where leader is servant first. Concept of servant leadership has roots in religious teachings, thus its connection and impact on workplace spirituality was assessed. In this study three questionnaires measured servant leadership, workplace spirituality and organizational culture. Results of the study showed that servant leadership had positive and significant relationship with workplace spirituality, with organizational culture as moderator variable that was also positively related to workplace spirituality.
Pakistan Journal of Science (Vol. 67 No.1March, 2015)
109
IMPACT OF SERVANT LEADERSHIP ON WORKPLACE SPIRITUALITY:
MODERATING ROLE OF INVOLVEMENT CULTURE
K. E. Khan,
*
S. E. Khan,and
**
A. G.Chaudhry,
Pakistan Agricultural Research Council Islamabad
*
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Bahria University Islamabad
**
Department of Anthropology, PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi
Corresponding Author:
*
shaheer_ellahi@hotmail.com
ABSTRACT: The study aimed at examining the impact of servant leadership on workplace
spirituality. Throughout history among various leadership models, servant leadership is a peculiar
model of leadership where leader is servant first. Concept of servant leadership has roots in religious
teachings, thus its connection and impact on workplace spirituality was assessed. In this study three
questionnaires measured servant leadership, workplace spirituality and organizational culture. Results
of the study showed that servant leadership had positive and significant relationship with workplace
spirituality, with organizational culture as moderator variable that was also positively related to
workplace spirituality.
Keywords: Servant leadership, Leadership models, Workplace spirituality, Involvement culture, Religious teachings
(Received 16-08-14 Accepted 28-02-15)
INTRODUCTION
Many work places are losing their workers
spirituality, because technology overpowers traditional
workplaces ,for stakeholders to maximize their revenues
with minimum leverage. Stable companies do not face
challenges from organizational competition, however
internal disarray can be challenging. Some people-
centered organizations, like Beryl Company and Google,
invest in their workers as valuable assets and believe that
spirituality can improve this investment in addition to
effective leadership. It was further elaborated that the
characteristics of effective leader and identify the need of
servant leadership in organizations in the twenty-first
century (Spears, 2010).The study of Fortune Magazine
was used that highlights 100 best companies in the west
which have focused on servant leadership as a part of
their corporate culture. Although it is paradoxical to
associate a leader as a servant, but as our knowledge
expands in today’s information age, leaders sense that
subordinates have diversified in skills and abilities thus
leading with power and dictation may be ill advised.
Leaders in serving capacity can make workplace more
meaningful(Wong and Page, 2003). Spirituality in
organization is not a hypothetical concept but increases
employee commitment, adaptability and most importantly
the level of motivation with which employees are
working. Thus servant leadership can be a valuable tool
to increase workplace spirituality and leaving workplace
to be more significant (Jurkeiwicz and Giacalone, 2004).
Contemporary organizations in public sector of
Pakistan and hospitality industries are facing challenges
associated with employee motivation and making
workplace more meaningful (Ramlaal, 2004).
Workplaces are failing (GHCT, 2014) to give meaningful
environment to employees, and these result in higher
employee turnover intention and leave a negative impact
on organizational performance.
Organizational environments in Pakistan are
also challenged with leadership styles (Khan, 2010), as
leadership style can give better results with minimum
payoff. With the fall of capitalism and decline in
secularism, organizational work places can benefit from
spirituality, making it important and productive for the
organizations and at large the society.
This study is proposed to explore the impact of
servant leadership on workplace spirituality with
moderating role of organizational culture. This issue is
well suited to Pakistan, because it has a very rich culture
and heritage to support spirituality. At the organizational
level many studies have not been carried out in the field
of servant leadership. For this study we used frame work
proposed by Herman and systematically used servant
leadership as independent variable and workplace
spirituality as a dependent variable and in addition,
organizational culture served as a moderator variable.
(Herman, 2008)
Key objective of the research is to study the
impact and magnitude of servant leadership on workplace
spirituality, to investigate key factors of servant
leadership that influences the workplace spirituality and
to observe the role of organizational culture as a
moderator variable in impacting servant leadership on
workplace spirituality.
Pakistan Journal of Science (Vol. 67 No.1March, 2015)
110
Theoretical Model of Organizational Culture, its Relationship between Servant Leadership and Workplace
Spirituality
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This study was carried to measure the servant
leadership, workplace spirituality and the involvement of
culture as a moderator, by three quantitative scales.
Servant Leadership Questionnaire (SLQ):To measure
this independent variable SLQ developed by was used
(Barbuto and Wheeler, 2006) was used. The scale
contained 23 items measured on a 4-point Likert-type
scale, (1 = strongly disagree, 2 = somewhat disagree, 3 =
somewhat agree, 4 = strongly agree).Five different facets
of servant leadership were measured i.e. altruistic calling,
emotional healing, wisdom, persuasive mapping and
organizational stewardship (higher scores on these
subscales represented greater magnitude of these facets).
Reliability analysis for SLQ was 0.879 with a scale
containing 23 items.
Workplace Spirituality Questionnaire (WSQ):
Workplace spirituality was measured through the
standardized instrument (Ashmos and Duchon, 2000).
The complete questionnaire consisted of 66 items,
divided into seven factors and three parts. In this study
the authors used three parts of this questionnaire which
assessed the work, sense of community and alignment of
values. For workplace spirituality, seventeen questions
were used measuring consequential work, sense of
community and alignment with organizational values.
Reliability of 17 items used was 0.822
Organizational Culture Questionnaire (OCQ):
Standardized questions of organizational culture
(moderating variable) were also adopted from the work
of(Denison, 2000), who used four different facets to
measure the organizational culture i.e. involvement
culture, consistency culture, adaptability culture and
mission culture. However in the current study only
involvement culture was used as its facet, which
overlapped with the dimensions of workplace spirituality.
From work of Denison, fifteen questions were used to
measure the role of involvement culture as moderator.
Researcher also used judgmental sampling and
sent 250 questionnaires to the respondents of Pakistan
Agricultural Research Council Islamabad, Pakistan
Institute of Developmental Economics (PIDE), Islamabad
and Pakistan Television Network Islamabad, and
received back 214 questionnaires i.e., (86% response
rate). Questionnaires were forwarded to the managers and
officials who were directly in contact/observing the
leaders of their respective organizations.
RESULTS
Regression analysis revealed that servant
leadership had a positive and significant relationship with
workplace spirituality (r = .66, p< 0.001; R
2
(adjusted) =
.44), supporting our first hypothesis (H1). Servant
leadership was 44% of workplace spirituality, and
showed that servant leadership had a positive impact on
workplace spirituality. A single factor Analysis of
Variance (ANOVA) tested the model, where servant
leadership was selected as an independent variable and
workplace spirituality as dependent variable. Ahighly
Empowerment
Team Orientation
Capability Development
OCQ Denison (2005)
O
O
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C
C
u
u
l
l
t
t
u
u
r
r
e
e
Altruism
Emotional Healing
Wisdom
Persuasive Mapping
Stewardship
SLQ (Barbuto& Wheeler,
2005)
Meaningful Work
Sense of Community
Alignment with Organizational
Values
WSQ (Ashmos&Duchon, 2000)
W
W
o
o
r
r
k
k
p
p
l
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y
Pakistan Journal of Science (Vol. 67 No.1March, 2015)
111
significant relationship F(1, 212) = 163.62,p< .000001
was found, suggesting that servant leadership clearly
affected work place spirituality.
The association between organizational culture,
moderated servant leadership and workplace spirituality,
through composite scores on questionnaire (Denison,
2005) were correlated to the aforesaid two variables and
the impact of this moderator variable was assessed. A
positive and significant relationship between servant
leadership and workplace spirituality was found, which
revealed a high correlation (r = .70 p <0.001, R
2
(adjusted) = .49) to organizational behavior as the
moderator variable, supporting our second hypothesis
(H2).This suggested that organizational culture,
positively moderated the relationship between servant
leadership and workplace spirituality. Organizational
culture did not decrease the impact left by servant
leadership. A single factor ANOVA revealed a highly
significant F(1, 212) = 204.35, p < .000001,
organizational affect on workplace spirituality.
Correlation Table 1:Showing Independent Variable(Servant Leadership) and Dependent Variable(Workplace
Spirituality)
Meaningful work
Sense of community
Organizational Values
Altruistic
calling
Pearson correlation
.270
**
.313
**
.110
Sig. (2-Tailed)
.000
.000
.000
N
214
214
214
Emotional
Healing
Pearson correlation
.526
**
.525
**
.399
**
Sig. (2-Tailed)
.000
.000
.000
N
214
214
214
Wisdom
Pearson correlation
.662
**
.539
**
.462
**
Sig. (2-Tailed)
.000
.000
.000
N
214
214
214
Persuasive
Mapping
Pearson correlation
.440
**
.474
**
.224
**
Sig. (2-Tailed)
.000
.000
.000
N
214
214
214
Organizational
Stewardship
Pearson correlation
.644
**
.685
**
.486
**
Sig. (2-Tailed)
.000
.000
.000
N
214
214
214
**
Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)
DISCUSSION
Leadership is becoming a point of interest for
researchers and leaders of organizations at governmental
and private level. At different time periods, different
types of leaderships emerged, serving the need of the
time. Situations influenced leaders to change their traits
and their styles to lead their followers. Previous ideas that
leaders were born (great men theory) were replaced with
a new understanding that leaders can be made (trait
theory) has shifted our thinking as shown by (Yukl, 1981)
who found that leaders could also transform and change
their traits in response to expectation and actions of their
followers. Long ago, leaders were authoritative, tyrants or
monarchs. They participated less and used dominance to
lead, but as information flooded in modern times, leaders
changed their traditional authoritarian and bureaucratic
practices; servant leadership became an effective mode
and a model to make the work floor more meaningful
place for employees.
Servant leadership has its origin from religion;
servant leaders stood no different to their followers,
rather leaders served them back with emotional healing
and empowering the followers to newer heights.
Religiosity and spirituality have a hand and glove
relationship. Spirituality is no more a domestic concept
only achieving nirvanaor buddhi or Godhood, rather it is
a well-established construct applicable at workplace.
Maslow refers to it as self-actualization, seated at the top
of human motivational pyramid. (Maslow, 1943)
This study systematically replicated Freeman
and Herman model of servant leadership and its
association to workplace spirituality in Pakistan, and
added organizational culture as moderating variable as an
impacting factor. (Freeman, 2011 and Herman, 2008).The
results of this study were found to be very similar to the
findings of Herman who found a high positive and
significant correlation between servant leadership and
workplace spirituality (r= 0.78, p< .001; R
2
=
.62)(Herman, 2008). Similarly Fry and Freeman also
showed similar associations between servant leadership
and spirituality (Fry, 2003 and Freeman, 2011). In current
study results have reflected a significant correlation
between servant leadership i.e. altruism, emotional
healing, wisdom, persuasive mapping, stewardship; and
workplace spirituality i.e. meaningful work, sense of
community, alignment with organizational values.
Pakistan Journal of Science (Vol. 67 No.1March, 2015)
112
However only altruism is not having a significant
relationship with the organizational values. Otherwise
rest of the facets of servant leadership and workplace
spirituality have a positive and significant relationship as
presented in table 1.
Conclusion: Servant leadership style which roots itself in
work of Herman Hesse (Journey to the East) has spiritual
context, however even in commercial organizations the
servant leadership style enhances the spirituality at
workplace. An organizational leader can motivate the
work force with the servant leadership style which will
also help followers to find the workplace to be more
meaningful. The Involvement organizational culture can
also facilitate the leaders to practice the said traits of
servant leadership tested in the study.
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