The Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) was developed through Dr. Laub's dissertation in 1999. Since that time over 30 doctoral dissertations have utilized the OLA for studying servant leadership in organizations. It is hoped that the ongoing study of organizational health through servant-minded leadership will continue to grow and that the OLA will continue to offer a reliable and valid tool for measuring this construct accurately in seeking to answer critical research questions.  The abstracts of currently published dissertations and Masters theses are listed below beginning with Dr. Laub's original work in 1999 and moving toward the more current research.

Completed Doctoral Disserations/Masters Theses

Page 1 - For OLA research published between 1999 - 2004 (10 studies)

Page 2 - For OLA research published between 2004 - 2006 (11 studies)

Page 3 - For OLA research published between 2006 - 2008 (10 studies)

Page 4 - For OLA research published between 2008 - 2009 (  6 studies)


Page One

 
Title: ASSESSING THE SERVANT ORGANIZATION: DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVANT ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP ASSESSMENT (SOLA) INSTRUMENT
Author(s):

LAUB, JAMES ALAN

olagroup@comcast.net -- 561-379-6010

Degree: ED.D.
Year: 1999
Pages: 00164
Institution: FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY; 0119
Advisor: Adviser: LUCY GUGLIELMINO
Source: DAI, 60, no. 02A, (1999): 0308
Abstract:

This study attempted to answer three questions: How is servant leadership defined? What are the characteristics of servant leadership? Can the presence of these characteristics within organizations be assessed through a written instrument? There were two main parts to the study. Part one involved a Delphi study to determine the characteristics of servant leadership and part two used these characteristics to construct the Servant Organizational Leadership Assessment (SOLA) instrument.

The three-part Delphi survey was conducted with fourteen authorities from the field of servant leadership. The panel was asked to name and rate the characteristics of the servant leader. All characteristics that were rated from “Necessary” to “'Essential” in the final survey were used in the construction of the SOLA instrument. A significant (p <.05) decrease was found in the interquartile range between round two and round three, indicating a move toward consensus.

Seventy-four items were written for the field test version of the SOLA and six items were added to assess job satisfaction, for a total of 80 items. The field test was conducted with 828 people from 41 organizations representing various states in the U.S. and one organization from the Netherlands. The instrument had an estimated reliability of.98. One way ANOVA and correlation tests were run with demographic data and the SOLA score and also with the job satisfaction score. A significant (p <.01) positive correlation of.653 was found between the SOLA score and the job satisfaction score. A factor analysis revealed a two factor solution composed of organization assessment items and leadership assessment items. Potential subscores were considered, but there was a high correlation between the scales; therefore use of the overall SOLA score is recommended for research purposes.

This study provides an operational definition of servant leadership and the servant organization as well as a list of the characteristics of servant leadership, as determined by a panel of experts. The SOLA was found to be a reliable tool for measuring servant leadership in organizations and will be useful for further research as well as diagnosis in organizations.

Click here to get a summary of Dr. Laub's Dissertation in pdf format

Click here to get Dr. Laub's complete Dissertation in pdf format

  SUBJECT(S)
Descriptor: EDUCATION, ADULT AND CONTINUING 
BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, MANAGEMENT 
Accession No: AAG9921922
Database: Dissertations

 
 
Title: Servant-leadership: Belief and practice in women-led businesses
Author(s): Braye, Rubye Howard
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2000
Pages: 00096
Institution: Walden University; 0543
Advisor: Adviser Ruth Maurer
Source: DAI, 61, no. 07A (2000): p. 2799
Standard No: ISBN: 0-599-88015-5
Abstract: This comparative case study of top business leaders assessed the level of belief and practice of servant-leadership in women-led businesses and successful male servant-led businesses from the top leader's perspective. The level of belief and practice of servant-leadership in women-led businesses was compared to a benchmark group of males who are practicing servant-leaders to determine similarities and differences. The data were gathered using an online version of the Organizational Leadership Assessment, a validated survey by James Laub, Ph.D. The survey questions addressed six variables, plus job satisfaction. The six variables were values people, develops people, develops community, displays authenticity, provides leadership, and shares leadership.

The responses were analyzed using demographic data for gender, age, education, and time in the organization. Though the survey included ethnic origin and nationality, there were either no responses or an insufficient number of responses for analysis. The analysis was a three-step process that included the comparison of the males and females in this study, comparison of the findings in this study to a study done by James Laub (1999), and identification of the areas where the females leaders might focus to improve the level of belief and practice.

The findings showed that there was no significant difference between the high level of belief and practice of servant-leadership in the benchmark male top leaders and the female top leaders in this study or in the Laub study. This indicates that female top leaders naturally practice servant-leadership at high levels and, with deliberate focus and practice, may realize greater levels of success in the workplace and the marketplace.

  SUBJECT(S)
Descriptor: BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, MANAGEMENT 
WOMEN'S STUDIES 
EDUCATION, BUSINESS 
Accession No: AAI9981536
Database: Dissertations

 
 
Title: Perspectives of servant-leadership and spirit in organizations
Author(s): Horsman, John Henry
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2001
Pages: 00202
Institution: Gonzaga University; 0736
Advisor: Chair Shann Ferch
Source: DAI, 62, no. 03A (2001): p. 1119
Standard No: ISBN: 0-493-19384-7
Abstract: This study identified servant-leadership as an emerging leadership model appropriate for the modern era, and recognized a need for further quantitative study. Examined in the review are the importance of servant-leadership, Greenleaf's background, his philosophy, characteristics of servant-leaders, the importance of spirit, and dimensions of personal and organizational aspects of spirit. The research questions assessed the extent leaders today exhibit the characteristics of servant-leadership; whether a significant relationship existed between servant-leadership and personal dimensions of spirit, and whether their was congruity between personal aspects of spirit and one's work life. Respondent's perceptions of servant-leadership and personal dimensions of spirit were also examined based on different personal and organizational demographics.

The Organizational Leadership Assessment and the Dimensions of Spirit instruments (OLA-DS) were combined and used to survey a sample of 608 members of thirty-four organizations of various types. Servant-leadership was found to exist in the organizations studied. A significant relationship was found between personal dimensions of spirit and servant-leadership. Congruity between personal life and work life was found, and treated as a separate subscale. Significant differences in servant-leadership were found between respondents 30–39 years and two other age groups; between respondents with no university degree and those with graduate education levels; between government organizations and all other types of organizations; between respondents employed less than a year and those employed more than four years; and between the workforce and top leadership. Significant differences were also found for dimensions of spirit between genders; between respondents with graduate degrees and those with no degree; and between the workforce and top leadership. With regards to congruity, significant differences were found between genders; between respondents with graduate degrees and those with no degree; between government organizations and all other organizational types; and between the workforce and top leadership. The findings from this study support the notion that servant-leadership is an emerging model of leadership. A new finding was the identification of a relationship between servant-leadership and personal aspects of spirit. A possible new value concept for organizations is the congruity between personal life and work life.

  SUBJECT(S)
Descriptor: BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, MANAGEMENT 
PSYCHOLOGY, INDUSTRIAL 
Accession No: AAI3010149
Database: Dissertations

 
 
Title: Spiritual orientation of a leader and perceived servant leader behavior: A correlational study
Author(s): Beazley, Debra Ann
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2002
Pages: 00096
Institution: Walden University; 0543
Advisor: Adviser Gary Gemmill
Source: DAI, 63, no. 04A (2002): p. 1436
Standard No: ISBN: 0-493-64307-9
Abstract: The objective of this study was to examine the relationship of spiritual orientation of purported servant leaders to the intensity of perceived servant leader behavior in those leaders. Spirituality in the workplace and more holistic styles of leadership have grown in popularity among leadership consultants and the general public.

A sample of 100 managers and 200 employees from TDIndustries in Dallas, Texas, was surveyed using the Spirituality Assessment Scale (SAS) and the Servant Organizational Leadership Assessment (SOLA) between August and September 2001. Sixty-two managers (62%) and 97 employees (48%) responded. Spiritual orientation was measured using the SAS through two dimensions. The definitive dimension, considered essential for an individual to be spiritual, is demonstrated through a relationship with the transcendent through prayer or meditation, and the correlated dimension, which is not exclusive to spirituality but may derive from moral philosophies, are the virtues of honesty, humility, and service to others. Servant leadership behavior was measured using the leadership portion of the SOLA.

Results of the study indicate that the sample of leaders surveyed in this study may be more spiritual than less spiritual, but with a greater propensity for the correlated variables. Pearson correlation and regression analysis indicate that the correlated dimension of spirituality is positively significant and influential to servant leader behavior. ANOVA analysis and post hoc pairwise multiple comparison demonstrate a difference in perception of servant leadership behavior due to years studying servant leadership principles and years employed at TDIndustries.

  SUBJECT(S)
Descriptor: BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, MANAGEMENT 
RELIGION, GENERAL 
Accession No: AAI3049889
Database: Dissertations

 
 
Title: The perception of servant leadership characteristics and job satisfaction in a church-related college
Author(s):

Thompson, Robert S.

rob.thompson@indwes.edu

Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2002
Pages: 00119
Institution: Indiana State University; 0094
Advisor: Adviser Joanne Burrows
Source: DAI, 64, no. 08A (2002): p. 2738
Abstract: Church-related colleges are facing diverse and complex challenges. The campus leadership has found the traditional leadership approaches to be inadequate to meet these new challenges and is seeking solutions. Numerous leadership approaches offer potential solutions, but church-related institutions need an approach fitting the ethos of the institution culture as well as matching the values of the institution and allowing for the use of other leadership practices and styles. Servant leadership has been proposed as a viable leadership model for church-related college leaders.

In light of the absence of scholarly research on servant leadership, this study has provided an objective and quantifiable study of servant leadership and job satisfaction at a church-related college. One hundred sixteen employees of the college were administered a combined survey consisting of Laub's Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) instrument and the short form of the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ). The participants were viewed by both the administrative level (Institutional Leadership, Management, Faculty, and Technical) and the functional area (Academic Affairs and Student Services). The institution in this study was found not to be a servant organization as classified using Laub's schema. An analysis of variance was performed to see if differences existed between administrative levels and between functional areas. Surprisingly, no statistically significant differences were found to exist between administrative levels. This contradicts earlier findings. However, a statistically significant difference was found to exist between the functional areas of Academic Affairs and Student Services. Further analysis revealed that the subgroup of Student Services Technical scored significantly higher than Academic Affairs Management and the Faculty. In addition, the institutional perception of servant leadership as measured by the OLA was compared to the job satisfaction score as measured by the MSQ. Confirming Laub's assertion that the perception of servant leadership positively impacts job satisfaction, a statistically significant, positive correlation was found to exist between the perception of job satisfaction characteristics and job satisfaction.

  SUBJECT(S)
Descriptor: EDUCATION, ADMINISTRATION 
EDUCATION, HIGHER 
Accession No: AAI3103013
Database: Dissertations

 
 
Title: Law enforcement leaders and servant leadership: A reliability study of the organizational leadership assessment
Author(s):

Ledbetter, D. Steven

sledbetter@strategicleadershipsolutions.net

770-599-0416 (work) -- 678-859-6007 (cell)

13313 Bandera Drive, Amarillo, TX, 79111

Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2003
Pages: 00125
Institution: Regent University; 1058
Advisor: Adviser A. Gregory Stone
Source: DAI, 64, no. 11A (2003): p. 4200
Abstract: This research study extends Laub's (1999) work in validating the Organizational Leadership Assessment instrument (OLA) and further examines the application and presence of servant leadership among law enforcement leaders. Analyzing responses from law enforcement agencies further refines the reliability of the instrument. This research study uses reliability analysis to determine the reliability of the research instrument and sets the stage for additional empirical research to continue the consistency of the OLA and further generalize the findings.

  SUBJECT(S)
Descriptor: POLITICAL SCIENCE, PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION 
Accession No: AAI3110778
Database: Dissertations

 
 

 

 


 

Title:
Servant Leadership Characteristics in a Health Care Organization, and the Relationship with Leader-Member Exchange
 
Author(s):
Freitas, W.M.
 
Degree:
M.S. (Masters Thesis)
Year:
2003
Institution:
University of Nebraska
Abstract:
This study was conducted with 330 associates and 19 top leaders of a hospital in the Midwest. The Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) was used to verify differences between the characteristics of servant leadership in several departments of the hospital. The LMS-7 measured the quality of the relationship between leaders and followers. Then, the relationship between servant leadership and leader-member exchange was assessed. The findings of this study were the following:
A one-way Analysis of Variance indicated no significant differences in the scores of the OLA among the hospital departments. The Pearson correlation did not find any significant correlation between gender and the characteristics of servant leadership as measured by the OLA instrument. The Spearman correlation indicated that age and tenure have a significant correlation to some characteristics of servant leadership. Age positively correlated with ‘values people,’ ‘displays authenticity,’ ‘builds community,’ and ‘shares leadership,’ and ‘develops people.’ Tenure negatively correlated with ‘provides leadership.’ Independent T-test determined that leaders responded significantly higher than non-leaders on ‘values people,’ displays authenticity’ and ‘shares leadership’ subscales. And finally, results of the Pearson correlation indicated a high correlation between all of the six subscales of the OLA and the LMX-7 instrument.
 
Click here for a Brief Synopsis of this Thesis in pdf format
 
 

 
 
 
 
Title: Organizational servant leadership and its relationship to secondary school effectiveness
Author(s): Herbst, Joel David
Degree: Ed.D.
Year: 2003
Pages: 00125
Institution: Florida Atlantic University; 0119
Advisor: Adviser John Pisapia
Source: DAI, 64, no. 11A (2003): p. 4001
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if schools where higher degrees of servant leadership were practiced performed better than schools that practiced lower degrees of servant leadership. Servant leadership is the understanding and practice of leadership that places the good of those led over the self-interest of the leader. The characteristics of servant leadership include valuing people, developing people, building community, displaying authenticity, providing leadership, and sharing leadership. Variables utilized to determine the relationship between servant leadership and school effectiveness included the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) test scores in writing, reading, mathematics, annual learning gains in mathematics, annual learning gains in reading, annual learning gains made by the lowest 25th percentile of students, attendance, dropout rates, and critical incidents. Additionally, contextual variables were examined to determine their relationship between servant leadership and school effectiveness. Contextual variables included principal tenure, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and school size.

The primary means of data collection for this exploratory quantitative non-experimental study were obtained utilizing the Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) instrument developed by James Laub (1999). This study gathered data from 24 high schools (N = 24) in Broward County, Florida. Each school was provided with 46 servant leadership surveys for completion by the school principal, 5 assistant principals, 12 department chairpersons, and 28 instructional staff members. A total of 1,104 servant leadership surveys were distributed and 884 were returned resulting in an 80 percent aggregate return rate.

The data were subjected to correctional analyses utilizing a .10 level of significance due to the exploratory nature of the study. The major find of this study was that positive relationships were found to exist between servant leadership and student achievement. The study also found a relationship of bipolarity between servant leadership and ethnicity. However, the study did not find any significant relationship between other contextual variables and servant leadership.

In general, in schools where greater degrees of servant leadership are being practiced, students are achieving at a higher rate than in schools were lower degrees of servant leadership are being practiced. The findings lend support to the conclusion that principals who embed the characteristics of servant leadership throughout their organizations may expect high levels of student achievement, particularly in mathematics, reading, and annual learning gains.

  SUBJECT(S)
Descriptor: EDUCATION, SECONDARY 
Accession No: AAI3110574
Database: Dissertations

 

 
 
Title: The relationship of perceived servant leadership and job satisfaction from the follower's perspective
Author(s):

Hebert, Sherri C.

sherrihebert@hotmail.com

Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2003
Pages: 00140
Institution: Capella University; 1351
Advisor: Adviser J. Bruce Francis
Source: DAI, 64, no. 11A (2003): p. 4118
Abstract: This study was designed to examine the relationship between employees' perceptions of servant leadership characteristics in their organizations and their level of personal job satisfaction. The perception of servant leadership was measured using the Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) developed by Dr. James Laub. This study measured job satisfaction on two levels: overall job satisfaction and intrinsic job satisfaction. The Mohrman-Cooke-Mohrman Job Satisfaction Scale (MCMJSS) was used to measure overall job satisfaction, and sections from both tools were combined to measure intrinsic job satisfaction. The participants' responses were further examined against demographic variables of gender, education level, age, level in the organization, and employment sector. Twelve organizations from both public and private sectors participated in this study. The study results indicated a significant relationship between perceptions of servant leadership and overall and intrinsic job satisfaction.

  SUBJECT(S)
Descriptor: BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, MANAGEMENT 
BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, GENERAL 
PSYCHOLOGY, SOCIAL 
Accession No: AAI3112981
Database: Dissertations

 
 

Title: Employee perceptions of servant leadership: Comparisons by level and with job satisfaction and organizational commitment
Author(s):

Drury, Sharon

sharon.drury@indwes.edu

Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2004
Pages: 00107
Institution: Regent University; 1058
Advisor: Adviser Bruce Winston
Source: DAI, 65, no. 09A (2004): p. 3457
Standard No: ISBN: 0-496-04864-3
Abstract:

The amount of empirical research is scarce on the theory of servant leadership, especially as the concept may be related to other organizational constructs. Using multilevel employee ratings from the Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) as developed by Laub (1999), this study demonstrated that servant leadership characteristics can be measured in an organization. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) with scores from top leadership, management, faculty, and hourly workers on their perceptions of servant leadership showed that a statistically significant perception gap exists between levels of employees. Post hoc analysis found hourly workers differed the most from faculty. A Pearson correlation test found a statistically significant, positive, and substantial relationship between the perception of servant leadership and job satisfaction, as measured by the OLA. Using the Meyer, Allen, and Smith (1993) commitment scales for organizational commitment, the study found a statistically significant inverse but small relationship between servant leadership and organizational commitment. Statistical data and implications for the findings are included. A nontraditional college was the research site for this quantitative study.

Click here to get the full dissertation in pdf format

  SUBJECT(S)
Descriptor: BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, MANAGEMENT 
PSYCHOLOGY, INDUSTRIAL 
Accession No: AAI3146724
Database: Dissertations


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