Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Russell E. Johnson, PhD

Co-Major Professor

Tammy D. Allen, Ph.D.

Keywords

Leadership, Servant Leadership, Self-Determination Theory, Needs Satisfaction, Motivation

Abstract

Servant leaders seek to fulfill the needs of followers and promote their success and well-being through a follower-centric, generative approach to leadership. This study proposes a model to describe the mediating mechanism of follower needs satisfaction, as proposed by Self-Determination Theory (SDT), for the relationship between servant leadership (SL) behaviors and employee outcomes (e.g., job performance, job attitudes, well-being, community prosocial behavior). Supervisor-subordinate dyads (N = 147 pairs) from four diverse organizations completed surveys about the supervisors' leadership behaviors and the subordinates' job experiences. Structural equation modeling and regression analyses were conducted to determine the nature of relationships between SL, SDT needs, and the organizational outcomes. Direct and indirect effects were observed among these variables, suggesting SDT primarily mediates the relationship between supervisors' SL behaviors and subordinates' job attitudes.

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