The relationship between servant leadership, follower trust, team commitment and unit effectiveness
A study of the literature revealed that the content and the structure of several constructs that are used in research in the framework of Positive Organisational Behaviour are subject to doubt. It also became clear that the relationship between the constructs (servant leadership, trust, team commitment, and unit effectiveness) could profitably be investigated further. A study to obtain more clarity about these aspects was therefore planned and executed. In order to conduct this exploratory survey research, an electronic web-based questionnaire was used as the method of data gathering. The questionnaire was programmed and posted for a period of three weeks on the portal of the company where the survey was conducted. A total of 531 respondents from the vehicle sales division of the particular organisation participated in the study. Sales persons (n=417) who were working in 100 dealerships in the automobile business completed three questionnaires. The three questionnaires were the rater version of the Servant Leadership Questionnaire of Barbuto and Wheeler (a self-report version also exists), the Workplace Trust Survey developed by Ferres, the Team Commitment Survey of Bennett. The sales persons assessed the level of servant leadership of their superiors (sales managers) and their own levels of trust and of team commitment. The sales managers (n=114) assessed the effectiveness of the sales persons who reported to them by completing the Team Effectiveness Questionnaire developed by Larson and LaFasto. The Directors who were responsible for the marketing of the products of the organisation completed an internal questionnaire on the performance of the sales function in the dealerships. Answers were sought to five research questions, dealing with the content of the constructs, their configurations, their interrelations and biographic and organisational variables that could possibly have an influence on the constructs.