The relationship between servant leadership, role stress and coping in subordinate service roles
Thesis (MComm (Industrial Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.
A study of the literature revealed that the concept of servant leadership is still in need of further empirical research. It also became clear that the leadership style employed by the supervisors of certain boundary spanning employees may have a pivotal effect on the role stress they experience and the resulting coping mechanisms they are likely to employ. Evidently, further investigation into the relationship between the constructs of servant leadership, role stress and coping could be valuable. An exploratory study to investigate these relationships was therefore planned and executed. A correlative ex post facto study of nonexperimental kind was followed making use of survey research. For this purpose a composite questionnaire was created and used as the means of data gathering. The questionnaires were directly administered by the researcher to the participants of a large national retail organisation where the survey was conducted. A total of 290 respondents from six different stores of this organisation participated in the study. The respondents occupying a specific type of boundary spanning role, known as the subordinate service role (SSR), completed the composite questionnaire which comprised of the rater version of the Servant Leadership Questionnaire of Barbuto and Wheeler (2006), the role stress scale based on the research work of Hartline and Ferrell (1996), and the Ways of Coping Questionnaire developed by Lazarus and Folkman (1984). The SSR incumbents assessed the level of servant leadership of their immediate supervisors, their own level of role stress and the coping mechanisms which they typically employ. Answers were sought to three research questions dealing with the content and configuration of the constructs as well as their interrelations.