The relationship between servant leadership, affective team commitment and team effectiveness

Mahembe, Bright ; Engelbrecht, Amos S. (2013-04)

CITATION: Mahembe, B., & Engelbrecht, A.S. 2013. The relationship between servant leadership, affective team commitment and team effectiveness. SA Journal of Human Resource Management/SA Tydskrif vir Menslikehulpbronbestuur, 11(1), Art. #495, doi:10.4102/sajhrm.v11i1.495.

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Orientation: Value-based leadership practices play a critical role in teamwork in highperformance organisations. Research purpose: The aim of the study was to empirically validate a theoretical model explicating the structural relationships between servant leadership, affective team commitment and team effectiveness. Motivation for the study: The increased reliance on teams for production calls for an analysis of the role of follower-focused leadership practices in enhancing team effectiveness. Research design, approach and method: A non-probability and multicultural sample consisting of 202 primary and secondary school teachers was drawn from 32 schools in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Main findings: High levels of reliability were found and uni-dimensionality of the subscales was demonstrated through exploratory factor analyses. Good fit with the data was found for the measurement models through confirmatory factor analyses. Structural equation modelling showed a reasonable fit for the structural model. Positive relationships were found amongst servant leadership, team effectiveness and affective team commitment. Standard multiple regression analysis showed that affective team commitment moderated the relationship between servant leadership and team effectiveness. Practical/managerial implications: The findings emphasise the central role played by servant leadership and affective team commitment in team performance. Servant leadership fosters team effectiveness if employees feel committed to their work team. Contribution/value-add: The servant leadership style alone may not be a sufficient condition for team effectiveness; other variables, such as affective team commitment, also play a role. The study suggested specific variables that may also combine with leadership to positively influence team effectiveness.

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