Servant Leadership and its Impact on Classroom Climate and Student Achievement

Servant Leadership and its Impact on Classroom Climate and Student Achievement

Submitted by

Daniel F. Mulligan

A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree

Doctorate of Education

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

May 6, 2016

All rights reserved

INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted.

In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed,

a note will indicate the deletion.

All rights reserved.

This work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code Microform Edition © ProQuest LLC.

ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway

P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, MI 48106 – 1346

ProQuest 10110904

Published by ProQuest LLC (2016). Copyright of the Dissertation is held by the Author.

ProQuest Number: 10110904

© by Daniel F. Mulligan 2016

All rights reserved.

GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY

Servant Leadership and its Impact on Classroom Climate and Student Achievement

I verify that my dissertation represents original research, is not falsified or plagiarized,

and that I have accurately reported cited, and reference all sources within this manuscript

in strict compliance with APA and Grand Canyon University (GCU) guidelines. I also

verify my dissertation complies with the approval(s) granted for this research

investigation by GCU Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Abstract

The purpose of this quantitative research was to see to what degree a relationship existed

between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement in a collegiate

environment. This was a quantitative, correlational study. The foundational theories for

this research included servant leadership and organizational climate that pertain to

transformational follower development and unifying values within an organization to align

behavior. The research questions for this study included: (R1) What was the relationship

between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and classroom climate as reported by

students? (R2) What was the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student

achievement? (R3) To what extent was the relationship between servant leadership

behavior and student achievement mediated by classroom climate? The data collection

instruments for this study included The Servant Leadership Profile–Revised and the

College and University Classroom Environment Inventory. The sample size was 18,

composed of faculty at a private university in Northwest Pennsylvania. The resultant

correlations between teacher servant leadership and both classroom climate and student

achievement were not statistically significant (r = .407, rs = -.16, p = .25). Therefore, there

was no definitive mediating effect of classroom climate. These results were not consistent

with similar prior research at the primary and secondary levels of education, and thus raised

questions regarding choice of instrumentation at the college level. This study sheds light

on important variables and dynamics of researching these correlations in a collegiate

environment.

Keywords: Servant leadership, classroom climate, student achievement, Servant

Leadership Profile–Revised, questionnaire measures or organizational culture.

vi

Dedication

This dissertation is dedicated to my family and friends who supported me

throughout this journey. Your patience and encouragement made this possible.

vii

Acknowledgments

No project of this magnitude is the result of one individual effort. Personal and

professional advice, guidance, and encouragement made the completion of this

dissertation a reality. I cannot adequately convey the contributions of my committee

chair, Dr. Patricia Chess. Her scholarship, mentorship, advice, guidance, patience,

mentorship, encouragement, and friendship throughout coursework, research, and even

health issues made this possible. The committee members, Dr. Jeanette Shutay and Dr.

Gary Piercy, have been excellent resources who continually challenged me to both learn

and become a better researcher. The participating teachers and students who completed

the surveys making this research possible are greatly appreciated. Lastly, a special thanks

to my wife, Amy, who supported me academically, emotionally, and physically (in

sickness and in health) throughout this journey.

viii

Table of Contents

List of Tables…………………………………………………………………………………………………..xii

List of Figures ………………………………………………………………………………………………. xiii

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study …………………………………………………………………….. 1

Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1

Background of the Study ……………………………………………………………………………….. 3

Problem Statement ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 7

Purpose of the Study …………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

Research Questions and Hypotheses ……………………………………………………………… 11

Advancing Scientific Knowledge ………………………………………………………………….. 14

Significance of the Study …………………………………………………………………………….. 15

Rationale for Methodology ………………………………………………………………………….. 16

Nature of the Research Design for the Study …………………………………………………… 18

Definition of Terms ……………………………………………………………………………………. 21

Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations………………………………………………………… 22

Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Study ……………………………….. 24

Chapter 2: Literature Review …………………………………………………………………………….. 26

Introduction to the Chapter and Background to the Problem………………………………. 26

Theoretical Foundations ………………………………………………………………………………. 27

Servant leadership ………………………………………………………………………….. 29

Organizational climate. ……………………………………………………………………. 31

Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………. 33

Review of the Literature ……………………………………………………………………………… 34

Servant leadership ………………………………………………………………………….. 35

ix

Servant leadership variable measurement and outcomes ……………………….. 47

Climate …………………………………………………………………………………………. 49

Methodology …………………………………………………………………………………. 57

Instrumentation ……………………………………………………………………………… 60

Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 61

Chapter 3: Methodology …………………………………………………………………………………… 64

Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 64

Statement of the Problem …………………………………………………………………………….. 64

Research Questions and Hypotheses ……………………………………………………………… 65

Research Methodology ……………………………………………………………………………….. 67

Research Design ………………………………………………………………………………………… 69

Population and Sample Selection ………………………………………………………………….. 71

Instrumentation ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 72

The Servant Leadership Profile-Revised Survey Instrument…………………… 72

The College and Classroom Environment Inventory Survey Instrument…… 73

Validity…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 74

Reliability …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 75

Data Collection and Management …………………………………………………………………. 75

Data Analysis Procedures ……………………………………………………………………………. 79

Preparation of data………………………………………………………………………….. 80

Tests of assumptions……………………………………………………………………….. 81

Ethical Considerations ………………………………………………………………………………… 82

Limitations ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 83

Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 84

x

Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Results …………………………………………………………………. 87

Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 87

Descriptive Data ………………………………………………………………………………………… 89

Data Analysis Procedures ……………………………………………………………………………. 91

Servant Leadership Profile-Revised …………………………………………………… 91

CUCEI. ………………………………………………………………………………………… 95

Student achievement ……………………………………………………………………….. 96

Preparation of data………………………………………………………………………….. 98

Sources of error ……………………………………………………………………………… 99

Results ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 100

Research Question 1 ……………………………………………………………………… 101

Research Question 2 ……………………………………………………………………… 105

Research Question 3 ……………………………………………………………………… 111

Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 112

Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations …………………………………… 115

Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 115

Summary of the Study ………………………………………………………………………………. 117

Summary of Findings and Conclusion ………………………………………………………….. 119

Research Question 1 ……………………………………………………………………… 119

Research Question 2 ……………………………………………………………………… 120

Research Question 3 ……………………………………………………………………… 121

Implications …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 122

Theoretical implications ………………………………………………………………… 123

Measuring servant leadership …………………………………………………………. 124

xi

Measuring classroom climate …………………………………………………………. 125

Measuring achievement …………………………………………………………………. 125

Strengths and weaknesses ………………………………………………………………. 126

Practical implications ……………………………………………………………………. 126

Future implications ……………………………………………………………………….. 127

Recommendations…………………………………………………………………………………….. 129

Recommendations for future research. ……………………………………………… 129

Recommendations for future practice. ……………………………………………… 131

References …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 132

Appendix A. Letter of Approval to Conduct Research …………………………………………. 158

Appendix B. Survey Coordinator Informed Consent Form ……………………………………. 159

Appendix C. Instructor Informed Consent Form …………………………………………………. 162

Appendix D. Student Informed Consent Form ……………………………………………………. 165

Appendix E. Confidentiality Statement ……………………………………………………………… 167

Appendix F. Permission Email to Adapt the Conceptual Framework Model ……………. 168

Appendix G. Permission Email to Use the Servant Leadership Profile—Revised ……… 169

Appendix H. Servant Leadership Profile—Revised (SLP-R) …………………………………. 170

Appendix I. Permission Email to Use the College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) ……………………………………………………. 175

Appendix J. College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) survey …………………………………………………………………………… 176

Appendix K. GCU IRB Approval Letter ……………………………………………………………. 179

Appendix L. Power Analyses …………………………………………………………………………… 180

xii

List of Tables

Table 1. Servant Leadership Profile-Revised Raw Scores ……………………………………… 93

Table 2. Instructor Servant Leadership Rankings …………………………………………………. 94

Table 3. College and University Classroom Environment Inventory Raw Scores ………. 95

Table 4. Classroom Environment Rankings ………………………………………………………… 96

Table 5. Grade Conversion Chart ………………………………………………………………………. 97

Table 6. Student Grade Raw Scores …………………………………………………………………… 97

Table 7. Class Student Achievement Scores ………………………………………………………… 98

Table 8. Tests of Normality ……………………………………………………………………………. 104

Table 9. Pearson Correlation Between Servant Leadership and Classroom Climate, N=18. …………………………………………………………………………………. 104

Table 10. Spearman Correlation Between Servant Leadership and Student Grades ….. 111

Table 11. A Priori Power Analysis to Determine Sample Size………………………………. 180

Table 12. Compromise Power Analysis ……………………………………………………………. 180

xiii

List of Figures

Figure 1. Research variables diagram. …………………………………………………………………. 10

Figure 2. Conceptual framework model. ……………………………………………………………… 68

Figure 3. Participating students’ grade distribution example. ………………………………….. 78

Figure 4. Letter grade to ordinal number conversion chart. …………………………………….. 79

Figure 5. Faculty experience profile. …………………………………………………………………… 90

Figure 6. Class size. …………………………………………………………………………………………. 91

Figure 7. Servant leadership scores. ………………………………………………………………….. 101

Figure 8. Servant leadership scores histogram. ……………………………………………………. 102

Figure 9. Servant leadership scores box-plot. ……………………………………………………… 102

Figure 10. Servant leadership to classroom climate scatterplot. ……………………………… 103

Figure 11. Classroom climate scores. ………………………………………………………………… 106

Figure 12. Classroom climate scores. ………………………………………………………………… 106

Figure 13. Classroom climate scores box-plot. ……………………………………………………. 107

Figure 14. Student grade scores. ………………………………………………………………………. 108

Figure 15. Student grade scores histogram. ………………………………………………………… 109

Figure 16. Student grade scores box-plot. ………………………………………………………….. 109

Figure 17. Servant leadership to student grades scatterplot. …………………………………… 110

Figure 18. Post hoc power analysis for correlation using G power software …………….. 181

Figure 19. Post-hoc power analysis for linear multiple regression using G power software ……………………………………………………………………………. 182

1

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study

Introduction

Many people remember the special teachers in their lives; those who make

learning easy and really connect students with new material. Unfortunately, there are also

teachers who go through the motions of teaching and are apathetic. Because teachers

plan, organize, and control student behavior and activities, they are organizational leaders

in the classroom (Drobot & Roşu, 2012). Consequently, teaching and leadership intersect.

According to Shuaib and Olalere (2013), the purpose of teaching is to impart knowledge;

and one key aspect of effective teaching is learner-focused education. Therefore, it was

relevant to research how teacher leadership practices focused on and influenced student

achievement.

Several researchers have grappled with the issue of whether there is a leadership

style best suited to teaching. According to Hays (2008), the application of servant

leadership values and principles can significantly affect the learning experience for both

teachers and students. Servant leadership is an extension of the principles of

transformational leadership described by Burns (2010) whereby the leader “engages the

full person of the follower [in] a relationship of mutual stimulation in elevation that

converts followers into leaders” (p.4). This is significant in higher education as a

leadership focus towards learner-centered development is necessary to both attract and

retain students (Tinto, 2009).

Despite the scriptural origins of servant leadership, its practice is secular in nature

(van Dierendonck, 2011). In fact, religious proscriptions do not determine servant

leadership. Rather, according to Greenleaf and Spears (2002), the true measure of servant

2

leadership is the personal growth of followers. The growth aspect of this servant

leadership “Best Test” is particularly germane to the field of education (Goe, Bell, &

Little, 2008). In fact, it should be the primary goal of teachers (Goe et al., 2008).

Burns (2010) identified the causal effects of values on behavior. This is

significant because several researchers reported a direct relationship between leadership

and the creation of organizational culture and climate (Fernando & Chowdhury, 2010;

Groves, 2006; Karakas, 2011; Leithwood & Mascall, 2008). In a discussion of the

evolution of constructs about organizational culture and climate, Reichers and Schneider

(1990) defined organizational climate as formal and informal organizational practices and

procedures behavior can be manifested by the embedded values of the culture that affect

the organizational climate. Furthermore, because performance is a measure of behavior,

the leadership that creates the organizational climate is a strong determinate of

performance. Within the field of leadership, research from Hiller, DeChurch, Murase, and

Doty (2011); Robinson, Lloyd, and Rowe (2008); and Hays (2008) found strong positive

correlations between Servant Leadership and improved achievement.

This chapter contains the background and implications concerning how servant

leadership behaviors by teachers correlate with classroom climate and student

achievement. It includes an overview of the problem and purpose of the study, the

guiding research questions and hypotheses, the framework and rationale of the study,

assumptions and limitations, and the definitions of key terms. It also includes a brief

discussion of how this study can advance scientific knowledge in this area.

3

Background of the Study

The roles of leadership and accountability in education have become increasingly

important in recent years. President George W. Bush made accountability the centerpiece

of his education agenda which reinforced a central theme of state educational policies

(Linn, Baker, & Betebenner, 2002). However, legislation alone cannot yield significant

improvements.

For more than a decade, as established in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

legislation, school districts have been required to demonstrate Adequate Yearly Progress

(AYP) by showing a minimum, prescribed level of growth in student achievement

(Gamble-Risley, 2006). However, according to Gamble-Risley (2006), AYP is a

misnomer, or at least an understatement. Satisfying AYP mandates demands a far greater

than adequate effort. Subsequently, in 2009, the National Governors Association and the

Council of Chief State School Officers sponsored the Common Core State Standards

(CCSS) initiative to align educational standards and better prepare students for college

and adult careers (Forty-Nine States and Territories, 2009).

However, when the 2010 World Education rankings rated the United States

average, as quoted by Zeitvogel (2010, para 5), U.S. Education Secretary Duncan

declared, “this is an absolute wake-up call for America…the results are extraordinarily

challenging to us and we have to deal with the brutal truth. We have to get much more

serious about investing in education.” Subsequently, the federal School Improvement

Grant program awarded more than $534 million to states to assist schools with poor

standardized test scores (Zeitvogel, 2010. Fortunately, the Nation’s Report Card for 2012

started to indicate slight improvements in academic achievement and preparation for

4

post-secondary schooling (The Nation’s Report Card, 2013). Moreover, the Lumina

Foundation funded a three year Core to College initiative, and the William and Flora

Hewlett Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Carnegie

Corporation of New York created programs to further improvements by facilitating

greater implementation and coordination of the CCSS and post-secondary student

preparation (Finkelstein et al., 2013). Yet, U.S. academic achievement remains close to

that of the early 1970s, and still behind many of the industrialized nations (The Nation’s

Report Card, 2013).

According to Routman (2012), the best way to improve achievement levels is to

improve teaching and focus on strong, effective leadership. The recent emergence of

several organizations to address these issues attests to the importance of this dynamic.

For example, in 1996 Teachers College, Columbia University, founded the National

School Climate Center (NSCC) to improve educational leadership in the area of school

climate to enhance student achievement (NSCC, 1996). In 2007, the National

Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality issued a report titled Enhancing Teacher

Leadership (2007) claiming that teacher leadership is essential for successful students

and effective schools. In 2008, a group of national organizations, state education

agencies, major universities, and local school systems formed the Teacher Leadership

Exploratory Consortium. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has

worked on developing a new certification for Teacher Leaders (“Teacher Leadership,”

2013). Today, more than ever, teacher leadership is essential for student success (Ludlow,

2011). In fact, Drobot and Roşu (2012) asserted that teacher relations with students (i.e.,

leadership) are the most important ingredient for student learning.

5

Education begins with teachers. While legislation prescribes standards, teachers

are responsible for helping students attain them. Logically, better teachers should

facilitate greater learning and subsequent test scores of students. Clearly, some teachers

are better than others are. Perhaps they are more knowledgeable of the subject matter.

Alternatively, perhaps they are better leaders and motivators (Adiele & Abraham, 2013).

The innocent victims of the present situation are the students who participate in

the educational system. According to statistics in the NCLB (2002) legislation, almost

70% of elementary students in inner cities cannot read at a basic level and approximately

one third of college freshman now have to take remedial classes. NCLB mandates

improving both fourth and eighth grade math results on standardized tests (Dee & Jacob,

2011). However, because one third of college freshman require remedial classes, the

attention provided to primary levels of education by NCLB could extend to higher

education. Despite improvements at lower levels of education, the United States

continues to lag behind other nations in education (Hanushek, Peterson, & Woessmann,

2012; The Nation’s Report Card, 2013).

All these factors contribute to the pervasive need to improve education in a

number of ways. Determining how leadership could best facilitate these improvements is

more difficult. Current credentialing procedures at the primary and secondary levels of

education require professional education and experience in a variety of teaching areas

such as lesson design and planning, teaching techniques, and classroom management

(Norton, 2013). The education departments that are creating primary and secondary

education teachers do not require similar training at the collegiate level of education

(Norton, 2013).

6

Consequently, the importance of leadership in the classroom cannot be overstated.

Understanding and communicating values, ideas, and tasks in a manner conducive to

motivation and compliance is essential for effective teaching (Adiele & Abraham, 2013;

Drobot & Roşu, 2012; Routman, 2012; Shuaib & Olalere, 2013). Spillane (2005)

provided a useful definition of leadership in an educational environment:

Leadership refers to activities tied to the core work of the organization that

are designed by organizational members to influence the motivation,

knowledge, affect, and practices of other organizational members or that

are understood by organizational members as intended to influence their

motivation, knowledge, affect, and practices. (Spillane, 2005, p. 384)

Classroom leadership motivates and encourages students to learn (Adiele

& Abraham, 2013). It increases the likelihood of increased student effort, focus,

and retention (Adiele & Abraham, 2013). The skills required to affect this

influence originate from many fields of discipline: leadership; organizational

behavior, development, dynamics, and culture; and psychology (Adiele &

Abraham, 2013). In essence, teachers should be content area specialists,

curriculum experts, community builders, heads of safety and discipline, parent

liaisons, and head cheerleaders (Landeau Jr, VanDorn, & Ellen, 2009).

Understanding organizational structure, job redesign, group dynamics and

organizational culture all help to provide a foundational framework for a teacher.

However, the teacher is ultimately responsible for combining this knowledge into

action that–as the definition states–influences student behavior.

7

Is there a leadership style for teachers that is most conducive to facilitate student

learning? According to van Dierendonck and Nuitjen (2011), the focus of people-

centered, ethical management inspired by servant leadership is what organizations need

now. This is especially applicable in education where the primary goal of teachers should

be the growth of their students (Goe et al., 2008).

Several researchers have shown a direct relationship between leadership and the

creation of organizational culture and climate (Duke, 2006; Fernando & Chowdhury,

2010; Groves, 2006; Karakas, 2011; Kutash, Nico, Gorin, Rahmatullah, & Tallant, 2010;

Leithwood & Mascall, 2008; Villavicencio & Grayman, 2012) . Saphier and King (1985)

identified the importance of organizational culture in education. Waters, Marzano, and

McNulty (2003) synthesized 30 years of leadership in education and recommended

careful attention to school culture. Saphier (2011) recommended changing teacher-

student paradigms to increase learning effectiveness. This culture, in turn, is observable

in the daily behaviors that shape the organizational climate. As stated previously, using

the definition of organizational climate as “shared perceptions of organizational policies,

practices, and procedures, both informal and formal” (Reichers & Schneider, 1990, p.

22), it becomes obvious that the leadership behavior of the teacher is directly responsible

for creating the classroom climate. Furthermore, the educational climate influences

student achievement (Cohen & Brown, 2013; Cunningham, 2008; Herndon, 2007).

Problem Statement

It was not known to what degree there was a relationship between teachers’

servant leadership behaviors, classroom climate, and student achievement at the

collegiate level. The research focus of this study was the correlation between servant

8

leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement. Kelley, Thornton, and

Daugherty (2005) conducted a quantitative, correlational study of 31 elementary

principals and 155 teachers and found principal servant leadership characteristics had a

significant effect on school climate. Herndon (2007) found a statistically significant

positive relationship between principals’ servant leadership and both school climate and

student achievement across 62 elementary schools. Black’s (2010) mixed method,

correlational study of 231 teachers and 15 principals in Catholic elementary schools

found a significant correlation between principal servant leadership and school climate. A

meta-analysis of 27 studies by Robinson et al. (2008) identified a significant positive

relationship between servant leadership characteristics and student outcomes. Moreover,

Boyer’s (2012) quantitative, correlational analysis of 9 principals, 54 teachers, and 537

students in secondary schools found a statistically significant relationship between

principal servant leadership and school climate.

The current United States’ World Education Ranking of average suggests

traditional educational structures and practices are no longer acceptable. U.S. Education

Secretary Duncan said this ranking served as a wake-up call for America and mandated

more serious proscriptions for improving education (Zeitvogel, 2010). One possible

course of action for educational leaders is to focus on the learning environment teachers

create. Specifically, is a servant leadership environment, as measured by the Servant

Leadership Profile-Revised (SLP-R) (Wong & Page, 2003), more conducive to improved

student achievement? Discovering ways to create better learning environments should

improve student achievement (Adiele & Abraham, 2013).

9

Since teacher leadership is an important aspect of teaching effectiveness, it is

important to add to existing literature by examining these correlations in higher

education. (Adiele & Abraham, 2013; Drobot & Roşu, 2012; Routman, 2012; Shuaib &

Olalere, 2013). In a higher education environment, federal laws do not mandate student

attendance meaning the students are voluntarily seeking education. Additionally, because

college students are adults, they are likely to be more responsible. These contextual

differences may create differences in student motivation and subsequent achievement.

This researcher attempted to identify these correlations at the classroom level in

higher education. Understanding this dynamic is critical to identify, confirm, or refute a

popular leadership paradigm in an educational context (Marzano & Marzano, 2003).

Additionally, these results contribute to understanding and potentially amending current

teaching practices to improve student achievement. Although the link among

administrative servant leadership, school climate, and student achievement has been

established in the K-12 learning environment, the link between teacher servant leadership

to classroom climate and student achievement has not been established in higher

education.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this quantitative, correlational study was to investigate to what

degree a relationship existed between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student

achievement for students and faculty at a small university in Northwest Pennsylvania. In

this study, servant leadership and classroom climate were predictor variables and student

achievement was the criterion variable. Logically, while there are numerous leadership

styles that create a variety of organizational climates, identifying the appropriate

10

combination of leadership and classroom climate to improve student motivation and

achievement is beneficial (Mitchell & Bradshaw, 2013). The use of accurate measures of

teacher servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement provided the

necessary assessment data to identify possible correlations. This study was designed to

identify the correlations between teacher leadership attributes and their effect on both

classroom climate and student achievement.

This was a quantitative, correlational study. Research studies have yielded

evidence that within the primary education levels, teachers’ leadership has affected the

classroom climate and influenced student achievement (Rivers, Brackett, Reyes,

Elbertson, & Salovey, 2013; Robinson et al., 2008). Similarly, studies have shown that

climate has had an impact on student achievement (Evans, Harvey, Buckley, & Yan,

2009). Figure 1 diagrams these relationships. These relationships have not been shown in

higher education; this study therefore investigated them in the context of higher

education.

Figure 1. Research variables diagram.

The study was designed to address some potential pedagogical shortfalls in

education. Current practices are not yielding appropriate student achievement (Zeitvogel,

2010). One possible course of action is a focus on the learning environment created by

teachers. Because teachers are the organizational leaders in the classroom, they are

Student Achievement

Teacher Leadership

Classroom Climate

11

responsible for creating a classroom climate conducive to learning. While prior

researchers confirmed the positive impact of servant leadership on student achievement at

the K-12 level, they neither confirmed nor refuted this relationship at the collegiate level

(Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Hiller et al., 2011; Kelley et al., 2005;

Spillane, 2005).

Despite significant attention on professional development for teaching at the

primary and secondary levels of education (Goldhaber, Liddle, & Theobald, 2013),

collegiate professors are normally appointed based upon subject expertise with little

emphasis on curriculum design, lesson planning, and presentation (Norton, 2013).

Therefore, the results of this research may support the current practices of teacher

pedagogy at the collegiate level. Conversely, they may encourage other researchers to

conduct studies that more closely examine the development of collegiate teachers in the

areas of leadership and pedagogy (in addition to subject matter expertise).

Research Questions and Hypotheses

The research questions for this study pertain to the identification and

measurement of teachers’ servant leadership, the classroom climate created by these

teachers, and subsequent student achievement. Values determine behaviors (McClelland,

1985). This concept is not new. It is foundational for understanding human psychology

and behavior and the premise underlying behavioral models such as Maslow’s (1943)

original paper on hierarchy of needs. Collectively, “common values are the glue which

binds an organization together; they motivate and create a sense of community. If

properly implemented, the employees can be trusted in the absence of direct rules and

regulations” (Brytting & Trollestad, 2000, p. 55). These common values create the

12

culture of the organization and directly influence the climate (Schein, 2010), and climate,

in turn, influences achievement (Cunningham, 2008; Herndon, 2007).

Values-based leadership presumes moral and ethical leadership (McCoy &

McCoy, 2007). Likewise, servant leadership ensures rational and emotional commitment

to organizational objectives (McCoy & McCoy, 2007). O’Toole (1996) identified

integrity, vision, trust, listening, respect for followers, clear thinking, and inclusion as the

primary characteristics of values-based leadership.

If we use our beliefs to make decisions, our decisions will reflect our past history

in dealing with similar situations…If we use our values to make decisions; our

decisions will align with the future we want to experience. Values transcend both

contexts and experiences. (Barrett, 2007, p.1)

The inherent values that manifest leadership behavior work to create the

underlying values and beliefs (culture) of an organization. This culture, in turn, is

observable in the daily behaviors that regulate the organizational climate. The basic

research questions and hypotheses of this study pertain to whether teachers’ servant

leadership behaviors, as perceived by students, create a positive classroom climate and

the extent to which the resultant classroom climate affects student achievement.

The following research questions and hypotheses guided this study:

R1: What is the relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and

classroom climate as reported by students?

H1: There is a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,

measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate

reported by students (SLP-R) (Wong & Page, 2003).

13

H0: There is not a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,

measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate

reported by students (Wong & Page, 2003).

R2: What is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student

achievement?

H2: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors, measured by

the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course grades (Wong

& Page, 2003).

H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors,

measured by the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course

grades (Wong & Page, 2003).

R3: To what extent is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and

student achievement mediated by classroom climate?

H3: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and student

achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI (Fraser

et al., 1986).

H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and

student achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI

(Fraser et al., 1986).

One goal of education is to impart knowledge to prepare students for a successful

future. Some classrooms are friendly while others are antagonistic. The research

questions of this study are relevant to teachers’ leadership behaviors and their effect on

classroom climate. Likewise, this study helped to correlate the comparisons between

14

classroom climate and student achievement. Finally, this research included the

comparisons between a classroom climate created by teachers’ servant leadership and

students’ achievement.

Advancing Scientific Knowledge

This study advanced scientific knowledge in the areas of servant leadership,

classroom climate, and student achievement. Previous research from Kelley et al. (2005),

Herndon (2007), Robinson et al. (2008), and Black (2010), found statistically significant

relationships between servant leadership by school administrators and overall school

climate and student achievement. Boyer (2012) extended this research and confirmed

statistically significant positive effects of servant leadership from the teacher’s

perspective on school culture and student achievement. This study advances the known

self-perception analysis of teacher servant leadership on classroom (instead of school-

wide) climate and student achievement at the collegiate (instead of primary or secondary)

level of education.

This study extends prior research in the field. Although there are multiple studies

correlating the effects of administrative servant leadership on school culture and climate,

there are very few that correlate these effects based on teachers’ servant leadership

behaviors (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Kelley et al., 2005; Robinson et al.,

2008). Similarly, most prior research studied these relationships at the lower levels of

education (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Kelley et al., 2005; Robinson et al.,

2008). This study adds to the existing body of literature by increasing the small number

of studies that examined these effects at the level of the teacher in the classroom

15

(Colakoglu & Littlefield, 2010; Jacobs, 2011). Additionally, the researcher revealed these

effects in a completely different environment—collegiate education.

Significance of the Study

The results of this study should be of interest to educational accrediting agencies,

school administrators, principals, college and university deans, and teachers and students

at all levels of education. A positive correlation between classroom climate and

achievement provides strong implications about the importance of professional

development in leadership for all teachers. Since servant leadership focuses on the

development of followers, the hypotheses of this research pertain to correlations between

teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and student achievement mediated by classroom

climate. Potentially, this researcher highlighted a need for future similar research testing

other leadership models.

School accountability is a critical issue (Jennings & Rentner, 2006). Re-

examining and focusing leadership in education is essential (Fullan, 2009). The No Child

Left Behind (NCLB) Act mandated testing to measure the effectiveness of teaching styles

and environments on student achievement (Bush, 2001). This legislation changed the

focus of teaching methods to garner more resources for low performing schools (Jennings

& Rentner, 2006). Tenets of NCLB make increasing student achievement imperative.

While numerous factors contribute to student success, school leaders are primarily

responsible for student success (McCoach et al., 2010). This research was designed to

help identify and compare the effects of a specific teacher leadership paradigm and

classroom climate and student achievement.

16

With the exception of collegiate education departments that must focus on

pedagogy to ensure their graduates’ accreditation to teach at the primary and secondary

levels of education, there is not a similar pedagogical requirement in collegiate education

(Norton, 2013). If these research results show significant positive correlations between

teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and student achievement, they may support a

potential paradigm shift in collegiate education to incorporate leadership into collegiate

pedagogical training. Subsequently, it is possible that such changes will help to raise the

current collegiate graduation rate of 58% (U.S. Census Bureau. (2011).

Rationale for Methodology

The purpose of this quantitative, correlational research was to examine to what

degree a relationship exists between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student

achievement. According to recent research, “the driving force of evidence-based practice

and research in the traditional sense is the ability to measure and quantify a phenomenon,

as well as the relationships between phenomenon numerically” (Vance, Talley, Azuero,

Pearce, & Christian, 2013, p. 67). This research was designed to help correlate the

variables of servant leadership and organizational climate to describe student

achievement. The study correlated teachers’ servant leadership behaviors with classroom

climate and student achievement. The aggregation of student climate surveys and grades

provided mean values for each variable. Thus, it is consistent with a quantitative,

correlational design methodology using servant leadership and classroom climate

instruments and end of course student grades.

The body of research concerning school climate and servant leadership in

education and its influence on student achievement is growing. Quantitative studies by a

17

number of researchers (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Cunningham, 2008; Herndon, 2007;

Kelley et al., 2005; MacNeil et al., 2009; Pritchard, Morrow, & Marshall, 2005; Robinson

et al., 2008) determined a statistically significant positive relationship between servant

leadership, school culture and student achievement at the primary and secondary levels of

education. Therefore, for this type of research, a quantitative, correlational methodology

was both established and accepted.

This study was consistent with the methodology of aforementioned studies.

However, it was unique by examining these variables and dynamics at the classroom

(rather than whole school) level, and with teachers (rather than administrators).

Specifically, the study location was a small, private, Catholic, liberal arts institution in

Northwest Pennsylvania. Furthermore, the context for this research was a higher

education environment. Unlike previous studies, there is no legal mandate for the

students in this study to receive instruction. They voluntarily—in fact, pay—to attend

college. Therefore, student motivation to excel may be more influential than in a

federally mandated attendance environment at lower educational levels. Because of their

age, it is reasonable to assume greater maturity than that of elementary or secondary

students. Finally, although standardized tests are readily available in primary and

secondary education as a measure of student achievement, at the collegiate level they

only apply to complete programs of study (e.g., bar exams, medical boards, CPA exams)

instead of individual courses. However, despite these environmental differences, the

similar, basic construct of the methodology justified its use.

According to the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education

Statistics (2012), the United States is below the international average with a collegiate

18

graduation rate of only 58% of students who graduate within six years. According to

Carnevale, Smith, and Strohl (2010), the United States will fall at least three million

degrees short of 22 million new college degrees necessary by 2018. Poor student

achievement is an issue at all levels of education. Any research that can add to the body

of knowledge to help curb these current trends in education is worthwhile.

Nature of the Research Design for the Study

The nature of the study outlines the overall components of the study. It explains

the rationale for a quantitative, correlational study with teachers’ servant leadership

behaviors, classroom climate, and student achievement as the key variables. The purpose

of the study was to investigate the research questions and hypotheses comparing these

variables. Finally, it includes a brief discussion of the sample population, sampling

procedures, and data collection plan.

The epistemological roots of this research spring primarily from a post positivist

worldview whereby causes determine effects. “Post-positivist inquiry does not claim

universal generalizability; however, it aims to gain an in-depth understanding of the

phenomenon under study” (Tekin & Kotaman, 2013, p. 84). This study sought to measure

and correlate real world classroom dynamics. It is, however, somewhat reductionist to

use teachers’ servant leadership behaviors as the primary determinant for both classroom

climate and student achievement.

In this study, the paired classroom climate and student achievement data were not

independent of each other. “It is important to account for this pairing in the

analysis…[and]…concentrate on the differences between the pairs of measurements

19

rather than on the measurements themselves” (Whitley & Ball, 2002, p. 3). Thus, the

selection of a quantitative, correlational research design for this study.

The foundational theory for this research included research on servant leadership

developed by Greenleaf (2007). Additionally, research on organizational climate by

Litwin and Stringer (1968), and Schein (1984), were used to study transformational

follower development and unifying values within organizations to align behavior. This

research examined these dynamics in an educational environment.

It is known that there is a direct relationship between leadership and the creation

of organizational culture and climate (Fernando & Chowdhury, 2010; Groves,

2006;Karakas, 2011; Leithwood & Mascall, 2008). Likewise, within the field of

leadership, research from Robinson et al. (2008), Hays (2008), and Hiller et al. (2011),

identified strong positive correlations between servant leadership and improved

achievement. What was not known is the strength of the correlation between a climate

created by servant leadership in education at the level of the teacher and consequent

student achievement. This was a quantitative, correlational study. It examined the

dynamics of teacher leadership on classroom climate and this relationship to student

achievement. The purpose of this study was to measure these correlations. The rationale

for this study was based upon similar studies that correlated these dynamics in education

from an administrative level to student achievement (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon,

2007; Kelley et al., 2005; MacNeil et al., 2009; Pritchard, Morrow, & Marshall, 2005;

Robinson et al., 2008). While significant, these studies may be omitting the mediating

influence of leadership by the classroom teacher. Thus, the essential research questions

sought to begin identifying and measuring servant leadership influence in the classroom

20

and student achievement. The main hypothesis was that students would perform better

when they are in a classroom environment of servant leadership.

The population for this research included all teachers and students. The targeted

population consisted of collegiate professors and students. The sample consisted of

students and faculty at a small university in Northwest Pennsylvania. The sample

characteristics reflect a small, private, Catholic university.

The necessary data for this research included instruments that helped to quantify

teachers’ servant leadership behaviors, classroom climate, and student achievement.

Fortunately, there are established survey instruments for both servant leadership and

classroom climate—SLP-R (Wong & Page, 2003) and the CUCEI (Fraser et al., 1986).

Finally, end of course student grades were collected. To alleviate bias and encourage

participation, the identities of all participants’ data was unknown to the researcher. Each

participant received a complete set of guidelines and a confidentiality statement. A

Survey Coordinator distributed and collected the survey instruments to participating

teachers. The SLP-R teachers’ servant leadership instruments were coded to protect

teacher identity. Likewise, the CUCEI student instruments were coded to correspond with

the appropriate SLP-R. Finally, end of course student grades were anonymously

aggregated on a corresponding coded form. The administration of survey instruments

occurred in the latter half of the semester to allow sufficient time for the classroom

climate to be established.

To prepare the data for analysis, each survey instrument was tabulated according

to its corresponding evaluation criteria. This resulted in scale scores (continuous and

21

interval level scores) for the SLP-R and CUCEI. Final course grades were converted into

ordinal numbers.

Empirically, the two instruments for this study, SLP-R and CUCEI, generated

scale scores. Therefore, a Pearson correlation was appropriate to address the first research

question and hypothesis. The data for the second research question and hypothesis

consisted of an interval level variable from the SLP-R and an ordinal value (student

grades).

Consequently, a Spearman correlation was appropriate for this analysis. Finally,

the data for the third research question and hypothesis consisted of two predictor

variables (servant leadership behavior and classroom climate) and one criterion variable

(student achievement). However, because the study was not seeking a fit with a causal

model, path analysis was not appropriate (Wuensch, 2012). Thus, multiple linear

regression analysis of the predictor variables (servant leadership and classroom climate)

and the criterion variable (student achievement) was appropriate.

Definition of Terms

The primary constructs of this study include servant leadership and classroom

climate as the predictor variables, and student achievement as the criterion variable. The

following terms were frequently used throughout this study:

Classroom climate. The aggregate environment created by interpersonal relations

across seven dimensions: personalization, involvement, student cohesiveness, task

orientation, satisfaction, innovation, and individualization (Fraser, Treagust, & Dennis,

1986).

22

Direction. Communicating achievement and behavioral expectations to

employees. Both employees and the organization benefit with clear direction (Laub

1999).

Humility. The ability to refrain from self-aggrandizement and keep one’s

accomplishments and talents in perspective (Patterson 2003).

Interpersonal acceptance. The ability to empathize with the feelings of others

(George, 2005)and to ignore perceived personal injustices without bearing a grudge

(McCullough, Hoyt, & Rachal, 2000) .

Organizational climate. The “shared perceptions of organizational policies,

practices, and procedures, both informal and formal” (Reichers & Schneider, 1990, p.

22).

School climate. The values, beliefs, and attitudes that influence interactions

between teachers and students (Dennis & Bocarnea, 2005).

Servant leadership. “Servant leaders empower and develop people; they show

humility, are authentic, accept people for who they are, provide direction, and are

stewards who work for the good of the whole” (van Dierendonck, 2011, p. 1232).

Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations

The constructs of servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement

clarifies the assumptions, limitations, and delimitations of this study. The following were

the assumptions of this study:

1. The survey participants in this study answered questions honestly, to the best

of their ability, and were not deceptive with their answers. The nature of the

23

survey instruments and the survey instructions specified a quantitative,

correlational study. Therefore, there were no “approved solution” answers.

2. The SLP-R and CUCEI are valid and reliable for this sample population.

These instruments are well established and have been used in studies with

similar sample populations.

3. This study was limited by population constraints. That is, the instruments

require non-science-related lecture classes without laboratory periods.

4. End of course grades are indicative of student achievement. Individual

teaching philosophies with respect to grading may vary. However, while one

instructor’s overall grades may be higher than the other, it is not likely that all

students will receive identical grades. Therefore, any grade distribution was

likely to reflect variances and student achievement.

The following were limitations of this study

1. This study was limited by a small sample. While there were more than 300

student participants, there were only 18 teachers.

2. This study was limited to the validity and reliability of the survey instruments.

3. This study was limited by variances due to the difficulty of course content.

For example, overall student achievement may be lower in a course with

difficult content. The reasons for this lower achievement may be more

attributable to the difficulty of content than the classroom climate created by

teachers’ leadership behaviors.

24

4. The survey of collegiate students was delimited to a private, Catholic

University in Northwest Pennsylvania, limiting the demographic sample. The

study habits and characteristics of students at a private Catholic University

may not be generalizable to the entire population of collegiate students.

Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Study

The purpose of this quantitative, correlational research was to see to what degree

a relationship exists between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student

achievement for students and faculty at a small university in Northwest

Pennsylvania. Taylor’s (1911) Scientific Management movement professionalized

management and leadership by demonstrating the need to attend to individual differences

among employees. Subsequent leadership paradigms focused on improving achievement

to further organizational goals (Greenleaf, 2002). Concurrently, research correlated

leadership behavior with organizational culture and climate (Schein, 2010) and

organizational climate with organizational achievement (Kaplan & Norton, 1992).

Additionally, within the field of leadership, research from Robinson et al. (2008), Hays

(2008), and Hiller et al. (2011) found strong positive correlations between servant

leadership and improved achievement.

NCLB legislation identified degradations of student achievement and mandated

investigation, professional development and instructional changes, and accountability

measures designed to improve education and improved student achievement (NCLB,

2002). Saphier and King (1985) identified the importance of organizational culture in

education. Waters et al. (2003) synthesized 30 years of leadership in education and

recommended careful attention to school culture. Saphier (2011) recommended changing

25

teacher-student paradigms to increase learning effectiveness. Research by Kelley et al.

(2005), Herndon (2007), Black (2010), Robinson et al. (2008), and Boyer (2012),

determined a statistically significant positive relationship between servant leadership,

school culture, and student achievement at the elementary and secondary levels of

education. The results of this study helped to identify these correlations at the collegiate

level of education and may be used to develop professional education modules for

educators in higher education. The literature review presented in Chapter 2 contains the

theoretical foundational framework for this study. Chapter 3 contained the methodology

of the study. Chapter 4 contained the results of the study. Finally, Chapter 5 contained the

conclusions of the study.

26

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Introduction to the Chapter and Background to the Problem

The impact of servant leadership on classroom climate and student achievement

has its roots in studies that have focused more broadly on organizational culture and

climate in a range of organizations, including schools (Glick, 1985; Ismat, Bashir, &

mahmood 2011; Melchar & Bosco, 2010; Reichers & Schneider, 1990; Scheerens,

Witziers, & Steen, 2013; Thapa, Cohen, Guffey, & Higgins-D’Alessandro, 2013). Now,

more than ever, society values education and high educational attainment (Hazelkorn,

2013). Unfortunately, there is a marked decline in the efficacy of education around the

world and within the United States (Hazelkorn, 2013; Zeitvogel, 2010). The prevalent use

of educational rankings articulates the ramifications of this decline. These rankings

demonstrate national progress, justify professional academic reputations, guide university

goals, and facilitate student selections for higher education (Hazelkorn, 2013). The

purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between servant leadership and its

influence on both classroom climate and student achievement in a collegiate

environment.

Despite more than 100 years of development of organizational and leadership

theories, many schools are still organized according to the older structures and traditions

established by early organizational theorists (Chance & Chance, 2002). Weber’s (1991)

bureaucracy focused on organizational structure, while Taylor’s (1911) Scientific

Management focused on management and efficiency. Collectively, these perspectives

helped to create the “factory model” of education that is still “highly ingrained in

schools’ organizational structure and is evident in the language often associated with

27

schooling” (Chance & Chance, 2002, p. 5). This research helped to identify one potential

differentiated path-servant leadership-to improve student outcomes at a college.

The review begins with overviews of servant leadership and organizational

climate and culture. Subsequently, it discusses the variables included in the research

study and their relationship to contemporary research. Finally, it encompasses the

methodological research and considerations relevant to this study.

Internet search engines and online databases identified pertinent articles and

publications. Search terms included various descriptors pertaining to the themes of:

leadership, servant leadership, organizational climate, and achievement. For example,

within the theme of servant leadership, descriptive variants such as servant leader

qualities, servant teacher, and servant leadership in education helped to locate relevant

research.

Scholarly, peer reviewed articles and primary source data provided the

foundations for this review. The ProQuest dissertation abstracts database identified

topical dissertations and the literature reviews and bibliographies within those

dissertations aided in identifying additional material. Relevant articles and publications

were categorized as seminal, descriptive, or empirical with preference to recently—

within five years—published research.

Theoretical Foundations

The foundational theories for this research include servant leadership and

organizational climate. These were developed by Greenleaf (2007), Litwin and Stringer

(1968), and Schein (1984), and were used to study transformational follower

development and unifying values within an organization to align behavior. Servant

28

leadership reflects one philosophical approach to leadership (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006).

Therefore, it must be understood within a contextual framework of leadership itself (van

Dierendonck, 2011).

Harding, Lee, Ford, and Learmonth (2011) conducted a mixed method study of 44

organizations and explained why the definition of leadership is so ambiguous. The

perception and promotion of leadership morphed. Historically, leadership in industry was

hierarchical and transactional. Contemporary leadership emphasizes participative,

empowering relationships (Haber, 2012).

There are four key aspects of leadership. First, leadership is a process. This

emphasizes both the interactive nature and complexity of activities involved in

leadership. Second, this process results in influencing others. The obvious implication is

that without influence leadership is not present. Third, this leadership influencing process

involves groups of people, whereby the groups provide context for leadership to occur.

Finally, the leadership process influences groups of people to achieve a common goal.

The goal provides a unifying objective for collective behavior (Loughead & Hardy,

2005).

Therefore, how and why power is exercised are important aspects of leadership.

According to Doscher and Normore (2013), leadership creates the environment to

facilitate decisions and action. More specifically, leaders prepare and manage

organizational change (Kotter, 2009; Stringer, 2012). Almost a century of psychological

leadership research generated a voluminous library of the topic (Kaiser, Hogan, & Craig,

2008). Servant leadership represents a recent addition to this leadership library (van

Dierendonck, 2011).

29

Servant leadership. Greenleaf (1970) reintroduced and articulated the concept of

Servant Leadership. The determining characteristic of a servant leader is a desire to serve.

Then there is a conscious choice to aspire to lead (Greenleaf, 1970). This principle

reiterates the messages of numerous historic and religious leaders like Confucius,

Mahatma Gandhi , Lao-tzu, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, Mother Teresa, and

Moses (Keith, 2008). Hayden (2011) articulated the philosophical consistency of Islam

with servant leadership. The word itself—Islam—means, “Self-surrender to the will of

God” (Hayden, 2011, p. 15). More specifically, The Quran (3:111) proclaims, “you are

the best people ever raised for the good of mankind because you have been raised to

serve others; you enjoin what is good and forbid evil and believe in Allah” (Hayden,

2011, p. 15). The behaviors and teachings of Jesus Christ are often described as the

perfect role model of servant leadership (Ebener & O’Connell, 2010; Lanctot & Irving,

2010). Specifically, servant leaders value power not for themselves, but for its potential

value to benefit their followers, organizations, and communities (Ebener & O’Connell,

2010).

Multiple examples from the Gospels of John and Mark illustrate servant

leadership. Specifically, Jesus’ willingness to wash his disciples’ feet and admonition that

“whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” (Mark 10:43 NIV

Bible) demonstrate servant leadership in action (Sendjaya & Sarros, 2002). Jesus

redefined the purpose and role of leadership power as an enabling factor to benefit others

(Sendjaya & Sarros, 2002).

While the goal of transformational leadership is to improve organizational

achievement, the focus of servant leadership is on the needs of individual organizational

30

members (Stoten, 2013). This higher-order, ethical leadership model unapologetically

prioritizes the welfare and development of followers over organizational goals

(Greenleaf, 1970). Consequently, an explicit goal of this leadership model is an overall

improvement in society and humanity.

Although Greenleaf (1970) received credit for reintroducing servant leadership,

his descriptions of servant leadership, like leadership itself, did not include an empirically

validated definition (van Dierendonck, 2011). Greenleaf (1970) did not propose servant

leadership as a scholarly edict or a specific how-to manual. Consequently, this dynamic

has hindered the acceptance of servant leadership theory in academia because it is

difficult to empirically test a philosophical way of life (Parris & Peachey, 2013).

However, according to De Maeyer, Rymenans, Van Petegem, van den Bergh, and

Rijlaarsdam (2007), the choice of a conceptual leadership model – including servant

leadership – significantly influences student achievement. According to Block (2006), the

definitional ambiguity of servant leadership fosters continual reflection. Justice Potter

Stewart famously articulated this undefinable dynamic in Jacobellis v. Ohio regarding

pornography when he stated that he could never succeed in intelligently defining it; but

he knew it when he saw it.

Unlike traditional leadership theories whereby a leader’s actions are evaluated to

determine the quality of the leader, servant leadership evaluates the leader’s character and

commitment to serve others (Parris & Peachey, 2013). Spears (2004) worked closely with

Greenleaf (2002) and identified 10 characteristics of a servant leader: listening, empathy,

healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to

31

the growth of people, and building community. Subsequently, researchers validated and

consolidated these characteristics and introduced others to help clarify the concept.

For example, Laub (1999) is generally credited with creating the first

organizational servant leadership assessment. The Delphi method helped define servant

leadership characteristics and created an instrument to measure those characteristics

within an organization. This instrument generates organizational perceptions from

various groups within the organization (Laub, 1999). Page and Wong (2000) extended

this research from the organizational level to the individual level by developing one of

the first servant leadership instruments that measured servant leadership of an individual.

Their original assessment (Servant Leadership Profile) measured 12 characteristics with a

100-item instrument. After further research, they created SLP-R; a 62-item opponent

process instrument measuring 10 servant leadership characteristics (Wong & Page, 2003).

Concurrently, Patterson (2003) developed a servant leadership instrument that

incorporated the characteristic of agapao love. Like the SLP-R, this instrument included

an aspect of humility as a required characteristic of servant leadership. The Review of the

Literature section discusses these characteristics in detail.

Organizational climate. Since leadership is partially defined by

organizational context, organizational development and dynamics become

important aspects of the leadership equation. Weber’s (Weber et al., 1991)

bureaucratic organizational structure and Taylor’s (1911) scientific management

shaped early organizational theory. The classical organizational development

perspective viewed organizations as rational systems valuing operational

efficiency above all (Morgan, 1997). Consequently, many saw bureaucracies as

32

dehumanizing organizations that stifled creativity, inhibited personal growth, and

caused people to fear management (Hohn, 1999). Addressing the human aspect of

organizations, Lewin’s (1951) participatory management, and Maslow’s (1943)

original article on hierarchy of needs, McGregor (1960) identified positive and

negative managerial perspectives and labeled them Theory Y and Theory X.

Akindele and Afolabi (2013) related the importance of this managerial leadership

choice with its influence on organizational climate. Specifically, Theory Y is

practically implemented in organizations through participatory management,

decentralized responsibilities, delegation of authority, and job enlargement

(Akindele & Afolabi, 2013).

Decades ago, Glick (1985) reported the inglorious prominence of climate research

in organizational science. Beginning with Lewin, Lippitt, and White (1939) and their

studies of created climates, subsequent researchers continued to identify organizational

groups and systems as part of organizational climate (Barker, 2007; Denison, 1996; Hall,

1972; Lewin, 1951, and Likert, 1961). However, researchers still do not agree on a single

definition of organizational climate. For example, according to Hellriegel & Slocum

(1974), organizational climate is induced from the attributes of organizational systems

that affect its members. More recently, Peña-Suárez, Muñiz, Campillo-Álvarez, Fonseca-

Pedrero, and García-Cueto (2013) defined organizational climate as the set of shared

perceptions of co-workers in the same organization. Regardless of definitional

differences, Litwin and Stringer (1968) deserve credit for pioneering organizational

climate research by identifying and articulating nine dimensions of organizational

33

climate: structure, responsibility, reward, risk, warmth, support, standards, conflict, and

identity.

A brief review of organizational culture research illustrates the large overlap

between the identification and integration of organizational climate and organizational

culture. Schein (1999) attempted to explicate the definitional differences, “climate is

embedded in the physical look of the place, the emotionality exhibited by employees, in

the experiences of the visitor or new employee upon entry, and in a myriad of other

artifacts that are seen, heard, and felt” (p. 4). Organizational climate originates with the

underlying values and beliefs of the organization. In other words, organizational climate

is an artifact of the organizational culture (Schein, 1999). There are three levels of

organizational culture: artifacts, values, and basic underlying assumptions (Schein, 2010).

Summary. As noted, the difficulties in distinguishing and measuring

characteristics of organizational climate and culture results in the potential semantic

misapplication of terms in current research (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Cohen et al.,

2009; Colakoglu & Littlefield, 2010; Duke, 2006; Herndon, 2007; Hiller et al., 2011;

Ismat et al., 2011; Kelley et al., 2005; Kutash et al., 2010; Lumby & Foskett, 2011;

Luqman, Farhan, Shahzad, & Shaheen, 2012; Villavicencio & Grayman, 2012).

Additionally, according to Ashkanasy, Broadfoot, and Falkus (2000), many climate

instruments fail to include reliability information. Therefore, despite numerous attempts,

even those intimately involved with the dynamics of organizational culture and climate

experienced difficulty distinguishing between the two and a careful analysis of literature

in both areas reveals overwhelming similarities (Denison, 1996).

34

Accordingly, “these two research traditions should be viewed as differences in

interpretation rather than differences in the phenomenon” (Denison, 1996, p. 645).

Evaluating and categorizing these dimensions in current literature is beyond the scope of

this research. Therefore, the terms culture and climate, as used in the research contained

in this literature review, both address common dimensions and are often used

synonymously.

Review of the Literature

There are significant differences between a leader and leadership (Reynolds &

Warfield, 2010; Sadeghi, Yadollahi, Baygi, & Ghayoomi, 2013). A leader is often a

person with a designated title or organizational role while leadership relates to the skills

and abilities to influence others (Sadeghi et al., 2013). Moreover, different leaders

subscribe to different leadership paradigms to exert their influence over others. Because

leadership involves influence and interaction between people, good leadership is

individually phenomenological and influenced by organizational context (Akindele &

Afolabi, 2013). Consequently, organizational context becomes an important factor in

practicing leadership. One important aspect of servant leadership is focusing on the

development of followers. This aspect is particularly germane in an educational

environment wherein organizational goals explicitly focus on the development of

followers. Because the definitive principal of servant leadership espouses the

development of followers, its relationships to classroom climate and student achievement

are relevant.

In the 21st century educational environment, there is a greater need for

educational leaders than professional teachers (Luqman et al., 2012). More specifically,

35

contemporary research recommends servant leadership to enhance and improve academic

environments and achievement (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Hiller et al.,

2011; Kelley et al., 2005; Luqman et al., 2012; Spillane, 2005). Therefore, it is necessary

to understand and define educational leadership (Shuaib & Olalere, 2013). Spillane

(2005) provides a useful definition of leadership in an educational environment:

Leadership refers to the methods of motivation and practices specifically designed to

influence the motivation and knowledge of organizational members. Simply put,

classroom leadership motivates and encourages students to learn. It increases the

likelihood of increased student effort, focus, and retention.

Servant leadership. A servant leadership paradigm emphasizes the development

of the follower and the organizational climate helps to facilitate follower receptivity to

leadership direction. Operationalizing these theories in an educational environment

improves student achievement (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Cunningham, 2008; Hays,

2008; Herndon, 2007; Hiller et al., 2011; Kelley et al., 2005; Spillane, 2005). The SLP-R

developed by Wong and Page (2003) measures the following servant leader

characteristics: leading, servanthood, visioning, developing others, team building,

empowering others, shared decision-making, and integrity.

Leading. Leading focuses on the skills necessary for achieving productivity and

success (Wong & Page, 2003). Leading is about giving direction (van Dierendonck &

Nuijten, 2011). While authoritative leadership remains a common practice, servant

leadership’s application and use of positional power is more effective (Zhang, Lin, &

Foo, 2012).

36

According to Barbuto and Wheeler (2006), healing is one aspect of leading in

servant leadership. However, it is often overlooked. Everyone experiences physical and

emotional suffering; however, servant leaders recognize this as an opportunity to help

their followers (Spears, 2004). Greenleaf (1970) wrote servant leaders practice healing by

helping employees create personal and professional pathways to happiness. Most

significantly, healing is an under-appreciated variable that distinguishes servant

leadership from traditional leadership theories (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006).

This variable is widely accepted in contemporary servant leadership research

(Barbuto, 2002; Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006;; Laub, 1999; and Reed, Vidaver-Cohen, &

Colwell, 2011; van Dierendonck, 2011). Yet, it is not always specifically labeled as

leading. Barbuto (2002) describes this variable under the characteristic awareness.

Patterson (2003) described its characteristics in service. Barbuto and Wheeler (2006) and

Reed et al. (2011) encompassed this variable under the term altruism. In addition, Van

Dierendonck and Nuijten (2011) included this variable when describing the attribute of

courage.

Servanthood. Servanthood is directly related to the leader’s character (Wong &

Page, 2003). It is a reflection of a servant attitude. The focus is on helping others (Wong

& Page, 2003). Aspects of servanthood are visible in Greenleaf’s (1970) building

community. This is where leaders show the way by demonstrating service to others and

the community (Greenleaf, 1970). Through servanthood, leaders instill a sense of

community spirit in their organizations (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006).

As expected, the variable of servanthood is prevalent in contemporary servant

leadership research (Barbuto, 2002; Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006; Dennis & Bocarnea,

37

2005; Dennis & Winston, 2003; Van Dierendonck & Nuitjen, 2011; Ehrhart, 2004; Laub,

1999; Liden, Wayne, Zhao, & Henderson, 2008; Patterson, 2003; Reed et al., 2011;

Russell & Stone, 2002; Sendjaya & Cooper, 2011; Sendjaya, Sarros, & Santora, 2008).

Yet, it is not always called servanthood. Laub (1999) and Barbuto (2002) described this

variable in terms of a calling. Russell and Stone (2002) and Dennis and Winston (2003)

used the term service. Ehrhart (2004) and Liden et al. (2008) labeled this putting others

first. Finally, Patterson (2003) and Barbuto and Wheeler (2006) used the term altruism.

Moreover, Patterson (2003) also used the term agapao love as a manifestation of aspects

of servanthood.

In a quantitative correlational analysis of 291 high school students, Kurnianingsih,

Yuniarti, and Kim (2012) confirmed the importance of this variable in education. A

recent quantitative study of 524 teachers and administrators from primary and secondary

schools in Singapore by Zhang et al. (2012) correlated the extent to which educational

practitioners embraced the concept of servant leadership. Zhang (2012) confirmed the

importance of this variable in education. Their results confirmed a statistically significant

correlation between servanthood and its preference in an educational environment.

Visioning. Visioning is another variable focused on specific actions and tasks of a

servant leader (Wong & Page, 2003). It encompasses three of Greenleaf’s (1970) 10

characteristics: foresight, awareness, and conceptualization. Visioning allows a leader to

be a guidepost for followers (Wong & Page, 2003).

Foresight is the ability to anticipate future events and outcomes (Barbuto &

Wheeler, 2006). It is the central ethic of leadership (Greenleaf, 1970). Foresight allows

the leader to understand the past and apply lessons learned to the present and future

38

(Spears, 2004). It allows the servant leader to be a bellwether for future organizational

success (Boyer, 2012).

Within the context of servant leadership, awareness refers to a leader’s astuteness

at reading environmental cues (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006). Situational awareness

provides necessary information allowing leaders to evaluate issues from multiple

perspectives (Greenleaf, 1970). Likewise, awareness makes servant leaders stronger

(Spears, 2004).

The characteristic of conceptualization allows servant leaders to be great dreamers

(Spears, 2004). It is the primary leadership talent (Greenleaf, 1970). Conceptualization is

the ability to exercise lateral thinking beyond present realities (Barbuto & Wheeler,

2006). Servant leaders implement conceptualization by conveying the future vision,

values, and mission of the organization (Bell, Bolding, & Delgadillo, 2013).

Russell and Stone (2002), Dennis and Winston (2003), Patterson (2003), and

Dennis and Bocarnea (2005), all used the term vision. Barbuto (2002), Ehrhart (2004),

and Liden et al. (2008), described visioning activities as aspects of conceptualization.

Research by Kelley et al. (2005), Herndon (2007), Black (2010), Robinson et al. (2008),

and Boyer (2012), all confirmed the importance of this variable in education.

Developing others. Developing others is a manifestation of the people orientation

of a servant leader (Wong & Page, 2003). It focuses on how the leader relates to others

and his or her commitment to their growth (Wong & Page, 2003). This characteristic

most closely embodies the tenets of transformational leadership (Spears, 2004).

Moreover, a strong leadership commitment to individual growth yields positive

organizational outcomes (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006).

39

Significantly, this characteristic provides an excellent example of the semantic

problems with subsequent interpretations and consolidations of servant leadership

characteristics and measurement instruments. For example, Laub (1999) and Barbuto

(2002) described this variable as commitment to growth. Ehrhart (2004) and Liden et al.

(2008) labeled this helping subordinates grow. Then Reed et al. (2011) called this activity

interpersonal support.

Russell and Stone (2002), Patterson (2003), Dennis and Winston (2003), and

Dennis and Bocarnea (2005), all used the term vision as a characteristic of servant

leadership. With the exception of Patterson (2003), each of these authors related vision

with Greenleaf’s (1970) characteristics of conceptualization and foresight. However,

according to Patterson (2003), vision referred to the leader assisting in the development

of followers.

Developing others is a cornerstone of education (Waters et al., 2003). In a

quantitative correlational analysis of 291 high school students, Kurnianingsih et al.

(2012) confirmed the importance of this variable in education. In addition, according to

Taylor, Martin, Hutchinson, and Jinks (2007), servant leadership should be cultivated in

every classroom.

Team building. Team building focuses on making the organization more efficient

(Wong & Page, 2003). It is part of the process of servant leadership (Wong & Page,

2003). Team building encompasses Greenleaf’s (1970) aspects of listening and a

commitment to people. It requires dialogue – both speaking and listening, and reflects the

leader’s respect for employees (Greenleaf, 1970).

40

Barbuto and Wheeler (2006) clarified this characteristic as hearing and valuing

the ideas of others. Reed’s et al. (2011) servant leadership instrument labeled this

characteristic Egalitarianism. Regardless of the semantic label, most studies confirm the

importance of this variable as a characteristic of servant leadership (Dennis & Bocarnea,

2005; Dennis & Winston, 2003; Ehrhart, 2004; Laub, 1999; Liden et al., 2008; Patterson,

2003; Russell & Stone, 2002; van Dierendonck & Nuijten, 2011; Wong & Page, 2005).

Empowering others. Empowering others is another people orientation

characteristic of servant leadership (Wong & Page, 2003). It requires a commitment to

followers and a willingness to empathize with and allow followers to direct their

behaviors (Wong & Page, 2003). Empowering others facilitates followers becoming freer

and more autonomous, which are two conditions of Greenleaf’s (1970) “Best Test” for

servant leadership.

Laub (1999) determined servant leaders’ actions in developing people included

providing learning, encouragement and affirmation. Servant leaders do not

unconditionally accept all follower behaviors, but they do assume the intentions of all

follower behaviors are honorable (Spears, 2004). With this mindset, even when servant

leaders reject follower behaviors, they are not personally rejecting the follower (Spears,

2004). Van Dierendonck and Nuitjen (2011) further articulated this concept as part of

interpersonal acceptance. Being able to forgive when confronted with mistakes is a

logical servant leadership consequence of empowering others.

Dennis and Winston (2003), Patterson (2003), Dennis and Bocarnea (2005), and

Van Dierendonck and Nuijten, (2011), all considered empowerment an important

variable in servant leadership. Ehrhart (2004) and Liden et al. (2008) described this

41

variable as helping subordinates grow. Similarly, Sendjaya and Cooper (2011) used the

term covenantal relationship to describe this characteristic.

Shared decision making. Shared decision-making refers to the organizational

process of collaborating for efficiency (Wong & Page, 2003). Sharing leadership is one

of the Laub’s (1999) six key variables of servant leadership. Greenleaf’s (1970)

characteristics of listening, empathy, and persuasion are all aspects of shared decision-

making.

The ability to influence others is a key, definitional component of leadership

(Loughead & Hardy, 2005). However, unlike leadership in traditional, autocratic,

hierarchical organizations whereby positional powers allow leaders to dictate specific

actions, servant leaders replace coercive methods with persuasion (Spears, 2004). Thus,

persuasion is the ability to influence others without a reliance on formal authority

(Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006). The leadership byproduct of shared decision-making is

credibility (Russell & Stone, 2002).

Paradoxically, most servant leadership instruments do not specifically measure

shared decision-making as a variable of servant leadership (Dennis & Bocarnea, 2005;

Dennis & Winston, 2003; ; Ehrhart, 2004; Liden et al., 2008; Patterson, 2003; Russell &

Stone, 2002; Van Dierendonck & Nuijten, 2010). The variables of servanthood,

developing others, team building, and empowering others often carry an assumption of

sharing in decisions (Dennis & Bocarnea, 2005; Dennis & Winston, 2003; ; Ehrhart,

2004; Liden et al., 2008; Patterson, 2003; Russell & Stone, 2002; Van Dierendonck &

Nuijten, 2011). However, it is a key variable in Laub’s (1999) Organizational Leadership

Assessment (OLA).

42

Integrity. Integrity is a variable at the heart of servant leadership (Wong & Page,

2003). All servant leadership tasks are impossible if the leader’s character lacks integrity

(Wong & Page, 2003). By demonstrating moral courage and integrity, leaders improve

organizational behavior and inspire followers to emulate them (Parris & Peachey, 2013).

Greenleaf (1970) posited the benefits of integrity include trust, empathy, persuasion,

stewardship, and a commitment to the growth of people. It is critical to creating a servant

leadership organization (Greenleaf, 1970).

The Reed et al. (2011) servant leadership instrument included moral integrity as a

key variable. Although many other servant leadership instruments do not use the term

integrity, they recognize its importance (Dennis & Bocarnea, 2005; Ehrhart, 2004; Laub,

1999; Liden et al., 2008; Patterson, 2003; Russell & Stone, 2002; Sendjaya and Cooper,

2011; Van Dierendonck & Nuijten, 2011). Laub (1999), and Russell and Stone (2002)

used the term honesty. Sendjaya and Cooper, (2011), and Van Dierendonck and Nuitjen

(2011) all described this variable as an aspect of authenticity. Ehrhart (2004) and Liden et

al. (2008) incorporated integrity within ethics. Finally, Patterson (2003) and Dennis and

Bocarnea (2005) included Greenleaf’s (1970) outcome of integrity – trust – as a key

variable in their servant leadership instruments.

Abuse of power and egotistic pride. Wong and Page (2003) identified two

opposing forces to servant leadership: authoritarian hierarchy and egotistical pride. They

lead to abuses of power. Moreover, they are antithetical to servant leadership and two

major causes of organizational failure (Wong & Page, 2003).

Authoritarian hierarchy refers to a vertical organizational structure that is

conducive to creating defined powers and responsibilities that encourage rigid command

43

and control practices (Wong & Page, 2003). Within these organizational structures,

leaders need to develop two sets of skills. First, they focus primarily on demonstrating

loyalty and submission to their supervisors. Second, they are willing to intimidate,

deceive, and manipulate their subordinates to demand a similar level of loyalty and

subjugation. This abusive power inevitably leads to scandals and corruption (Wong &

Page, 2003).

Unfortunately, a business culture of competitiveness and individualism fosters

egotistic pride (Wong & Page, 2003). Especially in hierarchical organizations, self-

serving leaders demand the center of attention and portray themselves as the linchpin of

the organization. They demand the center of attention and will use any means available to

achieve material success—including accepting credit for the work of others (Wong &

Page, 2003).

The lure of power and its accompanying privileges can corrupt and compel people

to betray, or even kill, others (Wong & Page, 2003). Similarly, pride can manifest itself

through greed for wealth or fame. It is impossible to exercise servant leadership if a

leader is enamored with power or egotistical pride because servant leadership requires the

voluntary surrender of one’s ego and intentional vulnerability. Therefore, it is important

to include these opponent process variables in the identification of servant leadership

(Wong & Page, 2003).

Despite the prevalence and high reliability (0.937) of the SLP-R developed by

Wong and Page (2003), it remains the only instrument that considers negative aspects of

servant leadership. Just as pseudotransformational leadership presents the misuse and

abuse of leadership skills, the abuse of power and egotistical pride prevents the

44

implementation of true servant leadership. The SLP-R identifies these tendencies by

measuring intentional vulnerability and voluntary humility (Wong & Page, 2003).

Summary of servant leadership variables. Greenleaf (1970) readily admitted his

list of 10 characteristics was not meant to be exhaustive (Bugenhagen, 2006).

Chronologically, Laub (1999) reduced the list to six: values people, develops people,

builds community, displays authenticity, provides leadership, and shares leadership.

Russell and Stone (2002) identified nine functional characteristics: vision, honesty,

integrity, trust, service, modeling, pioneering, appreciation of others, and empowerment.

They also identified 11 accompanying attributes: communication, credibility,

competence, stewardship, visibility, influence, persuasion, listening, encouragement,

teaching, and delegation.

Wong and Page (2003) initially began with 12 characteristics: leading,

servanthood, visioning, developing others, team building, empowering others, shared

decision-making, integrity, humility, caring for others, goal setting, and modeling.

Subsequently, they refined their list by eliminating the last four – humility, caring for

others, goal setting, and modeling. Patterson (2003) consolidated the list to seven virtues:

love, humility, altruism, vision, trust, empowerment, and service. Likewise, Ehrhart

(2004) developed seven subscales of servant leadership: forming relationships with

subordinates, empowering subordinates, helping subordinates grow and succeed,

behaving ethically, having conceptual skills, putting subordinates first, and creating value

for those outside the organization.

Dennis and Winston (2003) identified three domains of servant leadership:

empowerment, service, and vision. Dennis and Bocarnea (2005) reduced Patterson’s

45

(2003) seven virtues to five: vision, empowerment, trust, humility, and love. Barbuto and

Wheeler (2006) developed an instrument to measure 11 dimensions of servant leadership:

calling, listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight,

stewardship, growth, and community building. Then Sendjaya and Cooper, (2011)

categorized six dimensions of servant leadership behavior: voluntary subordination,

authentic self, covenantal relationship, responsible morality, transcendental spirituality,

and transforming influence.

Liden et al. (2008) developed an instrument using Ehrhart’s (2004) seven servant

leadership behaviors: emotional healing, ethical behavior, putting subordinates first,

helping subordinates grow and succeed, empowering, creating value for the community,

and conceptual skills. Van Dierendonck and Nuijten (2010) created an instrument with

eight dimensions: standing back, forgiveness, courage, empowerment, accountability,

authenticity, humility, and stewardship. Subsequently, Van Dierendonck (2011) further

distilled this list to six: humility, authenticity, empowering and developing, accepting,

providing direction, and being good stewards. And Reed et al. (2011) created an

instrument based on five servant leadership characteristics: interpersonal support,

building community, altruism, moral integrity, and egalitarianism.

Honesty and integrity are essential variables in servant leadership (Dennis &

Bocarnea, 2005; Laub, 1999; Patterson, 2003; Reed et al., 2011; Russell & Stone, 2002;

Sendjaya and Cooper 2011; Wong & Page, 2003). Their definitions convey the essence

of servant leadership. Honesty means telling the truth and integrity means good morals

(Russell & Stone, 2002).

46

Altruism conveys the leader’s desire to place the needs of others first and making

a positive difference in others’ lives (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006). Simply put, altruism

involves helping others just for the sake of helping (Patterson, 2003). Authenticity is

closely related to altruism because it emphasizes the individual over any professional role

(Van Dierendonck & Nuijten, 2010). It is a natural construct of the term servant. Wisdom

is a combination of awareness and foresight (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006). Courage

involves taking risks, relying on values and convictions, and trying new approaches

(Greenleaf, 1970; Russell & Stone, 2002; van Dierendonck & Nuijten, 2011). Standing

back is closely related to authenticity, empowerment, humility, and stewardship (Van

Dierendonck & Nuitjen, 2011).

Humility involves understanding one’s strong and weak points and seeking

assistance from others to overcome weaknesses (Dennis & Bocarnea, 2005; Patterson,

2003; van Dierendonck & Nuitjen, 2011; Wong & Page, 2003). Finally, agapao love

includes “embracing the judgment and the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of

principle, duty, and propriety” (Patterson, 2003, p. 12). Leading with agapao love focuses

on the employees first and then on how the employees’ talents can benefit the

organization (Patterson, 2003).

In summary, servant leadership is more than a leadership style (Laub, 1999). It is

a different way of thinking about life – an opportunity to serve others. Servant leadership

is not a title, position, or status. Instead of controlling people, servant leadership enables

people towards their full potential (Laub, 1999).

To date, most servant leadership research falls into three categories: conceptually

defining and articulating, measuring, and the development of operational models (Parris

47

& Peachey, 2013). Obviously, despite the consistency and overlap of several

characteristics, the introduction and measurement of 44 different characteristics

highlights the difficulty of both defining and operationalizing servant leadership.

Measurement instruments aside, how does one identify or determine the implementation

of servant leadership? According to Greenleaf (1970), the modern originator of servant

leadership:

The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do

they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more

likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least

privileged in society; will they benefit, or, at least, not be further deprived?

(Greenleaf, 2002, p. 6)

Servant leadership variable measurement and outcomes Despite difficulties in

the definition of servant leadership and a lack of specific agreement in the semantics of

servant leadership instrument variables, numerous empirical studies capture and measure

the essence of servant leadership (Parris & Peachey, 2013). The study of servant

leadership in at least 11 countries and across multiple religions demonstrates the cross-

cultural interest in servant leadership. Likewise, its use in a wide range of organizational

settings (e.g., schools, profit, and non-profit) demonstrates its broad appeal for all those

interested in leadership (Parris & Peachey, 2013).

Not surprisingly, leading was a key variable determined to be statistically

significant in many studies (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Caffey, 2012; Herndon, 2007;

Irving & Longbotham, 2007; Kelley et al., 2005; Mahembe & Engelbrecht, 2013; Mayer,

Bardes, & Piccolo, 2008; McCuddy & Cavin, 2008; Robinson et al., 2008; Shekari &

48

Nikooparvar, 2012; Steyn, 2012; Tariq & Ambali, 2013; Thompson, 2012; Zhang et al.,

2012). Likewise, servanthood’s statistical significance was also prevalent (Barbuto &

Wheeler, 2006; Caffey, 2012; Dennis & Bocarnea, 2003; Dennis & Winston, 2003;

Ehrhart, 2004; Laub, 1999; Liden et al., 2008; Mahembe & Engelbrecht, 2013; Patterson,

2003; Reed et al., 2011; Russell & Stone, 2002; Sendjaya and Cooper , 2011; Shekari &

Nikooparvar, 2012; Tariq & Ambali, 2013; van Dierendonck & Nuijten, 2011; Zhang et

al., 2012). Other common themes in servant leadership research focused on variables that

facilitate individual and organizational effectiveness and follower well-being (Parris &

Peachey, 2013). These themes often included visioning, developing others, team

building, empowering others, and shared decision making.

Irving and Longbotham (2007) conducted a large quantitative, correlational study

with 6,000 team members measuring servant leadership’s influence on team effectiveness

and found significant correlations with leading, servanthood, developing others, team

building, shared decision-making, and integrity. Jaramillo, Grisaffe, Chonko, and Roberts

(2009) did a study with 501 sales professionals from a variety of industries and

determined a significant correlation between servant leadership and effectiveness.

Melchar and Bosco (2010) also supported this theme in a qualitative study of servant

leadership effectiveness in a service oriented, sales environment. Within education,

several studies found significant correlations between servant leadership and school or

teacher effectiveness (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Kelley et al., 2005;

Mahembe & Engelbrecht, 2013; Mazarei et al., 2013; Metzcar, 2009; Robinson et al.,

2008; Thompson, 2012). However, it is notable that Jacobs’ (2011) study of 68 teachers

49

in four universities did not find a statistical significance between servant leadership and

teaching effectiveness.

Numerous studies positively correlated the follower benefits of servant leadership

(Cerit, 2009; Hunter et al., 2013; Jaramillo et al., 2009; Jenkins & Stewart, 2010; Mayer

et al., 2008; Rieke, Hammermeister, & Chase, 2008). Many of these benefits included: a

positive climate, job satisfaction, increased commitment, and lower employee turnover

(Parris & Peachey, 2013). In keeping with the opponent process model of Wong and Page

(2003), a study of 300 workers in Punjab measuring servant leadership variables to earn

employee trust reported statistical significance for the characteristic of humility, which is

the opposite of egotistic pride (Tariq & Ambali, 2013). Caffey (2012) and Mazarei et al.

(2013) recently identified opponent process variables in an educational environment with

statistical significance. Caffey’s (2012) study measuring job satisfaction of 133 new

teachers revealed a strong correlation with the variable humility. More significantly, the

study by Mazarei et al. (2013) of 205 physical education teachers measuring servant

leadership and its influence on organizational commitment revealed significant

correlations with both humility and modesty. This study acknowledged characteristics of

modesty as a counter characteristic of the abuse of power problems affiliated with

authoritarian hierarchical organizations and humility to counter egotistic pride (Mazarei,

Hoshyar, & Nourbakhsh, 2013).

Climate. Understanding organizational climate is important for leaders; however,

it is essential if leaders are to lead (Schein, 2010). It is the only thing of real importance

that leaders do (Schein, 2010). Ismat et al. (2011) confirmed the correlation between the

role of leadership and the creation of organizational culture and climate.

50

Organizational culture and climate in education gained significant attention over

the past few decades (Lumby & Foskett, 2011). While a search of the Education

Resources Information Center (ERIC) lists fewer than 10 articles concerning culture in

education during the 1950s, it reveals more than 7,000 between 1953 and 2012.

Collectively, this research indicates the necessity to critically engage culture and climate

to develop leaders at all levels of education (Lumby & Foskett, 2011).

There are three levels of organizational culture: artifacts, values, and basic

underlying assumptions (Schein, 2010). In an educational environment, a classroom

layout is an example of an artifact. The grouping or separation of desks provides insight

regarding potential or expected communication patterns. National standards and

benchmarks, known as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is an example of a

current value in K–12 education. The intent is to have students, in all states, master

common standards in English, Language Arts, Science, and Mathematics. Finally, one

basic underlying assumption in American education is mainstreaming special needs

students. While it was once common to separate learning support students from their

classmates, values against a segregated model changed to require inclusion of such

students in the least restrictive educational environment possible.

Obviously, organizations do not possess a culture or climate; they exhibit them

(Colakoglu & Littlefield, 2010). Consequently, Fraser, Treagust, and Dennis (1986)

developed The CUCEI to help identify and measure climate in an educational

environment. The CUCEI measures the following dimensions of classroom climate:

student cohesiveness, individualization, innovation, involvement, personalization,

satisfaction, and task orientation.

51

Student cohesiveness. Student cohesiveness is a measure of student interactions

(Fraser et al., 1986). This dimension includes two of the nine climate dimensions

identified by Litwin and Stringer (1968): support and identity. A supportive

organizational climate emphasizes employee helpfulness. This support extends beyond

organizational peers. Both managers and employees reciprocate it (Litwin & Stringer,

1968). Similarly, the extent to which an employee feels included within the group reflects

identity. It includes a sense of value as a contributing member to organizational goals. It

creates a common organizational spirit (Litwin & Stringer, 1968). Duke (2006) positively

correlated these attributes with a high achievement school climate.

This is a common variable in educational climate instruments (Fisher & Fraser,

1981; Fraser et al., 1986; Fraser et al., 1996; Fraser, Fisher, & McRobbie, 1996; Trickett

& Moos, 1973; Walberg & Anderson, 1968). The Classroom Environment Scale (CES)

uses the term affiliation (Trickett & Moos, 1973). The CLES dimension of student

negotiation requires the establishment of socially acceptable behavior (Taylor et al.,

1995). However, this dimension is conspicuously absent from the Individual Classroom

Environment Questionnaire (ICEQ) (Fraser, 1990).

Individualization. Individualization refers to the specific treatment of students

based on their interests, abilities, and rates of work (Fraser et al., 1986). It also considers

the extent to which students are allowed to make decisions. This is similar to Litwin’s

(Litwin & Stringer, 1968) dimension of responsibility. Responsibility refers to

employees’ feelings of empowerment and of being their own boss. Responsibility means

employees do not have to double check every decision. It is recognizing that each

individual is accountable for specific tasks (Litwin & Stringer, 1968).

52

Surprisingly, this dimension is only included in one other educational climate

instrument: the ICEQ (Fraser, 1990). Fraser (1990) also developed this instrument.

Nevertheless, in this case, he labeled this dimension independence.

Innovation. Unusual class activities and new teaching techniques are examples of

innovation in a classroom environment (Fraser et al., 1986). It is a positive outcome of

the dimension of risk as defined by Litwin and Stringer (1968) because it demonstrates a

willingness to take chances instead of playing it safe. Research by (Oliveira & Ferreira,

2012) confirmed a servant leadership climate fosters communication and innovation by

removing communication barriers.

Aspects of this dimension appear in several common educational environment

instruments: the SLP-R, the LEI, the CLES, the SLEI, and the CES. (Fraser et al., 1996;

Taylor et al., 1995; Trickett & Moos, 1973; Walberg & Anderson, 1968). The LEI

includes these characteristics in its dimension of diversity (Walberg & Anderson, 1968).

In this case, the need to provide for individual student differences requires innovation in

lieu of a standard cookie-cutter approach (Walberg & Anderson, 1968). The uncertainty

of science dimension in the CLES promotes innovation by welcoming unconventional

theories (Taylor et al., 1995). Likewise, the SLEI promotes innovation through divergent

approaches to experimentation (Fraser et al., 1996).

Involvement. The dimension of involvement measures the extent to which

students participate in discussions and activities (Fraser et al., 1986). Two climate

dimensions from Litwin and Stringer (1968) that encourage involvement are conflict and

identity. Conflict addresses the degree to which managers and workers encourage

different opinions. It supports open communication and problem sharing. Moreover,

53

without involvement as a contributing member of the group, students are less likely to

obtain a sense of group identity (Litwin & Stringer, 1968). Research by Oliveira and

Ferreira (2012) confirmed a servant leadership climate fosters communication and

involvement. It seeks member participation (Ebener & O’Connell, 2010).

At the classroom level involving teachers, servant leadership improves student

engagement, learning, and achievement (Bowman, 2005; Hays, 2008; Metzcar, 2009;

(Scardino, 2013). These communication patterns become organizational artifacts (Schein,

2010). Duke (2006) positively correlated these attributes with a high achievement school

climate.

The CES and WIHIC instruments each contain a scale labeled involvement

(Trickett & Moos, 1973; Fraser et al., 1996). The LEI scale of democracy measures

involvement through shared decision-making (Walberg & Anderson, 1968). By

measuring shared control, the CLES also includes this dimension (Fraser et al., 1996).

Additionally, the ICEQ uses the term participation (Fraser, 1990). Yet, this dimension is

not included in the MCI or SLEI instruments (Fisher & Fraser, 1981; Fraser et al., 1996).

Personalization. The dimension of personalization reflects both the opportunities

for individual student interactions with the teacher and the teacher’s concern for each

student’s personal welfare and social growth (Fraser et al., 1986). Litwin and Stringer

(1968) categorized this type of caring as helpfulness. However, it is also indicative of

characteristics within the dimension of warmth (Litwin & Stringer, 1968).

Caring for members is a direct servant leadership attribute that contributes to a

positive organizational climate (Ebener & O’Connell, 2010). Improving student-teacher

relationships, study conditions, and student metacognitive orientation has both direct and

54

indirect effects on student learning and achievement (Pitkäniemi & Vanninen, 2012).

Again, Duke (2006) positively correlated these attributes with a high achievement school

climate.

This dimension is present in the CES, ICEQ, and WIHIC instruments (Fraser,

1990; Fraser et al., 1996; Trickett & Moos, 1973). Trickett and Moos (1973) and Fraser

et al. (1996) called this dimension teacher support. Nevertheless, it is absent from the

LEI, MCI, SLEI, and CLES instruments.

Satisfaction. According to Fraser et al. (1986), satisfaction is simply a measure of

how much the students enjoy the class. There are two aspects to this dimension. First, do

the students believe the class is worthwhile? Second, do the students enjoy working in the

class? This is an important dimension in educational pedagogy (Marzano & Marzano,

2003; Waters et al., 2003). Beginning at the school level with administrators, a servant

leadership approach increased both teacher job satisfaction and student achievement

(Caffey, 2012; Watkins, 2012). These findings were confirmed by Cerit, (2009) and

Thompson (2012).

Ironically, many educational climate instruments (CES, ICEQ, SLEI, CLES, and

WIHIC) do not consider this dimension an essential aspect of climate (Fraser et al., 1996;

Taylor et al., 1995; Trickett & Moos, 1973). However, Walberg and Anderson (1968)

included it in the LEI. Likewise, Fisher and Fraser (1981) included it in the MCI.

Task orientation. The clarity and organization of work determine the task

orientation (Fraser et al., 1986). Students do well in this dimension when they know

exactly what the teacher expects (Walberg & Anderson, 1968). Litwin and Stringer

(1968) used two dimensions to encompass task orientation: standards and values.

55

Standards reflect the implicit and explicit achievement goals. And values reflect the

acceptable standards of behavior and thinking regarding the way things are done around

here. Values are reflected when leaders propose solutions to problems. Values that

successfully solve problems become organizational beliefs, and eventual underlying

assumptions (Schein, 1990).

The LEI, CES, SLEI, and WIHIC instruments all incorporate task orientation

(Fraser et al., 1996; Walberg & Anderson, 1968; and Trickett & Moos, 1973). The LEI

labels this dimension goal direction (Walberg & Anderson, 1968). Fraser et al. (1996)

refer to this dimension as rule clarity. The MCI, ICEQ, and CLES instruments do not

include this dimension.

Climate characteristic refinements. In subsequent research, Litwin and

Stringer (1968) identified strong relationships between warmth and identity,

identity and support, and warmth and support. Consequently, the characteristic of

warmth and support combined these dimensions (Sims Jr. & Lafollette, 1975).

And the characteristic approval replaced standards (Canaan Messarra & El-

Kassar, 2013). Furthermore, several authors identified structural, perceptual, and

interactive aspects of creating climate (Campbell, Dunnette, Lawler, & Weick,

1970); Field & Abelson, 1982) ; Glick, 1985; Hellriegel & Slocum, 1974; James

& Jones, 1974; Litwin & Stringer, 1968; (Payne & Pugh, 1976; Schneider, 1975;

Tagiuri & Litwin, 1968; Woodman & King, 1978). Unfortunately, there is still a

lack of agreement regarding the basic dimensions of organizational climate

(Thumin & Thumin, 2011).

56

Despite consistency with many variables, analysis of the most common

educational climate instruments reveals 37 different dimensions. Moreover,

according to Ashkanasy, Broadfoot, and Falkus (2000), many climate instruments

fail to include reliability information. Therefore, despite numerous attempts, even

those intimately involved with the dynamics of organizational culture and climate

experienced difficulty distinguishing between them (Denison, 1996).

Accordingly, these should be considered differences in interpretation rather than

differences in phenomenon (Denison, 1996).

Climate variable measurement and outcomes. Due to a plethora of

climate instruments in a variety of contextual environments, this review of climate

variables focuses only on those affiliated within an educational environment. In

this arena, several recent studies consolidate and review current research in more

than 90 empirical studies, 50 literature reviews, and 100+ educational climate

instruments (Clifford, Menon, Gangi, Condon, & Hornung, 2012; Faster & Lopez,

2013; Fraser, 2012; Gangi, 2010; Guffey, 2012; Haggerty, Elgin, & Woolley,

2011; Thapa et al., 2013). From this literature, three main research themes of

climate instruments include measuring innovation, practical attempts to improve

the environment, and the correlation between climate and student achievement

(Fraser, 2012). Gangi (2010) reviewed 102 educational climate instruments and

identified wide usage, established reliability, and a long history as essential

aspects of the best instruments. Faster and Lopez (2013) subsequently confirmed

this finding.

57

Reviews by Clifford et al. (2012), Guffy (2012), Fraser (2012), Haggerty

et al. (2011), and Thapa et al. (2013) identified cohesiveness, task orientation,

individualization, innovation, involvement, and personalization as statistically

significant, key variables in climate assessment. A review of 73 instruments by

Haggerty et al. (2011) identified the best instruments as those measuring socio-

emotional issues that include variables like student cohesiveness,

individualization, involvement, personalization, satisfaction, and task orientation.

In addition, a rigorous analysis of 25 instruments by Clifford et al. (2012) also

identified these variables as components of the 11 best instruments.

In a yearlong study of classroom climate with 144 students, Skinner and Belmont

(1993) significantly correlated individualization and involvement with student motivation

and behavior. Similarly, a study of 382 African American and 1,456 European American

students identified student cohesiveness as the most significant variable influencing both

student behavior and achievement (Mattison & Aber, 2007). Higgins-D’Alessandro

(2011) concluded innovation is a core characteristic of a liberal education. Finally, in a

decade long, longitudinal study of school climate in more than 400 schools in Chicago,

Bryk (2010) concluded personalization was the key variable that affects school climate.

Methodology. Despite multiple variations, combinations, and

permutations, most research in the social sciences can be generally categorized as

qualitative, quantitative, or a combination of the two often referred to as mixed

method (Murakami, 2013). Yet, a researcher’s selection of a methodology should

not be arbitrary (Downey & Duane Ireland, 1979). Careful consideration of the

58

predominant characteristics of each methodology leads to the appropriate

methodological selection (Dobrovolny & Fuentes, 2008).

There are several characteristics common to both qualitative and

quantitative methodologies (Dobrovolny & Fuentes, 2008). Both methodologies

involve decision making or judging that is susceptible to accusations of political

or emotional bias. However, both are also based on established codes of conduct

and ethical standards (Dobrovolny & Fuentes, 2008).

A qualitative methodology frequently helps to develop theory (Bynum &

Pranter, 2013; Higgins, 2009). According to Dobrovolny and Fuentes (2008),

researchers typically start from a broad perspective and attempt to describe or

understand its context. Data are usually narrative in nature and the researcher is

frequently instrumental as an observer with direct influence on data input in the

form of coded transcripts (Dobrovolny & Fuentes, 2008). Consequently, the

subjectivity and expertise of the researcher is critical to the validity of the study

(Downey & Ireland, 1979).

Conversely, quantitative research is usually appropriate to test, rather than

develop, theory (Higgins, 2009). Usually, the purpose of the research is to

confirm or refute one or more hypotheses (Dobrovolny & Fuentes, 2008).

Statistical analysis of numerical data does not include input from the researcher

and subjectivity in the study comes only from the subjects (Dobrovolny &

Fuentes, 2008). Furthermore, study validity is related to statistical analysis

(Downey & Ireland, 1979).

59

Understandably, these characteristic differences are subject to specific criticisms

(Hubbard & Meyer, 2013; Murakami, 2013). Qualitative studies must guard against bias

and their narrative nature, by their choices of specific words, may lead to different

interpretations by readers (Murakami, 2013). However, Hubbard and Meyer (2013)

included and concurred with 28 studies in their argument that the statistically significant

p value in most quantitative studies is grossly over rated.

Each methodology has both benefits and detriments (Dobrovolny &

Fuentes, 2008). Fortunately, there are some general guidelines to assist

researchers in selecting an appropriate methodology for their studies (Alonso &

Barredo, 2013; Fairbrother, 2007; Dobrovolny & Fuentes, 2008; Murakami,

2013). Dobrovolny and Fuentes (2008) created a methodological flowchart to

assist in navigating through the characteristics of each methodology.

In conclusion, Alonso and Barredo (2013) recommended a quantitative

methodology when the research investigated models of theory. Likewise,

Fairbrother (2007) concluded the quantitative method is most appropriate to

clarify a relationship. Therefore, a quantitative methodology was chosen for this

research to correlate the models of servant leadership and classroom climate. Use

of the flowchart created by Dobrovolny and Fuentes (2008) also supported the

selection of a quantitative methodology for this research. Finally, similar studies

correlating servant leadership in an educational environment all used a

quantitative methodology (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Kelley et

al., 2005; Robinson et al., 2008).

60

Instrumentation. This study aimed to advance scientific knowledge by

examining to what degree there was a relationship between teachers’ servant

leadership behaviors and classroom climate and student achievement at the

collegiate level. Prior research studies demonstrated a positive correlation

between servant leadership, school culture, and student achievement at the

elementary and secondary levels of education (Boyer, 2012; Hays, 2008; Hiller et

al., 2011; Robinson et al., 2008). While this study was different in that it sought to

discover a correlation at the collegiate level, it was reasonable to anticipate

similar results. It was also reasonable to utilize instruments that had been used in

the previous studies (Bowman, 2005; Boyer, 2012; Cunningham, 2008; Drobot &

Roşu, 2012; Hays, 2008; Metzcar, 2009; Scardino, 2013). As discussed in detail

above in relation to specific characteristics of servant leadership and classroom

climate, several measures have been developed that the researcher reviewed.

These include the LEI, the CLES, the SLEI, CES, ICEQ, and WIHIC (Fraser et

al., 1996; Taylor et al., 1995; Trickett & Moos, 1973; Walberg & Anderson, 1968

WIHIC). Two of the instruments used in this research, which were used in prior

studies, provided the best fit: The Servant Leadership Profile—Revised [SLP-R]

(Wong & Page, 2003) and The College and University Classroom Environment

Inventory [CUCEI] (Fraser et al., 1986). The SLP-R was the only instrument that

also accounted for the potential negative leadership characteristics of egotistic

pride and abuse of power and the CUCEI is the most frequently used classroom

climate instrument in similar research (Fraser, Tobin, & McRobbie, 2012). The

third instrument, end of course student grades, served as a measure of student

61

achievement. While studies at the elementary and secondary school levels relied

on standardized test results as a measure of student achievement, there was no

equivalent at the collegiate level.

Summary

History provides multiple examples demonstrating the irony of great leaders who

influence others by placing themselves in subordinate positions (Keith, 2008). The

foundational theories for this research—servant leadership and organizational climate—

partially explicate this paradox. These theories were developed by Greenleaf (2007),

Litwin and Stringer (1968), and Schein (1984), and were used to study transformational

follower development and unifying values within organizations to align behavior. In

concert, leadership and organizational culture and climate are symbiotic (Kotter, 2009;

Stringer Jr., 2012).

Saphier and King (1985) identified the importance of organizational culture in

education. The historic factory model of education is no longer producing desired results

(Chance & Chance, 2002; Zeitvogel, 2010). Waters et al. (2003) synthesized 30 years of

leadership in education and recommended careful attention to school culture. Saphier

(2011) recommended changing teacher-student paradigms to increase learning

effectiveness. In the 21st century educational environment, there is a greater need for

educational leaders than professional teachers (Luqman et al., 2012). Furthermore, it is

known that educational climate influences student achievement (Cunningham,

2008;Herndon, 2007). More specifically, contemporary research recommended servant

leadership to enhance and improve academic environments and achievement (Black,

2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Hiller et al., 2011; Kelley et al., 2005; Luqman et al.,

62

2012; Spillane, 2005).

At the macro environmental level of education, research identified strong positive

correlations between servant leadership and improved achievement (Hays, 2008; Hiller et

al., 2011; Robinson et al., 2008; van Dierendonck & Nuitjen, 2011). However, while

overall school climate affects student achievement, the past studies create a gap in the

literature with respect to leadership in the classroom and the influence of servant

leadership in higher education (Black, 2010; Herndon, 2007). This research addresses the

following problem: It is not known to what degree there is a relationship between

teachers’ servant leadership behaviors, classroom climate, and improved student

achievement in a college setting. Specifically, the extent to which a servant leadership

classroom climate affects student achievement is not known.

Quantitative, correlational research is the most frequent empirical design

examining the trivariate correlations of servant leadership, climate, and student

achievement. Fortunately, there are established survey instruments for both servant

leadership and classroom climate—SLP-R (Wong & Page, 2005) and the CUCEI (Fraser

et al., 1986). Teachers’ servant leadership behavior and classroom climate were the

predictor variables in this study. Student achievement was the criterion variable.

This study examined the correlations between servant leadership, classroom

climate, and student achievement. To date, these studies only exist at the administrative

levels for primary and secondary education (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007;

Hiller et al., 2011; Kelley et al., 2005; Spillane, 2005). This study sought to identify these

correlations at the classroom level in higher education. Understanding this dynamic was

critical to identify, confirm, or refute a popular leadership paradigm—servant

63

leadership—in an educational context. Additionally, although this research supported

current practices of teacher pedagogy at the collegiate level, it also recommends a closer

examination of the professional development of collegiate teachers in the areas of

leadership and pedagogy (in addition to subject matter expertise). Chapter 3 contains the

specific methodological elements of this research.

64

Chapter 3: Methodology

Introduction

Teacher leadership styles are as varied as teachers are. However, the principles,

values, and practices of servant leadership can make a profound difference on the

learning experience for both students and teachers (Hays, 2008). These findings are

significant because the United States’ world education rankings have declined.

Fortunately, the link has been established between administrative servant leadership,

school climate and student achievement (Black, 2010; Kelley et al., 2005; Herndon 2007;

and Robinson et al., 2008). Unfortunately, the link has not been established for teacher

servant leadership to classroom climate and student achievement in higher education. The

purpose of this quantitative research was to see to what degree a relationship exists

between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement for students and

faculty at a small university in Northwest Pennsylvania.

The methodology of the study is explained in this chapter. Components of this

process include the statement of the problem, research hypotheses, research

methodology, research design, population and sampling procedures, instrumentation,

validity, reliability, data collection and analysis procedures, and ethical considerations.

Each of these areas are discussed in detail.

Statement of the Problem

This quantitative, correlational study examined the relationships between servant

leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement. It was not known whether and to

what degree teachers’ servant leadership behaviors correlated with classroom climate and

student achievement. The educational environment of this research was a small, private,

65

Catholic university in Northwest Pennsylvania. The data for this study were drawn from

two survey instruments and final course grades. The first instrument, the SLP-R, was

used to collect data on the servant leadership characteristics of the teachers. The second

instrument, the CUCEI, was used to collect data on the nature of each classroom climate.

Finally, students’ end of course grades were used to reflect student achievement.

Research Questions and Hypotheses

The research questions and hypotheses for this study focused on the identification

and measurement of teachers’ servant leadership behaviors, the classroom climate created

by these behaviors, and subsequent student achievement. Values determine behaviors

(McClelland, 1985). This concept is not new. It is foundational to understanding human

psychology and behavior and the premise underlying behavioral models such as

Maslow’s (1954) hierarchy of needs and Herzberg’s motivation to work (Herzberg,

1959). Collectively, “common values are the glue that binds an organization together;

they motivate and create a sense of community. If properly implemented, the employees

can be trusted in the absence of direct rules and regulations” (Brytting & Trollestad,

2000, p. 55). These common values create the culture of the organization and directly

influence the climate (Schein, 2010). And, as stated previously, climate influences

achievement (Cunningham, 2008; Herndon, 2007).

Values-based leadership presumes moral and ethical leadership, in its purest form,

like servant leadership, ensures rational and emotional commitment to organizational

objectives (McCoy & McCoy, 2007). O’Toole (1996) identified integrity, vision, trust,

listening, respect for followers, clear thinking, and inclusion as the primary

characteristics of values-based leadership.

66

If we use beliefs to make decisions, our decisions will reflect our past history

in dealing with similar situations…If we use our values to make decisions; our

decisions will align with the future we want to experience. Values transcend

both contexts and experiences. (Barrett, 2007, p.1)

As stated previously, the inherent values that manifest leadership behavior work

to create the underlying values and beliefs (culture) of an organization. This culture, in

turn, is observable in the daily behaviors that regulate the organizational climate. While

there is an abundance of research that correlates leadership behavior with follower

achievement, empirical research directly correlating an organizational classroom climate

(because of leader behaviors) to student achievement is missing.

The following research questions and hypotheses guided this study:

R1: What is the relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and

classroom climate as reported by students?

H1: There is a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,

measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate

reported by students.

H0: There is not a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,

measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate

reported by students.

R2: What is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student

achievement?

H2: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors, measured by

the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course grades.

67

H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors,

measured by the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course

grades.

R3: To what extent is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and

student achievement mediated by classroom climate?

H3: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and student

achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI.

H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and

student achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI.

Research Methodology

This research used a quantitative methodology and correlational research design

because that methodology could help to ascertain whether and to what extent there was a

relationship between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement. It

did not explain why the dynamics of servant leadership and classroom climate affected

student achievement. Rather, it helped to identify the strength of the relationship between

these variables. Evidence-based practice and research measures and quantifies a

phenomenon (Vance et al., 2013). The research questions would not be supported by a

qualitative methodology, which aims to discover how and why a phenomenon occurs, but

does not support the correlation between variables (Bernard & Ryan, 2009) . Fortunately,

the availability of established instruments to look at the relationships between teacher

servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement precluded the need to

establish and validate questions or instruments for a qualitative or mixed methods

68

approach and lent themselves to a quantitative correlational study. Furthermore, this

study was designed to be consistent with prior research studies in this area of research.

There is extensive research on leadership and organizational climate (Fernando &

Chowdhury, 2010; Groves, 2006; Karakas, 2011; Leithwood & Mascall, 2008). Similar

studies demonstrated a positive correlation between servant leadership, school culture,

and student achievement at the elementary and secondary levels of education (Boyer,

2012; Hays, 2008; Hiller et al., 2011; Robinson et al., 2008). While this study was

different in that it sought to discover a correlation at the collegiate level, it was

reasonable to anticipate similar results. Prior research and results were the genesis of the

Figure 2. Conceptual framework model. Adapted from Latham (2013). Original copyright 2005. Used with permission.

69

research questions and hypotheses for this study. Moreover, since the focus of this

research was on correlating leadership and climate to student achievement instead of.

correlating leadership with student achievement or climate with student achievement

individually, it was possible to use established leadership and climate instruments

This study was conducted at a small, private, Catholic, university. There was a

presumption that the predictor variable of teachers’ servant leadership behaviors was the

predictor stimuli. Classroom climate was the primary moderating variable in the

relationship between the teacher and the criterion variable student achievement. Using

established survey instruments as the criterion response, based upon similar studies, the

primary hypothesis was that the presumed effect will be a more favorable classroom

climate and improved student achievement. However, it was important to acknowledge

the potential influence of confounding variables that may have intervened with our

results. Figure 2 shows a diagram of the conceptual framework.

Research Design

This was a quantitative, correlational study. The study sought to measure and

correlate real world classroom dynamics. In this study, mean values for servant

leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement were used to support or refute the

research hypotheses. While subsequent research may examine more complicated

relationships, for this research, the framing of these variables was linear. Since classroom

climate and student achievement data were paired—not independent of each other—“It is

important to account for this pairing in the analysis…[and]…concentrate on the

differences between the pairs of measurements rather than on the measurements

themselves” (Whitley & Ball, 2002, p. 3).

70

Epistemologically, a postpositivist worldview is one in which causes determine

effects; this perspective framed the origins of this research. The SLP-R and CUCEI

research instruments in this study converted individual values into numerical values.

“The aim of descriptive statistics is to quantitatively summarize a data set …used to

support statements about the population that the data are thought to represent” (Marusteri

& Bacarea, 2010, p.16). Therefore, a real world, numeric comparison of individual

differences in teachers’ servant leadership behaviors, classroom climate, and student

achievement reflects the realism of a postpositivist worldview.

The foundational theories for this research included servant leadership and

organizational climate. These were developed by Greenleaf (2007), Litwin and Stringer

(1968), and Schein (1984), and were used to study transformational follower

development and unifying values within an organization to align behavior. These theories

indicate that a servant leadership paradigm emphasizes the development of the follower

and the organizational climate helps to facilitate follower receptivity to leadership

direction.

This correlational study did not question established theories in use; rather, it

attempted to identify the strength of the correlation between the variables. Thus, it was

consistent with a quantitative, correlational research study. In this study, correlating the

variables of teacher servant leadership behavior with classroom climate and classroom

climate with student achievement required servant leadership and climate instrumentation

and end of course grades.

For this research, the SLP-R and CUCEI surveys provided numerical scale scores

to determine the correlation between the level of teacher servant leadership in a

71

classroom and classroom climate. The survey results were correlated with student

achievement as measured by end of course grades. Teachers’ servant leadership behavior

and classroom climate were the predictor variables in this study. Student achievement

was the criterion variable. The unit of analysis for this study was the classroom.

Population and Sample Selection

The general population for this study included teachers and students. According to

the most recent academic year of complete educational statistics (2009-2010), the U.S.

Census Bureau reported 76.3 million students and 4.7 million teachers in the United

States. Within the general population, there are 20.6 million collegiate students

comprised of 11.7 million women and 8.9 million men. It also includes 313,156 female

and 415,821 male collegiate teachers totaling 728,977 faculty (U.S. Census Bureau,

2011).

The study population was drawn from approximately 3,600 students and 260

faculty members at a small, private university in Northwest Pennsylvania. The average

class size was fewer than 25 students and teaching assistants did not teach classes. The

tenets of the university’s Catholic origins remain a strong cultural influence.

An a priori power analysis calculation recommended a sample size of 34 (see

Appendix L). However, the small faculty population and instrumentation constraints

(non-science-related lecture classes without laboratory periods) made attainment of this

sample size unlikely. A compromise power analysis with a hypothetical sample size of 15

determined a power of .83 (see Appendix L). Finally, a post hoc power analysis

computed a power of 0.76 for correlation and 0.47 for multiple linear regression (see

Appendix L).

72

The University email system was used to contact and recruit potential

participants, who were adult students; the email was sent to instructors inviting them to

participate by handing out sealed paper-based surveys to the adult students in their

classes. The study was geographically limited to students and teachers at the main

campus location only. Additionally, participation requirements limited the study to non-

science-related lecture classes without laboratory periods. To avoid participant

identification and encourage candid responses, each set of class data was assigned an

alphabetic code. The alphabetic coding of survey instruments in the research design

protected participant confidentiality by recording all data anonymously. In an attempt to

obtain the largest possible sample from the university, the sampling procedure was

purposely open to the entire university.

Instrumentation

The necessary data for this research was provided by instruments that reveal

teacher servant leadership, classroom climate and student achievement. Fortunately, there

are established survey instruments for both servant leadership and classroom climate—

The SLP-R (Wong & Page, 2005) and the CUCEI (Fraser et al., 1986). Finally, end of

course student grades were collected. While collegiate grades may not follow a

traditional bell curve, within this environment, they are the only established differentiator

of student achievement where, unlike the K-12 educational environment, there is no

standardized test to measure student achievement.

The Servant Leadership Profile-Revised Survey Instrument. Page and Wong

(2000) created the Servant Leadership Profile instrument to “measure what servant-

leadership is and how it achieves its positive results” (p.12). This 100 item instrument

73

focused on four over-arching characteristics of servant leadership: (1) character –

orientation (focuses on the attitude toward integrity, humility, and servanthood of the

leader); (2) people-orientation (focuses on how the leader cares for, empowers, and

develops followers); (3) task-orientation (focuses on the leader’s concern with

productivity and success); and (4) process-orientation (focuses on the leaders concern for

increasing the efficiency of the organization).

Subsequently, Wong and Page (2003) developed SLP-R based on empirical

research and an opponent-process model which “explicitly identifies autocratic leadership

as antithetic to the practice of servant leadership” (Wong, Davey, & Church, 2007, p. 5).

This revised 62 item instrument includes two additional subscales: abuse of power and

egotistic pride (Wong & Page, 2003). The instrument employs a seven point Likert scale

ranging from (1) strongly disagree to (7) strongly agree. Validity of this instrument is

established by voluminous research in the creation of its predecessor – the 99-item

Servant Leadership Profile. According to Page and Wong (2000), this instrument has an

alpha reliability score of 0.937. It is the preferred servant leadership instrument of the

Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership (Page, 2012).

The College and Classroom Environment Inventory Survey Instrument. In

1986, Fraser et al. concluded despite numerous classroom psychosocial environment

instruments available at the primary and secondary levels of education, “surprisingly little

analogous work has been conducted at the tertiary level” (p.43). The CUCEI assesses

perceptions of seven classroom dimensions: personalization, involvement, student

cohesiveness, task orientation, satisfaction, innovation, and individualization. Each of the

49 items is rated on a five-point scale: strongly agree, agree, neutral or no answer,

74

disagree, and strongly disagree. Cross validation of the instrument over several studies

determined alpha reliability scores ranging from 0.85 to 0.96 across the seven

dimensions. It is an established instrument. According to the most recent addition of the

Second International Handbook Of Science Education (Fraser, Tobin, & McRobbie,

2012), the CUCEI is still one of the two most frequently used instruments specifically

designed for use at the collegiate level of education. The other instrument, The Science

Laboratory Environment Inventory (SLEI), is only applicable for science laboratory

classes. The SLP-R instrument produces a scale score. Likewise, the CUCEI produces a

scale score. And students’ final letter grades were numerically coded to produce a scale

score as follows: A equaled six; B+ equaled five; B equaled four; C+ equaled three; C

equaled two: D+ or lower equaled one.

Validity

There are two aspects to research validity. Face validity is a subjective evaluation

whether the instrument appears to measure what it purports to measure (Kouzes &

Posner, 2002). The SLP-R was created to “measure what servant-leadership is and how it

achieves its positive results” (Wong & Page, 2002, p.12). This 62 question instrument

assesses six dimensions of servant leadership: character orientation, people orientation,

task orientation, process orientation, abuse of power, and egotistic pride (Wong & Page,

2003). The CUCEI is a 49-question instrument assessing perceptions of seven classroom

dimensions: personalization, involvement, student cohesiveness, task orientation,

satisfaction, innovation, and individualization (Fraser et al., 1986). In both cases, these

instruments appear to measure appropriate aspects of servant leadership and classroom

climate.

75

The second aspect of research validity includes empirical research, or internal

validity (Kouzes & Posner, 2002). Internal validity refers to “the extent to which the

design and conduct of a study are likely to have prevented bias” (Collaboration, 2005, p.

22). The SLP-R was originally validated by more than 1,000 participants in development

of the instrument (Wong & Page, 2003). Subsequently, a Google Scholar search

identifies dozens of studies confirming its validity. The creators of the CUCEI cross-

validated their instrument in multiple studies in both Australia and the United States with

more than 400 participants (Fraser et al., 1986).

Reliability

Experimental reliability is “the degree to which results obtained by a

measurement procedure can be replicated” (Collaboration, 2005, p. 38). An alpha

reliability score of 0.937 indicates high internal reliability for the SLP-R (Page and

Wong, 2000). Likewise, alpha reliability scores between 0.85 and 0.96 over several

studies indicates high internal reliability for this CUCEI (Fraser et al., 2012, pp. 1196-

1197).

Data Collection and Management

The general population for this research included all teachers and students at a

small university in Northwest Pennsylvania. The targeted population consisted of

collegiate professors and students. The sample consisted of approximately 260 faculty

and 3600 students at a small university in Northwest Pennsylvania. The study was

geographically limited to students and teachers at the main campus location only.

Additionally, participation requirements limited the study to non-science related lecture

76

classes without laboratory periods. The University email system was used to contact and

recruit potential participants.

The data required for this research included the SLP-R instrument completed by

teachers and a corresponding CUCEI instrument for the students in each teacher’s class.

Lastly, end of course student grades were collected. The teachers’ servant leadership

behavior as measured by the SLP-R and the classroom climate as measured by CUCEI

were the predictor variables. The students’ final course grade was the criterion variable.

The data collection occurred in the latter half of the semester (to allow sufficient time for

the classroom climate to be established).

Participating teachers received a coded packet from the survey coordinator that

included participant informed consent forms, one SLP-R survey instrument with a

sealable envelope, and enough CUCEI instruments for each student in the class

(approximately 25). To ensure teacher anonymity and confidentiality, the survey

coordinator distributed and collected these packets to/from participating teachers. This

step was included to ensure teachers that the researcher would not know which specific

packet corresponded to them.

First and foremost, each survey instrument begin with an explanation of this

research and a request for participation by asking each respondent to sign an informed

consent form. This form included an explanation that informed participants that the

survey was to be completed anonymously to ensure confidentiality. Additionally, this

explanation included a statement that participation in this study was voluntary.

The survey instruments were paired with their instructor’s SLP-R. For example,

the SLP-R instrument completed by the teacher labeled “A” and the corresponding

77

CUCEI instruments completed by students in that class were also labeled “A”. Upon

completion of the survey instruments, teachers were asked to replace their completed

SLP-R survey into the envelope provided and seal it. Thus, while the survey coordinator

knew which survey the teacher completed (in this example, A), the sealed envelope

ensured the coordinator could not see the teacher’s data and, therefore, protected teacher

confidentiality and anonymity. This sealed envelope, all completed consent forms, and all

completed CUCEI surveys were replaced into the research packet, in separate groups, and

returned to the survey coordinator.

The researcher collected the completed survey packets from the survey

coordinator. Based upon completed Student Informed Consent forms, the researcher

prepared a student participation roster. Again, while the researcher knew the identity of

participating students based on completed consent forms, the separate groups of consent

forms and surveys ensured the researcher was not be able to identify which student

completed each survey. The intent of this roster was to ensure that final course grades

collected only included the grades of students who voluntarily participated in the study.

This participation roster served as a collection aid for each teacher. The coded Student

Participation Rosters were given to the Survey Coordinator to be returned to each

appropriate teacher. Again, this ensured the researcher could not identify the teachers.

Finally, at the conclusion of the semester, teachers were asked to use this

participation roster to aggregate and record final grades of participating students. To

reiterate, while the teacher knew who participated in the study – an unavoidable dynamic

when informed consent forms are required–like the researcher, the teacher did not see

which student provided specific data, so student confidentiality was maintained. Each

78

roster was accompanied by a final grade chart where the total grade distribution was

recorded (see Figure 3). Again, to ensure teacher anonymity with the researcher, the

completed Participating Students’ Grade Distribution sheets were returned to the Survey

Coordinator.

Figure 3. Participating students’ grade distribution example.

In summary, the researcher received a coded packet from each teacher. The

packet contained the SLP-R survey completed by the teacher, the corresponding CUCEI

surveys completed by students, and the final grade distributions from the Participating

Students’ Grade Distribution sheets. This procedure protected the individual data of

participating teachers and students. Even though the data were recorded anonymously to

protect the identity and security of participants, per institutional IRB guidelines, they

were also maintained in secure storage in a locked file cabinet at the researcher’s home

office. To prepare the data for analysis, each survey instrument was tabulated according

to its corresponding evaluation criteria. This resulted in scale scores (continuous and

interval level scores) for the SLP-R and CUCEI. Final course grades were converted into

ordinal numbers per the following chart (see Figure 4). All data will be kept in the secure,

79

locked location at the researcher’s home office for 5 years following conferral of the

doctoral degree, and will then be destroyed by shredding.

Figure 4. Letter grade to ordinal number conversion chart.

Data Analysis Procedures

This research helped to identify the correlations between servant leadership,

climate, and student achievement in an educational environment. These correlations

provide insight and helped answer the following research questions. First, what is the

relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and classroom climate as

reported by students? Second, what is the relationship between servant leadership

behavior and student achievement? Third, to what extent is the relationship between

servant leadership behavior and student achievement mediated by classroom climate?

Based upon results of similar studies at lower levels of education, the hypotheses for this

study were as follows:

H1: There is a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,

measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate reported by

students.

80

H0: There is not a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,

measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate reported by

students.

H2: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors, measured by the

SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course grades.

H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors, measured by

the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course grades.

H3: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and student

achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI.

H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and student

achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI.

Preparation of data. The raw data for this research was comprised of servant

leadership profile scores, classroom climate scores, and students’ final grades. The

researcher screened the data to ensure there were properly recorded answers to each

question in the instruments. Incomplete instruments were not used. The SLP-R and

CUCEI survey instruments require the use of coding keys to aggregate and tabulate

overall leadership and climate scores for each participant. For example, The SLP-R

included 62 questions and categorized seven factors of servant leadership. Use of the

coding key determined a score for each factor. Then, the average of the seven category

scores created an overall servant leadership score. Finally, the professors received a

participant worksheet to identify and provide participant student grades. Responses to the

surveys were entered into an excel spreadsheet and then uploaded to SPSS. Due to the

nature of the study design, the ratio of servant leadership profile data to classroom

81

climate and final grade data approximated the teacher to student ratio of participating

classes. Consequently, the sample size of teachers was expected to be much smaller than

the sample size of students.

Empirically, the two instruments for this study, SLP-R and the CUCEI, generate

scale scores. Therefore, a Pearson correlation was appropriate to address the first research

question and hypothesis. The data for the second research question and hypothesis

consisted of an interval level variable from the SLP-R and an ordinal value (student

grades). Consequently, a Spearman correlation was appropriate for this analysis. Finally,

the data for the third research question and hypothesis consisted of two predictor

variables (servant leadership behavior and classroom climate) and one criterion variable

(student achievement). “Regression analysis is a statistical tool for the investigation of

relationships between variables. Usually, the investigator seeks to ascertain the causal

effect of one variable upon another” (Sykes, 1993, p. 1). Thus, multiple linear regression

analysis of the predictor variables (servant leadership and classroom climate) and the

criterion variable (student achievement) was appropriate.

The established survey instruments for this research report high levels of

statistical significance. The SLP-R instrument reports an alpha reliability score of 0.937.

The CUCEI instrument reports alpha reliability scores between 0.85 and 0.96. Therefore,

for this analysis, a reasonable level of statistical significance-alpha-was set at p=.05.

Tests of assumptions. The Pearson’s correlation measures the strength of a linear

association. The variables must be continuous and linear (see Figure 10), there must be a

normal distribution (see Table 8 for the Schapiro-Wilk’s test and the more stringent

Kolmogorov-Smirnov test), and no significant outliers as shown in scatterplots Figure 10

82

and Figure 17. The Spearman’s correlation measures the strength and direction of an

association of two variables. The tests of assumptions for the Spearman’s correlation

were that the data consisted of an interval level variable from the SLP-R and an ordinal

value (student grades). Figure 17 shows a monotonic relationship between the two

variables. The test of assumptions for the multiple linear regression included the fact that

there were two predictor variables, the criterion variable was continuous, and there was a

linear relationship between the variables. The study assumed equal error variance across

all levels of the predictors which is usually tested using a scatterplot. The study also

assumed that there was no multicollinearity and no significant outliers in the data that

were collected.

Ethical Considerations

This correlational study was completed with minimal intrusions on the privacy

and rights of the subjects. Names of the subjects were not required. Numbered servant

leadership instruments protected the identities of the teachers. The classroom climate

instruments were anonymous. However, they were coded to be associated with the same

code assigned to the teacher. This anonymity was important for several reasons. First,

because this research used instruments that evaluated leadership and classroom climate, it

was likely that some teachers would not be willing to participate out of fear that they may

be labeled a poor leader or have a poor classroom climate. Respect for individuals

demanded extreme care with data that may be perceived as embarrassing or harmful to

the participants. Second, to ensure research design integrity, survey anonymity reduced

the likelihood of participants attempting to manipulate their survey answers to look

better. Therefore, participant anonymity was highly likely to reduce bias. All participants

83

completed the surveys on paper, and the final class grades were also provided on paper.

The data were collected in coded, sealed envelopes, unsealed by the researcher, and are

stored in those same envelopes in a locked file cabinet in the researcher’s home office.

All data will be kept for five years after conferral of the doctoral degree. At that time, the

records will be shredded.

The study required institutional IRB approval. Information for informed consent

emphasized the voluntary nature of this research and was provided to all prospective

participants. Additionally, site authorization was obtained through IRB and individual

Department Chair approval at the university (See Appendix A).

Limitations

There were several limitations to this study, which are described in detail below.

1. This study was limited by a small sample. While there were more than 300 CUCEI responses from student participants, there were only 18 SLP-R instruments from teachers. Therefore, in essence, there were only 18 data points of servant leadership to be correlated against 18 aggregated classroom climate scores. The unit of analysis was the classroom.

2. This study was limited to the validity and reliability of the survey instruments.

3. This study was limited by the disproportionate sample sizes of criterion versus predictor variables. The ratio of predictor variables teacher servant leadership and classroom climate surveys to the criterion variable, final grades, was approximately 1:17 (average class size).

4. This study was limited by population constraints. That is, the instruments required non-science-related lecture classes without laboratory periods.

5. This study was limited by the double blind study design that precluded in- depth analysis of potential differences in data. At face value, based upon the correlation between teacher servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement, several individual correlations did not reveal a statistical significance and, therefore, lowered the overall statistical significance of these correlations. However, upon review, the kind of courses that were selected for inclusion in the study (e.g., basic, university-required courses as well as senior elective courses) were sufficiently different in kind as to affect the results. The data from the senior elective courses showed disproportionally high grades on

84

average, which may have reflected higher knowledge levels among the learners than did non-elective courses. In those cases of senior elective courses, teacher leadership may not have been the true determinant of student achievement. In contrast, a large class of students in a university-required course may have been more likely to approximate a normal bell curve of grades. In those cases, teacher servant leadership may have been a more influential determinant of classroom climate and student achievement. Likewise, lower achievement may be more attributable to the difficulty of content than the classroom climate created by a teacher’s leadership. Unfortunately, due to the double blind design, intended as a strong identity protection measure of this study, prevented the researcher from exploring this dynamic.

6. The survey of collegiate students was delimited to a private, Catholic University in Northwest Pennsylvania, limiting the demographic sample. The study habits and characteristics of students at a private Catholic University may not be generalizable to the entire population of collegiate students.

Summary

This chapter contained the problem statement, research questions and hypotheses,

research methodology and design, population and sampling selection. The chapter also

contained descriptions of the sampling, data collection, and analysis procedures.

Instrumentation, validity, reliability, ethical considerations, and limitations associated

with the methodology of this study. Finally, an explanation of the foundational

framework supported the quantitative research methodology.

The problem statement revealed the focus of this research: it was not known

whether and to what degree teachers’ servant leadership behaviors correlated with

classroom climate and improved student achievement. The research questions and

hypotheses expected positive correlations between servant leadership, classroom climate,

and student achievement. The foundational theories for this research included servant

leadership and organizational climate as developed by Greenleaf (2007) and Schein,

(1984). These theories suggest a servant leadership paradigm that emphasizes the

development of the follower and the organizational climate that could facilitate follower

85

receptivity to leadership direction. Since this correlational study attempted to identify the

strength of the correlation between variables, it was consistent with a quantitative,

correlational research study.

Power analysis revealed an acceptable sample size of 18 teachers and their

assigned students (see Appendix L) from a sample population of approximately 260

faculty and 3000 students at a small, private, Catholic institution in Northwest

Pennsylvania. Fortunately, the use of established instrumentation provided alpha

reliability scores ranging from 0.85 to 0.96. These scores and the popularity of these

instruments in contemporary research indicated high degrees of validity and reliability.

The raw data for this research was comprised of servant leadership profile scores,

classroom climate scores, and student’s final grades. A Pearson correlation was

appropriate to address the relationship between teacher servant leadership behavior and

classroom climate because the two instruments in this study generate scale scores. A

Spearman correlation was appropriate to address the relationship between teacher servant

leadership and student achievement because the relevant data consisted of an interval

level variable from the SLP-R and an ordinal value (student grades). Finally, multiple

linear regression analysis of the predictor variables (servant leadership and classroom

climate) and criterion variable (student achievement) was appropriate to identify the

mediation effects of classroom climate between teacher servant leadership and student

achievement (Sykes, 1993).

The anonymity of the research design and data collection procedures

demonstrated a high regard for ethical considerations associated with this research. Study

participation was voluntary and it was impossible to link study data to individual study

86

participants. While these procedures decreased possible bias limitations to this research,

disproportionate, variable sample sizes, a relatively homogenous sample population

(small, private, Catholic institution), and the inability to conduct further in depth analysis

on individual data sets revealed potential limitations. The raw data, results, and analysis

of this research are presented and discussed in Chapter 4.

87

Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Results

Introduction

The purpose of this study was to determine the degree to which a relationship

existed between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement for

students and faculty at a small university in Northwest Pennsylvania. It was not known

how teacher servant leadership correlated with classroom climate and student

achievement at the collegiate level. The researcher sought to examine to what degree

servant leadership characteristics were present in classroom teachers in one university as

measured by the revised Servant Leadership Profile (SLP-R) developed by Wong and

Page (2005). The SLP-R scores were obtained from 18 teachers and 301 students. In

addition, the researcher sought to examine to what degree there was a relationship

between servant leadership and classroom climate, the latter measured by the College and

University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) developed by Fraser et al. (1986).

The research targeted 18 faculty members within the university, and collected data from

301 students within those 18 classes.

The basic research questions and hypotheses of this study asked whether teachers’

servant leadership behaviors, as perceived by students, created a positive classroom

climate and the extent to which the resultant classroom climate affected student

achievement. Specifically:

R1: What is the relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and

classroom climate as reported by students?

88

H1: There is a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,

measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate

reported by students (SLP-R) (Wong & Page, 2003).

H0: There is not a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,

measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate

reported by students (Wong & Page, 2003).

R2: What is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student

achievement?

H2: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors, measured by

the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course grades (Wong

& Page, 2003).

H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors,

measured by the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course

grades (Wong & Page, 2003).

R3: To what extent is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and

student achievement mediated by classroom climate?

H3: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and student

achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI (Fraser

et al., 1986).

H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and

student achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI

(Fraser et al., 1986).

89

The research methodology that was used within the study was quantitative, with a

correlational research design. The approach examined the results of two survey

instruments, the SLP-R and CUCEI, and end of semester student grades.

This chapter explained the descriptive data, data analysis procedures, and results

of the study. After the descriptive data, the individual results of each instrument are

presented. Then, the analyses of correlations between data sets are presented. These

results will be presented for each research question and hypothesis. The chapter will

conclude with a summary of major findings of the research.

Descriptive Data

The setting for this study was a small, private, Catholic, liberal arts university in

Northwest Pennsylvania. The population for this research included teachers and students.

The targeted population comprised of collegiate professors and students. The sample

included students and faculty at a small, private, Catholic, liberal arts university in

Northwest Pennsylvania. The sample characteristics reflected a small, private, Catholic

university.

The sample for this research included 18 classrooms from several departments

(Business, World Languages, Criminal Justice, Philosophy, Communications,

Intelligence Studies, English, Economics, and Political Science) with a sample size of

301 students at a small university in Northwest Pennsylvania. The courses taught in the

classrooms that participated in this study included both university-required and elective

programs of study. The course curricula thus ranged from introductory to advanced

material. The average class size was 17 students. Faculty experience ranged from 5 ½ to

more than 30 years, and the majority (10), had at least 10 years of collegiate teaching

90

experience. Students enrolled from freshman through senior years were included. The

teacher/class profiles for each class are presented in Figures 5 and 6. Figure 5 illustrates

faculty teaching experience. All teacher participants had significant teaching experience.

Attaining tenure at this university requires a minimum of seven years of teaching

experience. Every faculty participant had at least seven years of experience. Moreover,

the majority of the faculty (62.5%) had more than 10 years of collegiate teaching

experience.

Figure 5. Faculty experience profile.

The majority of the classes (66%) had at least 15 students who participated in the study.

While the actual student sample size was 301, the average class size for this study was 17

students. Since the unit of analysis was the classroom and there was one teacher per

classroom (18 classrooms), the sample size was 18.

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Faculty Experience

Years of Experience

91

Figure 6. Class size.

Due to an expected small sample size, an original compromise power analysis

determined a reasonably acceptable sample of 15. As the faculty participation of 6.9%

coincided with the usual social sciences study return rate of 7%, the actual study sample

size of 18 yielded a Post hoc power analysis of .76 for correlational analysis.

The details are listed in Appendix L.

Data Analysis Procedures

Descriptive statistics were used to draw conclusions from the sample. Three sets

of data were necessary for this analysis: the SLP-R, the CUCEI, and end of course

student grades. The data for each instrument are described in the following sections.

Details about the data analysis procedures follow.

Servant Leadership Profile-Revised. The SLP-R measures servant leadership

and employs a seven point Likert scale ranging from (1) strongly disagree to (7) strongly

agree. It is an opponent process model instrument that defines servant leadership by both

the presence of certain positive qualities, and the absence of certain negative qualities.

The positive qualities include: (a) Servanthood, (b) Leadership, (c) Visioning, (d)

Developing others, (e) Empowering others, (f) Team-building, (g) Shared decision-

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Class Size

Number of Students Average

92

making, and (h) Integrity. The SLP-R combines some of these eight characteristics into

six factors. For example, Developing others and Empowering others were combined and

created Factor 1: Developing and Empowering others. It also combined the negative

characteristics of Abuse of Power and Control, and Pride and Narcissism, into Factor 2:

Power and Pride (vulnerability and humility). Thus, the SLP-R measures six positive and

one negative factor: Developing and Empowering others, Power and Pride, Authentic

Leadership, Participatory Leadership, Inspiring Leadership, Visionary Leadership, and

Courageous Leadership.

The negative qualities include: (a) Abuse of Power and Control, and (b) Pride and

narcissism. A simple way to determine whether one is a servant leader is to see whether

one scores high on Servanthood and Leadership, but low on Abuse of Power and Pride.

Thus, scoring high on Abuse of Power and Pride automatically disqualifies one as a

servant leader, regardless of high scores on the other subscales. That is why the inclusion

of these two negative subscales was important in the revised Servant Leadership Profile.

Therefore, Factor Two: Power and Pride (Vulnerability and Humility) became the initial

determinant of a servant leader. Subsequently, the scores for the other factors indicated a

relative strength of servant leadership attributes. The raw data scores for the SLP-R are

listed in Table 1.

93

Table 1 Servant Leadership Profile-Revised Raw Scores

Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Su

rv ey

C od

e

D ev

el op

in g

&

Em po

w er

in g

O th

er s

Po w

er &

P rid

e (v

ul ne

ra bi

lit y

&

H um

ili ty

)

A ut

he nt

ic

Le ad

er sh

ip

Pa rti

ci pa

to ry

Le

ad er

sh ip

In sp

iri ng

Le

ad er

sh ip

V is

io na

ry

Le ad

er sh

ip

Co ur

ag eo

us

Le ad

er sh

ip

1 4.00 5.00 4.18 6.20 4.42 4.80 5.40

2 5.00 3.12 4.36 5.60 4.71 3.80 5.40 3 6.12 2.62 5.90 6.40 6.00 6.40 6.40

4 5.00 3.25 5.09 6.00 4.57 4.80 5.40 5 6.75 1.75 6.90 7.00 6.57 6.80 7.00

6 3.50 4.25 3.81 3.50 4.00 3.40 3.00 7 5.00 3.12 4.36 5.60 4.71 3.80 5.40

8 6.81 1.37 6.18 6.90 6.85 6.60 6.60 9 5.75 2.87 5.45 5.80 6.14 5.60 6.60

10 6.62 1.00 6.63 7.00 6.71 6.40 6.60 11 5.37 1.75 5.63 5.60 4.71 3.80 5.20

12 7.00 1.00 6.63 6.90 6.57 6.40 7.00 13 5.56 1.00 5.27 6.40 5.42 4.80 6.40

14 5.00 3.12 4.36 5.60 4.71 3.80 5.40 15 5.75 3.25 5.90 6.40 5.85 6.00 6.20

16 5.31 2.50 5.63 6.00 5.28 5.80 6.00 17 5.56 3.75 5.54 6.00 5.42 5.20 6.20

18 5.68 3.75 5.54 6.00 5.42 5.20 6.20

Note: Shaded cells represent scores indicating these were not servant leaders.

Based upon the data in Table 1, instructors 1, 6, 17 and 18 scored higher than 3.5

in Factor 2 and were thus identified as non-servant leaders. This identification, however,

did not disqualify these teachers from the sample. On the contrary, their inclusion

afforded the potential to further validate the basic research hypothesis that better servant

leaders would produce higher student achievement. The remaining 14 teachers scored

high enough in these areas to be labeled servant leaders. The servant leadership score (an

94

average of all attributes) reveals the relative strength of servant leadership and is listed in

descending order in Table 2.

Table 2 Instructor Servant Leadership Rankings

Rank Instructor Average Score 1 5 6.11 2 12 5.93 3 8 5.9 4 10 5.85 5 3 5.69 6 15 5.62 7 9 5.46 8 18 5.40 9 17 5.38

10 16 5.22 11 13 4.98 12 4 4.87 13 1 4.86 14 11 4.58 15 2 4.57 16 7 4.57 17 14 4.57 18 6 3.64

Ironically, while the overall servant leadership scores of instructors 18, 17 and 1

were higher than several other instructors, as stated previously, the high scores in Factor

Two (Power and Pride) identified these instructors as self-serving, thus preventing them

from meeting the criteria that defines true servant leaders. The servant leadership scores

were used to correlate servant leadership and classroom climate (Hypothesis 1), servant

leadership and student achievement (Hypothesis 2), and the extent to which servant

leadership and student achievement are mediated by classroom climate (Hypothesis 3).

Those correlations are presented later in this chapter.

95

CUCEI. The CUCEI assessed perceptions of seven classroom dimensions:

personalization, involvement, student cohesiveness, satisfaction, task orientation,

innovation, and individualization. Each of the 49 items is rated on a five-point scale:

strongly agree, agree, neutral or no answer, disagree, and strongly disagree. The

questions measure each of the above dimensions in cyclic order. Additionally, to prevent

students from recognizing the cyclical pattern, the scoring is reversed for approximately

half of the questions. Higher scores (greater than 3.0) indicate a favorable classroom

climate. The raw data scores for the CUCEI are listed in Table 3.

Table 3 College and University Classroom Environment Inventory Raw Scores

Pe rs

on al

iz at

io n

In vo

lv em

en t

St ud

en t

C oh

es iv

en es

s

Sa tis

fa ct

io n

Ta sk

O rie

nt at

io n

In no

va tio

n

In di

vi du

al iz

at io

n

1 4.49 4.22 4.20 4.53 4.37 3.10 3.10 2 4.70 3.97 4.56 4.06 3.88 3.16 3.08 3 3.78 3.18 2.18 3.96 4.27 2.41 2.25 4 3.82 3.44 3.09 4.04 4.20 2.45 2.42 5 4.23 3.98 3.77 4.11 4.41 2.70 2.49 6 3.27 2.46 2.47 2.18 2.89 2.04 2.52 7 4.17 3.56 3.24 4.02 4.09 3.30 2.68 8 4.23 3.95 4.46 4.38 3.63 3.69 3.55 9 4.43 4.00 4.13 4.06 4.57 3.59 2.54

10 4.23 3.74 4.01 3.97 3.74 3.41 3.14 11 3.62 2.87 2.11 3.20 3.95 2.06 2.16 12 4.34 3.39 2.51 4.11 4.30 2.57 2.45 13 4.14 3.48 3.46 3.04 3.82 2.86 2.46 14 4.34 3.56 3.36 4.15 3.91 3.17 3.15 15 3.83 3.66 3.09 3.14 3.24 2.76 2.85 16 4.42 4.00 4.55 4.31 4.24 3.45 2.65 17 4.26 3.54 3.46 3.94 4.31 3.40 2.71 18 3.55 3.86 3.57 4.10 3.76 3.00 2.45

96

The classroom environment score (an average of all seven dimensions) revealed

the relative strength of each classroom climate and is listed in descending order in Table

4. The classroom environment scores were used to correlate servant leadership and

classroom climate (Hypothesis 1) and mediating effects between servant leadership and

student achievement (Hypothesis 3). Those correlations are presented later in this

chapter.

Table 4 Classroom Environment Rankings

Rank Class Score

1 1 4.00 2 8 3.98 3 16 3.95 4 2 3.92 5 9 3.90 6 10 3.75 7 5 3.67 8 14 3.67 9 17 3.66 10 7 3.58 11 18 3.47 12 12 3.38 13 4 3.35 14 13 3.32 15 15 3.22 16 3 3.15 17 11 2.85 18 6 2.55

Student achievement. Student achievement was measured by final course grades.

The university follows an alphabetic grading system with letter grades as follows: A, B+,

B, C+, C, D+, D, and F. For this study, the alphabetic grades were converted to ordinal

numbers. The grade conversion matrix and raw student grade data are listed in Tables 5

and 6.

97

Table 5 Grade Conversion Chart

Numeric % Letter Grade Study Conversion Score 93 – 100 A 6 90 – 92.9 B+ 5 83 – 89.9 B 4 80 – 82.9 C+ 3 73 – 79.9 C 2 70 – 72.9 D+ 1 65 – 69.9 D 1

<65 F 1

Table 6 Student Grade Raw Scores

A B+ B C+ C ≤ D+ No. of Students 1 2 3 2 7 2 6 4 0 1 11 3 12 9 2 1 1 25 4 14 2 7 2 25 5 14 9 2 25 6 10 6 5 2 2 25 7 7 5 4 1 2 1 20 8 6 2 3 1 12 9 5 1 3 9 10 4 2 6 3 2 17 11 11 9 5 4 29 12 6 5 2 1 1 15 13 9 3 3 2 17 14 5 3 3 2 1 1 15 15 11 4 4 1 20 16 8 5 3 1 17 17 3 1 1 5 18 3 1 2 1 7

Using the grade conversion chart above and then averaging the class grades

generated an overall class student achievement score. It is important to notice the

variability of class sizes. For example, Class 17 only had five students, so the variability

for that class should be much smaller. In fact, in this case, there was no variability. These

class scores are listed in descending order in Table 7.

98

Table 7 Class Student Achievement Scores

Rank Class Score 1 17 6 2 5 5.48 3 2 5.36 4 9 5.22 5 3 5.20 6 15 5.20 7 16 5.18 8 13 5.12 9 8 5.08 10 4 5.04 11 1 5.00 12 11 4.93 13 12 4.93 14 18 4.86 15 6 4.80 16 7 4.55 17 14 4.40 18 10 4.18

The student achievement scores were used to correlate servant leadership and

student achievement (Hypothesis 2) and the mediating effects of classroom climate on

servant leadership and student achievement (Hypothesis 3). Those correlations are

presented later in this chapter.

Preparation of data. To prepare the data for analysis, each survey instrument

was tabulated according to its corresponding evaluation criteria. This resulted in scale

scores (continuous and interval level scores) for the SLP-R and CUCEI. Final course

grades were converted into ordinal numbers. The first set of data—Teacher Servant

Leadership Scores—was used to correlate the relationship between teachers’ servant

leadership behaviors and classroom climate as reported by students. Empirically, the two

instruments for this study, SLP-R and CUCEI, generated scale scores. Therefore, a

Pearson correlation was appropriate to address the first research question and hypothesis.

A Pearson correlation measures the strength of a linear association of two continuous

variables. It was developed to determine a line of best fit between two sets of data points.

99

It is denoted by r. The coefficient r denotes the distance between the data points and the

line of best fit (Hauke & Kossowski, 2011).

The data for the second research question and hypothesis were used to correlate

the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student achievement. It

consisted of an interval level variable from the SLP-R and an ordinal value (student

grades). Consequently, a Spearman correlation was appropriate for this analysis. A

Spearman correlation describes the relationship between two variables. However, unlike

a Pearson correlation, it does not require variables measured on interval scales.

Therefore, it is appropriate for a correlation with ordinal values (Hauke & Kossowski,

2011).

Finally, the data for the third research question and hypothesis was used to

determine the extent to which the relationship between servant leadership behavior and

student achievement was mediated by classroom climate. It consisted of two predictor

variables (servant leadership behavior and classroom climate) and one criterion variable

(student achievement). However, because the study sample size was too small and did not

seek a fit with a causal model, path analysis was not appropriate (Wuensch, 2012). Thus,

a descriptive analysis of the relationship between the predictor variables (servant

leadership and classroom climate) and the criterion variable (student achievement) was

appropriate. The instrument results denoted high levels of internal consistency. The SLP–

R had a high level of internal consistency, as determined by a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.96.

Likewise, Cronbach’s alpha for the CUCEI was 0.89.

Sources of error. There are, however, several potential sources of error that may

have influenced the data. Foremost, while the overall number of participants was more

100

than 300, the key correlations pertained to the teachers and their servant leadership as an

influence on classroom climate and student achievement. Therefore, with regard to the

key parameter of teachers, the sample was only 18. This is an extremely small sample

size and a severe limitation to the study.

This same limitation of small sample size is also present in a few individual

classes where there were not many students. Because some of the class sizes were very

small, the relative significance of each individual student’s answer may be exaggerated.

This exaggeration would then be carried forward to the overall data correlations. The

effect of an outlier score in a very small class has a larger impact on the overall class

score. For example, just one student outlier response in a class of five represents a 20%

potential variance. Similarly, because the servant leadership scores are aggregated across

all seven variables, the disqualifying factor of servant leadership (Factor 2: Abuse of

Power and Pride) does not negate the scores of the positive characteristics of those

disqualified. Additionally, the substantial differences in class size (ranging from 5 to 25)

and variability within each group added an additional dimension not accounted for in the

study design. Finally, regarding student grades, the influence of potential grade inflation

by the instructors could skew the overall student achievement data upward.

Results

This section will present and analyze the data in a non-evaluative and unbiased

manner. The data were analyzed using IBM® SPSS® Statistics version 21 data analysis

software. Results from the teacher servant leadership profiles and the classroom climate

surveys were entered into the SPSS database for further analysis. Statistical analysis was

101

performed on all gathered data. The data are framed in concert with the research

questions and hypotheses.

Research Question 1. The first research question of this study was: What is the

relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and classroom climate as

reported by students? The corresponding hypotheses were:

H1: There is a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,

measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate

reported by students (SLP-R) (Wong & Page, 2003).

H0: There is not a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,

measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate

reported by students (Wong & Page, 2003).

The SLP-R scores for servant leadership have a possible range from 0.00 to 7.00. The

specific range of this study data is from a low servant leadership score of 3.64 to a high

of 6.11 as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7. Servant leadership scores.

0.00

1.00

2.00

3.00

4.00

5.00

6.00

7.00

Se rv

an t L

ea de

rs hi

p Sc

or es

Professors

Servant Leadership Scores

102

The mean servant leadership score in this study was 5.18. This was slightly lower than

the median of 5.30. And the data set mode is 4.57. These data are also depicted in a

histogram as shown below in Figure 8.

Figure 8. Servant leadership scores histogram.

The distribution of scores reflected a majority of scores at a servant leadership rating

between 5.00 and 6.00. More specifically, the data are represented in a box-plot as shown

in Figure 9.

Figure 9. Servant leadership scores box-plot.

The lower extreme was 3.64, while the upper extreme was 6.11. The median was

5.30 with a 1st quartile value of 4.58 and a 3rd quartile value of 5.69. Therefore, 50% of

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Fr eq

ue nc

y of

S co

re s

Range of Scores

Servant Leadership Scores Histogram

4.3. 5.0 5. 6.

103

the data fell between servant leadership score values of 4.58 and 5.69. The data were

clustered more closely between the median and upper limit.

Using these results to test the first hypothesis, a Pearson correlation between

servant leadership scores and classroom climate scores was computed. A Pearson

correlation requires meeting several assumptions. First, the relationship between the

variables must be linear. This linearity was confirmed by the following scatterplot in

Figure 10.

Figure 10. Servant leadership to classroom climate scatterplot.

In this scatterplot, the majority of data points occur between a climate score of 3

or 4 and range from 4.5 to 6 on the servant leadership scale. Therefore, a line of best fit is

a horizontal line at the climate score level of approximately 3.5. If the data points were

104

distributed throughout the chart there would not be a line of best fit and the relationship

between the variables would not be linear. Second, both variables were normally

distributed, as assessed by Shapiro-Wilk’s test (p > .05). The significance levels for each

of these variables was .325 and .157 for servant leadership and classroom climate

respectively as shown in Table 8 below.

Table 8 Tests of Normality

Kolmogorov-Smirnova Shapiro-Wilk Statistic Df Sig Statistic Df Sig SLPR .123 18 .200* .943 18 .325 CUCEI .135 18 .200* .925 18 .157

Having met the requirements for a Pearson correlation, the computed correlation

identified a moderate positive correlation between servant leadership and classroom

climate, (r = .407). However, the correlation was not significant at a 0.05 level (see Table

9).

Table 9 Pearson Correlation between Servant Leadership and Classroom Climate, N=18.

SL Climate

SL score Pearson Correlation 1 .41 Sig. (2-tailed) .09 N 18 18

Climate score Pearson Correlation .41 1 Sig. (2-tailed) .09 N 18 18

The results of the analysis confirm hypothesis 1:

H1: There is a positive correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,

105

measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and classroom climate reported by

students (SLP-R) (Wong & Page, 2003). However, the significance is at the .09 level,

which does not meet the 95% confidence interval level.

While this level of significance is not academically significant, research by Bosco

et al. (2015) suggested that it may be worthy of consideration. A meta-analysis of

147,328 correlations from empirical behavioral research in the social sciences between

1980 and 2010 bear little resemblance to the standard classification and interpretation of

effect sizes (Bosco, Aguinis, Singh, Field, & Pierce, 2015). Specifically, in the area of

leadership, any correlation greater than .14 is in the top quartile of correlations (Bosco et

al., 2015). This research confirms Maxwell’s (2004) findings that the current benchmarks

in applied psychology research lead to upwardly biased forecasts and – consequently –

underpowered studies.

Research Question 2. The first research question examined the relationship

between servant leadership and classroom climate. The second research question of this

study was: What is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student

achievement? The corresponding hypotheses were:

H2: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors, measured by

the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course grades (Wong

& Page, 2003).

H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors,

measured by the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course

grades (Wong & Page, 2003).

106

The scores for classroom climate have a possible range from 1.00 to 5.00. The specific

range of this study data were from a low classroom climate score of 2.55 to a high of 4.0

as shown in Figure 11.

Figure 11. Classroom climate scores.

The mean classroom climate score in this study was 3.52. This was slightly lower

than the median of 5.62. The data set mode was 3.67. These data are also depicted in a

histogram as shown in Figure 12.

Figure 12. Classroom climate scores.

0.00

0.50

1.00

1.50

2.00

2.50

3.00

3.50

4.00

4.50

Cl as

sr oo

m C

lim at

e S co

re

Classes

Climate Scores

0

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

1 2 3 4 5

Fr eq

ue nc

y of

S co

re s

Range of Scores

Classroom Climate Scores Histogram

107

The distribution of scores reflected a majority of scores at a classroom climate rating

between 3.0 and 4.0. More specifically, the data are represented in a box-plot as shown in

Figure 13.

Figure 13. Classroom climate scores box-plot.

The lower extreme was 2.55 while the upper extreme was 4.00. The median was

3.62 with a 1st quartile value of 3.32 and a 3rd quartile value of 3.90. Therefore, 50% of

the data fell between classroom climate score values of 3.32 and 3.90. The 1st and 3rd

quartile values were almost evenly distributed around the median with a greater

dispersion between the 1st quartile and the lower extreme. The student grade scores have

a possible range from 1.00 to 6.00. The specific range of this study data was from a low

grade score of 4.18 to a high of 6.00 as shown in Figure 14.

2.72.0 3.5 4.2 5.0

108

Figure 14. Student grade scores.

The mean classroom student grade score in this study was 5.00. This was slightly lower

than the median of 5.06. Additionally, the data set was bimodal with values of 4.93 and

5.20. These data were also depicted in a histogram as shown in Figure 15.

0.00

1.00

2.00

3.00

4.00

5.00

6.00

7.00

St ud

en t G

ra de

s

Classes

Student Grade Scores

109

Figure 15. Student grade scores histogram.

The distribution of scores reflected a majority of scores between 5.00 and 6.00. More

specifically, the data are represented in a box-plot as shown in Figure 16.

Figure 16. Student grade scores box-plot.

0

2

4

6

8

10

12

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Fr eq

ue nc

y of

S co

re s

Range of Scores

Student Grade Scores Histogram

4.3. 5.0 6. 7.

110

Figure 17. Servant leadership to student grades scatterplot.

Using these results to test the second hypothesis, the Spearman rank correlation

between the servant leadership scores and student grade scores was computed. A

scatterplot showing the relationship of these variables is shown in Figure 17 above.

As displayed above, the data points for grades occurred on the Servant Leadership axis

between 4.0 and 6.0. This is a narrow range. Consequently, there may not be sufficient

variability in grades to detect the true relationship between grades and SLP-R scores.

The Spearman rank correlation between servant leadership scores and effective

teaching scores was weak, rs = -.16, p = .25. Based on the value associated with this

correlation, the null hypothesis was accepted, and it was concluded that there was no

111

statistically significant relationship between servant leadership and teaching

effectiveness. The results are shown in Table 10 below.

Table 10 Spearman Correlation between Servant Leadership and Student Grades

SLP-R Grades

SLPR Correlation Coefficient 1.00 -.16 Sig. (2-tailed) . .533 N 18 18

Grades Correlation Coefficient -.16 1.00 Sig. (2-tailed) .53 . N 18 18

Research Question 3. The third research question of this study was: To what

extent is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student achievement

mediated by classroom climate? The corresponding hypotheses were:

H3: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and student

achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI (Fraser

et al., 1986).

H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and

student achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI

(Fraser et al., 1986).

The original study design called for a regression analysis to test this hypothesis. That

design was based upon prior research (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Cohen & Brown, 2013;

Cunningham, 2008; Herndon, 2007; Kelley, Thornton, & Daugherty, 2005; Reichers &

Schneider, 1990; Robinson et al., 2008; Saphier 2011; Saphier & King, 1985; Waters et

al., 2003). Those studies were conducted with samples in elementary and high schools,

where the relationship between servant leadership, climate and student achievement had

112

been established. This study was conducted at the collegiate level. As discussed in the

limitations section of Chapter 3, there were additional challenges at the collegiate level

that may have affected the results. In this study, the lack of a significant correlation

between servant leadership and student achievement rendered the mediating effect

between these variables moot. Therefore, neither the hypothesis nor its null hypothesis

could be accepted or rejected, and no statistical testing was conducted on the third

research question.

Summary

The researcher used a correlational research design to measure the relationships

between teacher servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement at the

collegiate level of education. This chapter presented the complete analyses for the servant

leadership and classroom climate quantitative surveys and the alphabetic grades of

students. Initially, the descriptive statistics explained the sample with respect to collegiate

departments involved, types of courses taught, class size, and faculty experience.

This quantitative research summarized the statistical findings in relation to three

research questions and hypotheses. The first research question was: What is the

relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and classroom climate as

reported by students? The data indicated both variables were normally distributed, as

assessed by Shapiro-Wilk’s test (p > .05). The significance levels for each of these

variables were .325 and .157 for servant leadership and classroom climate, respectively.

Having met the requirements for a Pearson correlation, the computed correlation failed to

achieve a statistical significance level of 0.05.

113

The first hypothesis (H1) was: There is a positive correlation between teachers’

servant leadership behaviors, measured by “The Servant Leadership Profile” and

classroom climate reported by students (SLP-R) (Wong & Page, 2003).

Since the data did not show a statistical significance at the .05 level, the hypothesis was

rejected. Consequently, the null hypothesis was supported: There is not a positive

correlation between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors, measured by “The Servant

Leadership Profile” and classroom climate reported by students (Wong & Page, 2003).

The second research question was: What is the relationship between servant

leadership behavior and student achievement? The results of a Spearman correlation

identified a range of grades that were not significantly influenced by the SLRP scores.

The Spearman rank correlation between servant leadership scores and effective teaching

scores was weak, rs = .14, p = .25. Accordingly, the hypothesis (H2) for this research

question was rejected: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership

behaviors, measured by the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course

grades (Wong & Page, 2003). Based on the value associated with this correlation, the null

hypothesis (H0,) there is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behaviors,

measured by the SLP-R and student achievement, measured by final course grades

(Wong & Page, 2003), was accepted. Therefore, it was concluded that there was no

statistically significant relationship between servant leadership and teaching

effectiveness.

The third research question was: To what extent is the relationship between

servant leadership behavior and student achievement mediated by classroom climate?

The corresponding hypotheses were:

114

H3: There is a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and student

achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI (Fraser

et al., 1986).

H0: There is not a positive correlation between servant leadership behavior and

student achievement mediated by classroom climate, measured by the CUCEI

(Fraser et al., 1986).

As discussed previously, the lack of a significant correlation between servant leadership

and student achievement rendered the mediating effect between these variables moot.

Therefore, neither the hypothesis nor its null hypothesis could be accepted or rejected.

The data revealed several important concepts. First, the relationship between

teacher servant leadership and classroom climate was not significant. Second, the concept

of a positive classroom climate positively influencing student achievement was rejected.

Finally, the lack of an established significance between servant leadership and the

mediating effects of classroom climate between teacher servant leadership and student

achievement was not determined to be statistically significant.

Several limitations emerged that may help to explain the study results. First, the

small teacher sample size of 18 makes generalizations of these results to the overall

population suspect. Second, in some cases, the same limitation of a small sample applies

to classes where there were few students. Chapter 5 discusses the implications of these

results and presents recommendations for further study of the relationships between

teacher servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement.

115

Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations

Introduction

Is leadership important for effective teaching? According to Shuaib and Olalere

(2013), the purpose of teaching is to impart knowledge; one key aspect of effective

teaching is learner-focused education. Therefore, it is relevant to look at how teacher

leadership practices focus on and influence student achievement.

Is there a leadership style best suited for teaching? According to Hays (2008)

“applying the principles, values, and practices of servant leadership to teaching can make

a profound difference on the impact of learning and in the learning experience of both

students and teachers” (p. 113). Several research studies have shown a direct relationship

between leadership and the creation of organizational culture and climate (Fernando &

Chowdhury, 2010; Groves, 2006; Karakas, 2011; Leithwood & Mascall, 2008). Based

upon the definition of organizational climate as “shared perceptions of organizational

policies, practices, and procedures, both informal and formal” (Reichers & Schneider,

1990, p. 22), determined the behavior manifested by the embedded values of the culture

affects the organizational climate. Furthermore, because achievement is a measure of

behavior, the leadership that creates the organizational climate also becomes a strong

determinate of achievement. According to Routman (2012), the best way to improve

achievement levels is to improve teaching and, more specifically, by focusing on strong,

effective leadership.

Today, more than ever, teacher leadership is essential for student success

(Ludlow, 2011). In fact, teacher relations with students (i.e., leadership) is the most

important ingredient for student learning (Drobot & Roşu, 2012). Metzcar (2008) found a

116

strong positive relationship between effective teaching and servant leadership in 764

preschool through 12th grade teachers. In his study, Metzcar (2008) noted that 93.72% of

the effective teachers scored themselves as servant leaders utilizing the TLA. A meta-

analysis of 27 studies by Robinson et al. (2008) identified a significant positive

relationship between servant leadership characteristics and student outcomes.

While prior researchers confirmed the positive impact of servant leadership on

student achievement at the K-12 level, they neither confirmed nor refuted this

relationship at the collegiate level (Black, 2010; Boyer, 2012; Herndon, 2007; Hiller et

al., 2011; Kelley et al., 2005; Spillane, 2005). It was not known to what degree there was

a relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors, classroom climate, and

student achievement at the collegiate level. The purpose of this quantitative research was

to see to what degree a relationship existed between servant leadership, classroom

climate, and student achievement in a collegiate environment. This was a quantitative,

correlational study. The foundational theories for this research included servant

leadership and organizational climate that pertain to transformational follower

development and unifying values within an organization to align behavior.

This study attempted to determine whether teachers’ servant leadership behaviors,

as perceived by students, created a positive classroom climate and the extent to which the

resultant classroom climate affected student achievement. Specifically:

R1: What is the relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and

classroom climate as reported by students?

R2: What is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student

achievement?

117

R3: To what extent is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and

student achievement mediated by classroom climate?

This chapter presents a summary of the research study and a discussion related to

findings of the three research questions. These research questions assessed: the

relationship between teacher servant leadership behaviors and classroom climate; the

relationship between servant leadership and student achievement; and the extent to which

servant leadership and student achievement is mediated by classroom climate. Survey

based instruments and a quantitative correlational research design was used to conduct

the study.

The Servant Leadership Profile – Revised (SLP-R) scores were used to measure

the servant leadership behaviors of the teachers. The College and University Classroom

Environment Inventory (CUCEI) scores were used to measure the climate of each

classroom. And end of course student grades were used to evaluate student achievement.

Participants in the study included teachers from 18 classrooms with a total of 301

students at a small, private, catholic university. The remainder of the chapter summarizes

the findings and conclusions of the research and provides recommendations for future

research. It also describes the implications of this research study.

Summary of the Study

The primary purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between

teacher servant leadership behavior, classroom climate, and student achievement. The

problem statement stated it was not known to what degree there was a relationship

between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors, classroom climate, and student

achievement at the collegiate level. This quantitative study sought to determine whether

118

high teacher servant leadership behavior was correlated with a more favorable classroom

climate and improved student achievement.

This study is significant in that it contributes to a larger body of literature on the

relationship between servant leadership and student achievement. Robinson et al. (2008)

analyzed 27 studies and identified a significant positive relationship between servant

leadership characteristics and student outcomes. Boyer (2012), Hiller et al. (2011), Black

(2010), Herndon (2007), Kelley et al. (2005), and Spillane (2005) all identified the

positive influence of servant leadership on student achievement. However, these prior

studies correlated this effect at the primary and secondary levels of education.

The results of this study were not statistically significant. This result was

unexpected since research by Adiele and Abraham (2013), Shuaib and Olalere (2013),

Drobot and Rosu (2012), and Routman (2012), all of whose studies showed statistically

significant results in primary and secondary levels of education, recommended

conducting a study to examine these correlations in higher education. This study sheds

light on important variables and dynamics of researching these correlations in a collegiate

environment.

This chapter presents a summary of the research study and a discussion related to

the findings of the research questions. Specifically:

R1: What is the relationship between teachers’ servant leadership behaviors and

classroom climate as reported by students?

R2: What is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and student

achievement?

119

R3: To what extent is the relationship between servant leadership behavior and

student achievement mediated by classroom climate?

A correlational research design with established survey-based instruments was

used for this study. The Servant Leadership Profile – Revised (SLP-R) scores were used

to measure the servant leadership behaviors of the teachers. The College and University

Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) scores were used to measure the climate of

each classroom. End of course student grades were used to evaluate student achievement.

Participants in the study included teachers from 18 classrooms with a total of 301

students at a small, private, catholic university. The remainder of the chapter summarizes

the findings and conclusions of this research and provides recommendations for future

research and practice as well as implications of this study.

Summary of Findings and Conclusion

This was a correlational study of collegiate teachers, their servant leadership

behavior, their classroom climates, and student achievement. Teacher servant leadership

was determined using the Servant Leadership Profile–Revised (SLP-R). The College and

University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) was used to assess classroom

climate. Moreover, end of course student grades were used to measure student

achievement. Data were analyzed to assess the strength of correlations between these

variables. This section provides analysis and conclusions related to the three hypotheses

of this study.

Research Question 1. This question focused on the relationship between teacher

servant leadership behaviors and classroom climate. It was hypothesized that higher

levels of teacher servant leadership would create better classroom climates. Data analysis

120

failed to achieve a statistical significance level of 0.05. Based on these results, one could

conclude teacher leadership is not an important variable in creating classroom climate.

This conclusion has little support in the literature. Several research studies have

shown a statistically significant relationship between leadership and the creation of

organizational culture and climate (Duke, 2006; Fernando & Chowdhury, 2010; Groves,

2006; Karakas, 2011; Kutash et al. 2010; Leithwood & Mascall, 2008; Villavicencio &

Grayman, 2012). Saphier and King (1985) identified the importance of organizational

culture in education. Waters et al. (2003) synthesized 30 years of leadership in education

and recommended careful attention to school culture. Saphier (2011) recommended

changing teacher-student paradigms to increase learning effectiveness. This culture, in

turn, is observable in the daily behaviors that shape the organizational climate. Using the

definition of organizational climate as “shared perceptions of organizational policies,

practices, and procedures, both informal and formal” (Reichers & Schneider, 1990, p.

22), it becomes obvious that the leadership behavior of the teacher is directly responsible

for creating the classroom climate. More specifically, according to Hays (2008),

“applying the principles, values, and practices of servant leadership to teaching can make

a profound difference on the impact of learning and in the learning experience of both

students and teachers” (p. 113).

Research Question 2. The second research question focused on the relationship

between teacher servant leadership behavior and student achievement. It was

hypothesized that higher levels of servant leadership behavior would result in higher

levels of student achievement. The results of a Spearman correlation identified a range of

121

grades that was not significantly influenced by the SLP-R scores. Accordingly, the

hypothesis for this research question was also rejected.

Once again, this finding is not consistent with prior research in this area.

According to Routman (2012), the best way to improve achievement levels is to improve

teaching and, more specifically, by focusing on strong, effective leadership. In 1996, the

National School Climate Center was created to improve educational leadership in the area

of school climate to enhance student achievement (“National School Climate Center :

School Climate,” 1996). In 2007, the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher

Quality issued a report titled Enhancing Teacher Leadership (“Enhancing Teacher

Leadership,” 2007) claiming that teacher leadership is essential for successful students

and effective schools. In 2008, the Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium was

formed by a group of national organizations, state education agencies, major universities,

and local school systems (“Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium – Home,” 2008).

And the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is developing a new

certification for Teacher Leaders (“Teacher Leadership,” 2013). Today, more than ever,

teacher leadership is essential for student success (Ludlow, 2011). In fact, teacher

relations with students (i.e., leadership) is the most important ingredient for student

learning (Drobot & Roşu, 2012).

Research Question 3. The third research question focused on the mediating

effects of classroom climate between teacher servant leadership and student achievement.

Unfortunately, because the study failed to establish a significant correlation between

servant leadership and student achievement, it was not possible to measure or analyze

mediating effects between two uncorrelated variables. Therefore, the third hypothesis

122

could be neither accepted nor rejected. However, this phenomenon is recognized in the

literature.

Saphier and King (1985) identified the importance of organizational culture in

education. Waters et al. (2003) synthesized 30 years of leadership in education and

recommended careful attention to school culture. Saphier (2011) recommended changing

teacher-student paradigms to increase learning effectiveness. Using the definition of

organizational climate as “shared perceptions of organizational policies, practices, and

procedures, both informal and formal” (Reichers & Schneider, 1990, p. 22), it becomes

obvious that the leadership behavior of the teacher is directly responsible for creating the

classroom climate. Furthermore, it is known that educational climate influences student

achievement (Cohen & Brown, 2013; Cunningham, 2008; Herndon, 2007).

In conclusion, these study results did not statistically significantly support the

hypotheses. This result was unexpected as it is not consistent with prior research on

servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement in education. It is

important to note, however, that this study environment was also not consistent with prior

research. The different environmental and participant dynamics of this research study are

obviously significant. The theoretical and practical implications arising from this study

are discussed in the next section.

Implications

The research focus of this study was to determine if and to what extent there was

a correlation between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement at

the collegiate level. Kelley, Thornton and Daugherty (2005), Black (2010), and Boyer

(2012) found principal servant leadership characteristics had a significant effect on

123

school climate. Herndon (2007) and a meta-analysis of 27 studies by Robinson et al.

(2008) found a statistically significant relationship between principals’ servant leadership

and both school climate and student achievement. The educational environment in which

all these studies were conducted was in elementary and high schools. The intent of this

study was to add to existing literature by responding to calls to examine these correlations

in higher education (Adiele & Abraham, 2013; Drobot & Roşu, 2012; Routman, 2012;

Shuaib & Olalere, 2013). The proposed hypotheses for this study were expected to

confirm the significance of servant leadership and classroom climate on student

achievement at the collegiate level.

Theoretical implications. The lack of statistical significance necessary to

confirm the theoretical frameworks of this study calls attention to the leadership

outcomes of servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement. However, it

also calls attention to the need for more research of these frameworks in an educational

environment. This study begs the question as to whether the theoretical frameworks

themselves require additional verification or whether the design and implementation of

such research is practical within higher education.

Servant Leadership unapologetically prioritizes the development and welfare of

followers over organizational goals (Greenleaf, 1970). This precept is congruent with the

goals of higher education. Consequently, in theory, servant leadership is ideally suited for

an educational environment. Yet, the results of this study did not statistically significantly

confirm this synergy. The lack of statistically significant results may have implications

for the choice of instruments as measures of servant leadership and classroom climate, as

well as the research design itself.

124

Measuring servant leadership. Since servant leadership has been positively

correlated with improved climate and student achievement at the primary and secondary

levels of education, it was important to look at the instruments used to validate these

relationships. There are dozens of servant leadership instruments. This researcher chose

the Servant Leadership Profile–Revised (SLP-R) by Wong and Page (2003) because it

included and measured the cancelling effects of authoritarian hierarchy and egotistic

pride on servant leadership—two negative aspects of leadership higher education. The

SLP-R is a self-reported instrument. Consequently, it is possible that while the teacher

may have sincerely believed that he or she were a servant leader–-and reflected that

perception in their responses on the instrument, the students may not have perceived the

same servant leadership characteristics in action. This difference could have influenced

the strength of the correlation between the variables.

Research site. Additionally, this study was conducted at a private, Catholic

university with experienced teachers. Therefore, it is possible that some of the

university’s embedded Catholic values may have already proscribed teacher behavior that

was consistent with servant leadership. Consequently, regardless of the teachers’ self-

reported SLP-R scores, classroom policies may have influenced the teachers and students

perceptions of servant leadership so that higher levels of servant leadership behaviors

were already present.

Sampling strategy. If the inclusion criteria for teachers had been more clearly

defined, that may have helped to distinguish the teacher behaviors in creating classroom

climate. This might have produced results that more clearly showed whether the

experience and professional development of the teachers, already in place, provided a

125

foundation for creating a positive classroom environment? The question remains

regarding whether such experience or servant leadership was responsible for classroom

climate.

Measuring classroom climate. With respect to classroom climate, the plethora of

organizational climate instruments (100+) could make choosing the appropriate

instrument to use for this type of research in higher education difficult. This researcher

chose to use the College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI)

because of its high internal validity (between 0.85 and 0.96, and 0.89 in this study) and its

use in other studies ( Fraser et al., 2012, pp. 1196-1197). Yet, its exclusionary limitations

may not have made it ideally suited to correlate the relationship between servant

leadership and student achievement. For example, because the instrument excludes hard

science courses with labs, teacher subjectivity and grade inflation may unduly influence

student achievement measures (in this case, student grades).

Measuring achievement. These issues call attention to the basic study design

itself. Why was this research not consistent with similar research at lower educational

levels? Why did it not attain statistical significance? It is possible that the study design

identified the appropriate criterion variable, but the sample (18) was too small. Perhaps it

is also possible that the criterion variable was correct but the study did not identify

effective measures of achievement. Alternatively, was the study design flawed with

respect to measuring student achievement?

Similar research at the primary and secondary levels of education were able to use

standardized tests to measure student achievement, and there are no equivalent measures

at the collegiate level. This suggests that subjective, end of course grades may not be the

126

best measure of student achievement in higher education. Instead, like the self-reported

SLP-R, an end of course student survey might be a more effective way to measure

student achievement.

Strengths and weaknesses. A strength of this study has emerged through the lack

of statistically significant results in this study, which has raised a question about why the

results unexpectedly differed from similar studies conducted at lower educational levels.

The fact that the results at the collegiate level were not statistically significant raises the

important issue about whether the instruments used to measure the variables are only

effective in certain settings. A weakness of the study, in hindsight, was its sampling

strategy; the double-blind approach was designed to maintain confidentiality and

perceived as a strength in the planning phase for that reason. However, it effectively

made some of the data “invisible” to the researcher, thus impeding fuller analysis.

Because there are significant differences between a collegiate environment and the

educational environments in elementary and high school, the study design could not

mirror the design of similar research conducted at lower levels of education. This was not

apparent during the planning stage of this research, and it thus has implications for future

research.

Practical implications. Practical implications from this research are difficult to

identify. The lack of statistical significance of this research makes recommendations for

current practitioners (i.e., collegiate teachers) questionable. However, as with most

research, an examination of the study design and conduct of this research can serve as a

starting point for future research.

127

Future implications. Collegiate education is not federally mandated. Therefore,

in addition to being more physically and emotionally mature, collegiate students are there

by choice. Consequently, the motivational aspects of teacher leadership at the collegiate

level may not be as readily apparent.

Current credentialing procedures at the primary and secondary levels of education

require professional education and experience in a variety of teaching areas such as

lesson design and planning, teaching techniques, and classroom management. Similar

training is not required at the collegiate level of education—except in the education

departments that train primary and secondary education teachers (Norton, 2013).

Therefore, it may be the lack of training in specific teaching skills at the collegiate level

could interfere with the influencing aspects of leadership in the classroom.

This study was limited by the disproportionate sample sizes of criterion and

predictor variables, thus a final sample size of 18 may have been too small to produce

significant results. Since the primary focus of the research was on teacher servant

leadership, increasing the number of teachers involved will decrease the possibility of

outlier data skewing the overall results.

Similarly, the classroom climate instrument required participation by non-science

related lecture classes without laboratory periods. This requirement to avoid hard

sciences, and the grouping of results into a letter grade scale, assumed teacher

subjectivity in grading was sufficiently discriminating to portray variances in student

achievement. It is possible that the numerical grading often associated with hard science

exams may have precluded any potential rounding effect created by letter grade

groupings.

128

Furthermore, the design of this study, which included a mixture of both required

as distinct from elective, and introductory as distinct from advanced courses, did not

reveal possible disparities in the student achievement. For example, the data from the

senior elective courses showed disproportionately high grades on average; this may have

reflected higher knowledge levels among the learners than was present in non-elective

(e.g., required) courses. In those cases, teacher leadership may not have been the most

accurate measure of student achievement. Likewise, lower achievement may be more

attributable to the unfamiliarity and difficulty of non-elective courses than the classroom

climate created by a teacher’s leadership. Future research could therefore design studies

that more carefully select the level of courses (basic versus advanced) at the collegiate

level.

Finally, because this study was conducted at a small, private, Catholic University,

the potential philosophical tendencies of both students and teachers may be skewed

towards a servant leadership paradigm. Consequently, both teacher and student

perceptions of behaviors may be somewhat biased. Thus, these results may not be

generalizable to the entire population of collegiate teachers and students.

The strengths and weaknesses of this research reinforce the need for further

research. While the individual theoretical frameworks are widely accepted and confirmed

at the primary and secondary levels of education, this research failed to confirm their

precepts at the collegiate level. Therefore, the question arises as to whether the

frameworks are valid throughout education or whether this research design did not

appropriately allow the results to measure the theories in practice.

129

The practical implications of this research highlight the need for future research to

be conducted on a more homogenous sample with greater attention to the potential

variances likely when conducted across a broad spectrum of courses. Such research

would help to confirm or refute the disparities between leadership, climate, and

achievement in higher education. Furthermore, it will help to improve our understanding

of the roles and importance of these dynamics at the collegiate level.

Recommendations

This research added to the body of knowledge pertaining to servant leadership,

classroom climate, and student achievement in education. In an effort to determine the

extent of the correlations between these variables, many potential recommendations for

further research became evident. The recommendations were developed from the

summary of findings presented in the preceding section. The recommendations for future

research are suggestions to clarify and improve upon the design and conduct of this

research.

Recommendations for future research. While there are many studies of servant

leadership, organizational climate, and student achievement, there are limited studies

correlating these variables at the collegiate level of education. Moreover, there is a dearth

of such studies at the collegiate level. This area of study continues to challenge

researchers. Based upon this limited research and the findings of this study,

recommendations for future research are as follows:

1. Identify an instrument to measure student achievement at the collegiate level. The study design of the correlations between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement at the collegiate level cannot mirror similar studies at the elementary and secondary levels of education. Numerous state and nationally standardized tests to measure student achievement at lower levels of education provide multiple opportunities for direct correlations with

130

large sample populations. Unfortunately, similar tests at the collegiate level (CPA exams, State Bar exams, medical boards, GREs, etc.) occur after completion of an entire curriculum with multiple courses. Consequently, it is not feasible to use these tests to correlate student achievement with individual teachers or classrooms.

2. Conduct a mixed-methods study. Design a study at the collegiate level utilizing a mixed-methods approach will allow researchers to capture additional insights regarding teacher servant leadership instead of relying on self-reported servant leadership.

3. Conduct a study with a more specific sampling strategy. Expanding the study across multiple colleges and universities varying specific design variables (e.g., only introductory or general education courses, limiting the study to a specific year group course–i.e., freshman, seniors, etc.) could produce more fine-grained information pertaining to servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement in higher education.

4. Conduct a similar study at secular universities. This research was conducted at a small, private, Catholic university. Because the theoretical foundations of servant leadership may be traced to Jesus and catholic principles, it is possible the proclivities of the teachers at the university were already biased towards servant leadership.

5. Conduct a study with a larger sample size. Conducting the study with a larger sample would make the findings of the study more generalizable. This study was limited by a sample of 18 teachers. A single site study at a large university where the same course is taught by multiple teachers would allow for a larger, more directed study that could minimize potential variances.

6. Conduct the study that does not disguise the identity of teachers to the researcher. This almost double blind research design protected the anonymity of the teachers. However, this design did not allow the researcher to conduct drill down analyses of year groups, courses, teacher experience and development or grading tendencies (i.e., grade inflation).

7. Consider using different instruments. Use of a different classroom climate instrument may prevent the exclusion of hard science courses. In those cases, course-wide standardized tests may be used with greater accuracy than courses with predominately subjective grading.

8. Develop clearly defined inclusion criteria for teachers in the sampling strategy. Use teachers with a range of experience. Regardless of formal professional development, experienced teachers are more likely to have developed classroom management skills that may not be attributed to their specific leadership paradigm.

131

9. Collect more clearly defined demographic data for all respondents. Further delineation and examination of how demographic data are related to the relationships between servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement.

Recommendations for future practice. There are two key recommendations for

practice based on the results of this study.

1. Share the results of this research with the teachers and management at the university where the research was conducted. Even though the results did not rise to the level of statistical significance, as reinforced by research by Bosco et al. (2015), they are worth consideration in practice.

2. Share the results of this research with those interested in how leadership can influence achievement in higher education. This research helps to identify the difficulty in isolating and correlating the dynamics of servant leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement at the collegiate level.

132

References

Adiele, E., & Abraham, N. M. (2013). Achievement of Abraham Maslow’s needs

hierarchy theory among teachers: Implications for human resource management

in the secondary school system in rivers state. Journal of Curriculum and

Teaching, 2(1), p140. http://doi.org/10.5430/jct.v2n1p140

Akindele, S. T., & Afolabi, Y. A. (2013). Leadership and its place in organisations: A

theoretical synthetic analysis (Note 1). Public Administration Research, 2(1), p33.

Alonso, M. O., & Barredo, D. (2013). International comparative studies: Towards the

integration of quantitative and qualitative methods. European Scientific Journal,

9(17). Retrieved from http://www.eujournal.co.uk/index.php/esj/article/view/1167

Ashkanasy, N. M., Broadfoot, L. E., & Falkus, S. (2000). Questionnaire measures or

organizational culture. In Ashkanasy, N.M. (Ed.) Handbook of Organizational

Culture and Climate. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Barbuto, J. E., & Wheeler, D. W. (2006). Scale development and construct clarification

of servant leadership. Group & Organization Management, 31(3), 300.

Barker, B. (2007). The leadership paradox: Can school leaders transform student

outcomes? School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 18(1), 21–43.

Barrett, R. (2007). Values based leadership. Retrieved from

http://teamperformanceus.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Values-Based-

Leadership.pdf

Bell, J., Bolding, C., & Delgadillo, M. (2013). Servant-Leadership in action: How

mission, vision, and values are conveyed. International Journal of Servant-

Leadership, 7(1), 203–226.

133

Bernard, H. R., & Ryan, G. W. (2009). Analyzing qualitative data: Systematic

approaches. SAGE publications. Retrieved from

https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dzwXBAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg

=PR17&dq=Bernard,+H.R.+%26+Ryan,+G.W.+(2010).+Analysing+Qualitative+

Data&ots=RKtU8OEV4S&sig=6cbjHgESq4RYOBdQU3ROkH2IFAU

Black, G. L. (2010). Correlational Analysis of Servant Leadership and School Climate.

Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice, 13(4), p 437-466.

Block, P. (2006). Servant-Leadership: Creating an alternative future. The International

Journal of Servant-Leadership, 2(1), 55–80.

Bosco, F. A., Aguinis, H., Singh, K., Field, J. G., & Pierce, C. A. (2015). Correlational

effect size benchmarks. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(2), 431–449.

http://doi.org/10.1037/a0038047

Bowman, R. F. (2005). Teacher as servant leader. The Clearing House: A Journal of

Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 78(6), 257–260.

Boyer, D. P. (2012, March). A study of the relationship between the servant leader

principal on school culture and student achievement in the Lower Kuskokwim

School District. Grand Canyon University. Retrieved from

http://gradworks.umi.com/34/98/3498714.html

Bryk, A. S. (2010). Organizing schools for improvement. Phi Delta Kappan, 91(7), 23–

30.

Brytting, T., & Trollestad, C. (2000). Managerial thinking on value-based management.

International Journal of Value-Based Management, 13(1), 55–77.

http://doi.org/10.1023/A:1007775731891

134

Bugenhagen, M. J. (2006). Antecedents of transactional, transformational, and servant

leadership: A constructive-development theory approach. Theses & Dissertations,

Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication Department, 2.

Burns, J. M. (2010). Leadership (1st ed.). Harper Perennial Modern Classics.

Bush, G. W. (2001). No child left behind. Retrieved from

http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED447608

Bynum, J. E., & Pranter, C. (2013). Goffman: Content and method for seminal thought.

Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, 12(1), 95–99.

Caffey, R. D. (2012). The relationship between servant leadership of principals and

beginning teacher job satisfaction and intent to stay. University of Missouri.

Retrieved from https://mospace.umsystem.edu/xmlui/handle/10355/14981

Campbell, J. J., Dunnette, M. D., Lawler, E. E., & Weick, K. E. (1970). Managerial

behavior, performance, and effectiveness. APA PsycNET. Retrieved from

http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1971-29875-000

Canaan Messarra, L., & El-Kassar, A.-N. (2013). Identifying organizational climate

affecting learning organization. Business Studies Journal, 5(1), 19–28.

Carnevale, A. P., Smith, N., & Strohl, J. (2010). Help wanted: projections of job and

education requirements through 2018. Lumina Foundation. Retrieved from

http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=GKKV5ff3Ns0C&oi=fnd&pg=PP

1&dq=education+requirements+carnevale&ots=0SwZV3O9pm&sig=1TzMgUoi

mnD1V1LxqJ8obIrKPBw

135

Cerit, Y. (2009). The effects of servant leadership behaviours of school principals on

teachers’ job satisfaction. Educational Management Administration &

Leadership, 37(5), 600–623. http://doi.org/10.1177/1741143209339650

Chance, P. L., & Chance, E. W. (2002). Introduction to educational leadership &

organizational behavior: theory into practice. Larchmont, NY: Eye On

Education.

Clifford, M., Menon, R., Gangi, T., Condon, C., & Hornung, K. (2012). Measuring

school climate for gauging principal performance: A review of the validity and

reliability of publicly accessible measures. Washington, DC: American Institutes

of Research. Retrieved from

http://tifcommunity.org/sites/default/files/1849_MeasuringSchoolClimate_03202

012_1.pdf

Cohen, J., & Brown, P. (2013). School climate and adult learning. School Climate

Practices for Implementation and Sustainability, 52.

Colakoglu, S., & Littlefield, J. (2010). Teaching organizational culture using a projective

technique: collage construction. Journal of Management Education. 35(4), 564-

585

Collaboration, C. (2005). Glossary of Terms in the Cochrane Collaboration. Baltimore,

MD: Cochrane Collaboration. http://www. cochrane.

org/resources/handbook/glossary. pdf.

Cunningham, R. L. (2008). An examination of the relationship between servant-

leadership behavior of the elementary school principal, school climate and

student achievement as measured by the 4th grade Mathematics and Reading

136

Michigan Educational Assessment Program. Doctoral Dissertation, Eastern

Michigan University.

De Maeyer, S., Rymenans, R., Van Petegem, P., van den Bergh, H., & Rijlaarsdam, G.

(2007). Educational leadership and pupil achievement: The choice of a valid

conceptual model to test effectsin school effectiveness research. School

Effectiveness and School Improvement, 18(2), 125–145.

Dee, T. S., & Jacob, B. (2011). The impact of No Child Left Behind on student

achievement. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 30(3), 418–446.

Denison, D. R. (1996). What is the difference between organizational culture and

organizational climate? A native’s point of view on a decade of paradigm wars.

Academy of Management Review, 21(3) 619–654.

Dennis, R. S., & Bocarnea, M. (2005). Development of the servant leadership assessment

instrument. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 26(8), 600–615.

Dennis, R., & Winston, B. E. (2003). A factor analysis of Page and Wong’s servant

leadership instrument. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 24(8),

455–459. http://doi.org/10.1108/01437730310505885

Dobrovolny, J. L., & Fuentes, S. C. G. (2008). Quantitative versus qualitative evaluation:

a tool to decide which to use. Performance Improvement, 47(4), 7–14.

Doscher, P., & Normore, A. H. (2013). Feminine concepts of leadership and power: A

new framework for development ethics and education development. Retrieved

from

http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1102&context=sferc

137

Downey, K. H., & Duane Ireland, R. (1979). Quantitative versus qualitative:

Environmental assessment in organizational studies. Administrative Science

Quarterly, 24(4), 630–637.

Drobot, L., & Roşu, M. (2012). Teachers’ leadership style in the classroom and their

impact upon high school students. Proceedings of the Scientific Conference

AFASES, 333–337.

Duke, D. L. (2006). Keys to sustaining successful school turnarounds. ERS Spectrum,

24(4), 21–25.

Ebener, D. R., & O’Connell, D. J. (2010). How might servant leadership work? Nonprofit

Management and Leadership, 20(3), 315–335.

Ehrhart, M. G. (2004). Leadership and procedural justice climate as antecedents of unit-

level organizational citizenship behavior. Personnel Psychology, 57(1), 61–94.

Enhancing Teacher Leadership. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.gtlcenter.org/

Evans, I. M., Harvey, S. T., Buckley, L., & Yan, E. (2009). Differentiating classroom

climate concepts: Academic, management, and emotional environments. Kōtuitui:

New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 4(2), 131–146.

Fairbrother, G. P. (2007). Quantitative and qualitative approaches to comparative

education. In Comparative Education Research (pp. 39–62). Springer. Retrieved

from http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-1-4020-6189-9_2.pdf

Faster, D., & Lopez, D. (2013). School climate measurement and analysis. School

Climate Practices for Implementation and Sustainability, 17.

138

Fernando, M., & Chowdhury, R. (2010). The relationship between spiritual well-being

and ethical orientations in decision making: an empirical study with business

executives in Australia. Journal of Business Ethics, 95 (2), pp. 211–225.

Field, R. G., & Abelson, M. A. (1982). Climate: A reconceptualization and proposed

model. Human Relations, 35(3), 181–201.

Finkelstein, N. D., Klarin, B., Olson, M., Austin, K., Dadgar, M., Mundry, S., & Bugler,

D. (2013). Implementing the common core state standards: Articulating course

sequences across k–12 and higher education systems. Retrieved from

http://www.wested.org/wp-

content/files_mf/1379447958C2C_Implementing_Common_Core_State_Standard

s.pdf

Fisher, D. L., & Fraser, B. J. (1981). Validity and use of the My Class Inventory. Science

Education, 65(2), 145–156.

Forty-Nine States and Territories Join Common Core Standards Initiative. (2009).

Retrieved from http://www.nga.org/cms/home/news-room/news-

releases/page_2009/col2-content/main-content-list/title_forty-nine-states-and-

territories-join-common-core-standards-initiative.html

Fraser, B. J. (1990). Students’ perceptions of their classroom environments. Windows into

Science Classrooms: Problems Associated with Higher-Level Cognitive Learning,

199–221.

Fraser, B., Tobin, K., & McRobbie, C.J. (Eds). (2012). Second International Handbook

of Science Education. Springer.

139

Fraser, B. J., Fisher, D. L., & McRobbie, C. J. (1996). Development, validation and use

of personal and class forms of a new classroom environment instrument. In

Proceedings of the Annual meeting of the American Educational Research

Association, New York.

Fraser, B. J., Treagust, D. F., & Dennis, N. C. (1986). Development of an instrument for

assessing classroom psychosocial environment at universities and colleges.

Studies in Higher Education, 11(1), 43–54.

Fullan, M. (2009). Leadership development: The larger context. Educational Leadership,

67(2), 45–49.

Gamble-Risley, M. (2006). Surviving Accountability: As Easy as AYP. T.H.E. Journal,

33(13), 38–42.

Gangi, T. A. (2010). School climate and faculty relationships: Choosing an effective

assessment measure. Doctoral Dissertation, St. John’s University New York.

Retrieved from

http://www.schoolclimate.org/climate/documents/GangiTracydissertation10-20-

09.pdf

George, B. (2005). Authentic leaders. Leadership Excellence, 22(10), 3–4.

Glick, W. H. (1985). Conceptualizing and measuring organizational and psychological

climate: Pitfalls in multilevel research. Academy of Management Review, 10(3),

601–616.

Goe, L., Bell, C., & Little, O. (2008). Approaches to evaluating teacher effectiveness: A

research synthesis. National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality

140

Washington, DC. Retrieved from

http://www.wested.org/schoolturnaroundcenter/docs/goe-research-synthesis.pdf

Goldhaber, D., Liddle, S., & Theobald, R. (2013). The gateway to the profession:

Assessing teacher preparation programs based on student achievement.

Economics of Education Review, 34. pp 29-44. Retrieved from

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272775713000241

Greenleaf, R. (2007). The servant as leader. In Zimmerli, W.C., Holzinger, M., Richter,

K. (Eds.) Corporate Ethics and Corporate Governance, 79–85. Springer.

Greenleaf, R. K. (1970). The servant as leader (an essay). Greenleaf Organization.

Greenleaf, R. K., & Spears, L. C. (2002). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of

legitimate power and greatness. Paulist Press.

Groves, K. S. (2006). Leader emotional expressivity, visionary leadership, and

organizational change. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 27(7),

566–583.

Guffey, S. (2012). School climate research summary: Fordham University. Retrieved

from http://schoolclimate.org/climate/documents/policy/sc-brief-v3.pdf

Haber, P. (2012). Perceptions of Leadership: An examination of college students’

understandings of the concept of leadership. Journal of Leadership Education,

11(2) p. 26.

Hall, J. (1972). A comparison of Halpin and Croft’s organizational climates and Likert

and Likert’s organizational systems. Administrative Science Quarterly : ASQ ;

Dedicated to Advancing the Understanding of Administration through Empirical

Investigation and Theoretical Analysis, 17(4), 586–590.

141

Haggerty, K., Elgin, J., & Woolley, A. (2011). Social-emotional learning assessment

measures for middle school youth. Social Development Research Group.

University of Washington: Raikes Foundation. Retrieved from

https://audition.prevention.org/Resources/documents/SELTools.pdf

Hanushek, E. A., Peterson, P. E., & Woessmann, L. (2012). Achievement Growth:

International and US State Trends in Student Performance. Harvard’s Program on

Education Policy and Governance.

Harding, N., Lee, H., Ford, J., & Learmonth, M. (2011). Leadership and charisma: A

desire that cannot speak its name? Human Relations, 64(7), 927–949.

Hauke, J., & Kossowski, T. (2011). Comparison of values of Pearson’s and Spearman’s

correlation coefficients on the same sets of data. Quaestiones Geographicae,

30(2), 87–93.

Hayden, R. W. (2011). Greenleaf’s’ best test’of servant leadership: A multilevel analysis.

Doctoral Dissertation, University of Nebraska—Lincoln. Retrieved from

http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/aglecdiss/30/

Hays, J. (2008). Teacher as servant applications of Greenleaf’s servant leadership in

higher education. Journal of Global Business Issues, 2(1).

Hazelkorn, E. (2013). How rankings are reshaping higher education. In Climent, V.,

Michavila, F. and Ripolles, M. (Eds.). Los Rankings Univeritarios . Mitos y

Realidades. Retrieved from

http://arrow.dit.ie/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1023&context=cserbk

142

Hellriegel, D., & Slocum Jr., J. W. (1974). Organizational climate: Measures, research

and contingencies. Academy of Management Journal, 17(2), 255–280.

http://doi.org/10.2307/254979

Herndon, B. C. (2007). An analysis of the relationships between servant leadership,

school culture, and student achievement. Doctoral Dissertation, University of

Missouri.

Herzberg, F., Mausner, B., & Snyderman, B.B. (1959). The Motivation to Work (2nd ed.).

New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Higgins, G. E. (2009). Quantitative versus qualitative methods: Understanding why

quantitative methods are predominant in criminology and criminal justice.

Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Criminology, 1(1), 23–37.

Higgins-D’Alessandro, A. (2011). The structures of a liberal education. Ethos, 10(4), 4–

9.

Hiller, N. J., DeChurch, L. A., Murase, T., & Doty, D. (2011). Searching for outcomes of

leadership: A 25-year review. Journal of Management 37(4). DOI:

0149206310393520.

Hohn, M. D. (1999). Organizational development and its implications for adult basic

education programs. Focus, 1. Retrieved from

http://www.ncsall.net/index.php@id=557.html

Hubbard, R., & Meyer, C. K. (2013). The rise of statistical significance testing in public

administration research and why this is a mistake. Behavioral Sciences, 4.

Hunter, E. M., Neubert, M. J., Perry, S. J., Witt, L. A., Penney, L. M., & Weinberger, E.

(2013). Servant leaders inspire servant followers: Antecedents and outcomes for

143

employees and the organization. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(2), 316–331.

http://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2012.12.001

Irving, J. A., & Longbotham, G. J. (2007). Team effectiveness and six essential servant

leadership themes. International Journal of Leadership Studies 2(2). p. 98-113

Ismat, S., Bashir, I., & mahmood, B. (2011). Determinants of culture: An analytical study

of business organizations working in Faisalabad, Pakistan. Asian Social Science,

7(6), p177.

Jacobs, K. (2011). Assessing the Relationship between Servant Leadership and Effective

Teaching in a Private University Setting. Doctoral Dissertation. Northcentral

University, United States — Arizona. Retrieved from

http://search.proquest.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/pqdthss/docview/908959989/abst

ract/137FCA651453AB5EAAB/10?accountid=7374

James, L. R., & Jones, A. P. (1974). Organizational climate: A review of theory and

research. Psychological Bulletin, 81(12), 1096.

Jaramillo, F., Grisaffe, D. B., Chonko, L. B., & Roberts, J. A. (2009). Examining the

impact of servant leadership on salesperson’s turnover intention. Journal of

Personal Selling and Sales Management, 29(4), 351–366.

Jenkins, M., & Stewart, A. C. (2010). The importance of a servant leader orientation.

Health Care Management Review, 35(1), 46–54.

http://doi.org/10.1097/HMR.0b013e3181c22bb8

Jennings, J., & Rentner, D. S. (2006). How public schools are impacted by “ No Child

Left Behind”. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick

Review, 72(4), 4–9.

144

Kaiser, R. B., Hogan, R., & Craig, S. B. (2008). Leadership and the fate of organizations.

American Psychologist, 63(2), 96.

Kaplan, R. S., & Norton, D. P. (1992). The balanced scorecard–measures that drive

performance. Harvard Business Review, 70(1).

Karakas, F. (2010). Exploring value compasses of leaders in organizations: Introducing

nine spiritual anchors. Journal of Business Ethics, 93, 73–92.

Karakas, F. (2011). Exploring value compasses of leaders in organizations: Introducing

nine spiritual anchors. Journal of Business Ethics, 93 (Suppl 1), 73–92.

Keith, K. M. (2008). The case for servant leadership. Greenleaf Center for Servant

Leadership.

Kelley, R. C., Thornton, B., & Daugherty, R. (2005). Relationships between measures of

leadership and school climate. Education-Indianapolis then Chula Vista-, 126(1),

17.

Kotter, J. P. (2009). What leaders really do. IEEE Engineering Management Review,

37(3), 18.

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2002). The leadership practices inventory: Theory and

evidence behind the five practices of exemplary leaders. Unpublished Document.

Kurnianingsih, S., Yuniarti, K. W., & Kim, U. (2012). Factors influencing trust of

teachers among students. International Journal of Research Studies in Education,

1(2). Retrieved from

http://www.consortiacademia.org/index.php/ijrse/article/view/77

Kutash, J., Nico, E., Gorin,E., Rahmatullah, S., & Tallant, K. (2010. The School

Turnaround Fieldguide. San Francisco, CA. FSG Social Impact Advisors

145

Lanctot, J. D., & Irving, J. A. (2010). Character and leadership: Situating servant

leadership in a proposed virtues framework. International Journal of Leadership

Studies, 6(1), 28–50.

Landeau Jr, R., VanDorn, D., & Ellen, M. (2009). Sharing Hats. Educational Leadership,

67(2), 57–60.

Laub, J. A. (1999). Assessing the servant organization: Development of the

organizational. Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, Florida.

Leithwood, K., & Mascall, B. (2008). Collective leadership effects on student

achievement. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44(4), 529.

Lewin, K. (1951). Grounded theory in management research. Sage Publications Ltd.

Lewin, K., Lippitt, R., & White, R. K. (1939). Patterns of aggressive behavior in

experimentally created “social climates.” The Journal of Social Psychology,

10(2), 269–299.

Liden, R. C., Wayne, S. J., Zhao, H., & Henderson, D. (2008). Servant leadership:

Development of a multidimensional measure and multi-level assessment. The

Leadership Quarterly, 19(2), 161–177.

Likert, R. (1961). New patterns of management. McGraw-Hill, New York. Retrieved

from http://doi.apa.org/psycinfo/1962-05581-000

Linn, R. L., Baker, E. L., & Betebenner, D. W. (2002). Accountability systems:

Implications of requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Educational Researcher, 31(6), 3.

Litwin, G. H., & Stringer, R. A. (1968). Motivation and organizational climate. Harvard

University Press. Retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1970-17594-000

146

Loughead, T. M., & Hardy, J. (2005). An examination of coach and peer leader behaviors

in sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 6(3), 303–312.

http://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2004.02.001

Ludlow, B. (2011). Teacher Leadership. Teaching Exceptional Children, 43(5), 6–6.

Lumby, J., & Foskett, N. (2011). Power, risk, and utility interpreting the landscape of

culture in educational leadership. Educational Administration Quarterly, 47(3),

446–461.

Luqman, R. A., Farhan, H. M., Shahzad, F., & Shaheen, S. (2012). 21st century

challenges of educational leaders, way out and need of reflective practice.

International Journal of Learning and Development, 2(1).

http://doi.org/10.5296/ijld.v2i1.1238

MacNeil, A. J., Prater, D. L., & Busch, S. (2009). The effects of school culture and

climate on student achievement. International Journal of Leadership in

Education, 12(1), 73–84.

Mahembe, B., & Engelbrecht, A. S. (2013). The relationship between servant leadership,

affective team commitment and team effectiveness. SA Journal of Human

Resource Management, 11(1), 10–pages.

Marusteri, M., & Bacarea, V. (2010). Comparing groups for statistical differences: How

to choose the right statistical test? Biochemia Medica, 20(1), 15–32.

http://doi.org/10.11613/BM.2010.004

Marzano, R. J., & Marzano, J. S. (2003). The key to classroom management. Educational

Leadership, 61(1), 6–13.

Maslow, A.H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review 50, 370-396

147

Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and Personality. Harper, New York.

Mattison, E., & Aber, M. S. (2007). Closing the achievement gap: The association of

racial climate with achievement and behavioral outcomes. American Journal of

Community Psychology, 40(1–2), 1–12.

Maxwell, S. E. (2004). The persistence of underpowered studies in psychological

research: causes, consequences, and remedies. Psychological Methods, 9(2), 147–

163. http://doi.org/10.1037/1082-989X.9.2.147

Mayer, D. M., Bardes, M., & Piccolo, R. F. (2008). Do servant-leaders help satisfy

follower needs? An organizational justice perspective. European Journal of Work

and Organizational Psychology, 17(2), 180–197.

Mazarei, E., Hoshyar, M., & Nourbakhsh, P. (2013). ̛T̛he Relationships between servant

leadership style and organizational commitment. Archives of Applied Science

Research, 5(1), 312–317.

McClelland, D. C. (1985). How motives, skills, and values determine what people do.

American Psychologist, 40(7), 812.

McCoach, D. B., Goldstein, J., Behuniak, P., Reis, S. M., Black, A. C., Sullivan, E. E., &

Rambo, K. (2010). Examining the unexpected: Outlier analyses of factors

affecting student achievement. Journal of Advanced Academics, 21(3), 426–468.

McCoy, B., & McCoy, B. H. (2007). Living Into Leadership: A Journey in Ethics (1st

ed.). Stanford Business Books.

McCuddy, M. K., & Cavin, M. C. (2008). Fundamental moral orientations, servant

leadership, and leadership effectiveness: An empirical test. Review of Business

Research, 8(4), 107–117.

148

McCullough, M. E., Hoyt, W. T., & Rachal, K. C. (2000). What we know (and need to

know) about assessing forgiveness constructs. Forgiveness: Theory, Research,

and Practice, Guilford Press. pp. 65–88.

McGregor, D. (1960). Theory X and theory Y. Organization Theory, 358–374.

Melchar, D. E., & Bosco, S. M. (2010). Achieving high organization performance

through servant leadership. Journal of Business Inquiry: Research, Education &

Application, 9(1), 74–88.

Metzcar, A. M. (2009). Servant leadership and effective classroom teaching. Doctoral

Dissertation. Indiana Wesleyan University. Retrieved from

http://gradworks.umi.com/33/44/3344705.html

Mitchell, M. M., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2013). Examining classroom influences on student

perceptions of school climate: The role of classroom management and

exclusionary discipline strategies. Journal of School Psychology 51(5).

http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2013.05.005

Morgan, G. (1997). Images of organization. Sage Publications, Inc.

Murakami, Y. (2013). Rethinking a case study method in educational research: A

comparative analysis method in qualitative research. Educational Studies in

Japan: International Yearbook, 7, 81–96.

National School Climate Center. (1996). School Climate. Retrieved from

http://www.schoolclimate.org/climate/

Norton, A. (2013). Taking university teaching seriously. Grattan Institute Report,

2013(8). Retrieved from

149

http://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/docs/GrattanInstitute_TakingUniversityTeachi

ngSeriously_July2013.pdf

Oliveira, M. A.-Y., & Ferreira, J. J. P. (2012). How interoperability fosters innovation:

The case for servant leadership. African Journal of Business Management, 6(29),

8580–8608.

O’toole, J. (1996). Leading change: The argument for values-based leadership.

Ballantine Books.

Page, D., & Wong, T. P. (2000). A conceptual framework for measuring servant-

leadership. The Human Factor in Shaping the Course of History and

Development. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. Retrieved from

http://hci2010mmp.wiki.hci.edu.sg/file/view/Conceptual+Framework.pdf/152616

231/Conceptual%20Framework.pdf

Parris, D., & Peachey, J. (2013). A systematic literature review of servant leadership

theory in organizational contexts. Journal of Business Ethics, 113(3), 377–393.

http://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-012-1322-6

Patterson, K. A. (2003). Servant leadership: A theoretical model. Doctoral Dissertation.

Regent University, United States—Virginia. Retrieved from

http://search.proquest.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/pqdthss/docview/305234239/abst

ract/13FCB750692477E1F65/1?accountid=7374

Payne, R., & Pugh, D. S. (1976). Organizational structure and climate. In J.E. McGrath &

M.D. Dunnette (Eds.) Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

(pp. 1173). Washington: American Psychological Association.

150

Peña-Suárez, E., Muñiz, J., Campillo-Álvarez, Á., Fonseca-Pedrero, E., & García-Cueto,

E. (2013). Assessing organizational climate: Psychometric properties of the

CLIOR Scale. Evaluación Del Clima Organizational: Propiedades Psicométricas

de La Escala CLIOR., 25(1), 137–144.

http://doi.org/10.7334/psicothema2012.260

Pitkäniemi, H., & Vanninen, P. (2012). Learning attainments as a result of student

activity, cognition and the classroom environment. Problems of Education in the

21st Century, 41, 75–86.

Pritchard, R. J., Morrow, D., & Marshall, J. C. (2005). School and district culture as

reflected in student voices and student achievement. School Effectiveness and

School Improvement, 16(2), 153–177.

Reed, L. L., Vidaver-Cohen, D., & Colwell, S. R. (2011). “A new scale to measure

executive servant leadership: Development, analysis, and implications for

research”: Erratum. Journal of Business Ethics, 101(3), 507–508.

http://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-0813-1

Reichers, A. E., & Schneider, B. (1990). Climate and culture: An evolution of constructs.

Organizational Climate and Culture, 1, 5–39.

Reynolds, J. G., & Warfield, W. H. (2010). The differences between managers and

leaders. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review,

75(7), 61–64.

Rieke, M., Hammermeister, J., & Chase, M. (2008). Servant leadership in sport: A new

paradigm for effective coach behavior. International Journal of Sports Science

and Coaching, 3(2), 227–239.

151

Rivers, S. E., Brackett, M. A., Reyes, M. R., Elbertson, N. A., & Salovey, P. (2013).

Improving the social and emotional climate of classrooms: a clustered randomized

controlled trial testing the RULER approach. Prevention Science, 14(1), 77–87.

http://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-012-0305-2

Robinson, V. M. ., Lloyd, C. A., & Rowe, K. J. (2008). The impact of leadership on

student outcomes: An analysis of the differential effects of leadership types.

Educational Administration Quarterly, 44(5), 635.

Routman, R. (2012). Mapping a pathway to schoolwide highly effective teaching. Phi

Delta Kappan, 93(5), 56–61.

Russell, R. F., & Stone, A. G. (2002). A review of servant leadership attributes:

Developing a practical model. Leadership & Organization Development Journal,

23(3), 145–157.

Sadeghi, J., Yadollahi, M., Baygi, M. D., & Ghayoomi, A. (2013). Approaches on

leadership theories. Journal of American Science, 9(1). Retrieved from

http://www.jofamericanscience.org/journals/am-

sci/am0901/027_14541am0901_172_177.pdf

Saphier, J. (2011). Outcomes: Coaching, teaching standards, and feedback mark the

teacher’s road to mastery. Journal of Staff Development, 32(4), 58–62.

Saphier, J., & King, M. (1985). Good seeds grow in strong cultures. Educational

Leadership, 42(6), 67–74.

Scardino, A. J. (2013). Servant leadership in higher education: The influence of servant-

led faculty on student engagement. Doctoral Dissertation, Antioch University.

Retrieved from

152

http://aura.antioch.edu/etds/25/?utm_source=aura.antioch.edu%2Fetds%2F25&ut

m_medium=PDF&utm_campaign=PDFCoverPages

Scheerens, J., Witziers, B., & Steen, R. (2013). A meta-analysis of school effectiveness

studies. Revista de educacion, 361, pp 619-645.

Schein, E. H. (1984). Coming to a new awareness of organizational culture. Sloan

Management Review, 25(2), 3.

Schein, E. H. (1990). Organizational culture. American Psychologist, 45(2), 109.

Schein, E. H. (1999). Sense and nonsense about culture and climate. Sloan School of

Management. Retrieved from http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/2759

Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational Culture and Leadership (4th ed.). Jossey-Bass.

Schneider, B. (1975). Organizational climates: An essay. Personnel Psychology, 28(4),

447–479.

Sendjaya, S., & Cooper, B. (2011). Servant leadership behaviour scale: A hierarchical

model and test of construct validity. European Journal of Work and

Organizational Psychology, 20(3), 416–436.

Sendjaya, S., & Sarros, J. C. (2002). Servant leadership: Its origin, development, and

application in organizations. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies,

9(2), 57–64.

Sendjaya, S., Sarros, J. C., & Santora, J. C. (2008). Defining and measuring servant

leadership behaviour in organizations. Journal of Management Studies, 45(2),

402–424.

Shekari, H., & Nikooparvar, M. Z. (2012). Promoting leadership effectiveness in

organizations: A case study on the involved factors of servant leadership.

153

International Journal of Business Administration, 3(1), 54–65.

http://doi.org/10.5430/ijba.v3n1p54

Shuaib, A. A., & Olalere, F. E. (2013). The academic attributes of best human resources

needed in creative education. International Journal of Learning and

Development, 3(1). http://doi.org/10.5296/ijld.v3i1.2838

Sims Jr., H. P., & Lafollette, W. (1975). An assessment of the Litwin and Stringer

organization climate questionnaire. Personnel Psychology, 28(1), 19–38.

Skinner, E. A., & Belmont, M. J. (1993). Motivation in the classroom: Reciprocal effects

of teacher behavior and student engagement across the school year. Journal of

Educational Psychology, 85(4), 571.

Spears, L. C. (2004). Practicing servant-leadership. Leader to Leader, 2004(34), 7–11.

Spillane, J. P. (2005). Primary school leadership practice: How the subject matters.

School Leadership and Management, 25(4), 383.

Steyn, G. M. (2012). A Narrative inquiry into the leadership practice in a south african

school through a servant-leadership lens. J Soc Sci, 32(2), 151–163.

Stoten, D. W. (2013). Servant leadership in English Sixth Form colleges: What do

teachers tell us? International Journal of Educational Management, 27(4), 5–5.

Stringer Jr, R. A. (2012). Toward an understanding of human behavior in organizations.

Philippine Review of Economics, 4(1). Retrieved from

http://pre.econ.upd.edu.ph/index.php/pre/article/download/744/50

Sykes, A. O. (1993). An Introduction to Regression Analysis. Law School, University of

Chicago.

154

Tagiuri, R., & Litwin, G. H. (1968). Organizational culture: A key to financial

performance. Organizational Climate and Culture. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Tariq, Z., & Ambali, A. R. (2013). Examining servant leadership attributes and employee

trust. Asian Journal of Empirical Research, 3(5), 551–562.

Taylor, F. W. (1911). Scientific management. New York.

Taylor, P., Dawson, V., & Fraser, B. J. (1995). A constructivist perspective on

monitoring classroom learning environments under transformation. In annual

meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.

Retrieved from https://www.csss-

science.org/downloads/Validity_CLES_Science.doc

Taylor, T., Martin, B. N., Hutchinson, S., & Jinks, M. (2007). Examination of leadership

practices of principals identified as servant leaders. International Journal of

Leadership in Education, 10(4), 401–419.

Teacher Leadership. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.nbpts.org/teacher-leadership

Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium – Home. (2008). Retrieved from

http://tlstandards.weebly.com/index.html

Tekin, A. K., & Kotaman, H. (2013). The epistemological perspectives on action

research. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 3(1), 81–91.

Thapa, A., Cohen, J., Guffey, S., & Higgins-D’Alessandro, A. (2013). A review of school

climate research. Review of Educational Research published online 19 April

2013. Retrieved from

http://www.onecaringadult.com/documents/School%20Climate%20Research%20

2013%20AERA.pdf

155

The Nation’s Report Card: Trends in Academic Progress 2012. (2013, June 27).

Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2013456

Thompson, R. S. (2012). The perception of servant leadership characteristics and job

satisfaction in a church-related college. Retrieved from

http://bengal.indstate.edu/handle/10484/3949

Thumin, F. J., & Thumin, L. J. (2011). The measurement and interpretation of

organizational climate. Journal of Psychology, 145(2), 93–109.

Tinto, V. (2009). Taking student retention seriously: Rethinking the first year of

university. In ALTC FYE Curriculum Design Symposium, 5. Retrieved from

http://www.yorku.ca/retentn/rdata/Takingretentionseriously.pdf

Trickett, E. J., & Moos, R. H. (1973). Social environment of junior high and high school

classrooms. Journal of Educational Psychology, 65(1), 93.

U.S. Census Bureau. (2011). School Enrollment. Retrieved from

http://www.census.gov/hhes/school/data/cps/2011/tables.html

van Dierendonck, D. (2011). Servant leadership: A review and synthesis. Journal of

Management, 37(4), 1228.

van Dierendonck, D., & Nuijten, I. (2011). The Servant Leadership Survey: Development

and validation of a multidimensional measure. Journal of Business and

Psychology, 26(3), 249–267.

Vance, D. E., Talley, M., Azuero, A., Pearce, P. F., & Christian, B. J. (2013). Conducting

an article critique for a quantitative research study: Perspectives for doctoral

students and other novice readers. Nursing: Research and Reviews. 3(3), 67-75

Retrieved from https://www.dovepress.com/getfile.php?fileID=15874

156

Villavicencio, A., & Grayman, J. K. (2012). Learning from “turnaround” middle schools:

Strategies for success. New York: Research Alliance for New York City Schools.

Retrieved from

http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/scmsAdmin/media/users/jnw216/RANYCS/WebDocs/R

ANYCS-MiddleSchoolTurnaround-Report-20120214.pdf

Walberg, H. J., & Anderson, G. J. (1968). Learning environment inventory. Retrieved

from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED131997.pdf

Waters, T., Marzano, R. J., & McNulty, B. (2003). Balanced leadership: What 30 years

of research tells us about the effect of leadership on student achievement. Mid-

continent Research for Education and Learning Aurora, CO. Retrieved from

http://www.educationalleaders.govt.nz/Pedagogy-and-assessment/Leading-

learning-communities/Balanced-Leadership-What-30-Years-of-Research-Tells-

Us-About-the-Effect-of-Leadership-on-Student-Achievement

Watkins, M. A. (2012). The impact of school culture and climate on student performance.

Doctoral Dissertation, Purdue University. Retrieved from

http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/dissertations/AAI3544578/

Weber, M., Gerth, H. H., & Turner, B. S. (1991). From Max Weber: essays in sociology.

Psychology Press.

Whitley, E., & Ball, J. (2002). Statistics review 5: Comparison of means. Critical Care,

6(5), 424–428.

Wong, P. T. P., Davey, D., & Church, F. B. (2007). Best practices in servant leadership.

Servant Leadership Research Roundtable, School of Global Leadership and

Entrepreneurship, Regent University. Retrieved from

157

http://www.leadershiplearningforlife.com/acad/global/publications/sl_proceedings

/2007/wong-davey.pdf

Wong, P. T., & Page, D. (2005). Servant leadership profile-revised. Retrieved

http://www.twu.ca/academics/graduate/leadership/servant-leadership/servant-

leadership-self-profile.pdf

Wong, P. T. P., & Page, D. (2003). Servant leadership: An opponent-process model and

the revised servant leadership profile. In Proceedings of the Servant Leadership

Research Roundtable. Retrieved from

http://www.meaning.ca/archives/archive/pdfs/WongServantLeadership.pdf

Wuensch, K. L. (2012). An introduction to Path Analysis. Retrieved from

http://core.ecu.edu/psyc/wuenschk/MV/SEM/Path.pdf

Zeitvogel, K. (2010), US falls to average in education ranking. December 7). Retrieved

from

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5juGFSx9LiPaur6eO1KJ

AypB2ImVQ?docId=CNG.5337504e8f65acf16c57d5cac3cfe339.1c1

Zhang, Y., Lin, T.-B., & Foo, S. F. (2012). Servant leadership: a preferred style of school

leadership in Singapore. Chinese Management Studies, 6(2), 369–383.

http://doi.org/10.1108/17506141211236794

Zondervan. (2011). The Books of the Bible (NIV), New Testament. Zondervan.

158

Appendix A

Letter of Approval to Conduct Research

159

Appendix B

Survey Coordinator Informed Consent Form

RISKS

There are no known risks from taking part in this study, but in any research, there is some possibility that you may be subject to risks that have not yet been identified.

Grand Canyon University College of Doctoral Studies 3300 W. Camelback Road

Phoenix, AZ 85017 Phone: 602-639-7804

Fax: 602- 639-7820

SURVEY COORDINATOR INFORMED CONSENT FORM

SERVANT LEADERSHIP AND ITS IMPACT ON CLASSROOM CLIMATE AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

INTRODUCTION

The purposes of this form are to provide you (as a prospective research study participant) information that may affect your decision as to whether or not to participate in this research and to record the consent of those who agree to be involved in the study.

RESEARCH Dan Mulligan, doctoral student at Grand Canyon University, has invited your participation in a research study.

STUDY PURPOSE Several studies have been conducted looking into the subject of school leadership and culture with student achievement in primary and secondary education. None have explored these relationships at colleges and universities.

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH STUDY If you decide to participate, then as a study participant you will join a study involving research of leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement. Your participation will consist of distributing and collecting the surveys in sealed envelopes to participating instructors and collecting participating student aggregate grades (e.g., 5=A, 7=B+, 10=B, 3=C+) from the instructors at the end of the semester. If you say YES, then your participation should require no more than one hour of your time. Approximately 300 subjects will be participating in this study.

160

BENEFITS Although there may be no direct benefits to you, the possible benefits of your participation in the research are improving leadership and the professional education of College and University faculty.

NEW INFORMATION If the researcher finds new information during the study that would reasonably change your decision about participating, then they will provide this information to you.

CONFIDENTIALITY All information obtained in this study is strictly confidential. The results of this research study may be used in reports, presentations, and publications, but the researcher will not identify you. In order to maintain confidentiality of your records, Dan Mulligan will alphanumerically code each survey and your ANONYMOUS survey data will be confidentially stored at the researcher’s residence. No identifying information that you provide will be published or disclosed. Only the researcher will have access to your completed survey.

WITHDRAWL PRIVILEGE Participation in this study is completely voluntary. It is ok for you to say no. Even if you say yes now, you are free to say no later, and withdraw from the study at any time. Nonparticipation in this research WILL NOT affect course grades.

COSTS AND PAYMENTS The researcher wants your decision about participating in the study to be absolutely voluntary. Yet he recognizes that your participation may pose some inconvenience. In appreciation for your participation, after all data is collected (but no later than May 30, 2014), you will receive a $250.00 GIFT CERTIFICATE to Barnes & Noble Bookstores.

VOLUNTARY CONSENT Any questions you have concerning the research study or your participation in the study, before or after your consent, will be answered by Dan Mulligan, 120 Beau Drive, Edinboro, PA. (814-434-6502). If you have questions about your rights as a subject/participant in this research, or if you feel you have been placed at risk, you can contact the Chair of the Institutional Review Board, through the College of Doctoral Studies at (602) 639-7804. This form explains the nature, demands, benefits and any risk of the project. By signing this form you agree knowingly to assume any risks involved. Remember, your participation is voluntary. You may choose not to participate or to withdraw your consent and discontinue participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefit. In signing this consent form, you are not waiving any legal claims, rights, or remedies. A copy of this consent form will be given (offered) to you. Your signature below indicates that you consent to participate in the above study. ________________________ _______________________ ____________ _Group A Subject’s Signature Printed Name Date

161

INVESTIGATOR’S STATEMENT “I certify that I have explained to the above individual the nature and purpose, the potential benefits and possible risks associated with participation in this research study, have answered any questions that have been raised, and have witnessed the above signature. These elements of Informed Consent conform to the Assurance given by Grand Canyon University to the Office for Human Research Protections to protect the rights of human subjects. I have provided (offered) the subject/participant a copy of this signed consent document.” Signature of Investigator______________________________________ Date___________

162

Appendix C

Instructor Informed Consent Form

Grand Canyon University

College of Doctoral Studies 3300 W. Camelback Road

Phoenix, AZ 85017 Phone: 602-639-7804

Fax: 602- 639-7820

INSTRUCTOR INFORMED CONSENT FORM

SERVANT LEADERSHIP AND ITS IMPACT ON CLASSROOM CLIMATE AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

INTRODUCTION

The purposes of this form are to provide you (as a prospective research study participant) information that may affect your decision as to whether or not to participate in this research and to record the consent of those who agree to be involved in the study.

RESEARCH Dan Mulligan, doctoral student at Grand Canyon University, has invited your participation in a research study.

STUDY PURPOSE Several studies have been conducted looking into the subject of school leadership and culture with student achievement in primary and secondary education. None have explored these relationships at colleges and universities.

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH STUDY If you decide to participate, then as a study participant you will join a study involving research of leadership, classroom climate, and student achievement. Your participation will consist of ANONYMOUSLY completing a short survey while your students who wish to participate also ANONYMOUSLY complete a short survey. These surveys will be placed in sealed envelopes and returned. At the end of the semester, you will be asked to turn in the aggregate grades of participating students (e.g., 5=A, 7=B+, 10=B, 3=C+). If you are uncomfortable with any survey questions, you may skip them. If you say YES, then your participation will last for about 10 minutes in class and 10 minutes to compile aggregate grades. Approximately 300 subjects will be participating in this study.

RISKS

There are no known risks from taking part in this study, but in any research, there is some possibility that you may be subject to risks that have not yet been identified.

163

BENEFITS Although there may be no direct benefits to you, the possible benefits of your participation in the research are improving leadership and the professional education of College and University faculty.

NEW INFORMATION If the researcher finds new information during the study that would reasonably change your decision about participating, then they will provide this information to you.

CONFIDENTIALITY All information obtained in this study is strictly confidential. The results of this research study may be used in reports, presentations, and publications, but the researcher will not identify you. In order to maintain confidentiality of your records, Dan Mulligan will alphanumerically code each survey and your ANONYMOUS survey data will be confidentially stored at the researcher’s residence. No identifying information that you provide will be published or disclosed. Only the researcher will have access to your completed survey.

WITHDRAWL PRIVILEGE Participation in this study is completely voluntary. It is ok for you to say no. Even if you say yes now, you are free to say no later, and withdraw from the study at any time. Nonparticipation in this research WILL NOT affect course grades.

COSTS AND PAYMENTS The researcher wants your decision about participating in the study to be absolutely voluntary. Yet he recognizes that your participation may pose some inconvenience. In appreciation for your participation, those who complete the survey and submit aggregate grades, after all data is collected (but no later than Jan 1, 2014), will receive a $25.00 GIFT CERTIFICATE to Barnes & Noble Bookstores.

VOLUNTARY CONSENT Any questions you have concerning the research study or your participation in the study, before or after your consent, will be answered by Dan Mulligan, 120 Beau Drive, Edinboro, PA. (814-434-6502). If you have questions about your rights as a subject/participant in this research, or if you feel you have been placed at risk, you can contact the Chair of the Institutional Review Board, through the College of Doctoral Studies at (602) 639-7804. This form explains the nature, demands, benefits and any risk of the project. By signing this form you agree knowingly to assume any risks involved. Remember, your participation is voluntary. You may choose not to participate or to withdraw your consent and discontinue participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefit. In signing this consent form, you are not waiving any legal claims, rights, or remedies. A copy of this consent form will be given (offered) to you. Your signature below indicates that you consent to participate in the above study. ___________________________ _________________________ ____________ Subject’s Signature Printed Name Date

164

INVESTIGATOR’S STATEMENT “I certify that I have explained to the above individual the nature and purpose, the potential benefits and possible risks associated with participation in this research study, have answered any questions that have been raised, and have witnessed the above signature. These elements of Informed Consent conform to the Assurance given by Grand Canyon University to the Office for Human Research Protections to protect the rights of human subjects. I have provided (offered) the subject/participant a copy of this signed consent document.” Signature of Investigator______________________________________ Date___________

165

Appendix D

Student Informed Consent Form

Grand Canyon University

College of Doctoral Studies 3300 W. Camelback Road

Phoenix, AZ 85017 Phone: 602-639-7804

Fax: 602- 639-7820

ADULT STUDENT INFORMED CONSENT FORM

SERVANT LEADERSHIP AND ITS IMPACT ON CLASSROOM CLIMATE AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

INTRODUCTION

The purposes of this form are to provide you (as a prospective research study participant) information that may affect your decision as to whether or not to participate in this research and to record the consent of those who agree to be involved in the study.

RESEARCH Dan Mulligan, doctoral student at Grand Canyon University, has invited your participation in a research study.

STUDY PURPOSE Several studies have been conducted looking into the subject of school leadership and culture with student achievement in primary and secondary education. None have explored these relationships at colleges and universities.

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH STUDY If you decide to participate, then as a study participant you will join a study involving research of leadership and classroom climate. Your participation will consist of ANNONYMOUSLY completing a short survey. Your final course grade will be ANONYMOUSLY aggregated. If you are uncomfortable with any survey questions, you may skip them. If you say YES, then your participation will last for about 10 minutes in class. Approximately 300 subjects will be participating in this study.

RISKS There are no known risks from taking part in this study, but in any research, there is some possibility that you may be subject to risks that have not yet been identified.

BENEFITS Although there may be no direct benefits to you, the possible benefits of your participation in the research are improving leadership and the professional education of College and University faculty.

166

NEW INFORMATION If the researcher finds new information during the study that would reasonably change your decision about participating, then they will provide this information to you.

CONFIDENTIALITY All information obtained in this study is strictly confidential. The results of this research study may be used in reports, presentations, and publications, but the researcher will not identify you. In order to maintain confidentiality of your records, Dan Mulligan will alphanumerically code each survey and your ANONYMOUS survey will be confidentially stored at the researcher’s residence. No identifying information that you provide will be published or disclosed. Only the researcher will have access to your completed survey.

WITHDRAWL PRIVILEGE Participation in this study is completely voluntary. It is ok for you to say no. Even if you say yes now, you are free to say no later, and withdraw from the study at any time. Nonparticipation in this research WILL NOT affect course grades.

COSTS AND PAYMENTS There is no payment for your participation in the study.

VOLUNTARY CONSENT Any questions you have concerning the research study or your participation in the study, before or after your consent, will be answered by Dan Mulligan, 120 Beau Drive, Edinboro, PA. (814- 434-6502). If you have questions about your rights as a subject/participant in this research, or if you feel you have been placed at risk, you can contact the Chair of the Institutional Review Board, through the College of Doctoral Studies at (602) 639-7804.

This form explains the nature, demands, benefits and any risk of the project. By signing this form you agree knowingly to assume any risks involved. Remember, your participation is voluntary. You may choose not to participate or to withdraw your consent and discontinue participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefit. In signing this consent form, you are not waiving any legal claims, rights, or remedies. A copy of this consent form will be given (offered) to you. Your signature below indicates that you consent to participate in the above study. ________________________ _______________________ ____________ _Group A Subject’s Signature Printed Name Date

INVESTIGATOR’S STATEMENT

“I certify that I have explained to the above individual the nature and purpose, the potential benefits and possible risks associated with participation in this research study, have answered any questions that have been raised, and have witnessed the above signature. These elements of Informed Consent conform to the Assurance given by Grand Canyon University to the Office for Human Research Protections to protect the rights of human subjects. I have provided (offered) the subject/participant a copy of this signed consent document.” Signature of Investigator______________________________________ Date___________

167

Appendix E

Confidentiality Statement

168

Appendix F

Permission Email to Adapt the Conceptual Framework Model

169

Appendix G

Permission Email to Use the Servant Leadership Profile—Revised

170

Appendix H

Servant Leadership Profile—Revised (SLP-R)

©Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D. & Don Page, Ph.D.

Leadership matters a great deal in the success or failure of any organization. This

instrument was designed to measure both positive and negative leadership characteristics.

Please use the following scale to indicate your agreement or disagreement with

each of the statements in describing your own attitudes and practices as a leader. If you

have not held any leadership position in an organization, then answer the questions as if

you were in a position of authority and responsibility. There are no right or wrong

answers. Simply rate each question in terms of what you really believe or normally do in

leadership situations.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strongly Disagree

(SD)

Undecided Strongly Agree (SA)

For example, if you strongly agree, you may circle 7, if you mildly disagree, you

may circle 3. If you are undecided, circle 4, but use this category sparingly.

# Item Scale

1 To inspire team spirit, I communicate enthusiasm and confidence

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

2

I listen actively and receptively to what others have to say, even when they disagree with me.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

3 I practice plain talking—I mean what I say and say what I mean

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

4 I always keep my promises and commitments to others. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

171

# Item Scale

5

I grant all my workers a fair amount of responsibility and latitude in carrying out their tasks.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

6

I am genuine and honest with people, even when such transparency is politically unwise.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

7 I am willing to accept other people’s ideas, whenever they are better than mine.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

8 I promote tolerance, kindness, and honesty in the workplace.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

9

To be a leader, I should be front and center in every function in which I am involved.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

10

I create a climate of trust and openness to facilitate participation in decision making

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

11 My leadership effectiveness is improved through empowering others.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

12 I want to build trust and honesty and empathy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

13 I am able to bring out the best in others. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

14

I want to make sure that everyone follows orders without questioning my authority.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

15 As a leader, my name must be associated with every initiative.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

16

I consistently delegate responsibility to others and empower them to do their job.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

17 I seek to serve rather than be served. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

18

To be a strong leader, I need to have the power to do whatever I want without being questioned.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

19

I am able to inspire others with my enthusiasm and confidence in what can be accomplished.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

20 I am able to transform an ordinary group of individuals into a winning team.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

172

# Item Scale

21

I try to remove all organizational barriers so that others can freely participate in decision- making.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

22

I devote a lot of energy to promoting trust, mutual understanding and team spirit.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

23 I derive a great deal of satisfaction in helping others succeed.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

24 I have the moral courage to do the right thing, even when it hurts me politically.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

25 I am able to rally people around me and inspire them to achieve a common goal.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

26

I am able to present a vision that is readily and enthusiastically embraced by others.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

27

I invest considerable time and energy in helping others overcome their weaknesses and develop their potential.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

28

I want to have the final say on everything, even areas where I don’t have the competence.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

29 I don’t want to share power with others, because they may use it against me.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

30 I practice what I preach. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

31 I am willing to risk mistakes by empowering others to “carry the ball.”

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

32

I have the courage to assume full responsibility for my mistakes and acknowledge my own limitations.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

33

I have the courage and determination to do what is right in spite of difficulty or opposition

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

34 Whenever possible, I give credits to others. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

35

I am willing to share my power and authority with others in the decision making process.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

36 I genuinely care about the welfare of people working with me.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

173

# Item Scale

37 I invest considerable time and energy equipping others. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

38 I make it a high priority to cultivate good relationships among group members.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

39 I am always looking for hidden talents in my workers. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

40 My leadership is based on a strong sense of mission. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

41

I am able to articulate a clear sense of purpose and direction for my organization’s future.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

42 My leadership contributes to my employees/colleagues’ personal growth.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

43 I have a good understanding of what is happening inside the organization.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

44 I set an example of placing group interests above self- interests

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

45 I work for the best interests of others rather than self. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

46 I consistently appreciate, recognize, and encourage the work of others.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

47 I always place team success above personal success. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

48

I willingly share my power with others, but I do not abdicate my authority and responsibility.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

49 I consistently appreciate and validate others for their contributions

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

50 When I serve others, I do not expect any return. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

51 I am willing to make personal sacrifices in serving others.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

52 I regularly celebrate special occasions and events to foster a group spirit.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

53 I consistently encourage others to take initiative. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

54 I am usually dissatisfied with the status quo and know how things can be improved.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

55 I take proactive actions rather than waiting for events to happen to me.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

174

# Item Scale

56 To be a strong leader, I need to keep all my subordinates under control.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

57 I find enjoyment in serving others in whatever role or capacity

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

58 I have a heart to serve others. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

59 I have great satisfaction in bringing out the best in others.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

60 It is important that I am seen as superior to my subordinates in everything.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

61

I often identify talented people and give them opportunities to grow and shine.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

62

My ambition focuses on finding better ways of serving others and making them successful.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

175

Appendix I

Permission Email to Use the College and University Classroom Environment

Inventory (CUCEI)

176

Appendix J

College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) survey

Group ______

Directions:

The purpose of this questionnaire is to find out your opinion about the class you are

attending right now. This form of the questionnaire assesses your opinion about what this

class is actually like. Indicate your opinion about each question or statement by circling:

SA if you STRONGLY AGREE: that it describes what this class is actually like.

A if you AGREE: that it describes what this class is actually like.

D if you DISAGREE: that it describes what this class is actually like.

SD if you STRONGLY DISAGREE: that it describes what this class is actually like.

Item Indicate your opinion about each question or statement by circling one:

1. The instructor considers students’ feelings. SA A D SD

2. The instructor talks rather than listens. SA A D SD

3. The class is made up of individuals who don’t know each other well. SA A D SD

4. The students look forward to coming to classes. SA A D SD

5. Students know exactly what has to be done in our class SA A D SD

6. New ideas are seldom tried out in this class. SA A D SD

7. All students in the class are expected to do the same work, in the same way in the same time.

SA A D SD

8. The instructor talks individually with students SA A D SD

9. Students put effort into what they do in classes. SA A D SD

177

Item Indicate your opinion about each question or statement by circling one:

10. Each student knows the other members of the class by their first names. SA A D SD

11. Students are dissatisfied with what is done in the class. SA A D SD

12. Getting a certain amount of work done is important in this class SA A D SD

13. New and different ways of teaching are seldom used in this class. SA A D SD

14. Students are generally allowed to work at their own pace. SA A D SD

15. The instructor goes out of his/her way to help students. SA A D SD

16. Students “clock watch” in this class. SA A D SD

17. Friendships are made among students in this class. SA A D SD

18. After the class, the students have a sense of satisfaction. SA A D SD

19. The group often gets sidetracked instead of sticking to the point. SA A D SD

20. The instructor thinks of innovative activities for students to do. SA A D SD

21. Students have a say in how class time is spent. SA A D SD

22. The instructor helps each student who is having trouble with the work. SA A D SD

23. Students in this class the attention to what others are saying. SA A D SD

24. Students don’t have much chance to get to know each other in this class. SA A D SD

25. Classes are a waste of time. SA A D SD

26. This is a disorganized class. SA A D SD

27. Teaching approaches in this class are characterized by innovation and variety. SA A D SD

28. Students are allowed to choose activities and how they will work. SA A D SD

29. The instructor seldom moves around the classroom to talk with students. SA A D SD

30. Students seldom present their work to the class area. SA A D SD

178

Item Indicate your opinion about each question or statement by circling one:

31. it takes a long time to get to know everybody by his/her first name in this class.

SA A D SD

32. Classes are boring. SA A D SD

33. Class assignments are clear so everyone knows what to do. SA A D SD

34. The seating in this class is arranged in the same way each week. SA A D SD

35. Teaching approaches allow students to proceed at their own pace SA A D SD

36. The instructor isn’t interested in students’ problems SA A D SD

37. There are opportunities for students to express their opinions in this class SA A D SD

38. Students in this class get to know each other well. SA A D SD

39. Students enjoy going to this class. SA A D SD

40. This class seldom start on time. SA A D SD

41. The instructor often thinks of unusual class activities SA A D SD

42. There is little opportunity for a student to pursue his/her particular interest in this class.

SA A D SD

43. The instructor is unfriendly and inconsiderate towards students. SA A D SD

44. The instructor dominates class discussions. SA A D SD

45. Students in this class aren’t very interested in getting to know other students. SA A D SD

46. Classes are interesting. SA A D SD

47. Activities in this class are clearly and carefully planned. SA A D SD

48. Students seem to do the same type of activities every class. SA A D SD

49. It is the instructor who decides what will be done in our class. SA A D SD

179

Appendix K

GCU IRB Approval Letter

180

Appendix L

Power Analyses

Table 11 A Priori Power Analysis to Determine Sample Size

Input Parameters: Output Parameters: Tails = 1 Noncentrality parameter = 3.36

Effect size (d) = .5 critical t = 1.69 α err prob. = .05 Df = 32

Power = .95 Total Sample Size = 34

A Compromise Power Analysis with a hypothetical sample size of 15 revealed

parameters as noted.

Table 12 Compromise Power Analysis

Input Parameters Output Parameters Effect size = .5 Noncentrality parameter = 1.94

Q = beta/alpha ratio = 1 Critical t = .98 Sample size = 15 Df = 14

error probability = .17 Power (1 .17 error) = .83

181

Figure 18. Post hoc power analysis for correlation using G power software

182

Figure 19. Post-hoc power analysis for linear multiple regression using G power software


Comments are closed.