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The Relationship Between Servant Leadership and Psychological Capital: A Follower’s Perspective Open Access

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This study investigated, from a follower’s perspective, to what extent relationships between servant leadership and psychological capital (PsyCap) and their subdimensions exist. The research questions guiding the study were: From the perspective of a follower, to what extent is there a relationship between servant leadership and PsyCap? From the perspective of a follower, to what extent are there relationships between the dimensions of servant leadership (conceptual skills, emotional healing, putting followers first, helping followers grow and succeed, behaving ethically, enabling empowerment, and creating value for the community) and the dimensions of follower PsyCap (self-efficacy, hope, optimism, and resilience)? The sites for the study were two Mid Cap companies in the western United States. One of the companies included the entire organization for this study, and the other included a small portion of the company. The overall response rate was 48.04%. The survey captured the participants perception of servant leadership in their supervisor, leader, or boss. In addition, the survey also measured the participants perception of how their relationship with their leader impacted their (the follower’s) PsyCap. The findings of the study provide empirical evidence of positive relationships between servant leadership and PsyCap and their subdimensions. Servant leadership was shown to have positive and statistically significant relationship with PsyCap. Empowerment (one dimensions of servant leadership) was shown to have a positive and statistically significant relationship with PsyCap above and beyond the other six dimensions of servant leadership. Behaving ethically and creating value for the community were unexpectedly shown to have a strong and positive relationship with PsyCap. These and other significant findings are important for theory and practice, because they expand the current domain of knowledge in theory, and provide useful inputs regarding nascent leadership research for organizations to implement to build and sustain dynamic and renewable competitive advantages.

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