The article at hand is called "Servant Leadership and Employee Commitment to a Supervisor". Main purpose of the article, which was written by Sokoll, is to analyze the influence of leadership and supervision on the organizational performance (88). The key question that the author addresses is whether the relation between the reduced turnover rates and employee commitment to a leader exists. Although this correlation is indirect, the chains of the argument focus on such issues as organizational commitment and employee motivation. In this respect, the most important information in this article refers to the analysis of the connection between leadership and employee engagement, which is evident, because efficient leadership implies the development of motivational appeals among the employees to work in a more efficient manner. Additionally, the author also focuses on the fact that employees will have more incentives for contributing to the company's performance.
The most important information in this article refers to the analysis and overview of servant leadership from a theoretical perspective. In particular, the author defines servant leadership theory that is aimed at helping and encouraging people. The choice of an individual-based approach is presented in the studies by the scholar. Specifically, the article presents forty-five attributes that are typical of servant leadership, among them are: such qualities as appreciation of others, credibility, encouragement, honest, listening, communication, caring for others, creating value, and emotional feeling. Hence, servant leadership is oriented to individuals, but not to task performance. It also reveals the level of complexity, as well as the instruments used by supervisors in managing these issues. A positive connection between the employee commitment and servant leadership can be the result of these activities.
Main inferences in this article are the evaluation of the influence of servant leadership on employee performance, motivation, and commitment. In order to prove the evident connection, Sokoll conducts a comparative analysis and compares servant leadership with the one oriented at task-orientation (90). While answering the research question, the author offers a concept map and the research model, where it is possible to conduct an analysis, which focuses on the development of such issues as employee dedication to the supervisor.
The key concepts and ideas presented in the article are confined to the main hypothesis, which sounds as follows:
Servant leadership uniquely and positively contributes to employee commitment to the supervisor after controlling for task-oriented behaviors of the supervisors and the demographic variable of employee age, employee/supervisor gender similarity/dissimilarity, and tenure of the employee as subordinate to the supervisor (Sokoll 91).
There are many assumptions and conclusions, which have been made by the author. To begin with, the author believes that employees will be more dedicated to a supervisor, who exercises higher level of respect, as well as servant leadership behaviors, as compared to the leaders that promote new approaches to management. In other words, there is a significant advantage of choosing the relation-oriented behaviors of leaders for the purpose of developing subordinate's careers, as well as introducing effective leadership groups to improve the levels of product. The author argues that supervisors with higher level of care for employees can significantly reduce the turnover rate. Therefore, a lower voluntary turnover can be presented, leading to higher organizational performance. Further, the author makes reference to other assumptions that explain the value of servant leadership. In particular, the scholar agrees with the fact that a servant leader develops long-lasting relationships with employees by exercising the corresponding behaviors. In this respect, the focus of the servant leader is to develop and control followers, which should be committed to the leader. In their turn, supervisors should also express their commitment to the followers. Finally, while reviewing the literature, the author has concluded that servant leadership, which focuses on human higher-order need for relationship, should work on positives influence of employee dedication to the supervisors, as compared to employee engagement in a task-oriented manner.
While investigating the connection between servant leadership and employee commitment, the author has conducted the study of 207 employees in the southwestern region, as well as investigated 149 university employees. The age category of the participants varies from 18 years old to above 60 years old. The sample group has been created on the basis of the staff and faculty members. In the research studies, the participants took part in the survey to define the missing values in leadership that would contribute to the retention culture. While employing the research procedures, the scholar has taken certain measures to discuss servant leadership. Specifically, a definition of a new servant leadership scale has been created to analyze the behavior of leaders. The dimension tool has sought to evaluate the behavioral patterns of servant leadership that pay attention to the leader's services, as well as to the development of subordinates. The instrument has been used to analyze the servant leadership through a specific sample. While employing the new survey, the author has resorted to another survey, where 456 employees participated in, in order to define the extent, to which servant leadership contributes to employee commitment. The reliability scale has revealed that all the standards have been followed properly.
The next step of analysis includes employee commitment to the supervisor. In order to measure this variable, the research has referred to the theoretical frameworks, which define commitment as a multidimensional issue. In this respect, the commitment has been analyzed from such perspectives as identification, compliance, and internalization. The second instrument involved interviews to employees composed of nine questions for evaluating their identification with servant leaders.
During the research studies, a number of important discoveries have been made. First of all, strong support for the statement regarding the positive influence of servant leadership on employee commitment has been presented. It has also been defined that servant leaders employ a relation-based approach to leadership and influence other results, including improved employee productivity and performance, as well as reduced employee turnover. At the same time, the scholar has also discovered that task-oriented leadership does not influence employee commitment, if the servant leadership is introduced to a framework. Apparently, such an assumption shows that there are many other techniques and models, which can increase employees' incentives to work in a more efficient manner, such as effective bonus schemes, internal competition, constant meetings, and/or improved communication.
Although the above-presented study proves the positive correlation between the employee dedication and servant leadership, managing valuable human resources is considered to be the most popular topic for debates. Employee retention is considered in the context of employees faithful to a supervisor, but the higher employee commitment can be achieved through the development of motivational appeals. The study introduced the data about the specific servant leadership behaviors, which enhance employee commitment; it also mediates the connection between the supervisor's structure and worker commitment to the leader. Therefore, emphasizing the importance of servant leaders, as an inherent component of the model, can have a potent impact on the employee commitment. With regard to these results, the scholars pay attention of the practitioners to the design of training programs on developing the corresponding management interventions to help leaders and managers in developing, understanding, and practicing servant leadership behaviors. In order to foster these interventions, leaders should be conscious of the turnover costs and failure to retain valuable human assets, which can have a negative image on the company.
It should also be stressed that the research studies proposed by Sokoll (2014) fail to introduce other contextual issues related to servant leadership, which should not be confined to the values only, but to the knowledge-based frameworks provided to the employees. The latter should be encouraged by good communication, as well as by sufficient knowledge and education ensuring employees' engagement into the organizational activities. Therefore, this gap could be reconsidered in future research.
Main points of view presented in the article relate to the different theoretical frameworks on servant leadership and employee commitment. The author also relies on different methodological perspective that can provide an algorithm for this particular study. Further, although the study is based on quantitative methods, the analysis of related theories and literature is indispensable, because it builds the foundation for the quantitative research. The quantifiable exploration of the theory can provide further stages for investigating the servant leadership construct and its influence on other spheres, such as employee intention, employee motivation, and employee performance. Finally, the study finding provides the theorists and practitioners with the new leadership approaches that would combine task-oriented and relation-oriented approaches. In fact, the article provides a contemporary vision of corporate governance and transformational leadership, which closely relates to servant leadership, because it is premised on an individual-based approach. There are many other theories studying the influence of the individual-based approach, as well as factors increasing employee commitment. This is of a particular concern to the theory of planned behavior, which is also applicable to the consumers. Further, the study can also provide the implications for exploring the influence of servant leadership on the customer relations, which is an indirect consequence of employee commitment.
There are many other implications for increasing job performance, but the recent trends in increasing employee motivation refer to the psychological and cultural dimension. At the same time, the business context should still limit this sphere, because profitability of an organization should be a priority. Therefore, leaders should take care of their employees within this accepted context. They should consider their needs and preferences that relate to the organizational culture, salary versus experience, and many other ratios that justify relation-based approach in servant leadership. What is more important is that the analysis of these implications should not go beyond business interest. Personal interests play a tangible role in defining employees' motivation and commitment, but it should be suppressed in order to make employees adhere to the organizational culture.
The major strength of the article consists in the fact that the author has managed to explain in detail the value of promoting servant leadership and commitment to the supervisor. Specifically, Sokoll concludes that increasing commitment would mean reducing costs, lowering turnover rate, and enriching the retention culture (101). All these issues are impossible to promote in such an effective way, as compared to the obsolete form of leadership that relies on task orientation. Additionally, the article refers to the analysis of the quantitative data, presence of concept maps, tables, and figures. The presence of numerical data contributes to the reliability and validity of the article. Although the author emphasizes the quantifiable nature of the article, it should still be presented as a mixed-method research due to the presence of the literature review, along with the analysis of theoretical frameworks, on the basic of which the attributes of servant leadership, as well as the qualities, which are valued among the employees, and make them more committed to the organizational activities.
In general, the article offers a great number of interrelated topics that provide both practical and theoretical implications for the research. The main approach to controlling behavior can also be employed to other spheres of management. The task of leaders is to become more aware of the current trends in understanding employee motivation, because it contributes to a competitive advantage of a company.
There are many other issues, which could be discussed in the context of the article, such as the analysis of the servant leadership construct in terms of globalization process. Apparently, the latter has become the trigger of emergence of the new leadership approaches, among which servant leadership could be considered as the most appropriate one, because it successfully meets all requirements of the time. The analysis of leadership and supervision in this context can deepen an understanding and give a fresh insight into the importance of managing employees, including their social backgrounds, cultural preferences, and personal needs. All these factors should be thoroughly examined by the leaders, who are in the pursuit of developing a highly successful organization, which can introduce specific values. At a glance, it might be considered that overwhelming obsession with the problem of managing these environments could be frustrating and distracting. Specifically, leaders should be more oriented at developing the strong strategic framework and company's vision, rather than at meeting the employees' needs. However, the research proves that attention to the employees' behavior can increase the changes of improving organization's productivity and performance. In conclusion, it should be stressed that the article is of a great value for the future research, because it enhances the necessity to work on psychological and social dimensions of carrying business. Considering human factors is important when it comes to human resource management and retention culture. The analysis of surveys and questionnaires also proves what values are appreciated and accepted among the employees. In addition, it clarifies what attributes should be conceived by the leader in order to make employees be more motivated.
Sokoll, Shane. Servant Leadership and Employee Commitment to a Supervisor. International Journal of Leadership Studies, 8.2 (2014): 88-104. Print.