HCBE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship


Regina A. Greenwood

Committee Member

Yuliya Yurova

Committee Member

Walter E. Natemeyer


This research was designed to investigate the potential mediating role of personal power and of trust in the relationship between servant leadership and affective organizational commitment. The research responds to calls for increased understanding of the mechanisms at work between leadership models and outcomes. Especially unique in the available literature is the quantitative study of the relationship between servant leadership and personal power. All of the constructs in the research model are based on existing instruments, including those developed for personal power (PP; Hinkin & Schriesheim, 1989; Raven, Schwarzwald, & Koslowsky, 1998), trust (T; Mayer & Gavin, 2005), servant leadership (SL; Winston & Fields, 2015), and affective organizational commitment (AOC; Allen & Meyer, 1990), and were measured as follower perceptions and attitudes. Social exchange theory was used as the theoretical basis of the proposed model (Blau, 1964; Emerson, 1962). This includes the perspective of social power and trust being characteristic of exchange relationships as opposed to attributes of an individual. Linear regression was performed using IBM® SPSS® (SPSS), and mediation was evaluated using the approach from Baron and Kenny (1986). The hypotheses for the positive relationship between SL and AOC, and for mediation of the SL-AOC relationship by PP were supported. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used in confirmation analysis. The hypothesis for T as a mediator in the relationship between SL and AOC was not supported. Further ad hoc analysis suggests SL and PP as serial mediators in the relationship between T and AOC. Implications for academic and practitioner applications are discussed.

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