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Dissertation Abstract

The Relationships Among Leadership Practices, Organizational Climate, and Organizational Commitment Within Church Ministry Settings

Jason Robert Berry
July 2008

This study examined the relationships among perceptions of leadership practices, perceptions of organizational climate, and perceptions of organizational commitment within the context of church ministry settings. The study involved the use of a sample of 97 supervisor–subordinate dyads serving within churches in Minnesota. Instruments used in this study included the self and observer forms of the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) 3rd edition (Kouzes & Posner, 2003a), the Shortened Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (SOCQ; Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982), two researcher modified observer forms of the SOCQ (Mowday et al., 1982), the Congregational Climate Scales (CCS; Pargament, Silverman, Johnson, Echmendia,& Snyder, 1983), and a researcher developed demographic survey for research participants and corresponding ministry settings. A detailed review of the literature concerning relevant theories and variables was conducted for the purpose of connecting the necessity of this research with the problem of church pastor burnout and turnover as a consequence of a lack of pastoral and congregational organizational commitment within church ministry settings. This study attempted to analyze the unique dynamics of supervisor–subordinate dyads within church ministry settings as a means of developing practical suggestions for pastoral leadership strategies concerning the development of organizational commitment within churches. Results of the study revealed that subordinate perceptions of supervisor leadership practices, subordinate perceptions of church congregational climate, and subordinate perceptions of supervisor organizational commitment all influence subordinate self-reported organizational commitment. Results of the study also revealed that supervisor perceptions of subordinate organizational commitment and supervisor perceptions of church congregational climate both influence supervisor self-reported organizational commitment.