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Dissertation Abstract

An Exploration of the Relationship between Servant Leadership Attributes and Leaders’ Negotiation Strategy

Errol Elton Joseph
June 2006

This study investigated the relationship between attributes of servant leadership and the leaders’ negotiation strategy. Servant leadership theory advances that there are particular attributes (distinctive characteristics and behaviors) that characterize the servant leadership style, while negotiation theory suggests that individual leader differences will affect the leader’s negotiation behavior. The study tested a model of the relationship between servant leadership attributes and negotiation strategy utilizing six constructs of servant leadership identified in the recent literature: service, empowerment, vision, love, humility, and trust. The study used (a) validated scales derived from the work of Dennis and Winston (2003) and Dennis and Bocarnea (2005) to measure the specific servant leadership attributes and (b) the validated Chandler and Judge (1998) distributive and integrative bargaining scales to measure leaders’ negotiation strategy in a cross-sectional survey research design with a sample of 182 employees enrolled in eight tertiary educational institutions in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Using multiple regression analysis, support was found for a simplified revised model of servant leadership attributes and negotiation strategy. Only three of the six proposed variables (service, vision, and humility) were found to be significant predictors of the leader’s choice of negotiation strategy. The attribute of service predicted moderate avoidance of a distributive strategy, the attribute of vision predicted a moderate preference for a distributive strategy and a moderate preference for an integrative strategy, while the attribute of humility predicted a slight preference for an integrative negotiation strategy. The implications of the results for leadership theory and practice are discussed.