Volume 5 Issue 3 (2016)

An Evaluation of Teachers’ Opinions about the Servant Leadership Behaviours of School Principals

pp. 223-235  |  Published Online: September 2016  |  DOI: 10.12973/edupij.2016.53.4

Robert Insley, Paula Iaeger, Abdurrahman Ekinci, Halis Sakiz


The aim of this study was to determine the servant leadership behaviors that were displayed, or expected to be displayed, by principals towards the teaching staff at their schools, from the teachers’ perspectives. The data was collected during focus group discussion with 12 teachers who were in service in primary and secondary schools. The teachers were chosen using the snowball sampling method. The data obtained from the participants was analyzed using content analysis. When the findings were evaluated, it was determined that the principals were not qualified enough to display servant leadership behaviors. Moreover, the teachers stated that principals should display servant leadership behaviors that are oriented towards community building, sharing, empathy, active listening, humility, and altruism. In this respect, it can be suggested that principals should receive servant leadership education through instructional programs that should be developed.

Keywords: servant leadership, school leadership, school management, principals


Barbuto, J. E., & Wheeler D. W. (2006). Scale development and construct clarification of servant leadership. Group & Organization Management, 31, 300-326.

Bass, B. M. (2000). The future of leadership in the learning organization. Journal or Leadership Studies, 7, 18-38.

Bennis, W. (2001). Become a tomorrow leader. In L. Spears, & M. Lawrence (Eds.), Focus on leadership: Servant leadership for the twenty-first century (pp. 101-110). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Bowling, A. (2002). Research methods in health: Investigating health and health services. Philadelphia: PA: McGraw-Hill House.

Brown, M. E., Trevino, L. K., & Harrison, D. A. (2005). Ethical leadership: A social learning perspective for construct development and testing. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 97, 117-134.

Buchen, I. H. (1998). Servant leadership: A model for future faculty and future institutions. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 5, 125-134.

Ciulla, J. (1998). Ethics: The heart of leadership. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Collins, J. C. (2001). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap…and others don’t. New York: Harper Collins.

Covey, S. (2002). Focus on leadership: Servant leadership for the 21st Century. In L. Spears (Ed.), Servant leadership and community leadership in the twenty-first century (pp. 27-34). New York: Wiley.

Daft, R. (2001). The leadership experience. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt.

DeGraaf, D. G., Tilley, C., & Neal, L. L. (2001). Servant leadership characteristics in organizational life (Voices of servant leadership series; booklet 6). Indianapolis: Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership.

Dennis, R. S., & Bocarnea, M. (2005). Development of the servant leadership assessment instrument. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 600-615.

Dennis, R. S., & Winston, B. (2003). A factor analysis of Page and Wong’s servant leadership instrument: From items to factors. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 24, 455-459.

Ekinci, A. (2015). Development of the school principals' servant leadership behaviors scale and evaluation of servant leadership behaviors according to teachers' views.Education and Science,40, 341-360.

Greenbaum, T. L. (1998). The handbook for focus group research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant leadership: A Journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. New York: Paulist Press.

Guy, M. E. (1990). Ethical decision making in everyday work situations: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Hodder, I. (1994). The interpretation of documents and material culture. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Joseph, E., & Winston, B. (2005). A correlation of servant leadership, leader trust, and organizational trust. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 26, 6-22.

Kartal, S. E. (2016). Determining school administrators’ perceptions in institutional culture: A qualitative study. Educational Process: International Journal, 5, 152-166.

Kiechel, W. (1992). The leader as servant. Fortune, 125, 121-122.

Laub, J. A. (1999). Assessing the servant organization: Development of the servant organizational leadership assessment (sola) instrument. Dissertation Abstracts International, 60, (UMI No. 9921922).

MEB (2014). Millî eğitim bakanlığına bağlı eğitim kurumları yöneticilerinin görevlendirilmelerine ilişkin yönetmelik. 10 Haziran 2014 ve 29026 sayılı resmi gazete.

Morgan, D. L. (1997). Focus groups as qualitative research. London: Sage.

Morgan, D. L., & Kreuger, R. A. (1993). When to use focus groups and why. In D. L. Morgan (Ed.), Successful focus groups (pp. 3-19). London: Sage.

Page, D., & Wong, T. P. (2000). A conceptual framework for measuring servant leadership. In S. Adjibolosoo (Ed.), The human factor in shaping the course of history and development (pp. 1-28). Oxford: University Press of America.

Patterson, K. A. (2003). Servant leadership: A theoretical model. Virginia Beach, VA.

Russell, R. F. (2001). The role of values in servant leadership. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 22, 76-84.

Russell, R. F., & Stone, A. G. (2002). A review of servant leadership attributes: Developing a practical model. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 23, 145-157.

Sergiovanni, T. J. (2000). The life world of leadership: Creating culture, community, and personal meaning in our schools. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Spears, L. C. (1998). Introduction: Tracing the growing impact of servant leadership. In L. C. Spears (Ed.), Insights on leadership: Service, stewardship, spirit, and servant-leadership (pp. 1-12). New York: Wiley & Sons.

Spears, L. C. (2002). Tracing the past, present, and future of servant leadership. In L. C. Spears & M. Lawrence (Eds.), Focus on leadership: Servant leadership for the twenty-first century (pp. 1-19). New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Stone, A. G., Russell, R. F., & Patterson, K. (2004). Transformational versus servant leadership: A difference in leader focus. The Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 25, 349-361.

Taylor, T. (2007). Examination of leadership practices of principals identified as servant leaders. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 10, 401-419.

Taylor, T. A. (2002). Examination of leadership practices of principals identified as servant leaders. Dissertation Abstracts International, 63 (UMI No. 3052221).

Van Dierendonck, D., & Nuijten, I. (2010). The servant leadership survey: Development and validation of a multidimensional measure. Journal of Business and Psychology, 26, 249-267.

Van Dierendonck, D., Nuijten, I., & Heeren, I. (2009). Servant leadership, key to follower well-being. In D. Tjosvold, & B. Wisse (Eds.), Power and interdependence in organizations (pp. 319-337). New York. NY: Cambridge University Press.

Walker, P. (1997). A case study of servant leadership. Dissertation Abstracts International, 58 (UMI No. 9728827).

Yazicioglu, Y., & Erdogan, S. (2004). SPSS uygulamali bilimsel arastirma yontemleri. Ankara: Detay Yayincilik.

Yildirim, A., & Simsek, H. (2006). Sosyal bilimlerde nitel arastirma yontemleri. Ankara: Seckin Yayincilik.

Yukl, G. (1998). Leadership in organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.



EDUPIJ Statistics from Scopus

CiteScore: 1.4, view Scopus page

► Educational Process: International Journal is member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

► New issue coming soon! (Volume 11 Issue 3, 2022)