A Comparative Analysis of Three Generational Cohorts of Teachers' Servant Leadership Style

A Comparative Analysis of Three Generational Cohorts of Teachers' Servant Leadership Style

Author: 
Priscilla A. Hollis
Program of study: 
Ph.D./IO Psych
Abstract: 
Previous studies have established that personal belief, the environment, and relationships influence a leader’s style of leadership. To advance research on leadership style, this research study was an investigation of generational dynamics, differences if any, in teachers’ servant leadership style. Perceptual data, quantified by both positive and negative qualities implicit in self-reported data, were gathered from teachers surveyed in one school district located in the Northeast sector of Texas. Three generational cohorts, Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y participated in this non-experimental, descriptive comparative research study. Seven factors tested for defining servant leadership showed no statistically significant differences. The analyses provided empirical evidence that generational differences did not manifest in servant leadership style among the three cohort groups of teachers. Given the importance of leadership in organizational goal achievement, these findings suggest an operational definition for teacher servant leadership may contribute to improving teacher training and development. Limitations of this study included that the data were not normal, and therefore, the Kruskal-Wallis H test, equivalent to ANOVA but less powerful, was used. Two other limitations are self-presentation bias and that the results based on the uniqueness of the targeted school district cannot be generalized validly to other school districts and other institutions.
Dedication: 
This dissertation holds far more than summative years of study; it is a testament of my personal growth to become an even more accomplished professional. I have made many personal sacrifices and persevered many challenges to achieve my goal. I am a living witness that adversity creates opportunity! This doctoral journey is dedicated to my late grandparents Ardail Allen, Sr. and Verna Mae Allen. Grandfather walked from Pine Bluff, Arkansas to Kewanee, Illinois in search of a better education for his six children. I cherish the memories of my mother and her siblings’ imparted zeal for life-long learning, Ardail Allen, Jr., Salley Allen Bell, Mary Allen Lee, William Allen, and Ruth Allen Burgess. I am so very fortunate to have both of my parents with me still, James and Florence Mitchell. I credit their strong will and faith in God for my foundation in life. To my siblings, Sonya Elaine; James Lemuel, David Alan, Winnie Mae and Gloria Grace; thank you for your love and support! Much love to our four children, Warren, Tameka, Tanisha, Duke; all of our grandchildren, especially Jayden Hollis, Granny’s special “bonus” child, always and forever. This scholastic achievement was for your benefit, too. To my extended families and friends, thank you for prayers and well wishes. To my “life mentors” pastor, T. D. Jakes and wife Serita Ann Jakes, my spiritual role models; your ministry indoctrinated me to keep the faith--to live with purpose; “seed to the sower”. To God be the glory! To my husband, Eugene, my soul mate who understood my incessant need to strive for stellar best and saw my potential before I considered this journey! You always said there was a book in me! You were right! You and I persevered this journey together! I honor, cherish, and love you desperately!
Acknowledgements: 
Foremost, I thank God for His mercy, grace, and loving kindness. Great is thy faithfulness! Many individuals supported the culmination of my doctoral journey. It is important for me to say thank you for your personal contributions. Thank you to all of my professors. Each had an indelible influence on my educational journey—an apex achievement; a new beginning. A special thanks to Mr. James Coleman a friend, mentor, sponsor and confidant throughout most of my career. You were my first introduction to servant leadership in 1994. Thank you for my early beginnings—lessons learned that proved invaluable throughout my career and educational endeavors. You taught me two important life lessons. First, luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Second, improving myself was above individual interest; the greater good was for the benefit of others. You taught me, also, the essence of the adage, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” A special thanks to my coworker, Susan Frey, a true friend and exemplary servant leader! I will always be grateful for your objectivity as a team player and team leader in the workplace. You always place others’ needs first with such ease, poise, and include a sense of humor; you always make others feel like the center of your attention. Your motto, “…for the benefit of the student, first.” Your selfless work ethic exemplifies the true essence of going above and beyond customer service excellence. A special thank you to cohorts Irina and Pamela who helped me maintain focus on the end goal—the prize, and were always just a phone call away. We held together and finished! Thank you to Dr. Ledezma a valued friend and gifted “teacher” who introduced me to the world of educational research. Thank you for your unfailing friendship and willingness to take time from your busy schedule to answer questions, which many times were redundant—but you were patient to help me understand my data and hone the necessary skills to share the results. Thank you, Dr. Parham, we crossed paths when I needed objectivity. I learned from you to be steadfast, powerful and productive. You were supportive as a warrior with challenging, scholarly advice when I needed it most. I am indebted to your leadership. Thank you, Dr. Kate Andrews, for your reassurance that I would make it. Thank you Dr. Rudin. Your advice was invaluable. You gave me my first glimpse into statistics. Thank you for generously mentoring me and sharing your prowess in statistics. You imparted an insatiable yearn in me for scientific discovery. Thank you for encouraging me to pursue the road less traveled to improve the world. You, too, were patient to help me understand my data and hone the necessary skills to share the results. Thank you, Dr. Rice, for your sharing your technical expertise and knowledge! Thank you to all teacher leaders who participated in my research study. You have helped make a difference in educational leadership. Thank you for your service, dedication, support, and investment in education. I am indebted to Dr. Conrad, my chair, dedicated scholar and practitioner for believing in me. Thank you for the advice, critical eye, and probing questions. Thank you to my committee members Dr. Rohde and Dr. Scott who were always on point and for the words of encouragement; you are greatly appreciated.