Self-Transcendence and Servant Leadership Behavior in New Thought Spiritual Centers: A Correlational Study

Self-Transcendence and Servant Leadership Behavior in New Thought Spiritual Centers: A Correlational Study

Author: 
Crystal J. Davis
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
Researchers who specialize in the area of self-transcendence and servant leadership behavior have concluded that the presence of servant leadership behavior and spirituality may be essential in creating adaptive and successful organizations. Given the demand and concern for ethical, moral, and spiritual leaders’ conscious of others and the greater world community, interest in self-transcendence and servant leadership behavior has grown substantially. A limited body of evidence exists regarding the ways in which self-identified spiritual leaders implement servant leadership behavior in the spiritual, organizational setting. Gaining additional information on the ways in which self-identified servant leaders and spirituality apply in organizations is valuable to enable organizations to meet the challenges of the 21st century. In this research, the purpose of this study was to examine whether a relationship existed between the variables of self-transcendence and perceived servant leader behaviors among senior leaders and their followers at New Thought Spiritual Centers in the United States. This study sought to examine whether a leaders’ selftranscendence as measured by the Assessment of Spirituality of Religious Sentiments Scale (ASPIRES), correlates with being recognized as a servant leader among one’s followers as measured by the Servant Leadership Behavior Scale (SLBS). The conclusions extrapolated from research question 1 suggested there was a significant positive correlation between selftranscendence and servant leadership behavior. The findings for research question 2 suggested partial support for leaders’ self-assessed self-transcendence and self-assessed servant leadership behavior. The highest scores for leaders’ reported from the ASPIRES scale was the subscales of Prayer Fulfillment, and less high among the subscales Universality and Connectedness.
Dedication: 
“The power of example to activate and channel behavior has been abundantly documented…One can get people to behave altruistically, to volunteer their services, to delay or to seek gratification, to show affection, to behave punitively, to prefer certain foods and apparel, to converse on particular topics, to be inquisitive or passive, to think innovatively or conventionally, and to engage in almost any course or action by having such conduct exemplified” (Bandura, 1985, p. 206). I dedicate this dissertation to the true servant leaders who guide their life’s work by the inner calling to serve. To my parents, Joseph (deceased) and Jean Davis, biological parents, Shirley Jenicke (deceased) and Arthur Thompson, and stepparent, Cortez McKinnis, thank you for accepting your assignments from the Universe to love and raise us. Indeed all of you have played a grand part in my journey and I am in a debt of gratitude to all of you. I am forever grateful to my family- immediate and extended- who supported me all the way, thank you. To my friend John McDaniel, I could not have made it through this chapter of my life without you. A true friend and confidante, I am forever transformed and a better woman because of you. Indeed, I am in a debt of gratitude to you for the rest of my life. You have left a permanent impression on my life and I know that your support of me returns 100-fold back to you. Last, but certainly not least, my LoveBe, Elijah, son you were seven years old when I began this journey. You have sacrificed the most. You knew I was studying when you would ask, “You doing homework, Mom?” You saw the University of Phoenix on my laptop screen and knew what was happening. I hope to have imparted the priceless value of education and selfless service upon you Son. It will take you to the place of your dreams and beyond. I expect great things of you Elijah, for the world is your playground. Go Forth and Serve. Family vacation anyone? Elijah, Disney World awaits us!
Acknowledgements: 
To Dr. Linda Atkinson, Dr. Scott Kalicki, and Dr. Gordon Myer, I will forever be grateful for your support. Each of you has contributed to my success. Dr. Linda, I thank you for your constant support, encouragement, and time dedicated to guide me through this dissertation process. Editors are valuable, and I thank Dr. Julie Conzelmann and Dr. Briana Walts for your time and efforts in helping me accomplish this task. Additionally, I would like to acknowledge Dr. Jose Ramirez and Dr. Tom Granoff for assisting me with understanding statistics. I would not have made it through chapters 4 and 5 without your tutoring and guidance. I want to acknowledge Center for Spiritual Living Kansas City, Rev. Dr. Chris Michaels, and all of the participants in this study from Centers for Spiritual Living all over the United States. I pray that every minute you dedicated to my research is returned to you 100-fold. Rev. Gregory Toole, you are blessed because of your support of this study. Without all of you, none of this would have been possible. There are many people in my “village” that I want to thank. Dr. Edward Breslin, Rev. Ron Norman, Mr. Rick Fizz, Rev. Celeste Frasier, Rev. Marigene DeRusha, Dr. Richard Bame, Dr. Christi Monk, Dr. Shameka Edwards, Dr. William Swoope, Dr. Tamar Romious, Mr. Steve Burton, Mrs. Kim Burgner, Ms. Shantelle Means, Ms. Bridgette Hurte, Ms. Myra Harper, Ms. Elainne Green, Ms. Diane Dorell, Mr. Donald Austin, Hammond Family, Ms. Shannon Burton, and Mr. Mark Turner. I thank you all for your support. Together, we have arrived. All is well. We are complete. And So It Is.