Examination of the ten characteristics of servant leadership

The intent of this chapter is to show and discourse the methodological analysis that will be employed in the scrutiny of the 10 features of servant leading as applied to the life of Dr. Jim Otten, a outstanding leader in proprietary higher instruction. The aim of this survey is to pull analogues and comparings between acceptable theories on servant leader behaviours and the professional life of Dr. Otten. In peculiar, this chapter inside informations the methods and procedures involved in this proposed interpretative biographical research including the research design, participant choice, instrumentality, informations aggregation, information analysis, and ethical confidences.

Research Questions

This survey aims to analyze grounds that that supports the pattern of servant leading behaviours in the professional life of Dr. Otten. The intent of this survey is to lend to the famine of empirical literature on the phenomenon of servant leading and in effect, inform how the pattern of servant leading today can be incorporated in profit-driven proprietorship higher instruction establishments. The overarching inquiry for this survey is:

How is servant leading demonstrated in the professional life of Dr. Jim Otten as manifested by the 10 features of servant leading: ( a ) hearing ; ( B ) empathy ; ( degree Celsius ) healing ; ( vitamin D ) consciousness ; ( vitamin E ) persuasion ; ( degree Fahrenheit ) conceptualisation ; ( g ) foresight ; ( H ) stewardship ; ( I ) committedness to the growing of others, and ; ( J ) edifice community?

This cardinal inquiry is divided into sub-questions, to humor:

How do higher-ups, associates and subsidiaries view Dr. Otten?

What organisational patterns and experiences in working with or for Dr. Otten demonstrate the pattern of servant leading from the position of subsidiaries and co-workers?

Research Method and Design

This survey follows the qualitative tradition as it deals with the demand to “ understand the significances people have constructedaˆ¦ and the experiences they have in the universe ” ( Merriam, 1998, p. 6 ) . The qualitative attack to research makes a descriptive history of a scene, phenomenon, and people possible. Furthermore, qualitative procedures enable the reading of new penetrations sing a phenomenon or a theoretical or conceptual position, and generates extra issues bing within a phenomenon or theory ( Patton, 2002 ) .

Shi ( 1997 ) suggests that among the research aim suitable for the qualitative research tradition include the survey of the followers:

1. Complete events, phenomena, or plans ;

2. Developmental or transitional plans and events ;

3. Attitudes, feelings, motives, behaviours, and factors associated with the altering procedure ;

4. Complex events with interconnected phenomena ;

5. Dynamic or quickly changing state of affairss ;

6. Relationships between research topics and scenes ; and

7. Procedures or how things happen instead than results or what things happen. ( p. 126 )

Creswell ( 1998 ) suggests that when you examine the assorted signifiers of qualitative enquiry, you will non get at one best signifier because qualitative research is built-in multi-method in focal point. There are five general signifiers of qualitative enquiry presented by Creswell ( 1997 ) that will be examined before explicating this survey ‘s pick of qualitative method: descriptive anthropology, instance survey, grounded theory, phenomenology, and life.

Ethnography purposes to depict and construe a cultural system or community through longitudinal field observations ( Schram, 2006 ) . Ethnography can be of three types: ( a ) serious music ; ( B ) critical ; and ( degree Celsius ) postmodern or post-structural ( Grbich, 1999 ) . This attack requires a research to plunge him or herself into the community or civilization being studied.

Case survey involves “ aˆ¦an intensive, holistic description and analysis of a delimited phenomenon ” ( Merriam, 1998, p. thirteen ) . It may concentrate on an person, topographic point, phenomenon, group, civilization, or state within a definite clip. Yin ( 2003 ) presents the instance survey as an empirical enquiry that “ 1 ) investigates a modern-day phenomenon within its real-life context ; and 2 ) headers with the technically typical state of affairs in which there will be many more variables of involvement than informations points ” ( p. 13-14 ) .

Grbich ( 1999 ) defines the phenomenological survey as a description of the constructions or procedure of experience as they present themselves without predetermined premises, theories, or tax write-offs. It seeks to depict the significance of lived experiences of a group of persons refering to a construct or a peculiar phenomenon ( Creswell, 1998 ) .

Creswell ( 1998 ) defines grounded theory as a technique that uses analytic initiation in order to develop theories that seek to explicate the universe. The terminal merchandise is a theoretical theoretical account or jurisprudence to steer action and is accomplished chiefly from interviews, site visits, and analysis of information.

A life is defined as an interpretative and analytic survey of an single analytic whose experiences are narrated to the research worker or discovered in documental stuff or artefacts ( Creswell, 1998 ) . Biography can be employed to prove theories sing phenomena or events which can help in explicating the present context. There are subgroups under biographical research viz. : autobiography, unwritten history, life history, biographical survey, classical life, or interpretative life.

Harmonizing to Creswell ( 1998 ) , taking the most appropriate research design for qualitative research requires an alliance with the conceptual model and the survey ‘s perceived ends and aims. Because this survey wants to analyze the being of servant leading features that are practiced by Dr. Otten and since behaviours are shaped and formed throughout the life phases, an geographic expedition of Dr. Otten ‘s servant leader behaviours requires an in-depth scrutiny of his life experiences. To this terminal, a narrative attack specifically an interpretative biographical method is chosen as the survey ‘s research design.

Biography is viewed as “ societal creative activity or building ” representing “ both societal world and the topics ‘ universes of cognition and experienceaˆ¦ invariably affirmed and transformed within the dialectical relationship between life history cognition and experiences and forms presented by society ” ( Fischer-Rosenthal, as cited in Rosenthal, 1993, p. 145 ) . Atkinson and Delamont ( 2006 ) bespeak how narrations can give powerful penetration into how human experiences are organized and can enable us to construction understanding about ourselves, other people, and events. The research ends fit the aims of interpretative life, because my intent is to “ explicate why a individual behaves in a certain manner [ as a servant leader ] and examine forms developing in his or her life ” ( Atkinson & A ; Delamont, 2006, p. 85 ) . In so making, the internal and external events that occur in a topic ‘s life will be given significance.

Interpretative Biography

Biographical research is by and large subdivided into three attacks: a ) serious music ; b ) objective hermeneutics or biographical narrative ; or c ) interpretive ( Atkinson & A ; Belmont, 2006 ) . Interpretative life and classical life are dissimilar because the former seeks non to “ unravel lived experiences but to happen significance in lived experiences ” ( Rosenthal, 1993, p. 19 ) and analyze servant leading through life narratives where “ narrative sections and classs are isolated and forms are sought ” ( Polkinghome, 1995 ) . An interpretative biographical attack will be the most appropriate research design for this analysis of servant leading.

An interpretative life is a qualitative research design that provides information on the behaviour, beliefs, attitudes, motivations, corporate discourses, and the development of perceptual experiences on societal moralities ( Duncan, 2000 ) . Harmonizing to Norman K. Denzin ( 1989 ) , a first authorization on the interpretative biographical method, the life narrative of a individual is non that individual ‘s sole belongings. It can be used to give significance to behaviours in larger societal contexts and collectivities, such as societies, establishments, corporations, and academic communities.

Through an interpretative biographical research design, an scrutiny of presence of the 10 features of servant leading will be drawn with Dr. Otten, a leader in proprietary higher instruction, as capable. In so making, the survey ‘s aim of analyzing the development of servant leaders in higher instruction establishments that could confirm or disregard normally held theoretical beliefs about the nature and pertinence of servant leading will be met.


Creswell ( 1998 ) states that in a biographical survey, the topic needs to be an single “ who is accessible, willing to supply information, and distinctive for his achievements and mundaneness or who sheds visible radiation on a specific phenomenon or issue being explored ” ( p. 111 ) . Strauss and Corbin ( 1998 ) suggests taking either a “ fringy individual ” or an “ ordinary individual ” who exemplifies a peculiar population. In a biographical survey, Creswell ( 1998 ) states that the person may be person “ convenient ” to analyze, may be a “ politically of import instance, ” or may be a “ typical ” instance ( Creswell, 1998 ) . In this survey, purposeful sampling will be used. Dr. Jim Otten was purposefully selected because he was “ ordinary individual ” who is reputed to be among the few that pattern servant leading. Hence, this survey makes a calculated determination to analyze Dr. Jim Otten.

The sampling technique to be utilized in this survey will the snowball sampling technique which identifies “ instances of involvement from people who know people who know what instances are information-rich ” ( Creswell, 1998, p. 119 ) . The first “ cardinal source ” for this survey will be Dr. Otten who will in bend recommend possible participants who can supply information about the professional life of the topic. For this intent, Dr. Otten ‘s stopping point associates and co-workers, subsidiaries who work for him, and his higher-ups will do up the pool of participants. The sample size will be determined utilizing theoretical sampling, which is the trying size tantrum for biographical survey ( Denzin, 1989 ) . Theoretical sampling process allows the research worker to take participants who can supply meaningful information about phenomena under consideration ( Corbin & A ; Strauss, 1998 ) .

In finding the sample size, governments in qualitative research suggest “ theoretical impregnation, ” or a method wherein the research worker continues to spread out the sample size until “ until informations aggregation ( e.g. interviews ) reveals no new informations ” ( Douglas, 2003, p. 116 ) . Depending on the range of the research inquiry, theoretical impregnation could intend 10, 20, or 30 interviews ( Corbin & A ; Strauss, 1998 ) . The existent sample size to make theoretical impregnation is non definite ( Corbin & A ; Strauss, 1998 ) but literature on surveies that employed theoretical impregnation indicated an mean sample size of 24 ( Douglas, 2003 ) . This survey targets an initial sample size of 30 participants to be interviewed for this interpretative life.



The primary instrument to be employed for this interpretative biographical research is a semi-structured interview guide incorporating open-ended inquiries. The semi-structured interview provides flexibleness so that I can be free to prosecute the participant in conversation in a natural and insouciant mode and in so making, derive more penetration into the experiences and features of Dr. Otten. Fontana and Frey ( 1994 ) express that the semi-structured interview is “ more honest, morally sound, and dependable, because it treats the respondent as an equal, allows him or her to show personal feelings, and hence presents a more realistic image than can be uncovered utilizing traditional interview methods ” ( p. 371 ) . Conversely, the highly-structured interview is stiff and vulnerable to the possibility of pull outing information and reaction based on the interviewer ‘s worldview ( Merriam, 1998 ) . The instrument will cover the accomplishments, leading manner, and features of Dr. Otten. Participant ‘s demographic profiles will be collected.


Aside from the interviews, paperss and archival information will be gathered to confirm the information provided on Dr. Otten. Documents such as course of study vita, academic records, correspondence, and public and private paperss will help in set uping important facets of Dr. Otten ‘s personality and life. These paperss will finally help in replying the research inquiry of whether or non Dr. Otten possesses the 10 behavioural features of a servant leader.


Several types of stuffs will be used in order to bring forth a concatenation of grounds for the intents of cross-referencing informations ( Yin, 2003 ) . I will utilize the undermentioned stuffs during the class of the survey: ( a ) Tape recording equipment having a multidirectional mike ; ( B ) Pencil and write ; ( degree Celsius ) Highlighters for manual cryptography intents ; ( vitamin D ) Coding sheet for content analysis ; ( vitamin E ) Software for digest, organisation, and analysis of informations ; ( degree Fahrenheit ) World Wide Web for e-mailing intents ; ( g ) Interview protocol ; and ( I ) Coding protocol.


Before informations aggregation can continue, blessing from the Institutional Review Board ( IRB ) will be sought to set up the survey ‘s attachment to ethical guidelines in research work. Primary informations will be obtained from interviews which will be conducted. Secondary informations will be obtained from field notes and other paperss which are germane to the proposed probe.

Several processs will be undertaken to guarantee the cogency and credibleness of the survey. These are member checking, triangulation, and peer debriefing.

Member checking. This is a method that could assist in supplying credibleness and review to a research probe ( Lincoln & A ; Guba, 1985 ) . Member look intoing involves the reappraisal of the interview transcripts by the participant so that when abnormalities and mistakes are detected, elucidations can be made and alterations done.

Triangulation. Triangulation is the comparing of multiple signifiers of grounds related to the focal point of a research probe. Triangulation establishes convergence of significance and diminishes the prejudice borne out of “ single methods, ” which are cancelled out in the procedure ( Lindlof & A ; Taylor, 2002. This survey will utilize handwritten field notes aside from the transcripts of the interviews to observe important points that could be of usage for farther probe. To confirm informations from informant interviews, other beginnings such as papers and artefacts related to the personal history and professional life of the topic will be used to heighten the cogency of the consequences.

Peer debriefing. Another process utile to set up inter-rater dependability is peer debriefing. Qualitative research experts encourage the usage of debriefing to “ heighten truth value, credibleness, or cogency of qualitative research ” ( Merriam, 1998, p. 56 ) . At the beginning of informations aggregation and information analysis, I will run into on a regular basis with two ( 2 ) impartial co-workers who will critically reexamine the interview protocol and coding protocol for content analysis and reexamine the methods employed in my thesis.

Data Collection, Processing, and Analysis

Data Collection

Prior to data aggregation or any signifier of communicating with the participants, the research worker will obtain blessing to carry on the survey from North Central University Institutional Review Board ( IRB ) . For engagement in the survey, the research worker will personally reach Dr. Jim Otten and seek his aid in urging and reaching purposefully selected participants for the survey. With Dr. Otten ‘s initial referrals, possible participants will be contacted through phone or electronic mail in order to procure their permission to take part in the survey. If such individuals agree to take part, the research worker will instantly construct resonance by allowing them know the intents of the survey, processs, and what to anticipate in exchange for their engagement ( Patton, 2002 ) .

The initial contact for this survey will be Dr. Jim Otten. He will urge persons who would outdo contribute to an apprehension of his professional life and leading. Participants will be provided a consent signifier to which they will bespeak their blessing or engagement to be involved in the survey. After credence of engagement and before the interview proper, the research worker will supply participants with an initial transcript of the interview that will incorporate merely nucleus inquiries to assist them fix and vouch that significant information and penetration about Dr. Otten will be collected. This technique will besides cut down the chance of set uping follow-up interviews to make full losing spreads in information.

Interviews will be conducted at a comfy and pre-arranged location proximate to the interviewee ‘s location. At the beginning of each interview, the research worker will reexamine the consent signifier and guarantee that he or she understands its contents and deductions. It will besides be made clear that the participant can inform the research worker to halt the interview if desired.

Other informations will be collected through paperss, professional records, course of study vita, archival stuffs, and other pertinent stuffs which could be used to triangulate information from the interviews and to verify the information on the life of Dr. Otten. These stuffs will be collected from Dr. Otten himself and through library resources and newspaper articles.

Datas Processing

Since qualitative research amasses immense sums of natural informations, there is a demand to continue it in an organized and timely manner ( Denzin & A ; Lincoln, 2005 ; Merriam, 1998 ) . Merriam ( 1998 ) recommends making the analysis at the same time with informations aggregation in order to salvage clip. It is anticipated a individual interview will last for one hr at the lower limit while the written text procedure could imply two full yearss in a individual interview. Time-consuming informations aggregation procedures are expected and accepted in this survey to vouch high quality. Time will be allotted for brooding procedures for the research worker in “ chew overing the feelings, considering remembrances and records… .data [ is ] sometimes precoded but continuously interpreted, on first sighting and once more and once more ” ( Merriam, 1998, p. 242 ) . Data will be organized to help information analysis. The canned interviews, sum-ups, field notes, and extracts from artefacts and paperss will be kept in a research diary.

Datas Analysis

Data will be subjected to content analysis, which is “ a deductive procedure that involves looking for specific cases of narrative informations to suit or exemplify a preset content countries or subjects ” ( Norwood, 2002, p. 45 ) . A subject is a phrase which captures the cardinal significance or significance of a choice constituent of the narrative text ( Krippendorf, 2004 ) . The subject serves as anchor to the reading of the phenomenon that a research worker tries to understand ( Krippendorf, 2004 ) . Following the content analysis usher by Neuendorf ( 2002 ) , this survey follows the nine-step procedure of content analysis:

1. Theory and Rationale. This survey will utilize Spears ‘ ( 1998 ) Ten Characteristics of Servant Leaders Model to bespeak the of import content of involvement for this survey.

2. Conceptualization. There will be ten ( 10 ) variables to be used for this survey: a ) hearing ; ( B ) empathy ; ( degree Celsius ) healing ; ( vitamin D ) consciousness ; ( vitamin E ) persuasion ; ( degree Fahrenheit ) conceptualisation ; ( g ) foresight ; ( H ) stewardship ; ( I ) committedness to the growing of others, and ; ( J ) edifice community ( Spears, 1998 ) . Definitions will be established utilizing relevant literature from Spears and Greenleaf ( 1970 ) .

3. Operationalization. The research worker will utilize an a priori cryptography strategy. There will be predetermined classs based on identified theory to be used for analysis. Two ( 2 ) co-workers will review and hold on the classs before coding can be applied to the informations ( Weber, 1990 ) .

4. Coding. Human cryptography will be used for this survey. Hence, a coding protocol that contains a full account of the variables measured ( 10 features of servant leaders ) will be used. A coding sheet will besides be needed.

5. Sampling. Recording units for cryptography will be defined syntactically, that is, transcripts of the interviews will be coded by sentences, phrases or paragraphs ( Weber, 1990 ) . For this survey, trying units will be defined by sentences.

6. Dependability. This survey will utilize inter-rater dependability or the measuring of per centum of understanding among raters. The figure of instances coded likewise by the two raters will be added and so divided by the entire figure of coded instances.

7. Cryptography: qualitative analysis computing machine package called nVivo will be used in coding subjects embedded in transcripts.

8. Concluding dependability. Pearson R values will be computed for each variable to set up concluding dependability figures ( Weber, 1990 ) .

9. Tabulation and coverage. A Pareto chart will be used in order to expose the cryptography happening for each of the 10 ( 10 ) variables analyzed in the survey. A Pareto chart will let the research worker to see single and cumulative frequences of coding happenings ( Veney, 2003 ) .

As before stated, a figure of processs will be undertaken to set up cogency and dependability of the consequences viz. member checking, triangulation, and peer debriefing.

Methodological Assumptions, Limitations and Delimitations

This interpretative life makes several premises. First, I assume that subjective information derived from the participants is linked to world. Second, there are several premises built-in in the nature of biographical research. Biographies assume the followers: “ ( 1 ) the being of others, ( 2 ) the influence and importance of gender and category, ( 3 ) household beginnings, ( 4 ) get downing points, ( 5 ) know and cognizing writers and perceivers, ( 6 ) nonsubjective life markers, ( 7 ) existent individuals with existent lives, ( 8 ) turning point experiences, and ( 9 ) true statements distinguished from fiction ” ( Denzin, 1989, p. 17 ) . Third, participants of this survey are assumed to hold presented information voluntarily.

Ethical Assurances

Prior to informations aggregation, blessing will be obtained from the University ‘s Institutional Review Board ( IRB ) . Confidentiality concerns and anxiousness over revelation of information revealed will be considered. The survey will non utilize any names or any identifying information during the audiotaping and written text procedure. Names unwittingly revealed during the interview will be edited out of interview transcripts. In topographic point of existent names, anonym will be used. Recorded audiotapes will be kept by the research worker and after the publication of the thesis, concatenation of grounds will be erased. Further, participants will be assured that they can end their engagement in the survey any minute they wish.


This survey proposes a qualitative interpretative biographical method to analyze the pattern of servant leading as exemplified by Dr. Jim Otten, a outstanding leader in higher instruction. Interviews will function as primary informations to be triangulated with other pertinent paperss related to the personal and professional history of the topic. Participants of the survey will include around 30 of Dr. Otten ‘s close professional associates and subsidiaries. They will be selected via the sweet sand verbena trying method. Contented analysis will be used to measure and construe informations utilizing nine schemes outlined by Neuendorf ( 2002 ) . Ethical considerations are outlined and given highest respect.