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Towards fighting COVID-19: can servant leadership behaviour enhance commitment of medical knowledge-workers

Muhammed Ngoma (Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)
Rehema Namono (Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda)
Sudi Nangoli (Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)
Hassan Bashir (Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)
Swafiyya Nakyeyune (Busitema University, Pallisa, Uganda)

Continuity & Resilience Review

ISSN: 2516-7502

Article publication date: 9 December 2020

Issue publication date: 20 April 2021




This article examines the potential of increasing commitment of medical knowledge-workers (medical-KWs) in hospitals, particularly in handling deadly pandemics like COVID-19, through servant leadership behaviour. The authors hold that medical-KWs like doctors and nurses form the core team of knowledge-workers (KWs) at the forefront of fighting COVID-19 through seeking possible vaccines, treating patients and promoting behaviours that curtail its spread. Thus research directed towards enhancing their continued commitment is both timely and valuable.


The study uses an explanatory cross-sectional survey design.


Results reveal that servant leadership behaviour significantly explains changes in commitment of medical-KWs. Results further establish that perceived fairness – a key psychological factor – significantly explains how servant leadership enhances the commitment of medical-KWs.

Research limitations/implications

Data used were sourced from medical-KWs in selected public hospitals only. Thus results may differ among medical-KWs in private hospitals, yet they have also championed the fight against COVID-19. Never the less these results provide a direction of thought to guide practice and other related studies on a wider-scale.

Practical implications

In their quest to eradicate COVID-19 and its negative effects on social-economic development, nations have to actively promote servant leadership behaviour in the hospitals (by establishing quality relationships, credibility and efficient processes for delivering the shared goal) as mechanisms for sustaining the continued commitment of medical-KWs towards fighting the pandemic.


Results portray events from an economy that has registered successes in combating pandemics like Ebola and currently COVID-19 and thus offer a plausible benchmark for practice.



Ngoma, M., Namono, R., Nangoli, S., Bashir, H. and Nakyeyune, S. (2021), "Towards fighting COVID-19: can servant leadership behaviour enhance commitment of medical knowledge-workers", Continuity & Resilience Review, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 49-63.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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