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Exploration of servant leadership and volunteers' commitment in the nonprofit and voluntary sector in war zones

Ammar Mejheirkouni (Faculty of Economics - Management of Small and Medium Enterprises, Tishreen University, Lattakia, Syria)

International Journal of Public Leadership

ISSN: 2056-4929

Article publication date: 31 August 2020

Issue publication date: 5 November 2020

301

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore and understand the influence of servant leadership on volunteers' commitment working in the voluntary sector in war zones.

Design/methodology/approach

With a qualitative research design, participants were 16 volunteers from a servant-leadership-led charity who took part in three focus groups.

Findings

Results of the present study revealed that (1) the effectiveness of servant leadership in the war environment lies in creating hope, and (2) the overlap between personal ethics of servant leaders and flexible policies in addition to a set of attributes such as honesty; social awareness; listening; a sense of responsibility; emotion; altruism; patience; and leading without power represent the primary reasons that influence volunteers' commitment during war times.

Research limitations/implications

Research data was conducted during the war on Syria, which has negative implications not only on the participants, but also on the way they responded to questions.

Practical implications

This paper explores and attempts to understand the influence of servant leadership on volunteers' commitment working in the voluntary sector in war zones, which can shed light on the importance of servant leadership behavior in the voluntary sector during postwar and reconstruction periods.

Originality/value

The study offers data and interpretation regarding servant leadership and its positive outcome in war zones, which can be used as a foundation for future studies in war zones.

Keywords

Citation

Mejheirkouni, A. (2020), "Exploration of servant leadership and volunteers' commitment in the nonprofit and voluntary sector in war zones", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 375-391. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPL-06-2020-0045

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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