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Servant leadership, self-efficacy and life satisfaction in the public sector of Pakistan: exploratory, symmetric, and asymmetric analyses

Khawaja Fawad Latif (Department of Management Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Attock Campus, Attock, Pakistan)
Iftikhar Ahmed (COMSATS University Islamabad, Attock Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Suhaib Aamir (Air University Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan)

International Journal of Public Leadership

ISSN: 2056-4929

Article publication date: 25 January 2022

Issue publication date: 3 August 2022




The objectives of the study are threefold. First, it offers the development and validation of a scale to measure public sector servant leadership. Second, the study assesses the mediating role of self-efficacy in the relationship of servant leadership with life satisfaction. Finally, based on the tenets of complexity theory, fsQCA was utilized to identify the causal recipes that could lead to improved self-efficacy and life satisfaction in public sector employees.


Following a cross-sectional research design, data were collected from 352 public sector employees in Pakistan. CB-SEM and fsQCA techniques were used for data analysis.


Results revealed that leadership is a multidimensional construct having dimensions: authenticity, behaving ethically, development, emotional healing, humility and wisdom. Furthermore, the results showed a significant inter-relationship of servant leadership with self-efficacy and life satisfaction. Self-efficacy mediated the relationship between servant leadership and life satisfaction. The results showed various configurations of servant leadership dimensions leading to improved self-efficacy and life satisfaction.


This is one of the first studies to conceptualize the SL in the public sector and to develop a multidimensional scale for measuring and assessing its psychometric properties. The research contributes to existing knowledge by examining the role of servant leadership in promoting employee life satisfaction through self-efficacy. As a methodological contribution, the study is one of the first to use fsQCA in SL literature. Due to the greater emphasis on symmetric methods, there is a significant lack of research studies on causal configuration in public sector organizations.



Latif, K.F., Ahmed, I. and Aamir, S. (2022), "Servant leadership, self-efficacy and life satisfaction in the public sector of Pakistan: exploratory, symmetric, and asymmetric analyses", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 264-288.



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