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Development and validation of servant leadership scale in Spanish higher education

Khawaja Fawad Latif (COMSATS University Islamabad, Attock Campus, Attock, Pakistan)
Frederic Marimon (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 19 June 2019

Issue publication date: 26 June 2019




The purpose of this paper is twofold. First is the validation of a scale to measure the servant leadership of the university leaders. Second is to analyze how servant leadership affects the career satisfaction and life satisfaction of the academics.


Using a survey of 148 academics at universities located in Spain collected in May 2018, a couple of models were conducted using structural equation model techniques: a confirmatory factor analysis of second order in order to assess the leadership scale and a mediation model to assess how servant leadership impacts on the life satisfaction through career satisfaction.


Results reveal that leadership is a multi-dimensional construct having dimensions namely: behaving ethically, development, emotional healing, empowerment, pioneering, relationship building and wisdom. The total effect of servant leadership on life satisfaction is null due to a competitive mediation of career satisfaction.


Research on servant leadership has primarily focused on business organizations through extensive search in peer-reviewed databases the authors could not find a scale to measure servant leadership behavior in higher education. Additionally, the study assesses the role of career satisfaction as mediator between servant leadership and life satisfaction. Existing research has called for further research into both career and life satisfaction. Life satisfaction research has been criticized on the grounds that it has mainly overlooked the work/organizational settings. Moreover, the authors could only find little research into life satisfaction in higher education, that too in context of students.



Latif, K.F. and Marimon, F. (2019), "Development and validation of servant leadership scale in Spanish higher education", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 499-519.



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