Self-Percieved Traits of Servant Leadership in AmeriCorps Volunteers: A Mixed-Method Concurrent Explanatory Study
Cook, Karen Frances
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Although the tenets of modern servant leadership originated by Greenleaf (1970) have long been applied to service enterprise, no known research has applied the principles to the self-perception of AmeriCorps volunteers who co mm t to one year of service. The purpose of this mixed-method study was to determine whether volunteers who commit to one year of national service identify with characteristics and behaviors of modern servant leadership in order to operationalize the volunteer leadership experience for both the volunteer and the sponsoring agency, and to provide volunteers with personal awareness of their experiences. The quantitative portion of the study employed the results of 51 self/leader reports of Barbuto and Wheeler’s (2006) Servant Leadership Questionnaire (SLQ) to discover that some significance existed between their original study and this study. The qualitative portion involved gathering information from 10 semi-structured, individual interviews. Analysis revealed two major themes: personal awareness responses and direct action responses. These themes supported favorable responses to the research questions. Empirical and narrative responses allow directors and leaders of AmeriCorps and long-term service programs to consider alternatives by which to discern incoming applications, reinforce candidate self-awareness, and provide a foundation for future research.