The Effects of Servant Leadership on Quality of Work Life and Conflict

Summary of:

Merdiaty, N., Aldrin, N., & Runtu, D., (2019). Role of servant leadership on quality of work life (QWL) and work conflict with adversity quotient as mediator. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science. 88-95.

Background & Theory:

Maintaining a good work-life balance for employees is essential to employee health and organizational success. This balance can be measured with a management tool called the Quality of Work Life (QWL), which is a process where organizations enable employees to be key decision-makers over their lives in the workplace. As a type of leadership style, servant leadership helps to facilitate a shared vision of the organization that emphasizes trust in employees to make decisions that best interest the company.

Question(s):

This study was initiated to answer the following question:

1. In relation to the adversity quotient, does servant leadership lead to better quality of life and better handling of conflict for employees?

Methods:

This study was performed with 332 respondents from an Indonesian accounting company. Researchers quantitatively tested the hypotheses of this study through a data collection tool and psychological Likert scales. The four scales used were a work conflict, cognitive, and relational scale, the QWL scale, the adversity quotient scale, and a servant leadership scale. The work conflict, cognitive, and relational scale primarily measured presence of relational and cognitive workplace conflict. The QWL scale measured security, job satisfaction, conditions for growth, growth in work, safe working conditions, work involvement, career development, and fair compensation. The adversity quotient scale measured one’s ability to overcome adversity by collecting data on control, origin ownership, reach, and endurance. Finally, the servant leadership scale measured abilities of listening, empathy, intuition, persuasiveness, and conceptualization. Data analysis techniques used were via AMOS 24 and consisted of descriptive statistical methods and path analysis tools.

Results:

After completing research and data analysis, it was found that servant leadership positively affects Quality of Work Life. Additionally, servant leadership statistically negatively impacted workplace conflict. However, when paired with the adversity quotient, servant leadership positively impacted workplace conflict. This suggests that conflicts that previously existed and potentially arise due to a servant leadership style can be minimized by analyzing the adversity quotient of both leadership and employees.

What We Can Learn:

Looking over this study, we can take away a few key things:

• Servant leadership combined with the adversity quotient can be key to resolving existing workplace conflict. Essentially, leaders who work through a style of servant leadership and are aware of their ability to overcome adversity are better able to work through conflict in the workplace.
• In general, servant leadership directly influences the Quality of Work Life for employees.

Final Takeaways

For Consultants: Organizations are often very interested in maximizing their performance by internally dealing with conflict. Consultants could promote using servant leadership and the adversity quotient as a helpful new way to deal with existing workplace conflict.

For Everyone: Recognizing our own leadership styles and ability to overcome adversity can help us all become better at resolving conflict and more self-aware leaders.

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