“Shared accountability”: Experiences of employees in a servant leadership organization guided by growth

Höfundar

  • Sigurður Ragnarsson
  • Erla Sólveig Kristjánsdóttir
  • Sigrún Gunnarsdóttir
  • Dirk van Dierendonck

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24122/tve.a.2023.20.2.9

Lykilorð:

Serve; lead; growth; accountability; holistic approach.

Útdráttur

Despite the fact that many organizations attribute their success to the practice of servant leadership, only a few studies have been conducted to understand the experience of employees working for a devoted servant leadership organization. Thus, the aim of this study was to explore the lived experience of employees who work in an organization that has been committed to the practice of servant leadership for decades. To respond to the research question: What is it like for employees to work in a dedicated employee-owned servant leadership organization in the construction industry and facilities services business, 16 interviews were conducted, including six follow-up interviews. Half of the interviewees held management positions and the other half held non-management positions, and they had worked for the organization from two years to 50 years. The organization operates in the United States of America and offers services from engineering and construction to operations and maintenance. The interviews were analyzed and interpreted according to phenomenological methodology. Three themes emerged: “Not just the work life but your whole self,” “The sky is the limit”: Continuous growth of employees and the organization, and “Diverse minds make better decisions.” The findings demonstrate that the employees are dedicated to a balanced growth of the organization and its employees as they experience the practice of servant leadership as a holistic way to continually help each other to develop and grow the business, by building on shared accountability leading to employee satisfaction and positive organizational performance. The findings indicate that dedication to the continuous and balanced growth of the organization and its employees is the foundation of the practice of servant leadership.

Um höfund (biographies)

Sigurður Ragnarsson

Assistant Professor at the University of Akureyri.

Erla Sólveig Kristjánsdóttir

Professor at the University of Iceland.

Sigrún Gunnarsdóttir

Professor at the University of Iceland.

Dirk van Dierendonck

Professor at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. 

Niðurhal

Útgefið

19.12.2023

Hvernig skal vitna í

Ragnarsson, S., Kristjánsdóttir, E. S., Gunnarsdóttir, S., & Dierendonck, D. van. (2023). “Shared accountability”: Experiences of employees in a servant leadership organization guided by growth. Tímarit Um viðskipti Og efnahagsmál, 20(2), 155–172. https://doi.org/10.24122/tve.a.2023.20.2.9

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