Integrating Servant Leadership into Managerial Strategy to Build Group Social Capital: The Mediating Role of Group Citizenship Behavior
Recently, various studies have suggested that ethical leadership offers an important antecedent of fluid internal workplace relationships, which are conducive of internal social capital. Yet existing research has neither inquired into potential mediators of this relationship nor addressed the role of other distinct leadership strategies in encouraging such a valuable capital. This study advances previous research by examining if servant leadership, which seeks to put followers’ interests and needs first, can account for social capital variance within the work group, which is the building block of organizations. New to the literature, we also investigate whether group citizenship behavior mediates this relationship. A sample of 352 work groups, spanning 187 hotels located in Spain, reveal that group citizenship behavior partially mediates the positive influence of servant leadership on group social capital. Managers can use these findings to lead their businesses in a more socially friendly direction while also building group social capital, which can improve the competitiveness of their work groups, and the entire business.
KeywordsServant leadership Serving others Group citizenship behavior Group social capital
This work was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and FEDER funds (Project ECO2016-75781-P). Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2016–2020.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.
- Arbuckle, J. (2013). AMOS (Version 22.0) [Computer Program]. Chicago, IL: SPSS.Google Scholar
- Ashforth, B. E., & Mael, F. (1989). Social identity theory and the organization. Academy of Management Review, 14(1), 20–39.Google Scholar
- Ayers, M. R. (2008). Agapao in servant leadership. Virginia Beach, VA: Research Roundtable at Regent University.Google Scholar
- Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Blader, S. L., Van Knippenberg, D., & Sleebos, E. (2008). Tit-for-tat and give-and-take: Communal and exchange dynamics in work organizations. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Anaheim, CA.Google Scholar
- Blau, P. M. (1964). Exchange and power in social life. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Bliese, P. D. (2000). Within-group agreement, non-independence, and reliability: Implications for data aggregation and analysis. In K. J. Klein & S. W. J. Kozlowski (Eds.), Multilevel theory, research and methods in organizations: Foundations, extensions, and new directions (pp. 349–381). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Bolino, M., Turnley, V. H., & Bloodgood, J. M. (2002). Citizenship behavior and the creation of social capital in organization. Academy of Management Review, 27(4), 505–522.Google Scholar
- Brislin, R. W. (1980). Cross-cultural research methods: Strategies, problems, applications. In I. Altman, A. Rapoport, & J. F. Wohlwill (Eds.), Human behavior and environment (pp. 47–82). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
- Burt, R. S. (1992). Structural holes: The structure of social competition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Cardona, P., Morley, M. J., & Reiche, S. B. (2013). Manager–subordinate trust relationships across cultures. In P. Cardona & M. J. Morley (Eds.), Manager–subordinate trust. A global perspective. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Fontrodona, J. (2002). Pragmatism and management inquiry: Insights from the thought of Charles S. Peirce. Westport: Quorum Books.Google Scholar
- Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. New York: Paulist Press.Google Scholar
- Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Henseler, J., Ringle, C. M., & Sinkovics, R. R. (2009). The use of partial least squares path modelling in international marketing. In R. R. Sinkovics & P. N. Ghauri (Eds.), New challenges to international marketing: Advances in international marketing (pp. 277–319). Bingley: Emerald JAI Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ibarra, H. (1992). Structural alignments, individual strategies, and managerial action: Elements toward a network theory of getting things done. In N. Nohria & R. G. Eccles (Eds.), Networks and organizations: Structure, form, and action (pp. 165–188). Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
- Irving, J. A., & Longbotham, G. J. (2007). Team effectiveness and six essential servant leadership themes: A regression model based on items in the organizational leadership assessment. International Journal of Leadership Studies, 2(2), 98–113.Google Scholar
- Karlgaard, R. (2013) .Teams matter, talent is not enough. Forbes Magazine, 191(4), 38. https://www.forbes.com/sites/richkarlgaard/2013/03/05/teams-matter-talent-is-not-enough/#2a180d5d485f. Accessed September 2016.
- Krebs, V. (2008). Social capital: The key to success for the 21st century organization. IHRIM journal, 12(5), 38–42.Google Scholar
- Leana, C. R., & Van Buren, H. J. (1999). Organizational social capital and employment practices. Academy of Management Review, 24(3), 538–555.Google Scholar
- Lewicki, R. J., McAllister, D. J., & Bies, R. J. (1998). Trust and distrust: New relationships and realities. Academy of Management Review, 23(3), 438–458.Google Scholar
- Mangelsdorf, M. E. (2012). The Human Side of Business. Magazine: Summer 2012. https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-human-side-of-business/. Accessed September 2016.
- Nahapiet, J., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital, intellectual capital, and the organizational advantage. The Academy of Management Review, 23(2), 242–266.Google Scholar
- Organ, D. W. (1988). Organizational citizenship behavior: The good soldier syndrome. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
- Organ, D. W. (1990). The motivational basis of organizational citizenship behavior. Research in Organizational Behavior, 12(1), 43–72.Google Scholar
- Patterson, K. (2003). Servant leadership: A theoretical model. Virginia Beach, VA: Research Roundtable at Regent University.Google Scholar
- Putnam, R. (1993). The prosperous community: Social capital and public life. American Prospect, 4(13), 35–42.Google Scholar
- Ress, A. (2015). HR left for dead amongst business chaos. HR Review. http://www.hrreview.co.uk/analysis/analysis-hr-news/annemie-ress-hr-left-dead-amongst-business-chaos/56245. Accessed September 2016.
- Ringle, C. M., Wende, S., & Becker, J. M. (2015). Smart PLS 3. Hamburg: Smart PLS. Retrieved from http://www.smartpls.com. Accessed 7 July 2016.
- Salvati, A. (2008). Altruism and social capital. Boca Raton, Florida: Universal Publishers.Google Scholar
- Sousa, M., & Van Dierendonck, D. (2017). Servant leadership and the effect of the interaction between humility, action, and hierarchical power on follower engagement. Journal of Business Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-015-2725-y.
- Spears, L. C. (1998). Insights on leadership: Service, stewardship, spirit, and servant leadership. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Spears, L. C. (2010). Character and servant leadership: Ten characteristics of effective, caring leaders. The Journal of Virtues & Leadership, 1(1), 25–30.Google Scholar
- StataCorp. (2015). Stata Statistical Software: Release 14. College Station, TX: StataCorp LP.Google Scholar
- Stock, J. H., & Yogo, M. (2004). Testing for weak instruments in linear IV regression. Working Paper, Department of Economics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.Google Scholar
- Winston, B. E. (2003). Extending Patterson’s servant leadership model: Explaining how leaders and followers inter-act in a circular model. Virginia Beach, VA: Research Roundtable at Regent University.Google Scholar
- Yoon, Ch., & Wang, Z.-W. (2011). The role of citizenship behaviors and social capital in virtual communities. The Journal of Computer Information Systems, 52(1), 106–115.Google Scholar