Beneficial Effects of Servant Leadership on Short- and Long-Term Indicators of Employees’ Psychological Health

Wladislaw Rivkin, Klaus-helmut Schmidt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputOther chapter contribution


Servant leadership is conceptualized as a leadership style, which encourages employees to behave in a social responsible way. In the present study, we examine the positive relationship between servant leadership and employees’ psychological health. We propose that this beneficial relationship results from the potential of servant leaders to shape employees’ needs and to create work environments that fulfil these needs. We examine the proposed relationships of servant leadership (a) competing for variance with job ambiguity as a well-known job-stressor, and (b) in relation to long- and short-term indicators of psychological health. In a sample of N = 443 employees, we tested the relationships of servant leadership and job ambiguity to ego depletion, need for recovery, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization as indicators of psychological health. Our results demonstrate that servant leadership is positively related to employees’ psychological health and accounts for unique amounts of variance in the examined short- and long-term indicators of psychological health over and above that explained by job ambiguity. Accordingly, servant leadership can be regarded as an important determinant of employees’ psychological health.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Ergonomic Design of Systems, Products and Processes
EditorsBarbara Deml, Patricia Stock, Ralph Bruder, Christopher Marc Schlick
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-662-48661-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-662-48659-7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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