Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Stuart Allen

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Deardra Hayes-Whigham

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Kipi Fleming


Government organizations’ focus on public service provides a fertile ground for conflict due to competing interests and goals. Conflicts exist and persist because of workplace pressures such as unstable political climates, budget restrictions, technological advances, a diverse workforce, disruptive change, and organizational transformation. Although typically risk-averse, these organizations need flexible and adaptive leaders who exhibit the appropriate behaviors in the best interests of the organization and the community. Servant-leaders seem likely to demonstrate conflict adaptivity due to their focus on serving the needs of followers and other stakeholders, which may require different conflict styles at different times and in different situations. This study’s aim was to discover if a relationship exists between servant leadership and conflict adaptivity in government leaders. A quantitative, nonexperimental, and cross-sectional approach was used to survey leaders and their followers. Leaders completed a measure of conflict adaptivity, and their followers rated them as servant-leaders. No correlation was found between servant leadership and conflict adaptivity. Therefore, the expectation that the leader’s conflict adaptivity would predict increased perceptions of servant leadership by the follower was not supported in this sample. However, replication studies are needed to determine if this result is found with larger samples in different contexts. Further research is needed to determine if organizational culture moderates the relationship between conflict adaptivity and servant leadership as governments’ organizational cultures may prescribe certain approaches to both conflict and leadership, potentially masking a relationship between servant leadership and conflict adaptivity.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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