Date of Award

Fall 2019

Call Number

HM1261 .K563 2019

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Sharon Timberlake PhD

Second Advisor

Daniel Jenkins PhD


servant leadership, antecedents, religion, military, integrity, qualitative, phenomenology, Leadership and Organizational Studies


The purpose of the study was to explore the preceding essence of the individual who is a servant leader. In search of antecedents, the researcher used a qualitative method with a phenomenological design, exploring what brought the participants to utilize servant leadership. Furthermore, the researcher aimed to fill a gap by asking participants to provide their stories of what brought them to employ such a leadership style versus suggesting answers. This qualitative research study was conducted to answer the question: "What are the antecedents of the person who practices servant leadership?" A criterion sample was used to recruit servant leaders through the social media network Three subjects participated in the study and were found to have common antecedents featuring religion and military service combined with personal and educational influences, as well as characteristics such as integrity, compassion, supportive, and responsible. Other commonalities of the participants included planning and training experience, as well as reading, exercise and sleep for self-care.