Browsing E Theses by Subjects
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Professional accountants’ perceptions of servant-leadership: contexts, roles and culturesThe study takes servant-leadership and attempts to find if there is an equivalent concept in management. Leadership and management have been extensively compared and contrasted in research and theory and while there are divergent views of exactly what each entails, others hold the view that they might be equal and complementary. The research design follows a positivist philosophy. An instrument that measures distinct leader, manager and professional role preferences is used to check the discrete operation of three contexts among a sample of members of the accountancy profession. The instrument is derived from contextualising pre-developed and pre-tested servant-leadership measuring instruments. Items from the role preference map instrument are added together with demographic details to come up with a meta-instrument adapted for the study. After validating it through pilot-testing, the instrument is applied in real-world research. The research was conducted among a sample of professional accountants working in 28 countries across four continents in organisations with over 82,000 employees. Statistical analysis, employing; analysis of variance, correlations, frequencies, significances, means, variances and tests of scale reliability was performed on both the data and the instruments. The research found clear and reliable servant-leadership-type behaviours exhibited across the three discreet roles and contexts of leader, manager and professional. Some professional accountancy courses are delivered across many countries in the world. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is one such professional accountancy body that offers qualifications on a global scale. However, as accountants originate from, and practice in diverse cultures and economies around the world they are trained by institutes like ACCA from a common syllabus that has elements of management as a subject. Servant-leadership is a type of leadership that is theorised to be humanistic and spiritual rather than rational and mechanistic. Management practice on the other hand needs rationality and contains some mechanistic elements in typical management functions like coordinating and controlling. The implication is whether servant-leadership attributes can be exhibited if professional accountants contextualise themselves as leaders, managers or professionals. The study focuses on the profession of accountants and tests the operation of servant-leadership behaviours from the manager, leader and professional contexts using pre-tested servant-leadership scales and applying them in specific leader and manager contexts. This approach is new in its treatment of servant-leadership in this fashion. A further original approach is the use of the accountancy profession. This treatment of instruments from other fields like psychology and sociology is new.