Akinyele, Olofunmilayo O. (2015). Understanding servant leadership as a phenomenon through the lived experiences of leaders of private organizations and NGOs in Ibadan and Lagos in Southwest Nigeria: A qualitative study using Q-sorts. Doctoral dissertation (Organizational Leadership), Regent University.

Abstract: This study examines the phenomenon of servant leadership in the Nigerian context. It sought to understand the phenomenon from the lived experiences of leaders of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and private organizations in Ibadan and Lagos in the Southwest region, particularly given the pre-Colonial legacy in the Ibadan kingship-leadership structure. The study (a) discusses Nigeria as the context for the study and (b) identifies and explains differences in pre-Colonial leadership styles of the Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba ethnic communities as well as contemporary organizations in Nigeria and the challenges they face. The study uses the framework of Patterson’s (2003) servant leadership model, particularly service, vision, and humility which have been shown to be common descriptive elements of servant leaders (Hale & Fields, 2007; Ihenacho, 2011), and Hofstede’s (2001) cultural dimensions of (a) individualism vs. collectivism and (b) power distance. The researcher collected data by (a) interviewing senior executives, (b) examining relevant historical and leadership documents, and (c) keeping field notes and a reflective journal. The researcher then conducted a Q-sort. The data were analyzed using Schmolck and Atkinson’s (2000) PQMethod software, deriving three factors of (a) Ǫmǫluabi serving with collaboration and humility, (b) chief servant leading by example with humility and (c) passionate visionary humbly modeling the way through service. Implications for Nigeria, leadership theory and practice, and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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