Despite the emphasis of servant leadership theory on the attention provided to workers’ needs and goals, there is a lack of empirical knowledge on the relationship between servant leadership and employees’ goal attainment. We provide a theoretical model of the mechanism by which this strong focus of servant leadership on a worker’s individual development positively influences the worker’s goal attainment. Through a diary study with 126 workers over five consecutive working days, the results indicated a positive within-person indirect effect of servant leader behaviors on goal attainment a day later through two parallel paths: the meaning in life at night and vitality the next morning. These results provide the first empirical support for the assumption of servant leadership as a promoter of employees’ goals, and highlights how servant leadership positively influences the integration of work as part of life and the energy resources of workers to achieve their daily goals.

, , , ,,
ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal of Happiness Studies
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Rodríguez-Carvajal, R., Herrero, M., van Dierendonck, D., De Rivas, S. D., & Moreno-Jiménez, B. (2018). Servant Leadership and Goal Attainment Through Meaningful Life and Vitality: A Diary Study. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1–23. doi:10.1007/s10902-017-9954-y