This paper aimed to investigate three issues. First, the validation of the multi-dimensional Servant Leadership Survey (SLS) within the Italian context. Second, to enhance insight into the degree of servant leadership behaviour displayed by Italian leaders in organizational settings. Third, to support the fact that in Italy, too, servant leadership is positively correlated to leadership integrity, organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behaviour while it is negatively correlated to cynicism towards one's own work. A sample of about 800 adults, males and females, currently employed in profit and non-profit organizations, took part in the study. The factorial structure of SLS found support, and the survey showed satisfactory psychometric properties and reliability. Servant leadership expressed by Italian leaders turned out to be lower than in The Netherlands and in the UK. SLS scores were positively associated with leadership integrity, organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behaviour, and negatively associated for cynicism.

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ERIM Article Series (EAS)
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Bobbio, A., van Dierendonck, D., & Manganelli, A. M. (2012). Servant leadership in Italy and its relation to organizational variables. Leadership, 8(3), 229–243. doi:10.1177/1742715012441176