Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
H. Stanton Tuttle
Kelly S. Brown
Scholarship of Discovery, Scholarship of Community Application, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Many organizations rely on volunteers to perform key elements of support, and leadership style plays an important role in the retention of volunteers. The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between leadership style and the intent to stay for adult and youth volunteers in a large nonprofit organization. This quantitative study examined the relationship of leadership style and intention to stay with three samples of volunteers: local leaders (n = 91), adult volunteers (n = 48), and youth volunteers (n = 42). A survey was administered via online survey tool for leaders and adult volunteers, and with hardcopy questionnaires mailed to youth volunteers. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, correlational analyses, and analyses of variance. A statistically significant correlation existed between leadership style and intention to stay for leaders and adult volunteers, while the correlation between the variables for leaders and youth volunteers was not statistically significant. Leaders rated themselves as stronger in servant leadership qualities, while adult volunteers and youth volunteers rated their leaders lower. Gender differences existed in how volunteers rated their leaders. Adult female volunteers rated their leaders at statistically significant lower levels than did their male counterparts, while female youth volunteers rated their leaders at statistically significant higher levels than did their male counterparts. Organizations that rely on volunteers should incorporate servant leadership skills into their training programs and encourage their leaders to embrace the principles of servant leadership.
Smith, Mark E., "The Relationship between Leadership Style and Volunteer Intention to Stay" (2017). Ed.D. Dissertations. 110.
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Ed.D. dissertation completed in 2017 for Olivet Nazarene University.