The impact of servant leadership dimensions on leader–member exchange among health care professionals
Journal article, 2016

Aim: The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of servant leadership dimensions on leader–member exchange (LMX) among health-care professionals. Background: Leadership support and the quality of the dyadic relationship between the leader and the employee are essential regarding the work environment and turnover intentions in health care. Method: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was undertaken at four hospital units in Sweden. The study sample included 240 employees. Results: Significant bivariate correlations were found between all servant leadership dimensions and LMX. The strongest correlations were found between ‘humility’ and LMX (r = 0.69, P < 0.001), and ‘empowerment’ and LMX (r = 0.67, P < 0.001). The hierarchical regression analyses indicated that ‘empowerment’, ‘humility’ and ‘stewardship’ explained about 55% of the variance in LMX. Conclusion: In our study servant leadership dimensions were strongly related to LMX. Implications for nursing management: The results identify specific servant leadership dimensions that are likely to be useful for developing a stronger exchange relationship between the leader (e.g. nursing manager) and individual subordinates in health care.

social exchange

servant leadership

leader–member exchange

health care



Jan Johansson Hanse

University of Gothenburg

Ulrika Ny Harlin


Caroline Jarebrant

University of Gothenburg

Kerstin Ulin

University of Gothenburg

Jörgen Winkel

University of Gothenburg

Journal of Nursing Management

0966-0429 (ISSN) 1365-2834 (eISSN)

Vol. 24 2 228-234

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Work Sciences

Applied Psychology

Environmental Health and Occupational Health





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