Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Servant leadership (SL) is well documented and understood in southern Ghana within the
context of missionary training and missions, but little is understood about whether the cultural nuances of leadership within the same context are equally applicable in northern Ghana. Previous researchers have indicated that there exist many differences in cultural practices and leadership structures between southern and northern Ghana. Greenleaf's concept of SL was focused on service to followers, their empowerment, and promotion of dialogue within institutions. The purpose of this single case study was to determine whether this concept of SL adequately addresses the specific cultural nuances in the Nandom Traditional Area (NTA) and serves as a bridge between Catholic missionaries and the diverse leadership structure in the NTA. A maximum variation purposeful sampling strategy was used to identify 13 participants who represented a diverse selection of community leaders that included, chiefs, religious leaders, and school teachers. Data were collected from the observations of an induction ceremony of a village community leader, as well as from semi structured interviews, field notes, archival data and historical documents. All data were coded inductively and subjected to a thematic analysis procedure. The key finding of this study revealed that SL was present with a limited application within the Dagara community. The study further showed that the paternalistic social model and ancestor cult still practiced by the Dagara restricted the full potential of servant leadership as practiced by the Catholic organization. The implications for social change include knowledge useful for fostering cooperation and dialogue between traditional leaders and missionary groups for socio-economic development in the NTA.