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Public Policy and Administration


Stephen Morreale


Emergency management (EM) leaders must relate to group members with whom they have no organizational relationship. However, little is known about whether certain leadership approaches are more conducive to a successful EM organization. The purpose of this correlational study was to explore whether emergency managers (EMs) who employ a servant leadership style instill greater confidence in emergency team members than EMs who employ a traditional paramilitary style of leadership. Data were collected from 82 members of Safeguard Iowa partners thorough the Laub Organizational Leadership Assessment instrument. These data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation coefficient, and Spearman’s rho. Results showed a high perceived presence of servant leadership in the EM team and there was a statistically significant correlation between the perceived presence of servant leadership and perceived effectiveness of the EM organization (p = <.001). There was not a statistically significant difference in perceived SL and gender, educational level, type of organization, position, age, and years in the group with the exception of Asian ethnicity (p = <.0040) and position of middle management in the organization (p =<.026). These findings suggest that a SL style may be an effective leadership approach for EM organizations as compared to a more authoritarian, paramilitary leadership structure. This knowledge might encourage the design of better leadership training programs for managers and for the recruitment of personnel who have the requisite leadership qualities needed in contemporary emergency management.

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