Researchers have shown that the effectiveness of leaders depends to a great extent on their capacity to develop productive teamwork among followers. This study proposes that servant leadership, as it emphasizes service to others, team consensus, and the personal development of individuals, lays the groundwork for effective co-ordination among team members so that together they serve their customers. The study collected data from 113 customer service teams from a sample of consumer electronics retailing firms in Beijing, China. Our findings indicate that to the extent that they have servant leaders, teams are able to discuss their disagreements, frustrations, and difficulties directly and work out solutions for the benefit of the team and their customers. These results provide support to the notion that improving the capacity to manage conflict co-operatively can be a useful means for servant leaders to enhance teamwork and customer service in China and perhaps in other countries as well.
- Co-operative and competitive conflict
- Quality customer relationships
- Servant leadership
- Team co-ordination