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Open Access

Perceptions regarding the impact of Ubuntu and servant leadership on employee engagement in the workplace

Published Online: by:2


South Africa has some of the lowest employee engagement scores in the world. Leadership is a key determinant of employee engagement, but existing leadership theories and practices are often ineffective in more humanistic and collectivistic cultures like South Africa. To this end, Ubuntu and servant leadership is posited to positively influence organisational performance by increasing employee engagement.

The primary objective of this study is to investigate perceptions regarding the impact of Ubuntu and servant leadership on employee engagement in private organisations of the Eastern Cape. A quantitative research design was utilised and yielded 428 usable questionnaires through non-probability convenience sampling.

The empirical results revealed that the spirit of solidarity dimension of Ubuntu leadership influenced employee engagement significantly and positively. Furthermore, it was found that survival and spirit of solidarity had a significant and positive influence on organisational performance as measured through the balanced scorecard (BSC). Servant leadership positively and significantly influenced employee engagement and all dimensions of organisational performance. In addition, it was found that employee engagement mediates the relationship between servant leadership and organisational performance.

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