Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Carter

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Gollery

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Patterson


Teacher retention is a global crisis in need of attention specifically through a leadership focus. The crisis has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic encompassing the Great Resignation in the field of teaching and education. The purpose of the study was to explore the relationships between school principals with servant leader behaviors and the impact on teacher retention, teacher job satisfaction, and principal efficacy. The study sought to explicitly identify predictors and patterns between servant leadership dimensions primarily associated with teacher retention, job satisfaction, and principal efficacy. The study also provided insights to the specific dimensions of servant leadership that most affected teacher retention. The data for this study were quantitatively collected through a survey of 1,120 teachers within a kindergarten through 12th grade public school system in the southeastern United States of America. Findings revealed servant leadership has a statistically significant positive effect on teacher retention, job satisfaction, and principal efficacy. A noteworthy finding demonstrated the servant leadership dimension of empowerment is the most effective behavior to retain teachers. A unique finding includes the demonstration of servant leadership behaviors and the positive perception of principal efficacy. These findings indicate the need for specific professional development opportunities and selection processes in organizations that want to emphasize the behaviors of servant leadership. Perhaps together with the findings, researchers and practitioners can begin to challenge the worldwide Great Resignation crisis of teacher turnover that is ultimately affecting students and their achievement, future endeavors, and therefore, society as a whole