Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

College

College of Education and International Services

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Gustavo Gregorutti

Second Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Third Advisor

Josephine Katenga

Abstract

Problem

Institutions of Higher Education invest considerable resources to provide students with leadership experiences through extracurricular activities, especially in community service and spiritual programming. The inter-relationship among these variables (socially responsible leadership, spiritual and community involvement) have not been investigated in faith-based institutions of higher education in Southeast Asia.

Purpose of the Study

This study had four purposes: (a) to examine the extent of student involvement in community service and spiritual activities; (b) to investigate the level of socially responsible leadership among undergraduate students; (c) to examine whether socially responsible leadership might be related to gender, nationality, class status, and religious affiliation and field of study; and (d) to determine the nature of the relationships among socially responsible leadership, involvement in community service, and spiritual activities.

Methodology

A survey in questionnaire format was developed and administered to all students (N = 900) who were enrolled at Asia-Pacific International University (AIU) during the 2019-2020 academic year. Five hundred and twenty-three students completed the questionnaire, which consisted of three sections: (a) demographic characteristics; (b) involvement in community service and spiritual activities; and (c) the socially responsible leadership scale (SRLS-R2), used by permission from the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), canonical correlation analysis, and structural equation modeling.

Results

In general, students at AIU were involved in community service (M = 2.85, SD = 0.78) and spiritual activities (M = 3.31, SD = 0.70) to a moderate degree. Correlation between community service and spiritual activities involvement was moderate (r = .61, p < .001). Socially responsible leadership variables characteristics range from a high mean of 3.90 (SD = 0.58) for commitment to a low mean of 3.58 (SD = 0.56) for consciousness of self indcating that students at AIU have a fairly well developed SRL characteristics. Females reported significantly higher socially responsible leadership characteristics than male students (p < .001). Overall, socially responsible leadership characteristics were similar among freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior students. Buddhist students appeared to report significantly (p < .05) higher socially responsible leadership characteristics than students of other faiths (Seventh-day Adventists, other Christians and other). Canonical correlation analysis suggests that more developed socially responsible leadership characteristics are associated with higher involvement in community services and spiritual activities (rc = .475, Wilk’s Λ = .69, F (14, 1004) = 14.4, p < .001). Structural equation modeling (SEM) indicated that involvement in community services and spiritual activities have direct and indirect effects on SRL domains. Spiritual involvement (β = .40) directly infuence citizenship; spiritual involvement (β = .30) and community service (β = -.15) have direct effects on individual domain ; and spiritual involvement (β = .44) has indirect effect on group domain.

Conclusions

The findings in this study suggest that socially responsible leadership among undergraduate students in a faith-based university was related to involvement in community service and spiritual activities. Involvement in these two institutions of higher education programs encouraged students to reflect and practice service to God and humanity. Therefore, universities should be intentional in their extracurricular student life programming.

Subject Area

Leadership; Service learning; Social service; Asia-Pacific International University; College students--Religious life

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