OLA for Research

Using the OLA for Academic Research Purposes: Understandings, Agreements & Costs

Thank you for your interest in the Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) for your research study, dissertation or thesis. 

Step 1: Is the OLA the Right Instrument for your Study?

Before moving forward, please be sure that the OLA will meet your specific research needs. 

Be aware that the OLA is not designed to be an assessment of an individual leader. The OLA is an organizational assessment that provides the perception of the workforce, managers and top leadership on the six disciplines of servant leadership. 

Learn all you can about the instrument and its relevance to your specific research project.  You may want to review the Research Studies page to see how the OLA has been used in past studies. 

Step 2: Determine what you will Need and the Cost for these Services

A major reduction in the pricing of the OLA has been made for those involved in academic research. We require the use of the OLA through the website so that the data collected through your study will be available for ongoing statistical research on the OLA instrument. The cost is $300 for setting up 1 to 3 organizations with an additional cost of $100 for each organization beyond three.

For this base cost you are provided with:   

  • Set-up of your OLA for each organization 
  • Consultation on set-up issues and how the OLA relates to your study 
  • Use of the OLAgroup website for your respondents to complete the OLA quickly and efficiently online 
  • Your raw data report (in Excel format) once all of your data has been collected.   
  • Additional information on how to work with the raw data file 
    • Please note, we cannot assist you with the statistical analysis of your OLA data.  We provide you with the raw data and you need to provide your own analysis 


In addition, you may order the following (if needed) 

  • Custom questions (i.e.- demographic questions) can be added to the OLA for your specific research project.  An additional cost of $25/question is charged for 1-3 organizations. These questions are placed at the beginning of the OLA instrument and respondents will complete them prior to the OLA items. 
  • Organizational OLA reports – Some researchers desire to have a copy of the OLA Organization Report for each of the organizations assessed (in addition to the raw data report).  These OLA reports can be obtained for $50 per report.   


Before completing the Application Form to request the use of the OLA for your research project, be sure to read through all information provided here including the FAQ section to be fully aware of how the OLA process works, what you are provided through the process and what is required of you. 

If your study requires the use of a paper and pencil version of the OLA this can be provided, but you are responsible for entering the data from each completed OLA instrument into the OLA website.  


Special Pricing Considerations – the OLA has already been reduced in price for academic research, but if you have special considerations related to pricing please ask.  Here are some examples of special situations that may warrant special pricing: 

  • Your research design requires you to assess many organizations and the standard cost would make it difficult to pay for so many organization set-ups 
  • You are conducting research outside of the United States where OLA research has not yet been conducted 
  • You have a unique, new kind of research project (i.e. measuring servant leadership (OLA score) compared to specific organizational performance factors (financial performance, growth performance, workforce and productivity performance) 

Step 3: Complete the Application Form to Request the use of the OLA

After you have determined that the OLA is the right instrument for your research design and you have determined your needs for the study (and costs related to those needs) complete the application form to provide all necessary information on your study and how you plan to use the OLA.

Please be as thorough but brief as possible in your responses.  After receiving this application, we will get back to you with questions or approval to use the OLA for your study.  

Before completing the Application Form, be sure to read through all information provided here and in the FAQ section to be fully aware of how the OLA process works, what you are provided in the process and what is required of you. 

 Step 4: Send in the Set-up Information for the Organizations you will Assess

Once you have received approval to use the OLA for your research project, you will provide the necessary information to set up each organization for your study.  You will provide this setup information for each organization to be assessed.

The information will include: 

  • Basic information on your organization 
  • Information on you, the Contact person, for this study  
  • Sub-groups (If desired) – The OLA allows you to identify sub-groups within the larger organization (departments, locations, functions)  
    • Subgroups should be clearly identifiable by those who will take the OLA as they will self-select their subgroup while completing the OLA 
    • There needs to be a subgroup for all participants to select one group 
    • The subgroups should not be too small (10 or under) since that may create uncertainty about confidentiality in your participants 
  • Select a Username and Password of your choice – you will use this username and password to access the OLA site to track the completion of the OLA for each organization 
    • You will need a unique username and password for each organization.  The simplest way to do this is to set up a unique username and then number them for each organization (usename1, username2, etc.)  You will then do the same for your unique password(s). 
  • Identify the number of OLA instruments you will need for each organization – remember you are not paying per instrument so there is no problem guessing high on the number of instruments needed.  You want to make sure that you have sufficient OLAs ordered for your expected respondents 
  • If Custom Questions are used – You must provide the exact wording for each question and each of the response options.  Be as succinct and clear as you can 
    • Example 1:  Your Gender … 1) Male  2) Female 
    • Example 2:  Years in the Organization … 1) 0-5 years  2) 6-10 years  3) 11-15 years  4) 16-20 years  5) more than 20 years 

[Click here for OLA setup information needed with custom questions –  complete for each organization] 

Once your set-up information has been gathered, reviewed for accuracy and your OLA setup complete, you will receive, through email, an OLA Instructional Email for each organization providing you with two essential sections of information. 

  • Your “Take the OLAMessage –provides you with a brief introduction to the OLA along with step-by-step instructions for how to assess and complete the OLA online, including your unique Org. Code # and PIN#. 
    • You will use this information to send out to all respondents 
    • You may customize the message of this email to better fit your organization and the purpose of your study 
  • Your “Track the OLA ProcessInformation – this provides the you with the Username and Password (chosen by you when providing your OLA setup information) that you will use to access the OLAgroup website to monitor the completion of the OLA for each organization.  This real-time report will provide you the number of completed OLA instruments by position/role level and by sub-groups.  With this information you can determine when to send out reminder notices and when to close out your data collection. 


[Click here for sample OLA Instructional email] 

Once your OLA set-ups have been completed and you receive your OLA Instructional Emails, you should have everything necessary to implement your OLA assessment. 

 Payment Options – At this point you may either: 

  1. Pay your total cost in full
  2. Pay ½ of your total cost (the final ½ payment will be due when your raw data report is sent to you) 

Step 5: Implement the OLA assessment – Collect Your Data

Implementing and Monitoring the OLA Assessment 

Using the information from your OLA Instructional Email you will email out your “How to take the OLA” instructions to all participants.  Everything can be communicated through email and the OLA is completed online.  The average completion time for the OLA is 15 minutes. 

  • It is very important that you instruct your people clearly as to which position/role level they should choose (either – Top Leader, Manager/Supervisor, Workforce).  You may want to customize your “Take the OLA” message for each of these groups and email out a different set of directions indicating which of these positions they should select. 
  • You will want to place a deadline date for when you desire participants to complete the OLA 

Click below for sample “Take the OLA” emails indicating sub-groups and position selection 

[Top Leader customized OLA email] 

[Manager/Supervisor customized OLA email] 

[Workforce customized OLA email] 


Using your unique user name and password, you may monitor the completion of the OLA to determine when to send out reminder notices and when to close out the data collection.  When you have received sufficient participation, notify us to ask for your raw data report (and OLA Organization reports, if ordered).

Step 6: Notify us that your Data Collection is Complete and You Are Ready for your Reports

Once you notify us that you are ready for your reports, please allow 3-5 days for response.  We will email you the following:  

  1. Your raw data report (in Excel format) 
  2. Your organization OLA report(s) (if ordered) 

Final Payment
is now due – unless you paid in full when your organizations were setup, you will owe the final ½ of your cost at this time. 

Step 7: Upon completion of your Study

After the completion of your study please provide us with a digital copy of your dissertation and any published works resulting from this study.  Also please provide permission to post these research results on the Servant Leader Performance website. 

Through this, you will join with a growing team of servant leadership researchers who are offering their findings to the servant leadership community.  Thank you for being a part of advancing our learning and application of servant leadership.