FAQs on the OLA for Research

How do I know if the OLA is the right instrument for my research project?

The OLA is designed to assess an entire organization (or organizational unit) as to the perception of servant leadership by 1) Top Leaders, 2) Managers/Supervisors and 3) Workforce.  It is not designed to assess the servant leadership of individual leaders.

The OLA may work well for your particular research project if: 

  • You plan to assess organizations or organizational units.  The OLA can assess any group that has recognized leadership and membership.  Therefore, a work team can be assessed using the OLA. 
  • You desire to determine the level of servant leadership (and therefore Organizational Health Level) of one or more organizations.   
  • You are seeking to measure the perceptions of servant leadership behaviors within an organization or team 
  • You desire to compare the perceptions of servant leadership between the 3 organizational roles (top leaders, managers/supervisors and workforce) 

I would like to use the sub-scores in my research. What is the recommendation on using OLA sub-scores for research purposes?

The sub-scores refers to the six disciplines of the OLA servant leadership model that were identified in the original research that developed the OLA instrument. 

During this research it was discovered that these six subscores were highly correlated and therefore should not be used as separate subscores for research purposes.  Only the single OLA score should be used for research purposes. 

For diagnostic purposes (evaluating a single organization) it is appropriate and useful to use the separate subscores and this is what is done when providing the OLA organization reportfor organizational consulting purposes. 

Where can I view the OLA instrument? Is it only provided in English?

Click here to view the various versions of the OLA instrument.  The Standard version is the one utilized in most research and organizational consulting since it is designed to apply to all types of organizations. 

A separate Educational version has been developed to relate more specifically to school settings.  In addition to English, the Standard version is also now available in Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, French and German. 

The OLA organization report is only available in English. 

What are the Score Breaks for determining Organizational Health Levels?

Scores  Org Health Level  Health Level Description 
1.0 – 1.99  Org 1  Autocratic (Toxic Health) 
2.0 – 2.99  Org 2  Autocratic (Poor Health) 
3.0 – 3.49  Org 3  Negative Paternalistic (Limited Health) 
3.5 – 3.99  Org 4  Positive Paternalistic (Moderate to Good Health) 
4.0 – 4.49  Org 5  Servant (Excellent Health) 
4.5 – 5.00  Org 6  Servant (Optimal Health) 

Why are the OLA scores displayed differently in different studies?

In the early studies beginning with Dr. Laub’s original dissertation the OLA scores were displayed as total potential scores for the 60 item instrument (from 60 to 300).   This was the average response score (between 1-5 on the Likert scale) X 60. 

In later studies the average response score (from 1-5 is used).  The OLA report also utilizes the 1-5 score format.  This way of scoring helps to clearly identify the Organizational Health Level of each organization tested. 

Since a response of 4 on the OLA Likert scale represents “Agreement” … this is the average scorebreak required for identifying an organization as a Servant Organization.  (see the chart above) 

What other research studies have been completed using the OLA

Click here to review all of the research studies conducted with the OLA and to get a summary of most of that research.  For many of these studies the report is available for download. 

I don’t want to use the complete OLA instrument. Can I use parts of the instrument for the specific needs of my study?

Nothe OLA instrument must be used in its complete form in order to maintain is strong psychometric qualities. If you change the instrument you can no longer claim that it is reliable or valid.  Also, we request that the OLA now must be completed online so that the data can be collected for continued support of OLA research.