The Impact of Servant Leadership on Innovative Work Behavior in the Public Sector of Iran: Analyzing the Mediating Role of Public Service Motivation and the Moderating Role of Political Skill

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Kerman Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kerman, Iran.

2 Assistant Prof., Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Kerman Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kerman, Iran.

3 Assistant Prof., Department of Statistics, Faculty of Mathematics and Computer, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran.


Objective:The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of servant leadership on innovative work behavior and to reveal the role that public service motivation and political skill play as mediator and moderator in the relationship between these two variables.
Methods: In this descriptive study, the statistical population consisted of specialist staff working in provincial levels of governmental organizations throughout Iran. Given that the sample size is 384, a total of 480 questionnaires were distributed among the respondents who were selected through two-stage cluster sampling and 395 questionnaires were collected. The instrument of this study was 4 standard questionnaires whose validity and reliability were confirmed in the tests.
Results: The results of structural equation modeling analysis showed that servant leadership has a positive and direct effect on public service motivation and innovative work behavior. In addition, the role of public service motivation as mediator and the role of political skill as moderator in the relationship between servant leadership and innovative work behavior were confirmed.
Conclusion: In addition to some innovations in theory development, this research has some practical implications for the public sector in Iran. From the practical point of view, this study provides an understanding of the status of research variables and the relationships between them. This recognition can be the basis for senior executives planning to enhance the level of innovative employee behavior in government agencies in Iran. Based on the findings, this planning should focus on enhancing the level of political skill of staff as well as increasing the level of implementation of servant leadership components by managers.


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