Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Lilian Hill

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Kyna Shelly

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. David Lee

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Richard Mohn, Jr.

Committee Member 4 School



Teacher morale in schools has a profound impact on the school and the level of student achievement. Low teacher morale cases high teacher turnover and causes teachers to be resistant to change, while schools with high teacher morale boast better teacher attendance, higher student achievement, and a sense of cohesiveness in the school. A principal’s leadership style has a significant effect on the level of teacher morale in schools. Servant leadership is a theory of leadership, first developed by Robert Greenleaf, where the leader leads by serving and puts followers first. Servant leadership theory has proven to be an effective leadership style for bringing about change. This study was conducted to determine if principals’ servant leadership attributes had a relationship with the level of teacher morale in their schools. Online surveys containing the Purdue Teacher Opinionaire and the Servant Leadership Questionnaire were distributed to teachers at twenty-nine schools in southeastern Mississippi. Responses were analyzed using multiple regression. The results showed that when the servant leadership attributes defined by Barbuto and Wheeler (2006) were entered together, they showed a significant relationship with the teacher morale factors of rapport with the principal and teacher satisfaction with teaching. The servant leadership attributes of altruistic calling and organizational stewardship were the strongest predictors of teacher morale. Based on the findings from this study, principals could work to develop servant leadership attributes to improve the level of teacher morale in their schools.