African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4135

Full Length Research Paper

Application of the grounded theory in building leadership models by utilizing the leadership styles. A focus on Pentecostal churches in Zimbabwe

Judith Mwenje
  • Judith Mwenje
  • National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Bulawayo Zimbabwe.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 28 April 2016
  •  Accepted: 17 June 2016
  •  Published: 28 September 2016


Leader-follower relationship is one element that is crucial to the influence and growth of churches.  When the leader maintains control and interacts constructively with the followers, understanding the levels that they are at; the likely outcome is a strong organization. The researcher using the grounded theory came up with the Ordinary-Questioning-Decision Making-Stability and the Contextualized Leadership-Follower models that could assist Pentecostal churches in Zimbabwe to build a strong committed membership base. The grounded theory allows data collection, analysis and eventual theory or model to stand in close relationship to one another. The constant comparative approach under the grounded theory was adopted. Christian leadership is not restricted to within church walls but is also effective in the public arena such as profit –making –organizations.  The first model entails that leaders identify the levels that their members are at and groom them accordingly using the various leadership styles in the second model.


Key words: Grounded theory, constant comparative approach, leadership styles, transformational leadership, democratic leadership.


A number of studies have attempted to come up with a correlation between leadership styles and the performance of an organisation. People learn to trust that the leader means what he/she says only when there is evidence of it in practice, when the values are operationalised in policies, procedures and rewards systems that are verified by collective experience (Marturano and Gosling, 2008: 5).  The environment that organizations operate in is dynamic and requires applying the concepts of leadership styles in a contextualized aspect. One of the main problems that Pentecostal churches face in Zimbabwe is the lack of in-depth understanding of the levels at which their members are at.  This then leads to the lack of proper identification of leadership styles at a particular level resulting in churches reaching the expected outcome of a strong church.
Leadership theories
Yukl (2002: 11) classified leadership theories and empirical research on leadership under the following categories; the trait approach, the behavior approach, the power influence approach, the situational approach and the integrative approach. Leadership theories encompass leadership styles, therefore a study on leadership theories plays a significant role. The trait approach focuses on leadership characteristics or traits that make them great leaders. The focus is on the personal characteristics of a leader.  The assumption underlying the theory was that some people are natural leaders who are endowed with certain traits not possessed by other people (Yukl, 2002). The style approach emphasizes on the behaviour and style of the leader (Hemphill and Coons, 1957; Likert, 1961; Robbins, 1998) that is what the leaders do and how they act. Two kinds of behavior were identified under this approach; the task and relationship behaviour. The situational approach contextualises leadership to the situation they are operating in.  In other words different situations demand different kinds of leadership and therefore a leader has to be flexible and adaptable.  It has two dimensions; the directive and a supportive dimension. The contingency theory approach to leadership tries to match leaders to relevant right settings.  The leader’s effectiveness is determined by how well his/her leadership style fits in the context he/she is operating in. The Path-Goal theory focuses on employee motivation by enhancing employee performance and satisfaction.  
Leadership styles
The leadership style concept captures both the task orientation and the relationship aspect of behavior at the same time. Transactional leadership, laissez-faire, trans-formational leadership, servant leadership, democratic leadership, supportive leadership and theocracy were discussed in this paper. Transactional leadership is most often explained as a cost-benefit exchange between leaders and their followers (Kuhnert and Lewis, 1987). The transaction or exchange involves something of value between what the leader possesses or controls and what the follower wants in return for his/her services (Yukl and Van Fleet, 1992). It involves leaders clarifying goals and objectives, communicating to organize tasks and activities with the cooperation of their employees to ensure that wider organisational goals are met (Bass, 1990; 1998). The success of this type of leader-follower relationship depends on the acceptance of hierarchical differences and the ability to work through this mode of exchange. Transactional leadership is based on the assumption that subordinates and systems work better under a clear chain of command. Burns (1978 cited in Church and Waclawski, 1999: 1419 implies that the relationship of the leaders with followers is based on the exchange model that is rewards for work and favour for favour.   Kuhnert  (1994)  agrees  with  Burns  (1978)   by saying that the implicit belief in the leader-follower relationship is that people are motivated by rewards and penalties and that interpersonal relations can be characterized as more or less rational exchanges between agents exercising the power of choice. Workers are not motivated to give anything beyond what is clearly specified in their contract because transactional leadership encourages specific exchanges and a close connection between goals and rewards.
Transactional leaders exhibit specific leadership skills usually associated with the ability to obtain results, to control through structures and process, to solve problems, to plan and organise and work within the structures and boundaries of the organisation (Marturano and Gosling, 2008: 169). As the transactional style revolves around the formulation and maintenance of a contract, negotiation skills are essential for this type of leadership.  Effective transactional leaders are capable of clarifying what is expected of the employees’ performance, explaining how to meet such expectations, spelling out the criteria of the evaluation of their performance, providing feedback on whether the employee is meeting the objective and allocating results that are contingent to their meeting the objectives (Bass, 1985). Laissez-faire leadership is the avoidance or absence of leadership. They avoid making decisions, hesitate in taking action and are absent when needed (Avolio and Bass, 2004). The laissez-faire leader avoids active participation in the responsibility of setting goals, clarifying expectations, organising priorities or becoming involved when leadership direction is needed (Van et al., 2008). There is no attempt in assisting followers to reach their potential and to make them grow. Transforming leadership aims to move beyond people’s wants and desires, thereby encouraging their real needs and values. It appeals to the moral values of followers in an attempt to raise their consciousness about ethical issues and to mobilize their energy and resources to reform institutions (Yukl, 2002: 241). Transformational leaders are visionary, solitary, inspirational figures consumed with very particular ideals and goals (Bass, 1990; Burke, 1986; Tichy and Devan, 1986; Zaleznik, 1977 cited in Church and Waclawski, 1999: 1419). Yukl (2002) identified four components of transformational leadership; idealized influence (charisma), inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration.  According to Bass and Steidlmeier (1999), leadership is truly transformational only if it is focused on the interests of followers, not on the leader’s self-interest. They distinguish between authentic transformational leadership and pseudo-transformational leadership. Authentic trans-formational leaders are committed to altruistic values and moreover conform their behavior to these values. Pseudo-transformational leaders are engaged in the pursuit of self-interest.
According to Bass (1985) there are four behavioural components  that  make  up  transformational  leadership:
charisma, inspiration, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration. Charisma is the ability to arouse emotions that will result in strong identification of the followers with the leader.  This includes the leader providing vision and gaining respect and trust. The great leader is seen as servant first, and that simple fact is key to his greatness (Greenleaf, 1977: 7; Rezaei, Saleh et al., 2012) and one who places emphasis on the needs of the follower over self-interests (Laub, 1999: .81).  The notion by Greenleaf is supported by a Biblical scripture in Mt. 23:11 which say: But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant (NIV). A relevant definition of servant leadership focuses on the spirit of the leader and the task of the leader. The life of a servant leader is one that is marked by what flows or comes out of them, who they are and not by technique. It describes the inner nature, character and spirit of the leader.  A servant leader is a moral leader whose purpose is accomplished when their subordinates become more autonomous (Dubrin et al., 2006). The servant leader is mission driven and goal oriented in all that he or she does. Servant leadership focuses both on the spirit of the leader and the task of the leader; it seeks to meet the needs of the follower through actions that empower the follower by the sharing of power and a practice of authenticity in leadership that favours the follower (Laub, 1999). It moves away from the command-control leadership styles and focuses on teamwork, egalitarianism and strong ethical behavior which involve followers in decision making and sacrificially provides quality and direction to the followers (Spears, 1996). Servant leadership promotes the valuing and development of people, the building of community, the practice of authenticity, the providing of leadership for the good of those led and the sharing power and status for the common good of each individual, the total organisation and those served by the organisation.
Democracy means the power of the people or the dominion of many whereby the people may participate in power directly or representatively (Jürgen, 2011). Democracy involves a participatory relationship where individuals are involved in the decision–making process to determine what needs to be done and how it should be done and by who. It involves the distribution of power between employees and managers so as to allow employee involvement in decision-making. It is characterized by a bottom-up approach and allows a constant flow of information up the chain of command. Members of the group take a participative role in the decision–making, the followers actively participate in the leadership process (Jürgen, 2011). It encourages creativity and team members are engaged in projects and decisions. The democratic leader plays three major roles; distributing responsibility, empowering others and aiding others in their deliberations (Jürgen, 2011), though he makes the final decisions. White and Lippitt (1960) emphasize group participation, discussion and group decisions   encouraged   by    the    leader.    The    major characteristic of the democratic leadership style is participation (Chemers, 1984; Luthar, 1996; Denhardt and Denhardt, 2003 cited in Choi 2007). One of the benefits of the democratic leadership style is that it allows employee innovativeness and creativity which in turn benefits an organization. It is useful when there are difficult problems to solve which may require several different perspectives in order to come to an agreement. This approach takes time so it can slow decision-making. It can hinder situations where speed or efficiency is essential by trying to gather people’s input. This type of leadership requires strong leaders that can maintain positivity, control and performance.
Supportive leaders tend to be friendly, approachable and pay attention to the welfare of members and helps, according to Yukl (2002) build and maintain an effective interpersonal relationship. The leaders make themselves available whenever members or subordinates need support, help or advice. This is likely to win the relationship and support of subordinates. Theocracy is a government by divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided. It is a government by a specific institutional faith (Douthat, 2006: 24). The word theocracy comes from the Greek word which means ‘rule by God’. Theocracy is bound up with a commitment to certain societal objectives that are characterised by equality, justice and community values (Wright, 1990: 5). The religious community is ordered by God through the intermediary of its founders and leaders who establish political, educational and legal institutions, that is the divine Law, directing the citizens toward what is best (Fraenkel, 2010: 346). According to Mkwanazi, the church as a theocracy run by the all-powerful ordained man of God, does not and should not lend itself to democratic principles of management and leadership (Nyathi, 2013: 280), Theocracy reflects God’s character, values, beliefs and goals (Wright, 1990: 6). God  becomes inseparable from the social objectives of the people and therefore the  concept of God as reason gives normative weight to the description that  the more human beings perfect reason the more they become like God (Fraenkel, 2010: 345). 
Followers and leader-follower relationships
When focusing on followers the first important factor is a tie to the community or audience, described as ongoing intercourse with members of one group or more. The second factor is a rhythm that oscillates between isolation and immersion with followers; a balance between time spent alone in reflection (for the purpose of knowing one’s own mind) and time spent amidst those one desires to lead.  The third factor is the alignment of a leader’s words and deeds, specifically noting stories must match embodiments so that the influence of leaders on followers is enacted through portrayal of  a  particular  self  as  well through the statements, accounts and interpretations offered by a leader in discourse.  The final factor identified is the centrality of choice on behalf of followers.  He focuses his study on leaders that have attained some stability in a situation because followers have chosen to heed the leader’s influence; thereby omitting dictators and others who rely upon force or solely upon authority as influence mechanisms. The leader-follower relations are concerned with how individual group members influence and persuade one another; at the perceptual level, leader-follower relations involve followers’ perceptions and expectations of leaders.


Hussey and Hussey (1997, p.249) identified two methods of analyzing qualitative data; the quantifying methods and the non-quantifying methods. The grounded theory, initially the work of Glaser and Strauss (1967) using the constant  comparative  method by Maykut and Morehouse (1994, p.135) was adopted as shown in Figure 1. Under the grounded theory, data collection, analysis and eventual theory stand in close relationship to one another (Strauss and Corbin, 1998, p.12). According to Bryman and Bell (2003), data collection and analysis proceed in tandem, repeatedly referring back to each other. It allows the researcher to shape and reshape their data collection thereby allowing refining of data. Data is analyzed as one goes along rather than saving all the material u for one major analysis-fest, because themes will be emerging all the time and they need to be recognized, organized and taken account of (Fisher, 2010, p.418).  Despite criticisms to this theory, the grounded theory remains one of the most influential strategies in the analysis of qualitative research (Bryman and Bell, 2003). Unlike other methods of qualitative analysis which acquire rigour through multiple levels of confirmation or triangulation (Mertens 1998). Grounded Theory builds an analytical case by constantly seeking new categories of evidence. The grounded theory is unencumbered by explicit expectations about what the research might find, or by personal beliefs and philosophies allowing the researcher to make discoveries without a priori knowledge.  Other researchers using the same method are equally likely to derive empirically grounded explanations for other social processes which have equal substance in any given field of investigation: the constant comparative method is not designed (as methods of quantitative analysis are) to guarantee that two analysts working independently with the same data will achieve the same results (Glaser 1967, p.103). The choice of this method was based on the fact that there is no preconceived theoretical framework and there is simultaneous data collection and analysis.  According to Maykut and Morehouse (1994), the comparative method combines inductive category coding with a simultaneous comparison of all units of meaning obtained. 
As each new unit of meaning is selected for analysis, it is compared to all other units of meaning and subsequently grouped (categorized and coded) with similar units of meaning. If there is no similar unit of meaning a new category is formed. In this process there is room for continuous refinement; initial categories are changed, merged or omitted; new categories are generated and new relationships can be discovered. The researcher followed the whole process of the grounded theory starting with the theoretical sampling which according to Sarantakos, (2005, p.166) is an ongoing process and works by selecting subsequent participants based on the information which emerges from the data already coded. Afterwards, open coding was carried out whereby data is broken down, thoroughly examined and similar categories are identified. Codes were therefore assigned to the concepts covered (Fisher, 2010, p.420). Axial coding was then carried out whereby data are put back together in new ways after open coding, by making connections between categories (De Vos et al. 2005, p.348). Selective coding was done to filter and code data which was deemed to be more relevant to the emerging concepts. Interview questions are therefore continuously reformulated to encompass the new and more focused direction of the research. The most emerging categories were the different levels that people are at when they come and are in church which then assisted the researcher to come up with a four stage model called the Ordinary-Questioning-Decision Making-Stability (OQDS). From the different levels other emerging important core categories were the different leadership styles that would be appropriate to the different levels. This then assisted the researcher to build a linking Model to the four stage model called the Contextualised Leadership Followers Model (CLF). The selective coding was the most important step towards defining the models for Pentecostal Church organisations. Data was continually collected u to the saturation point called theoretical saturation. According to Seldén (2005) theoretical saturation is when one keeps on collecting data until one receives only already known statements. Memos were used throughout the process to allow for ease of collection and analysis of data.
Applying the constant comparison
The constant comparative method is designed to aid the analyst in generating a theory that is integrated, consistent, plausible, close to the data” (Glaser and Strauss, 1967, p. 103). It refers to a process of maintaining a close connection between data and concep-tualization, so that the correspondence between concepts and categories with their indicators is not lost. Attention to the procedure of constant comparison enjoins the researcher constantly to compare phenomena being coded under a certain category so that a theoretical elaboration of that category can begin to emerge. Constant comparison continues until core categories emerge from the data, and no significant new phenomena are reported that is until saturation point. The following stages by Maykut and Morehouse (1994, p.135) were adapted  in analysing data; inductive category coding, simultaneous comparing of units of meaning, across categories, refinement categories, exploration of relationships and patterns and integration of data yielding an understanding of people and settings being studied. According to Saunders et al (2009:509), the theoretical sampling continues until theoretical saturation is reached, which occurs when data collection ceases to reveal new data that are relevant to a category.
Inductive category coding
The researcher has to approach coding with an open mind, flexibility, and creativity. First, coding has to be performed as much as possible without predetermined ideas. The researcher has to keep an open mind when making sense of the data. The process of creating categories is mainly creative, the categories have to be grounded in data and researchers should approach coding with flexibility. As Strauss and Corbin (1990) recognize, researchers have to be flexible in the sense that “while we [Strauss and Corbin] set these procedures and techniques before you, we do not wish to imply rigid adherence to them"(p. 59). It is the interpretation and flexibility of the researcher what really matters. Therefore, although grounded theory provides with a set of procedures for coding, comparing, categorizing, etc, which may seem quite mechanical, the analytical process is highly interpretive by nature and fairly flexible to use.
Organization of qualitative data
Coding is the initial stage and most central in grounded theory (Bryman and Bell, 2003). The codes are labels which enable the qualitative data to be separated, compiled and organised (Charmaz, 2006). The labels come from a variety of sources; for example technical literature, interviewees and informants or from example technical literature, interviewees and informants or from the researcher’s own imagination and vocabulary (Hussey and Hussey, 1997, p.266).
All interviews from founders were marked with an ‘F’ and a number was allocated to the letter depending with the church category. For the biggest church, the interview material for the founder will be marked ‘F1-I’. For interviews with leaders from the biggest church, the interview material was marked L1-I. Interviews with followers were marked Fol1-I and observations were marked Fol1-O. For observations from the biggest church for both founders and leaders, the data collected was marked FI-O and L1-O, respectively. This was done for all six church categories.
Coding and categorizing the data
Box files clearly labeled were used for each data set using church categories and the data collection method. The box file which had data collected from interviews with the founder of the biggest church was marked Biggest-Interview and the same criteria used for all other research instruments and church categories. Within that box file data cards labeled clearly and dated for example DCF1-I (2June, 2011), meaning data card interview for founder of the biggest church done on 2 June, 2011. Comments would be written after each data collection using a separate data card labeled in line with the data collection card. DCF1-Irc (2 June, 2011) would mean the researcher’s comments on the interview carried out with the founder of the biggest church. The comments are part of the analysis which are done simultaneously as data is collected or immediately after.
There is a repetitive interplay between collection of data and analysis of data (Bryman and Bell, 2003) and this shapes the next step in data collection including highlighting areas that need further investigations. Each church category had six box files and a total of thirty six box files were used. Within each data card label the narration of the participant is recorded as it is, then categories would be created as propounded by the grounded theory. The main categories being open coding, axial coding, selective coding and the researcher also added the researcher commend to complement memos. 
The most frequent words and phrases that were used by the respondents were used to categorize data into units. In newspapers or interview transcripts, the units might consist of a specific word appearing or being used (Denscombe, 2008). Some of the words or phrases were being used for the same events but with different phrases or statements.
The word and events were then categorized into representative categories. A representative category can either use the common word or a word/phrase that the researcher sees fit after going through what the participants meant by a word or a phrase. These words were recorded in the computer using a word package with columns and relevant titles such as main category, sub categories, new categories and miscellaneous for those that is outside the important content of the study. The number of categories derived from any particular data set depends on the focus of enquiry.
The researcher also identified patterns and processes, commonalities and differences (Miles and Huberman, 1994, p.9) in order to select any particular themes, relationships and inter-connections emerging from data collected. The following themes were emerging from each category that the researcher explains below: vision of the church, freedom, independence, vibrant leaders, empowerment, evangelism, miracles, healing, conferences, special Sundays, money, growth, love and relationships. 
Refinement categories
Eventually, the researcher was able to reconstruct the important melodies contained in the phenomena being studied (Maykut and Morehouse, 1994). The researcher refined these categories using the main participants in the collection of data that is the founders of churches, the leaders, and then the followers. A cross case refinement was done. The researcher returned to previously coded sections and re-evaluated them adding interpretive layers on top of the basic description (Lee and Lings, 200: 246).


The final result of research using Grounded Theory as a method of qualitative analysis is theory or model building (Mwenje, 2015). Grounded theory enables the researchers to focus their data collection and to build inductive middle-range theories through successive levels of data analysis and conceptual development (Denzin and Lincoln 2005). The constant comparative method facilitates the generation of theories, process, sequence and change pertaining to organizations, positions and social interaction (Glaser and Strauss, 1967). As indicated by the results, Pentecostal churches rely on followers for numerical growth, financial growth and spiritual growth and economic growth within the church. Pentecostal churches therefore need to build their people from within to a level where the members are loyal to the church and can participate in church activities such as giving financially and other projects such building projects. The OQDS and CLF models developed in this research are an important tool in achieving such results.
The influence of leaders on the followers becomes key to the development of  Pentecostal  churches.  According
to Guti (2005), a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. In other words a leader is an active participant in the day to day activities of the church which include grooming people which is the basis upon which this model was built. Guti (2005: 25) further articulates the essence of a leader saying a leader is a person with a magnet in his heart and a compass in his hand. Building up from the findings, it is possible to construct a model based on four levels that would be found in all Pentecostal churches.  These levels comprise the following; the ordinary level, the questioning level, the decision-making level and the stability level from where the Ordinary-Questioning-Decision Making-Stability (OQDS Model) as depicted. In building the levels, the researcher realised that Pentecostal church leaders attract the following people in their church discussed under the following four levels as depicted in Figure 2.
Level 1: Ordinary level
When Pentecostal churches attract people to their churches using the evangelistic strategies discussed in this study; the care ministry, hospital ministry, crusades, departmental meetings and conferences, the people come in the church and are and go through different levels. At the first level, the ordinary level there are two groups of people; the majority of those that are new in church, new converts and some that have been in the church for some time but have remained at this level because of their thinking patterns as will be discussed. Individuals at this level are heavily dependent on the church and church leadership. They have a conception that the church and its leadership are there to provide nearly everything for them. They come to the church with the expectation that all their needs such as financial needs, shelter and food will be met in church. For those that have been in church for a while they may still be at this level with the view that leaders, one way or the other have failed them. There is a lot of generalization of things and the word that is usually  used is should; we should be getting support if only people cared, the leaders should be providing us with food and so on. They tend to want luxury but are not willing to sacrifice or work hard for that. It is as it were leaving in a dream land.
It is at this level that followers and some leaders take things for granted and the major cry at this level is that someone else should ‘carry me’ in my life. There is a lot of criticism and gossip at this level. Criticisms and gossip church leaders’. There is also blame on church and church leadership and others outside church.  This is where one finds that the individual attributes the state that they are in to someone else is to blame for that.  It is always someone’s fault and they rarely see their own about things that are ‘not right in the church and with the fault. The people at this level are very sensitive and fragile. They are not yet as it were running with the vision of the church but are just  drifting  on.  As  the  researcher has already eluded this level composes of followers and immature leaders who then join in with some of the disgruntled followers already in church. At this level as well one finds people that are new and are finding their way in church. They are still searching and some are wondering whether they are in the right church. This group is quite inquisitive about the people that are already in the church and the leaders and adopt what the researcher call a wait and see approach. The interesting aspect of this group is that despite their perceptions they still come to church but some of them are irregular in their attendance.
Level 2: Questioning level
The researcher calls this a level of analyses and questions. At this level people at the ordinary level begin to question themselves and other people on a number of things pertaining to church and how they fit in the church. There are three categories here, those that question in order to go up to the next, those that question in order to go back Level 1 and those that want to remain at this level. Usually, the followers or even some leaders that ask the questions in order to remain at Level 1 ask questions such as “Why does the church not care for people?” When they ask such questions they already have an answer such as the do not care. This can also be equated to the children of Israel when they were moved from Egypt and were asking Moses why he brought them out of Israel, they already had concluded that Moses was uncaring and wanted them to be killed so they would rather remain in Egypt, justifying staying in Egypt.  The result is mistrust, negativity and criticism. The second category of questions are those people that say we want to move from where we are and are seeking for help. They are not satisfied with the level that they are at as they do not see any growth. The result is that such people begin to search and make decisions for themselves. The third category is those people that keep on asking question after question and never to get answers.  They have a number of questions and it seems the questions are endless. These are people that may say things like, ‘I have heard your answer on such and such but why this and why that?’
Level 3: Decision making level
Those from levels 1 and 2 come to this stage but with a different approach. The researcher calls this a level of choices.  Everyone has the power of choice whether in church or out of church. The first category decides or chooses to remain at level 1; they are comfortable with numbers, generalizations, criticizing and taking things lightly, though they pretend to be mature. The second category decides to move to Level 4. People make decisions in order to build their capacity. One starts feeling a sense of belonging. Questions such as I need to be financial stable without depending on the church but with the assistance of the church, how can I do this?  I need to know the Bible on my own, how can I do this and where do I get assistance?
Level 4: Stability level
The stability level is the most fulfilling level but can only be reached through determination, purpose and stretching one’s capacity. Individuals at this level understand and agree fully with the mission and vision of the church. They work as a team with the founder and other leaders in order to accomplish the task before them. They are willing to sacrifice of their resources in order to fulfill the goals of their church. Finally, such people are committed, loyal and hard-working.
The OQDS model and relationship to leadership
The researcher concluded that in leading Pentecostal churches leaders need to identify the levels that various people are at. All the levels will exist in one church so it is the job of leaders to be able to assist the people at a particular level so that they can move to a higher level and finally achieve stability. The best level is stability though not many people get to this level but the researcher believes that if the right relevant leadership is placed at each level to deal with the different categories more people will achieve stability than what is currently the situation. The researcher, though this is beyond the current study, noted that divisions, break- away and misunderstandings are a result of people not well grounded to come to a level of loyalty to the church that they belong to. It is from the above analysis that the researcher further built a model that will assist churches
in growth and stability using the above levels.
The Contextualised Leadership-Follower (CLF) Model
The Contextualised Leader Follower (CLF) Model works in conjunction with the OQDS Model as follows:
Level 1: Ordinary level
At level 1 as explained above the followers are not stable and are on the periphery.  In other words they can be easily moved by any doctrine, church or something that can be exciting in church circles. The loyalty level is small and in that aspect the researcher in the above Leadership-follower model shows that the importance of leadership is to develop loyal stable people. It is important therefore that at this stage the leadership style should meet the needs of these people and assist them to mature. The leaders should therefore be caring and nurture people. The researcher therefore suggests that amongst the many leaders that Pentecostal do have in an assembly it is useful to identify the gifting of such people and let them work with the ordinary level people in order to boost them. This is quite different from what is currently the practice of following up new believers, this is targeting people that one knows fall within this level and reach out to them on a person to person basis accompanied by some teachings. The teachings should not just be the general teachings from the pulpit where everyone is generalized but there is need for specific teachings that address the real issues on the ground. The result of that as depicted in the diagram is the creation of expectation and direction. People begin to understand the reason they are in church; how they can benefit spiritually and as individuals and what the church expect from them. This reduces the percentage of people that decide to remain at level 1.
Level 2: Questioning level
At this questioning level as was highlighted by the researcher; there are two categories of questioning,  questions that makes one to decide to a higher level 4 or questions that make one to decide to remain at level 1. At this level, it is important to have leaders that are decisive, focused and can provide the right direction. These are people that understand and are able to solve problems emanating from questions. This would mean that such leaders should be patient enough up to a point where they are satisfied that the person is making the right decision. The result is in assisting people to ask constructive questions, build confidence in them and motivate them to a higher level, level 4, the stability level.
Level 3: Decision level
Level 3 is a decision- making level either to go back to level 1 remain at level 2, move out of church or move to level 4, the stability level. This stage is crucial as it is a stage where divisions in church can emanate from. Different from level 1 where one still expects that something may be good here and people are trying to find what it is, at this level a person can decide to move back to level 1 and when they do they are more destructive than before. They may decide to be people that keep on asking questions though their questions seem to be endless, and when one question is answered they move on to another question. The third category is a category that feels that there is nothing in  the  church  for them and decides to move away from church. The final category is the one that decides to move to the stability level. At this level, there is need to have leaders that understand the founder’s vision fully and know how to apply the vision using the mission, values and goals of the church as meant by the founder. Using mature seasoned leaders that are loyal to the church is crucial for the survival of the organization. The researcher has noted and observed that not every leader is loyal; a number have their own ambitions that may even result in them forming other churches.
Level 4: Stability level
The final level is where the mature loyal followers in the church are found. They are respectful to authority and know what direction to take in church and in their individual lives. At this level, there is need of supportive leaders, visionary leaders and creative leaders. Since most of these people are hard-working they like to be creative and to be productive. They assist in church projects and other things that the church may call for.  They are responsible and accountable. The result of supportive, creative leaders and visionary leaders at this level builds loyal people, responsible and accountable people, maturity, hardworking and entrepreneurial people. However, if this group becomes unsatisfied firstly it would seek audience with the leaders in order to solve issues at hand, however, if not still satisfied they leave the church. The Contextualised Leadership Follower (CLF) model is however not a static rigid level but one would find that people move from one stage to another and some may just start at a higher level depending on their under-standing of church. Apart from the models contributed towards this study, the research contributes to an in- depth study of Pentecostal churches in Zimbabwe. Finally, the study provides empirical support of the theoretical models used in this research.


The influence of leadership styles can be measured by the effectiveness and impact that an organisation has had. This can be in the performance and growth of the leaders’ group, the preparedness to deal with challenges or crises,  follower  satisfaction  with  the  leader,  follower commitment to the organisation’s objectives and the extent to which it performs its task successfully and attains its goals. As shown in the CLF Model in Figure 3, the results and the final outcome are key areas. The results create an environment that allows for the final outcome  to  be  achieved.  A   strong   church   that   has committed members is the final goal of most leaders.
Practical implications
This is a practical study that identifies the different levels that subordinates go through which leaders should take into consideration when implementing leadership strategies. Different leadership styles that relate to each level were identified which can be applied to both non- profit and profit making organizations.
The study was limited to Pentecostal churches in Zimbabwe. A further study that compares the current study with other countries would broaden the scope of Pentecostal leadership in different settings.
The data presented in this research is the author’s original work.


The author has not declared any conflict of interests.


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