Subscribe to our Newsletter and get informed about new publication regulary and special discounts for subscribers!

ILSHS > ILSHS Volume 7 > Servant Leadership
< Back to Volume

Servant Leadership

Full Text PDF


The philosophical foundation of servant leadership existed thousands of years ago. Servant leadership is a unique style of leadership ideology which flows against the grain of self-interest human behavior. The nature of both work and the workplace has changed drastically (Billett, 2006). The focus of leadership needs to be shifted from process and outcome to people and the future. The new challenge for management and leadership education is threefold: (a) How to develop workers and unleash their creative potentials, (b) How to create a positive workplace that will attract and retain talented knowledge workers, and (c) How to reinforce innovations and risk-taking to adapt to an uncertain future. In today's thinking about effective, productive, and enduring organizations, we can reorganize, restructure, or reengineer our organization to be more effective but it will not be successful for very long, unless change is first built on the preeminence of human resources. People and process will always be more important than tasks and organizational structure in accomplishing goals and productivity. Effective systems and processes are only effective if the people who make them work are effective. Highly motivated and well-trained human resources provide the only assurance that any organization will be effective in accomplishing its goals. Servant-leaders motivate followers through investing in them and empowering them to do their best. In this paper, servant leadership is characterized by listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualizing, foresight, stewardship, commitment to growth, and community building (Spears, 2004).


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 7)
D. Thakore, "Servant Leadership", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 7, pp. 23-32, 2013
Online since:
September 2013

[1] Avolio, B. J. (1999). Full leadership development: Building the vital forces in organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

[2] Bass, B. (1998). Transformational leadership: Industrial, military, and educational impact. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

[3] Bender, P. U. 1997. Leadership From Within. Toronto, ON: Stoddart.

[4] Bennis, W. (1989). On becoming a leader. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company Inc.

[5] . Billett, S. (2006). Work, change, and workers. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

[6] Blanchard, K., & Hodges, P. (2003). The servant leader: Transforming your heart, head, hands & habits. Nashville, TN: J. Countryman.

[7] Block, P. (1993). Stewardship: Choosing service over self interest. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishing.

[8] Chemers, M.M. (1997). An integrative theory of leadership. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Chemers, M.M. (1997). An integrative theory of leadership. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


[9] Daft, R.L. (2005). The leadership experience (3rd ed. ). Mason, OH: Thomson South- Western.

[10] Decrane, A C. Jr. 1996, A Constitutional Model of Leadership., In F. Hesselbein, M. Goldsmith and R- Beckhard, eds. The Leader of the Future: New Visions, Strategies, and Practices for the Next Era. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


[11] Farling, M. L., Stone, A. G., & Winston, B. E. (1999). Servant leadership: Setting the stage for empirical research. The Journal of Leadership Studies, 6, 49-72.


[12] Giampetro-Meyer, A., Brown, T., Browne, S. J., & Kubasek, N. (1998). Do we really want more leaders in business? Journal of Business Ethics, 17, 1727-1736.


[13] Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power andgreatness. New York: Paulist Press.

[14] Greenleaf, R. K. (1977/2002). Servant-leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press.

[15] Hall, A. S. 1991. Why a Great Leader., In K. Hall Living Leadership: Biblical LeadershipSpeaks to Our Day. Anderson, IN: Warner Press (14).

[16] Hammer, M., & Champy, J. (1993). Reengineering the corporation. New York: HarperCollins.

[17] Hersey, P., Blanchard, K. H., & Natemeyer, W. E. (2001). Situational leadership and power. In W. E.

[18] Hee, C. C. H. (2007). A holistic approach to business management: Perspectives from the Bhagavad Gita. Singapore Management Review, 29(1), 73-84.

[19] Hillman, J. (1996). The soul's code: In search of character and calling. New York, NY: Random House.

[20] Horsman, J. H. (2001). Perspectives of servant leadership and spirit in organizations. Dissertation Abstracts Online, 8936785.

[21] House, R.J. (1994, 1999). Global perspectives for local action. Washington, DC: National Academic Press.

[22] Josephson, M., & Hanson, W. (Eds. ). (1998). The power of character. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

[23] Muniapan, B., & Dass, M. (2008). Corporate social responsibility: A philosophical approach from an ancient Indian perspective. International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management, 1(4), 408-420.


[24] Kellerman, B. & Matusak, L. (Eds. ). (2000). Cutting edge: Leadership 2000. College Park, MD: James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership.

[25] Laub, J. A. (1999). Assessing the servant organization: Development of the servant organizational leadership assessment (SOLA) instrument. Dissertations Abstracts Online, 9921922.

[26] Laub, J. (2003). From paternalism to the servant organization: Expanding the organizational leadership assessment (OLA) model. Paper presented at the Servant Leadership Roundtable at Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA, on Oct. 16, (2003).

[27] McGregor, D. (2005). The human side of enterprise (Annotated ed. ). New York: McGraw-Hill.

[28] Muniapan, B., & Dass, M. (2008). Corporate social responsibility: A philosophical approach from an ancient Indian perspective. International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management, 1(4), 408-420.


[29] Natemeyer & J. T. McMahon (Eds. ), Classics of Organizational Behavior (3 rd ed. ) (pp.321-329). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.

[30] Ouchi, W. B. (1981). Theory Z: How American business meet the Japanese challenge. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

[31] Page, D., & Wong, P. T. P. (2000). A conceptual framework for measuring servant leadership. In S. Adjibolosoo (Ed. ), The human factor in shaping the course of history and development. Boston, MA: University Press of America.

[32] Polleys, M.S. (2002). One University's response to the anti-leadership vaccine: Developing servant leaders. (Columbus State University) Journal of Leadership Studies, 8, 117-131.


[33] Rarick, C. A., & Nickerson, I. (2009). Expanding managerial consciousness: Leadership advice from the Bhagavad Gita. Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business, 1, 1-6. Retrieved from http: /www. aabri. com/manuscripts/09151. pdf.


[34] Rinzler, A., & Ray, M. (Eds. ) (1993). The new paradigm in business: Emerging strategies for leadership and organizational change. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher.

[35] Rude, W. J. (2003).

[36] Russell, R. F. (2000). Exploring the values and attributes of servant leaders. Doctoral dissertation, 5359435.

[37] Russell, R. F. (2001). The role of values in servant leadership. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 22 (2), 76-83.

[38] Russell, R. F., & Stone, A. G. (2002). A review of servant leadership attributes: Developing a practical model. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 23, 145-157.


[39] . Romig, D. A. (2001). Side by side leadership. Marietta, GA: Bard Press.

[40] Sendjaya, S., & Sarros, J. C. (2002). Servant leadership: Its origin, development, and application in organizations. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 9, 57-64.


[41] Sendjaya, S., Sarros, J. C., & Santora, J. C. (2008). Defining and measuring servant leadership behaviour in organizations. Journal of Management Studies, 45(2), 402-424.


[42] Sivananda, S. S. (2000). The Bhagavad Gita, (Transliteration, Text and Commentary). Shivanandhanagar: The Divine Life Trust Society.

[43] Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline. New York: Doubleday.

[44] Spears, L. C. (1994). Servant leadership: Quest for caring leadership. Inner Quest, 2, 1-4.

[45] Spears, L.C. (Ed. ). (1998). Insights on leadership: Service, stewardship, spirit and servant-leadership. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

[46] Spears, L. (Ed. ) (1998b). The power of servant-leadership. San Francisco: Berrett-Kochler Publishers, Inc., 5-17.

[47] Spears, L. C., & Lawrence, M. (Eds. ). (2004). Practicing servant-leadership: Succeeding through trust, bravery, and forgiveness. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

[48] Tice, L. (1996). Traits of limitless leaders. Association Management, 48, 16.

[49] Trompenaars, F., & Voerman, E. (2010). Servant leadership across cultures - Harnessing the strengths of the world's most powerful management philosophy. USA: McGraw Hill Professional.

[50] Welch, J. (2001). Jack: Straight from the gut. New York: Warner Books.

[51] Wong, P. T. P. (2003). An opponent-process model of servant leadership and a typology of leadership styles. Paper presented at the Servant Leadership Roundtable at Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA, on Oct. 16, (2003).

[52] Zohar, D. (1997). Rewiring the corporate brain. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler. ( Received 25 June 2013; accepted 28 June 2013 ).

Show More Hide
Cited By:
This article has no citations.