Servant Leadership Theories Research Paper

Pages: 5 (1494 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Leadership

Servant Leadership Theory

There are several leadership theories that address this issue from different points-of-view. There are theories that refer to leadership skills as innate. In accordance with such theories, leaders are born, not made. These theories of leadership usually refer to the military activities. Trait theories on leadership also promote the idea that leaders have inherited skills, and that it is difficult to learn to become a leader. In the case of contingency theories, the factors of the environment significantly influence the behavior of leaders. Therefore, in such cases leaders modify their behavior in accordance with the requirements of the environment.

Behavioral theories state that individuals learn to become leaders through teaching and observation. Situational theories divide leadership styles into autocratic, democratic, charismatic, and others. There are also other theories that refer to leadership styles as transformational or transactional.

Servant Leadership Theory

The Servant leadership theory was developed by Robert Greenleaf in 1970 in the essay "The Servant as Leader." In accordance with this theory, servant leaders are initially servants, but then become leaders. This theory also addresses some of the issues addressed by other leadership theories that state that leaders have innate skills. The servant leadership theory states that certain individuals have an innate orientation towards serving others. In their case, this is a conscious choice that makes them aspire to leading.

There are significant differences between this theory and others. Other leadership theories consider that leaders' behavior is determined by their need and desire of power, or by reaching certain financial and social status. Therefore, there is important contrast between this theory and traditional leadership theories that makes it difficult to accept the servant leadership theory.

The most important skills that servant leaders have are represented by listening, empathy, healing relationships, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to human resources development, commitment to developing the community, and others. Some of these skills are possessed by other types of leaders also. In addition to this, there are individuals that have these skills, but are not considered leaders.

Basically, servant leaders behave as supporters of their team. Servant leaders are often found defending their subordinates' mistakes in front of other departments within the company in case. This reveals their serving nature. They feel that their duty is to support others into reaching their potential, improving their skills and abilities, and improving the benefits they receive, sometimes in the detriment of the company, when the needs and objectives of employees are not in accordance with the objectives of the company.

However, this does not mean that the servant leadership theory is entirely wrong. The premises that this theory starts on are positive and oriented towards organizational development. Servant leaders focus on the development of human resources that are the most important resource that companies can have. Therefore, it is likely that the development of human resources influences the development of the company. The issue is that servant leaders are not able of establishing the limits to supporting their employees. They should find a balance between what these employees want and what the company needs.

Servant Leadership Pros

An important effect of the servant leadership theory is represented by its influence on organizational development (Gill, 2006). This is because the servant leadership theory focuses on empowering employees, and on motivating and inspiring them to improve their performance. Other leadership theories focus on the leader dominating his employees, and on establishing tasks that they must perform.

Servant leaders usually establish the direction that their subordinates are willing to follow. This significantly influences how employees behave and communicate. This is because servant leaders encourage team work. The collective efforts of team members usually determine improved results of the team in case.

In addition to this, servant leadership seems to significantly influence initiative and creativity of employees (Lussier & Achua, 2010). This is because these leaders are interested in developing such skills in their employees in order to motivate them to improve their activity. In addition to this, the activity determined by servant leadership seems to improve the development of relationship within these teams.

In other words, servant leaders focus more on developing the company's human resources. These leaders understand that human resources represent the most important resource that the company relies on (Bugenhagen, 2006). They focus on identifying the value of employees, and on developing strategies intended to increase this value.

The rationale behind the development of this theory refers to observing the behavior of certain leaders, like servant leaders.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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