Servant Leadership Within the Context of Organizational Efficacy

Servant Leadership Within the Context of Organizational Efficacy

Abdurrahman Ekinci, Halis Sakız
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0058-3.ch006
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Notwithstanding the proliferation of studies on servant leadership in the last decades, there is still a lack of coherence and clarity around the concept, its nature, and how it can lead practice within organizational structures and processes. The authors provide an integrative and comprehensive discussion on servant leadership by examining the related literature, and in so doing expand knowledge in the field in four different ways. First, they provide an introduction describing the change in paradigms of management, followed by a brief evaluation of leadership. Second, they discuss the developmental process of servant leadership throughout decades. Third, they map various definitions and dimensions of servant leadership and different approaches towards the concept. Fourth, they provide discussion on the role of servant leadership approach within organizational structures. All in all, this review presents a holistic picture of where attempts have been and where they should go into the future in terms of conceptualization of servant leadership and its application within organizational structures.
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A Brief Evaluation Of Leadership

The main qualities that need to be possessed by a manager can be identified under the concept of organizational leadership. In that sense, leadership employs a perspective based on targeting the most superior, enduring development and progress, and assuming responsibility to make changes when needed. Such a perspective finds more meaning by the establishment of a bond and relationship between the leader and those being led. Thus, leadership at an organizational level represents the effort to gather workers under shared objectives and activate them towards a shared vision.

Schafer (2002) states that leadership can be evaluated within a cluster of several dimensions. However the main element needs to focus on communication. Communication skills enable leaders to manage through persuasion and inspiration rather than hierarchical and coercive methods. This enablement helps to build a sense of belongingness, fidelity and cooperation between leaders and their followers during management while it can base a foundation for non-bureaucratic management systems.

In a number of leadership research, leadership is defined as a strong influence. Yukl (2006) defined leadership as a combination of traits involving personal traits, influence, relationships and managerial positions. Spears (1998) also defines leadership as the cluster of behaviors related to character, motivation and relationships with people. According to Greenleaf (1991), a group leader has a higher intuition than others, in terms of deciding upon what should be done now and in the future as well as leading towards improvement in the organization. Covey (2002) focuses on the four main roles of leadership. These are modeling, building shared vision and values, adaptation towards collaboration and empowering followers. Bennis and Nanus (1985) state that an effective leader should possess qualities involving focusing on a vision, communicating effectively, building trust, and being transparent towards their followers. In addition, Bolman and Deal (2003) argue that leadership is the sum of ethical behaviors which search for beyond what exists. Studies conducted on leadership investigate the influence of leaders on workers and how they build social and communicative relationships with them. This means that leadership depends on the leader-worker communication and the quality of their communication.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Leadership: It is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common purpose.

Efficacy: It is the ability to produce a desired or intended result.

Organizational Efficacy: Organizational efficacy involves the combined beliefs of a group of individuals to act as a whole and the desired outcomes emerging out of these actions.

Organization: It is an organized group of people with a particular purpose, such as a business or government department.

Servant Leadership: It is a leadership philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. This is different from traditional leadership where the leader's main focus is the thriving of their company or organizations.

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