Concepts On Servant Leadership Education Essay

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This web site gives an idea about the concept of servant leadership and the organizations which practice it. The term servant leadership was coined by Robert .K. Greenleaf who denoted that the servant-leader is "servant first." According to him, the one who wants to serve, should serve first and then he should come to the conscious choice to lead. For Greenleaf, "the difference manifest itself in the care taken by the servant- first to make sure that other people's highest priority needs are being served." This article is very helpful as a primary source in the study of servant leadership and its practical applications.

Spears, L. C. (2006). On character and servant leadership: Ten characteristics of effective, caring leaders. Retrieved September 24, 2009, from Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership:

This web site studies in detail about the ten characteristics that a servant Leader should possess. They are (not necessarily in the following order): "1. Listening, 2. Empathy, 3. Healing, 4. Awareness, 5. Persuasion, 6. Conceptualization, 7. Foresight, 8. Stewardship, 9. Commitment to the growth of people and 10. Building community" (p. 18). This document is a very good source as it constructs all characteristics of servant leadership.

Jesus' Servant Leadership. (n.d.). Retrieved September 24, 2009, from The Teal Trust: Christian Leadership World:

This web site provides a glimpse on Jesus' leadership. It shows that common features of a leader, having a vision with a power to attract followers and to enable them to go forward to attain the common goal, can be attributed to Jesus . The author considers Jesus as a leader of a renewal movement working for the oppressed. Throughout the article the author examines the team work, as both Jesus and Paul "refused to work alone." The team work is also connected with the practices in early church interactive leadership. For the author, "leadership should be evaluated with New Testament concepts of services and humility, love and justice, suffering and sacrifice." The leadership that church embodies is the "selfless and communitarian, hard-working and tenacious and most importantly sprit- led". It stands extremely opposite to the new leadership concept of 21st century (Agosto, 2005).

Wheatley, M. J. (2001). The Servant - Leader : From Hero to Host . An Intreview with Margaret Wheatley. (L. C. Spears, Interviewer); retrieved 24 September , 2009, from Margaret J. Wheatley :

This interview is the best source to understand the present-day servant leaders' thought and actions. Servant leaders in this article show that they have to be more courageous and their actions should be clear. Margaret Wheatley, a servant leader and a writer, believed in Greenleaf's advice of "do no harm." She has assumed many posts and yearns for a life of togetherness with harmony in this chaotic time. For her, doing no harm is a difficult task compared to doing good. People are unaware of the harm they are causing to others. In an interview to a question based on the 9/11 US terrorist attacks, she responded that some leaders have now become followers, and that the government or the authority is trying to lead the leaders. A leader should respond to, the call, the need of that particular time. A leader should have "faith in people" and that is a risk a leader can take. Moreover, a true servant leader should find the resources and direct the mass and should have extreme dependency on the people. Definitely, such a group can come out. A leader should be a host rather than a hero. He will be welcoming and cordial in his actions. According her, "the servant leadership is just not an interesting idea, but something fundamental and vital for the world, and now this is the world that truly needs it." It is one of the most reliable source in the study of servant leadership as it explores the views of the present day servant leader.

Jablonski, T. (2006). Who is a Servant Leader ?. Retrieved September 23, 2009, from Welcome to the Servant Leadership -Blog: leadership/blog/2009_03_01_servantleadershipblog_archive.html.

This blog gives an overview on servant leaders. According to Jablonski, almost all servant leaders adopted the ways of Jesus; they believed in sacrificing their own lives for a great cause. He put forward Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King, Jr. as servant leaders. All these people were servant of all and thus they led them to a greater end. The servant leaders believed in denying himself willingly, to serve others. This blog is only for informative purpose.

Servant Leadership in Education

Crippen, C. ( 2005). The Democratic School: First to serve, then to lead. Retrieved on September 23, 2009,from

This website shows the influence of servant leadership practices in educational organizations. As educational institutions are moving in favor of democratization, servant- leadership is the one that is to be adopted. In the words of Murphy and Seashore Louis with regard to the changes in educational institutions:

In these new post industrial educational organizations, there are important shifts in role, relationships and responsibilities; traditional patterns of relationship are altered, authority flows are less hierarchical, role definitions are both general and more flexible; leadership is connected to competence for needed task rather than to formal position; and independence and isolation are replaced by cooperative work. (n.p.)

The author also suggested that there should be an all-around improvement which should begin form the top. The strong educational system moulds the prosperous society and for that one needs a strong sense of moral. Education is pointed towards the individual growth and so the school administrator should encourage others to assume leadership positions. Educational institutions should discuss with the students the writings of Greenleaf. The school plans should be developed in the frame work of the ten characteristics of the servant leadership. Students should be trained to volunteer and they should be given the practice of serving the society or to "give back" to the community. Those aspiring to become teacher should be given the awareness of servant - leadership philosophy in order to give them the idea that teaching is a noble profession done with service as its top goal. This document is a very good source in the study of servant leadership practices in education and is used widely as a source in leadership studies.

McCuddy, M. K., & Cavin, M. C. (n.d.). Fundamental moral orientations, servant leadership and leadership effecitiveness: An empirical test. Retrieved September 22, 2009, from Scribd: /4294150/ Fundamental-Moral-Orientations- Servant-Leadership-And-Leadership- Effectiveness.

This work shows the effectiveness of the servant leadership. This work illustrates that servant leadership is characterized by active listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight and commitment. A servant - leader should mould himself, conceptualizing these qualities which lead to the moral orientation that is, selflessness. For the effectiveness of servant leadership, as Greenleaf has put, the characteristics of both ' servant' and 'leader' could be fused into one person influencing the productivity. Those who want to promote servant leadership with the intention of generating maximum efficacy, a systematic research should be done to build a linkage between servant leadership and leadership effectiveness. The effective implementation of servant leadership requires the trust of the community and shared reliance. Since, the servant stature is based on moral authority, the leader should exhibit the self-sacrificing quality, that is, the leader should submit his ego, for a higher cause or principle. It shows the effectiveness of servant leadership and hence a very good source.

Poon, R. (2006). Retrieved September 23, 2009, from A model for servant leadership, self efficacy and mentorship: =d%2BLBuQx%2BpPA%3D&tabid=1281&mid=1864.

This work from online source underlines the need to have moral love to attain the efficacy in servant leadership. Poon (2006) believes that a servant leader should have the broad mindedness to see people as "hired hearts" and not as "hired hands." He should be humble enough to accept that there is a lot to learn from the surroundings. He should develop awareness about himself. He must be conscious of what he has done, and what he has felt and why he has done. He should have the authenticity to speak and act upon the event. Integrity and trust follow such a leader. A servant leader should be capable of enabling and empowering the followers. A proper leader should bear in mind that "service" is the motto. For the efficacy, the servant leaders must have the Will to inspire, empower and motivate their followers. This work is very reliable source to study the efficacy of servant leadership.

Murray, B. ( l998). The power to empower, the transformational energy of servant leadership. Retrieved September 23, 2009, from Eagle Alliance:

This study by Murray (1998) details the transformational power of servant leaders. The primary goal of the servant leader is the enhancement of the human society and so, his followers or the served will become empowered and liberated. They are capable to maintain a culture of trust and collaboration. It is effective in showing the capacity of servant leadership to change the views of the society.

Matteson, J. A., & Irving, J. A. (2006). Servant versus self-sacrificial leadership: A behavioral comparison of two follower-oriented leadership theories. Retrieved September 23, 2009, from International Journal of Leadership Studies: http://www.

In this Journal, Matteson & Irving (2006) compares Servant versus Self-Sacrificial Leadership. The three dimensions of servant leadership, namely, Ontological Dimensions of Servant Leadership, Attitudinal Dimensions of Servant Leadership and Behavioral Dimensions of Servant Leadership are explained elaborately and it is compared with Self-Sacrificial leadership. This study points at the need to conduct more research on this field. It is very well studied and well refrenced work.

Walker, K. Drs., & Berg, D. (2005, February). Summary of Findings from February 2005. Understanding of Servant Leadership. Retrieved September 23, 2009, from University of Saskatchewan: leadership/servant/ survey_findings.pdf.

Walker & Berg (2005) conducted an online survey and presented its findings in The Servant Leadership Roundtable; it covers almost all fields of servant leadership and its connection with other leadership practices. They emphasized the role of the leader in modelling and mentoring, the importance of the climate of the organization, the structures that support servant leadership, as well as the need for empowerment and collaborative leadership within the organization. It covers four aspects: 1) exemplify servant leadership; 2) development servant leadership within organizations; 3) the development of servant leadership within organization with support and recognition of those who practice servant leadership; 4) the concept of empowerment. It is an authentic source as the responders include researchers as well as practitioners of servant leadership.

Research Design

Atkinson P. & Belamont, S. (2006). Narrative methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

This book gives an overview as well as a comprehensive discussion on the narrative approach to research. Atkinson reviews the strength of the narrative and the life story in generating data and answering questions on chosen phenomena. He finds the narrative method useful when placed against a larger context or an unexplored theoretical construct, such as servant leadership. Hence, this book is a great help to the data collection phase of the study because it gives recommendations on preparation, execution, and collection of data from interviews. The book also gives techniques on effective transcription and interpretation of interviews.

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Written by an educational psychologist, this book provides a comprehensive and easy-to-read discussion on different research methods with a particular thrust on the qualitative and mixed methods design as a guide for research work in the field of education and the social sciences. This book is particularly helpful to this analysis of servant leadership because it provides an excellent guide into the qualitative approach and suggests several strategies in ensuring the reliability and validity of research work. Creswell suggest eight strategies to maintain reliability of results which this research can utilize to establish integrity. He discusses strategies such as triangulating data sources, member checking for accuracy (allowing participants to read their account as presented by the researcher), using rich description to transport the reader into the educational setting being used, present opposing theories or ideas, and the use of an external auditor for review of the final project.

Denzin, N. K. & Lincoln, Y. S. (2005).The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Edited by a communications professor and an educational researcher, this textbook is a collection of several articles and discussions on techniques, perspectives, analysis, and theoretical underpinnings of qualitative research. What sets it apart from other reference books on qualitative methods is that it emphasizes on postmodern and critical approaches toward research. This book will help inform this study's analysis of servant leadership particularly on how to undertake an interpretive biography, which is the proposed qualitative methodology for this study. Denzin and Lincoln outlines what an interpretive biography is, the responsibilities of the person conducting the biographical research, its scope, analysis, as well as its limitations. It highlights chapters regarding the narrative approach, techniques in interviewing, and handling biographical documents.

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

This book is all about how the qualitative research method can be applied in various disciplines, most particularly on how it can be utilized for program evaluation. Patton provides the reader with an easy guide toward choosing the most appropriate design for qualitative study. He summarizes what the various qualitative methods are, how they could be used, what their objectives are, and suggests possible applications of particular methods. This book is extremely helpful for research design purposes. The books is subdivided into three. The first division relates to concepts of qualitative research such as theory, applications, and basic definitions. The second relates to data collection and research design where this researcher can find particular use for interviewing and fieldwork. The third part focuses on reporting and analysis of data. Patton makes use of figures, charts, and exhibits to make concepts simpler to the reader. Patton's book is of great assistance to the research, specifically on the research design. He provides instructions on how to effectively compose a qualitative project. There is an exhaustive discussion on the differences, advantages and disadvantages of the five major qualitative methods. Moreover, this book will help inform this researcher on the pros and cons of data collection strategies such as interviews, observations, and documentary analysis.

Merriam, S. B. (ed.) (2002). Qualitative research in practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey- Bass.

This work supplements information provide in general reference books on research methods so that it covers topics and discussions to practitioners and students of the social sciences. Merriam's book addresses research concerns on a diverse field such as in education, social work, and nursing. This work is particularly useful for this proposed study because Merriam approaches the discussion of qualitative research from an interpretive perspective. As noted in the book's preface, the application of qualitative research is expansive such that it can apply to critical, interpretive, Marxist, feminist, participatory research, and post-modern approaches. Generally, the interpretive stance is used by Merriam to discuss the qualitative tradition. The first section of the book makes an exhaustive review on the basics of qualitative research, evaluation, and assessment of methods. The second section is helpful because it contains sixteen articles that illustrate the various qualitative research types, including the interpretive research, which is the perspective chosen by the proposed biographical research on servant leadership.

Roberts, B. (2002) Biographical Research. Buckingham and Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Roberts' book investigates the various theoretical and methodological developments of biographical research. He addresses the use of biographical research in several fields and in different qualitative traditions such as in ethnography, biography, narrative analysis, sociology, and oral history. Provided in his book are examples and illustrations from his previous work and other relevant studies. Roberts's book will be helpful to this proposed biographical research on servant leadership because it tackles important topics such as data collection, data interpretation, the do's and don'ts when it comes to interviews, narrative construction, and audience concerns.

Rubin, H. & Rubin, I. (2005). Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Rubin and Rubin (2005) advocate using the semi-structured interview in their book Qualitative Interviewing. According to the authors, this interview method offers flexibility and freedom to the researcher by allowing him to probe the interviewee with follow-up questions or clarifications and derive richer and more meaningful insight on the studied phenomenon. This is not made possible when a structured interview is used. Semi-structured interviews, also referred to as "responsive interviewing" is the chosen method of data collection for this proposed study on servant leadership. This book informs the research on interview techniques such as how to design questions that will ensure follow-up, clarificatory, and probing questions.

Measurements and Analysis

Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research. The Qualitative Report, 8 (4), 597-607.

This article provides an excellent discussion on the concept of reliability and validity when it pertains to qualitative research. Golafshani introduces how these concepts have been exhaustively established in quantitative studies but not in qualitative studies. He makes a "redefinition" of reliability and validity in terms of the quantitative approach and discusses in particular the triangulation strategy which will strengthen the integrity of a qualitative research project. This article is helpful to the purpose of this study because it aids in justifying the use of the triangulation as a method of establishing reliability for this interpretive biography.

Krippendorf, K. (2004). Content analysis: an introduction to its methodology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

This book allows for a comprehensive discussion of the content analysis, its theories and applications. Krippendorf's book provides this researcher with sufficient information to carry out content analysis, which is the proposed mode of analysis for this interpretive biographical research on servant leadership. The book starts with a historical, logical, and conceptual overview on content analysis as used in qualitative and quantitative research. Next, Krippendorf explains the processes associated with content analysis such as sampling, unitizing, coding and recording, and analyzing themes using manual or computerized methods. Moreover, reliability testing in content analysis is also discussed. This book provides an excellent guide for the researcher in designing the qualitative research project and during the data analysis phase of the study.

Trochim, W. M. K. (2006). Qualitative Validity. Research Methods Knowledge Base. Retrieved from

Psychologist and Cornell University Professor William Trochim authored this online textbook which serves as a comprehensive guide for researchers. The website features the research process in its entirety, from the formulation of the research question, different sampling methods, measurements, research design, data analysis, and the written research work. The Knowledge Base provides information on both the quantitative and the qualitative research traditions and discusses the philosophical as well as the theoretical foundations of research such as ethics, validity, and reliability. This website will be of great assistance to this research because it presents a full discussion on measurements and concepts of reliability and validity.

Byrne, M. M. (2001). Evaluating the findings of qualitative research. AORN Journal. Retrieved from

This article, taken from the AORN Journal, is a helpful guide for assessing the results of qualitative research. Byrne strives to answer how quantitative concepts of reliability and validity could be applied to qualitative studies. The article discusses the strategies used by researchers to judge the credibility, confirmability, and transferability of findings as means of critiquing, and hence, further enhancing research. Byrne suggests difference strategies which are of particular use to the present study. Methods such as member checking, peer debriefing, audit trail, and triangulation.