Servant Leadership Lit Review
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The purpose of this paper is to evaluate literature presented by academia that revolves around servant leadership and the potential correlation that it has to law enforcement. Greenleaf opines that the “servant-leader is servant first” (Greenleaf, Kindle Edition, Location 340) Conversely, discussion occurs in police management that asserts that because of law enforcement hierarchal structure, that there may be limitations in adopting servant leadership. (Vito, 2010)

Depending on the research that has been conducted into both servant leadership and the variety of structures implemented by police departments, either much has been conducted – or not much as been conducted at all. Academia seems to have conducted a wide variety of research in which two ideas can be juxtaposed with one another. The idea that servant leadership can co-exist with traditional management styles in law enforcement is subject to interpretation based on the articles that are reviewed and studied.

The idea of Servant Leadership was presented by a scholar named Robert Greenleaf, and much of the ideas presented on servant leadership are based upon foundational concepts that he presents. In one of his more recent additions, “A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power & Greatness,” Greenleaf does speak to “power” and “authority” (Greenleaf, Kindle Edition, location 677) which seems to be the controversial antecedent to what a servant leader should aspire.

In order to understand the conceptual differences between the two leadership methodologies, scholars have sought to define what both areas have to offer to the students who seek to understand. For example, van Dierendonck, citing Greenleaf, emphasizes that servant leaders are “genuinely concerned with followers.” He then goes on to state that other popular theories are more concerned with organizational objections — for example, transformational leadership (van Dierendonck, 2011).

Van Dierendonck provides a comprehensive and detailed study as to servant leadership in which studies were conducted with a variety of participants in order to validate his research, but the article primarily focuses on the parallels, and eventual transcendence, of transformational leadership to servant leadership. Other styles of leadership (transformational, ethical, leader-member exchange, charismatic and transactional) are also compared to servant leadership.

Greenleaf, R. K. (2002.). Servant-leadership

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Servant Leadership And Recent Additions. (April 17, 2021). Retrieved from