Servant Leadership

Servant Leadership
The case study was undertaken in the Heritage Bible College. The aim of the study was to verify whether the available literature and that pointed out by Patterson’s and Winston’s argument about servant leadership were/not valid or needed some additions. It was put on that a servant leadership where the leader puts the welfare of his/her followers into consideration before making a decision. The effort put forward is to ensure the leader influences the followers to work alongside with him. The leader is seen to work for the followers and no the other way. The variables involved were; the staff of the college, the faculty and the administration. The college was chosen because there was a leadership change. There was also an improved general performance by the college. This therefore, provided an avenue where servant leadership a type of leadership undertaken by the college could be evaluated. To see whether it meets the given characteristics to it by Patterson’s and Winston’s perspective The basis for evaluation of a servant leader was highlighted by Lau, (1999) and Farling et al (1999). Different models have been formulated to for the various attributes that servant leadership possesses.
Russell and stone’s model
Argues a servant leader is; visionary, honesty, integrity trustworthy, appreciative, empowering and pioneering to name but a few. These forms functional attribute. They help a leader to perform his leadership responsibility. A leader also possesses what this model call accompanying attributes that includes; credibility, stewardship, influence, competence, visibility, delegation, encouragement to name but a few. However, it was identified that this model doesn’t provide a link between these traits and the servant leadership and how different they affect non-servant leaders.

Wong’s four-part model
The traits brought forth include integrity, servant hood, and humility. The attributes were trait-oriented that deeply rooted in an individual. A servant leader also empowers others and helps them to develop (Dennis & Winston 2003). However, the model loophole is the fact that the arguments are not based on field research.
Sendjaya’s model
It is argued that a servant leader should possess an authenticity, transformation influence, responsible morality and voluntary subordination. The problem was that this model did not convince of the reliability and presence of the traits highlighted.
Patterson’s and Winston’s models (2003)
The target at hand was to come up with a model that went beyond the limitations presented by the other models. Causal links between the traits and servant leadership were well captured and therefore made these models more detailed that the former models. It is on this basis that the study was formulated. It was the optimal goals to come up with data from the Heritage Bible College in order to evaluate all these models. The study was intended to provide an avenue where all relevant present literature concerning servant leadership can be weighed, to show its comprehensiveness or otherwise (Patterson, 2003). A case was most relevant way of evaluation since it provides comprehensive details about a given phenomenon. The details are helpful to researchers in improving and verifying available models that presently provides an explanatory structure to prevailing aspect. To remove the negative impact of biases in the research, qualitative model was utilized to ensure the objectivity was maintained in the data collection. This provided the results were a reflection of genuine servant leadership traits as obtained from the college.
The case study
Patterson and Winston provide a platform that built a high breed of all models that tried to explain what a servant leader is and should act. The argument was that he or she works to the benefit of the followers and doesn’t mind the repercussion to the organization because the action taken is the right thing to do (Patterson, 2003). The leader was teachable and was concerned about others. He argued that the leader’s love for his followers influenced his humility toward the followers. On the other hand, Winston’s model explains that it the humility and concern towards the followers influences the followers to work well for a leader (Winston, 2003). The traits brought out in these two models formed the basis for the question used in the case study. The questions were directed on knowing whether the stakeholders of the college viewed their leader as a servant leader. They also wanted to know about the changes that occurred after Dwarka Ramphal (“a servant leader”) took a leadership role at the college. What were his communication engagements and whether he a role model who others wanted to emulate. The case study utilized 13 employees.
Findings
After Ramphal had taken the leadership for duration of two years, there was improved motivation among the employees. The college was behaving as a team because with new leadership; consulting was an ingredient in all actions and decisions made at the college. All players expressed they felt a sense of belonging to the college. Ramphal also utilized open form of communication where he considered all the interests of the parties in the school. There was also an improvement in the college’s image to the outsiders (Patterson, 2003). When asked about the changes that were evident in the new leadership; honesty and integrity was one of them. People were also working more as a unit, and an improved effort geared towards improving the welfare of the students. The president help was also felt in many matters concerning the college. Information was also in plenty from all the people in the college. This to many was seen as the president being more open to the college.
The above feedback was in line with the argument pointed out in the Winston’s model that advocated for accountability and openness by a leader if he qualified to be tagged a servant leader. They also agreed that the leader was a servant leader because he was always ready to be corrected and was also willing to help out. He also informed them about policies about to be enacted and sort their advice before kick-starting the policies. He was also portrayed as a change initiator. He also used open communication channel where he was always ready to hear the parties first before giving his side of view. The communication channel used backed the proposals of Patterson’s & Winston models though not captured in the models. Therefore form the finding; it was evident that Ramphal was a servant leader.
Observations
The earlier models ought to have included the mode of communication taken by the leader because it is through communication that relations are built. It is through the communication trend that the relationship can be shaped to being consultative or not (Cheney, 2004) hence the models should take into account in explaining servant leadership. It also evident that employees’ commitment to the leader was highly dependent on trust the employees had on the leader. Personal loyalty to an organization was also a keen ingredient in verifying the employees’ loyalty to the leader.

Recommendations

There is a need to include communication channel utilized by the leader in weighing whether he is/not a servant leader. There is also a need to go deeper in understanding the main reason the employees seem loyal to the leader. This is because an employee might be loyal to his/her leader out of coercion. For this reason, the employees’ loyalty to an organization is a better avenue to evaluate the leadership method.
Conclusion
From the data collected, the new leader in the HBC was a servant leader. This is shown by the way he has promoted information sharing in his institution. The Patterson’s and Winston’s model are valid in evaluating servant leadership. It also through the experience of the case study that leadership-employees relationship should be handled carefully if incorporated in deciding whether a leader is a servant or not.

References:
CHENEY, G. (2004). Organizational communication in an age of globalization: issues, reflections, practices. Prospect Heights, Ill, Waveland Press.
LAUB, J. A. (1999). Assessing the servant organization: development of the servant organizational leadership assessment (SOLA) instrument. Thesis (Ed. D.)–Florida Atlantic University, 1999.
FARLING, M., STONE, A., & WINSTON, B. (1999). Servant Leadership: Setting the Stage for Empirical Research. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies. 6, 1-2.
PATTERSON, K. A. (2003). Servant leadership: a theoretical model. Thesis (Ph. D.)–Regent University, 2003.
DENNIS, R., & WINSTON, B. E. (2003). A factor analysis of Page and Wong’s servant leadership instrument. Leadership and Organization Development Journal. 24, 455-459.

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