World thought leaders in High Performance

Scientific articles

Servant Leadership: an Idealistic Philosophy or the key to a High Performance Organization?

by André de Waal and Mirna Sivro

Many authors on Servant Leadership (SL) claim there exists a positive relationship between SL and organizational performance, but empirical evidence for this has thus far been lacking. In addition, there is an underlying assumption that introducing SL will lead to a high performance organization (HPO) but for this also no empirical proof has been offered. This article evaluates empirically the relations between SL, organizational performance and HPO. A theoretical proposition of these relations was made and, based on a sample of 80 managers and employees of the VU medical center, the degrees of SL, HPO and performance were measured. The study results show there is no evidence of a positive relation between SL and organizational performance. There is evidence of SL having impact on the HPO factors but this impact is different on various organizational levels. It was concluded that the role SL plays within an organization is not consistent.

Keywords: Servant Leadership, High Performance Organizations, Excellence

Read the publication ‘Servant Leadership: an Idealistic Philosophy or the key to a High Performance Organization?’ from Leadership Quarterly in PDF.

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