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Servant leadership and positive organizational behaviour: the road ahead to reduce employees’ turnover intentions

Sumedha Dutta (Department of Management, Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies, Delhi, India)
Puja Khatri (University School of Management, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi, India)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 13 February 2017




Over time, interest in servant leadership has increased manifold both in academic research and the popular press. These rampant developments have set the stage for addressing the worthiness of servant leadership’s theory. Empirical studies undertaken by numerous scholars (Farling et al., 1999; Bass, 2000; Page and Wong, 2000; Russell and Stone, 2002; Sendjaya and Serros, 2002; Dennis and Winston, 2003; Smith et al., 2004; Stone et al., 2004; Dennis and Bocarnea, 2005; Humphreys, 2005) have surfaced significant findings supporting relevance of servant leadership in organizational context; however, an absence of universal definition and its measures impinges on this concept. Noticeably missing from research attention has been the effect of servant leadership in promoting positive organizational behaviour among organizational employees. Thus, this paper aims to explore the available literature on servant leadership with a view to establish a servant leader’s role in instilling and facilitating positive organizational behaviour in the workplace. Moreover, the purpose is also to determine whether the positive organizational behaviour inculcated among the employees through a servant leader helps in reducing their turnover intentions.


Using different keywords, relevant research papers on Google Scholar were selected. Also, several online databases like Emerald Management, Elseiver, EBSCO Host, etc., were accessed for conducting this exploratory study.


To examine the various convergent and divergent dimensions of the major constructs, numerous definitions and scholarly work of renowned practitioners have been collated through an extensive literature review. To put forth a comprehensive picture encompassing the noteworthy findings of the studies pertaining to the major construct, a tabular representation has been made.


This is the first study wherein the linkage about servant leadership and positive organizational behaviour in organizational context has been talked about. The paper carries value as the literature pertaining to servant leadership in published domain is still in its nascent stage. The repertoire of literature, presented here, will provide a clear direction to the future researchers who wish to pursue their study in this area.



Dutta, S. and Khatri, P. (2017), "Servant leadership and positive organizational behaviour: the road ahead to reduce employees’ turnover intentions", On the Horizon, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 60-82.



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