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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2019

Jan G. Langhof and Stefan Güldenberg

This study aims to include two major objectives. Firstly, Frederick’s leadership is explored and characterized. Secondly, it is examined as to why a leader may (or may…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to include two major objectives. Firstly, Frederick’s leadership is explored and characterized. Secondly, it is examined as to why a leader may (or may not) adopt servant leadership behavior in the case of Frederick II, King of Prussia.

Design/methodology/approach

The applied methodology is a historical examination of Frederick II’s leadership, an eighteenth-century’s monarch who has the reputation of being the “first servant of the state.” The analysis is conducted from the perspective of modern servant leadership research.

Findings

This study shows Frederick remains a rather non-transparent person of contradictions. The authors identified multiple reasons which explain why a leader may adopt servant leadership. Frederick’s motives to adopt a certain leadership behavior appear timeless and, thus, he most likely shares the same antecedents with today’s top executives.

Research limitations/implications

The authors identified various antecedents of individual servant leadership dimensions, an under-research area to date.

Originality/value

To the best of authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to look at Frederick's leadership style through the lens of modern servant leadership.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 August 2021

Jan G. Langhof and Stefan Gueldenberg

The article aims at examining the ethical limits and risks of servant leadership. During the Second World War, the German army officer Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg is a…

Abstract

Purpose

The article aims at examining the ethical limits and risks of servant leadership. During the Second World War, the German army officer Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg is a loyal servant to his nation and homeland. But when he learns about the Nazis’ mass murders and crimes, he begins to have doubts about whom he should serve. Being confronted with numerous moral dilemmas, he finally decides to join a resistance group. Of course, Stauffenberg's situation as colonel and leader was an extreme case. Time and again, however, managers and leaders are faced with similar dilemmas. Indeed, the current COVID-19-crisis shows that even today’s leaders are repeatedly faced with almost insoluble dilemmas. The recent literature about ethics and leadership suggests a philosophy which is almost portrayed as a panacea to any ethical issues: servant leadership (SL). This study, however, questions the commonly held view that SL is always ethical. The purpose of our historical case study is twofold. First, this study explores the ethical challenges Stauffenberg (and other officers) faced and how they dealt with them. Second, this study elaborates on what responses (if any) SL would provide to these challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

The applied method is a historical case study, in which the authors draw on a plethora of secondary literature, including books, reports, and articles.

Findings

By analyzing the historical case of “Operation Valkyrie,” this study elaborated and identified risks and limitations of SL and pointed out ways to address these risks. In particular, SL poses risks in the case of a too narrow understanding of the term “service.”

Originality/value

While other leadership styles, e.g. transformational leadership or charismatic leadership, have been extensively studied with regard to ethical risks, in the case of SL possible risks and limitations are still largely unexplored.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 April 2019

Jan Gunter Langhof and Stefan Güldenberg

Management literature commonly suggests authoritarian leadership (AL) as the ideal leadership style during crises and extreme situations. This study aims to question this…

Abstract

Purpose

Management literature commonly suggests authoritarian leadership (AL) as the ideal leadership style during crises and extreme situations. This study aims to question this view, exploring servant leadership (SL) as an alternative.

Design/methodology/approach

In the field of leadership research, surveys and interviews are the most dominant research methods. In light of this dominance, this paper draws on a rather unorthodox research approach: a historical examination.

Findings

The elaborations in this paper suggest that SL exerts a higher influence on followers than AL, when organizational structures are absent or disregarded. Consequently, the higher influence of SL implies a lower need for regulations and directives within organizations.

Practical implications

Bureaucracy and red tape can be reduced. Particularly in situations of crises, SL’s relatively reduced reliance on formalized organizational structures can be advantageous to leaders.

Originality/value

The relationship among leadership (SL and AL) and formalized organizational structures is elaborated and illustrated in a historical examination.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 June 2021

Ghulam Jan, Siti Rohaida Mohamed Zainal and Lata Lata

The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of an emerging and idealized leadership style in hospitality research such as servant leadership on employees…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of an emerging and idealized leadership style in hospitality research such as servant leadership on employees’ innovative work behavior (IWB) via creative self-efficacy. This study also aims to investigate the moderating role of knowledge sharing between creative self-efficacy and IWB.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from employees working in four- and five-star hotels in Pakistan. Partial least square-structural equation modeling via Smart PLS was used for data analysis.

Findings

Findings of the study reported the significant mediating effect of creative self-efficacy beliefs between servant leadership and IWB. Furthermore, the relationship between creative self-efficacy and IWB was strengthened to the extent that knowledge sharing among employees in the hotel firms was high.

Practical implications

Practitioners looking to enhance creative self-efficacy and IWB can do so by developing the servant leadership qualities of managers.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature by showing creative self-efficacy as a crucial mediating mechanism through which servant leadership enhances employees’ IWB in the hospitality industry. Moreover, the findings add understanding in the body of knowledge that knowledge sharing among members in hospitality firms play boundary condition in the creative self-efficacy-IWB linkage.

Details

On the Horizon: The International Journal of Learning Futures, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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