Table of Contents

Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers

Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers

Individual Wellbeing and Career Experiences

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Kathryn M. Page and Cary Cooper

Happiness in one aspect of our life can positively impact upon our satisfaction within other domains of our life. The opposite also rings true. Today’s generation of working people have often been called the generation who want it all. But can we really have it all? And at what cost to our and others’ happiness? Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers explores ways in which contemporary working people can thrive in a complex, volatile and uncertain world. Combining both research and practice, the contributors of this book cover all bases from individual wellbeing, family, work and career experiences, to leadership. They conclude by providing the reader with tools to combine what they have learnt and apply it to their own lives.

Chapter 16: Servant leadership and wellbeing

Alexandra Panaccio, Magda Donia, Sarah Saint-Michel and Robert C. Liden

Subjects: business and management, gender and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour, social policy and sociology, family and gender policy


Servant leadership characterizes leaders who have a motivation to serve, and put the needs of others, outside and within the organization, above their own (Greenleaf, 1970, 1977). In the past few years, this leadership style has received an increasing amount of attention from scholars, possibly in response to a perception that some leaders’ self-serving behaviours were the source of ethically questionable decisions, unsustainable business practices and abusive behaviour towards followers (Liden, 2010). The development of psychometrically sound measures, such as scales developed by Liden et al. (2008) and by Van Dierendonck and Nuijten (2011), has also likely contributed to the growing body of servant leadership research being published in top academic journals (e.g., Ehrhart, 2004; Liden et al., 2008; Neubert et al., 2008; Walumbwa et al., 2010; Hu and Liden, 2011; Schaubroeck et al., 2011; Van Dierendonck, 2011; Peterson et al., 2012; Liden et al., 2014b). Recent endeavours have provided comprehensive reviews of the academic literature on servant leadership (Parris and Peachey, 2013; Van Dierendonck, 2011) and proposed a general theoretical model of the antecedents and outcomes of servant leadership, as well as underlying processes through which it may operate (Liden, 2014a). Substantial effort has been devoted to examining the implications of servant leadership for organizational success and performance, or variables likely to influence success and performance, such as leader effectiveness.

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