Leadership is a critical success factor for any kind of organization, here included non-profit ones. Nevertheless, both scholars and practitioners have pointed out that the non-profit sector is confronting a situation of leadership deficit, arguing that the ideas about the role and the attributes of the typical non-profit leader are still not clear (Ronquillo, et al., 2012; Suarez, 2010; Tierney, 2006). This study is aimed at providing several exploratory insights about a particular style of leadership that seems to be especially fitting to the non-profit sector, but which is still poorly discussed by the scientific and professional literature: servant leadership (Ronquillo, 2010). In fact, the servant leader is inspired by the intention of serving the other members of the organization, with the eventual purpose of making them wiser, more autonomous, as well as more likely themselves to become servants (Greenleaf, 1977). Drawing from the evidences collected by the Author during a participant observation performed within a work team of a charitable organization operating in Tanzania (East Africa), this study discusses several counterintuitive findings about the impacts of the servant style of leadership on the behaviours of the followers. Actually, servant leadership seems to constrain rather than to empower followers and to encourage their commitment to the achievement of the organizational purposes. Followers could become reliant on the figure of the servant leader, thus being unwilling to take initiatives. According to these findings, an agenda for further researches is suggested; as well, interesting empirical insights are discussed.

The Side Effects Of Servant Leadership In Non-Profit Organizations: Exploring When Serving Followers Does Not Pay

PALUMBO, ROCCO
2015

Abstract

Leadership is a critical success factor for any kind of organization, here included non-profit ones. Nevertheless, both scholars and practitioners have pointed out that the non-profit sector is confronting a situation of leadership deficit, arguing that the ideas about the role and the attributes of the typical non-profit leader are still not clear (Ronquillo, et al., 2012; Suarez, 2010; Tierney, 2006). This study is aimed at providing several exploratory insights about a particular style of leadership that seems to be especially fitting to the non-profit sector, but which is still poorly discussed by the scientific and professional literature: servant leadership (Ronquillo, 2010). In fact, the servant leader is inspired by the intention of serving the other members of the organization, with the eventual purpose of making them wiser, more autonomous, as well as more likely themselves to become servants (Greenleaf, 1977). Drawing from the evidences collected by the Author during a participant observation performed within a work team of a charitable organization operating in Tanzania (East Africa), this study discusses several counterintuitive findings about the impacts of the servant style of leadership on the behaviours of the followers. Actually, servant leadership seems to constrain rather than to empower followers and to encourage their commitment to the achievement of the organizational purposes. Followers could become reliant on the figure of the servant leader, thus being unwilling to take initiatives. According to these findings, an agenda for further researches is suggested; as well, interesting empirical insights are discussed.
978-9963-711-32-1
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4643887
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