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Transformational versus servant leadership: The more effective leader


LaTonya Jackson

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Liberty University


8-10 pages paper which includes the Intro, literature review was 4.5 pages long so I only need 4 more pages, Argument/hypothesis,

Results would be talking about the research study that was done for the literature review, what would you do differently and what could you not find that you would recommend be added as a research source

Make corrections as needed to literature Review and build other parts around it.

15 scholarly resources if I don’t have 15 currently.





Many definitions, theories, classifications, and explanations exist in the contemporary literature of Leadership. Considerable social and organizational research of the leaders’ behaviors and styles have been defined with great efforts to clarify and classify the dimensions and factors involved in the success of a servant leader. Several types of research have shown that leadership is considered to be a flexible developmental process in which new theories and factors involved are introduced and play a role regardless of the theory introduced earlier or later.  Many leadership styles have been introduced, which are beneficial in different situations. Different organizations need different types of leaders and leadership styles to fulfill their requirements, but the primary variable in every style is the connection between the leader and team members.  This literature review will discuss:  What is leadership? What are the different types of leadership styles? When comparing a transformational leader to a servant leader, which one provides the most effective leadership and has the most positive impact on team members?  The impact of leadership behaviors and attitudes can be an influence on people and play a significant role in how an organization is viewed.





Leadership has been a topic of discussion for decades, and there are many theories on leadership.  An effective leader has a role in influencing a group or team members to perform effectively.  The team leader does not do the job of the team nor the job of the individual.  The effective leader often serves as the role model simulating desired behavior.  Other times, the leader provides feedback, praise, reprimands, and give guidance.  At all times, the best leaders work towards establishing a team that can function with or without them.  Much has been written about leadership and leadership styles.  According to Bennis and Nanus (1985), leadership is one of the most studied and the least understood topics.  A person does not become a leader by the titles or positions that they hold on a job.  Merriam-Webster (2008) defines a leader as the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.  Throughout this literature review, there will be discussions that will define leadership, the servant leader, transformational leader, and leadership theories.  Everything rises and falls with leadership (Maxwell, 1993).  It is essential to consider the type of leadership style demonstrated as a leader because leaders help develop other leaders.

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Definition of Leadership

to inspire confidence and support among the people who are needed to achieve organizational goals.  He goes on to say, “leadership is a process in which an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal effectively.”  DuBrin continues to reinforce that leadership is needed at all levels in an organization and can be practiced to some extent, even by a person not assigned to a formal leadership position.  As Cherry (2019) stated, “Subordinates, who incline towards their leaders to learn new things and act as they are ordered to are more likely to be successful in their career and lead the organization towards success.”  The following are definitions of leadership within specific periods that demonstrate a variety of views on the topic of leadership over the years:

  1. Leadership is “the process of influencing the activities of an organized group toward goal achievement” (Rauch & Behling, 1984, p. 1).


  1. A leader is a person who manifests direction, integrity, and courage in a consistent pattern that inspires trust, motivation, and responsibility on the part of the goal of $50 followers who, in turn, evolve into leaders themselves (Bennis, 1998).


  1. Leadership is defined as a social influencing process in which the leader focuses on obtaining the voluntary participation of employees to reach organizational goals and objectives (Schneider & Schneider, 2001).


A good leader helps others to see themselves as problem solvers.  Hogan & Kaiser (2005) reviews the empirical literature on personality, leadership, and organizational effectiveness to make three major points. First, leadership is a real and vastly consequential phenomenon, perhaps the single most crucial issue in the human sciences. Second, leadership is about the performance of teams, groups, and organizations. Good leadership promotes the capable team and group performance, which in turn enhances the well-being of the incumbents; bad leadership degrades the quality of life for everyone associated with it. Third, personality predicts leadership—who we are is how we lead—and this information can be used to select future leaders or improve the performance of incumbents.

The style of leadership develops the ability to influence and be at the forefront of many debates. It understands the role of the servant leader versus the transformational leadership style and how these type of leaders impact the development of team members.  This article by Stone, Russell, & Patterson (2004) examines transformational leadership and servant leadership to determine what similarities and differences exist between the two leadership concepts. The authors posit that the primary difference between transformational leadership and servant leadership is the focus of the leader. The transformational leader’s focus is directed toward the organization, and his or her behavior builds follower commitment toward organizational objectives, while the servant leader’s focus is on the followers, and the achievement of organizational objectives is a secondary outcome. The extent to which the leader can shift the primary focus of leadership from the organization to the follower is the distinguishing factor in classifying leaders as either transformational or servant leaders. This article also looks at the next stage of developmental issues in servant leadership, such as the challenges facing empirical investigation and measurement, and the changes that are occurring in current thinking about the servant leadership approach. Ultimately, the case is made that although different, both transformational leadership and servant leadership offer the conceptual framework for dynamic leadership.

The transformational leader is one who brings about positive, significant changes in an organization. (DuBrin, 2019)  This leader focuses on what they can accomplish, whereas the servant leader is committed to serving others rather than achieving their own goals.  The servant-leader gains the trust of team members, which builds up the organization.  This leadership style has a strong moral character and a willingness to see others succeed.  The servant-leader is an active leader that will work towards uplifting other individuals.

The servant leader in review, as stated by Dierendonck Servant leadership is

positioned as a new field of research for leadership scholars. This review deals with the historical

background of servant leadership, its key characteristics, the available measurement tools, and

the results of relevant studies that have been conducted so far. An overall conceptual model of

servant leadership presented. Its argued that leaders who combine their motivation to lead

with a need to serve display servant leadership. Personal characteristics and culture are

positioned alongside the motivational dimension. Servant leadership is demonstrated by

empowering and developing people; by expressing humility, authenticity, interpersonal

acceptance, and stewardship; and by providing direction. A high-quality dyadic relationship,

trust, and fairness are expected to be the essential mediating processes to encourage

self-actualization, positive job attitudes, performance, and a stronger organizational focus on

sustainability and corporate social responsibility.  The servant-leader has a more significant impact on

team members in the organization because they put others before themselves.

Attitudes and behaviors vary from leader to leader.  An effective leader knows how to

make adjustments in a situation to still meet the needs of the organization.  Many connections

were found between the behavior of the leader, his knowledge, enthusiasm, and execution.

These characteristics tell about the mindfulness of the leader.  Enthusiastic capabilities were

additionally observed to be generally in charge of having execution when many organizations

were considered from around the world. Another review showed that the motivation

of the subordinates and their enthusiasm to work for their organization came from the leader’s

ability to motivate them, and their leader used adequate language to motivate them. Subordinates

who incline towards their leaders to learn new things and act as per their orders are more

likely to get success in their life and to lead the generation towards success. A

considerable change in the behavior of the subordinated was seen when the leaders rewarded them due to

their discipline conduct, discernment, and disposition. This was not the situation when

the pioneer conduct was not unforeseen. This adjustment in subordinate’s conduct is directed by

two vital directing factors, job uncertainty, and worker view of equity. In the event of gatherings,

some individuals are innovative, gave increasingly active comments and arrangement

explanations when the leaders were servant led leaders as compared to when they were



Successful leaders create compelling and clear visions for the future by changing and aligning systems, focus on long term goals and visions and train others in order to develop others and make a leader out of them as well. Servant leaders give significance to team members when they focus on the group or the individual to make them dynamic by planning, implementing and conceptualizing the things as per their perspective and giving them the freedom to present their point of view so they can feel the sense of freedom and security.  This literature review examined the similarities and differences between the transformational leader and the servant leader.  Different ideas have been implemented to enable the leaders to develop the organizations most efficiently, and adequately possible research will continue on

Aij, H. (2016, October). Lean leadership attributes a systematic review of the literature. NCBI.

Retrieved from

Baggett, B. (2004). Dare to lead: Proven principles of effective leadership. Nashville, TN: Cumberland House.

Bennis, W. (1998). Warren Bennis, Chairman, the Leadership Institute. Journal of

            Healthcare Management, 43(4), 293-298.

Blanchard, K. H., & Hodges, P. (2005). Lead like Jesus: Lessons from the greatest leadership role model of all times. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Cherry, K. (2019, July). Leadership Styles and Frameworks You Should Know. Verywell Mind. Retrieved from

Dada, G. A. (2015, October 4). Marketing Retrieved from

Dierendonck, D. V., & Patterson, K. (2010). Servant Leadership [Abstract]. Servant Leadership, 3-10. doi:10.1057/9780230299184_1

DuBrin, A. J. (2019). Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Gove, P. B. (2002). Definition of innovative. In Webster’s third new international dictionary of the English language, unabridged: A Merriam Webster. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Grover, R. A., & Walker, H. F. (2003). Changing from production to quality: Application of the situational leadership transtheoretical change models. The Quality Management Journal, 10(3).

Hemphill, J., & Coons, A. (1957). Development of the leader behavior description

questionnaire.  In G. Yukl, Leadership in organization, (p. 97).  Princeton, NJ: Prentice Hall

In G. Yukl, Leadership in organization, (p. 97). Princeton, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Hogan, R., & Kaiser R.B. (2005).  What we know about leadership. What we know about

Show all authors Robert Hogan

Hogan Assessment Systems Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Robert B. Kaiser

Kaplan DeVries Inc., Greensboro, North Carolina
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Maxwell, J. C. (1993). Developing the leader within you. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Packard, V. (1962). The pyramid climbers. New York: McGraw Hill.

Rauch, C. & Behling, O. (1984). Leaders and managers: International perspective on

            managerial behavior and leadership. Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.

Schneider, F., & Schneider, K. (2001). Effective leadership is essential for success. Denver Business Journal, 52(44), 16-20.

Stone, A. G., Russell, R. F., & Patterson, K. (2004). Transformational versus servant leadership:

A difference in leader focus. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 25(4),

349-361. doi:10.1108/01437730410538671

Townsend, D. S. (2009). Leadership beyond reason: How great leaders succeed by harnessing the power of their values, feelings, and intuition. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Advantage Quest.

Ulrich, D., & Ulrich, W. (2010). The Why of work: How great leaders build abundant organizations that Win. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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