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Understanding Servant Leadership Dimensions: Theoretical and Empirical Extensions in the Portuguese Context

ANTUNES, A. and FRANCO, M., (forthcoming), "Understanding Servant Leadership Dimensions: Theoretical and Empirical Extensions in the Portuguese Context ", Nankai Business Review International .
Abstract:

Nankai Business Review International Purpose: This study aims to identify and discuss the concept of servant leadership, find some dimensions and understand how staffs in organizations make sense of this style of leadership. Design/methodology/approach: Multiple exploratory case studies in six Portuguese organizations/firms were performed. As data-collecting instruments, several interviews, direct observation made on-site and documentary analysis were used. Findings: From thematic analysis, we found nine dimensions associated with servant leadership in the organizations/firms studied: (1) Empowering, (2) Helping subordinates grow and succeed, (3) Putting subordinates first, (4) Ethical behavior, (5) Altruistic calling, (6) Wisdom or vision, (7) Organizational stewardship, (8) Family atmosphere, and (9) Identification with the leader. Practical implications: Based on these dimensions identified we constructed an analytical framework for servant leadership. This study contributes to theoretical development by integrating the servant leadership literature and organizational behavior literature, and should help servant leadership gain legitimacy as an important and relevant leadership theory. Originality/value: This study is innovative because contributes to knowledge about organizations that follow a servant style of leadership, and in so doing form consistent dimensions that can represent benchmarking for other organizational structures. Key words: Servant leadership, Practices, Dimensions, Spirituality, Emotional, Ethical and moral values.