Main Article Content



The purpose of this research article is to provide a specific description of the relationship between servant leadership and individual, team and organizational performance. Methodologically, a rigorous three-phase systematic literature review process has been followed to identify relevant information to answer the review questions. In this way, the results are presented and disseminated in a descriptive manner. It has been found that the studies are mostly quantitative, focused on studying the relationship between servant leadership and performance at the individual level, followed by organizational performance and few studies focused on team performance; with a growing interest in multilevel performance; there is a greater presence of mediating variables than moderating variables in the research. Although there is much interest in the subject, it is believed that it is little studied, mainly in team performance and moderating variables. The study contributes with specificity by addressing the effect it has on performance at the individual, team and organizational levels. In addition, new topics for further research are raised.

Article Details

Public Law
Author Biography



Doctoral student in Strategic Management at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru- Peru1

Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, ESPOL, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences - FCSH, Campus Gustavo Galindo Km. 30.5 Perimetral Road, P.O. Box 09-01-5863, Guayaquil - Ecuador2


Aboramadan, M., Dahleez, K., & Hamad, M. H. (2020). Servant leadership and academics outcomes in higher education: the role of job satisfaction. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 29(3), 562–584.

Alafeshat, R., & Tanova, C. (2019). Servant leadership style and high-performance work system practices: Pathway to a sustainable jordanian airline industry. Sustainability (Switzerland), 11(22).

Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O., & Weber, T. J. (2009). Leadership: Current theories, research, and future directions. In Annual Review of Psychology (Vol. 60, pp. 421–449).

Batool, F., Mohammad, J., & Awang, S. R. (2022). The effect of servant leadership on organisational sustainability: the parallel mediation role of creativity and psychological resilience. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 43(1), 71–95.

Bilal, A., Siddiquei, A., Asadullah, M. A., Awan, H. M., & Asmi, F. (2020). Servant leadership: a new perspective to explore project leadership and team effectiveness. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 29(3), 699–715.

Chen, Z., Zhu, J., & Zhou, M. (2015). How does a servant leader fuel the service fire? A multilevel model of servant leadership, individual self identity, group competition climate, and customer service performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(2), 511–521.

Chiniara, M., & Bentein, K. (2016). Linking servant leadership to individual performance: Differentiating the mediating role of autonomy, competence and relatedness need satisfaction. Leadership Quarterly, 27(1), 124–141.

Chiniara, M., & Bentein, K. (2018). The servant leadership advantage: When perceiving low differentiation in leader-member relationship quality influences team cohesion, team task performance and service OCB. Leadership Quarterly, 29(2), 333–345.

Choudhary, A. I., Akhtar, S. A., & Zaheer, A. (2013). Impact of Transformational and Servant Leadership on Organizational Performance: A Comparative Analysis. Journal of Business Ethics, 116(2), 433–440.

Christensen-Salem, A., Zanini, M. T. F., Walumbwa, F. O., Parente, R., Peat, D. M., & Perrmann-Graham, J. (2021). Communal solidarity in extreme environments: The role of servant leadership and social resources in building serving culture and service performance. Journal of Business Research, 135, 829–839.

Clark, C. ;, Harrison, C. ;, & Gibb, S. (2019). Developing a conceptual framework of entrepreneurial leadership. International Review of Entrepreneurship, 17(3), 347–384.

Daswati, Buntuang, P. C. D., Hattab, S., & Kornelius, Y. (2021). Effect of servant leadership on the performance of a regional general hospital. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 19(2), 507–518.

de Waal, A., & Sivro, M. (2012). The Relation Between Servant Leadership, Organizational Performance, and the High-Performance Organization Framework. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 19(2), 173–190.

Denyer, D., & Tranfield, D. (2009). Producing a Systematic Review. In D. A. Buchanan & A. Bryman (Eds.), The Sage handbook of organizational research methods (pp. 671–689). Sage Publications Ltd.

Ehrhart, M. G., Hanges, P., Hattrup, K., Klein, K., Ployhart, R., Stevens, C., Tesluk, P., & Holcombe, K. (2004). Leadership and procedural justice climate as antecedents of unit-level organizational citizenship behavior. Personnel Psychology, 57, 61–94.

Eva, N., Robin, M., Sendjaya, S., van Dierendonck, D., & Liden, R. C. (2019). Servant Leadership: A systematic review and call for future research. Leadership Quarterly, 30(1), 111–132.

Eva, N., Sendjaya, S., Prajogo, D., Cavanagh, A., & Robin, M. (2018). Creating strategic fit: Aligning servant leadership with organizational structure and strategy. Personnel Review, 47(1), 166–186.

Giolito, V. J., Liden, R. C., van Dierendonck, D., & Cheung, G. W. (2021). Servant Leadership Influencing Store-Level Profit: The Mediating Effect of Employee Flourishing. Journal of Business Ethics, 172(3), 503–524.

Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). The Servant as Leader (p. 28).

Gultekin, H., & Dougherty, M. (2021). The relationship between servant leadership characteristics of school teachers and students’ academic achievement. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 8(2), 276–295.

Harrison, C., Paul, S., & Burnard, K. (2019). Entrepreneurial leadership: A Systematic Literature Review. International Review of Entrepreneurship, 14(2), 235–264.

Hartnell, C. A., Karam, E. P., Kinicki, A. J., & Dimotakis, N. (2020). Does Servant Leadership’s People Focus Facilitate or Constrain Its Positive Impact on Performance? An Examination of Servant Leadership’s Direct, Indirect, and Total Effects on Branch Financial Performance. Group and Organization Management, 45(4), 479–513.

Hernández-Perlines, F., & Araya-Castillo, L. A. (2020). Servant Leadership, Innovative Capacity and Performance in Third Sector Entities. Frontiers in Psychology, 11.

Holten, A. L., Hancock, G. R., & Bøllingtoft, A. (2019). Studying the importance of change leadership and change management in layoffs, mergers, and closures. Management Decision, 58(3), 393–409.

Holtzhausen, N., & de Klerk, J. J. (2018). Servant leadership and the Scrum team’s effectiveness. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 39(7), 873–882.

Huang, J., Li, W., Qiu, C., Yim, F. H. kit, & Wan, J. (2016). The impact of CEO servant leadership on firm performance in the hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 28(5), 945–968.

Hunter, E. M., Neubert, M. J., Perry, S. J., Witt, L. A., Penney, L. M., & Weinberger, E. (2013). Servant leaders inspire servant followers: Antecedents and outcomes for employees and the organization. Leadership Quarterly, 24(2), 316–331.

Hutabarat, C., Suharyono, S., Utami, H. N., & Prasetya, A. (2021). Servant Leadership, Business Transformation, and Corporate Competitiveness. Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business, 8(2), 1091–1099.

Jahan, N., Naveed, S., Zeshan, M., & Tahir, M. A. (2016). How to Conduct a Systematic Review: A Narrative Literature Review. Cureus.

Jaramillo, F., Grisaffe, D. B., Chonko, L. B., & Roberts, J. A. (2009). Examining the impact of servant leadership on sales force perforamance. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 29(3), 257–275.

Karatepe, O. M., Ozturk, A., & Kim, T. T. (2019). Servant leadership, organisational trust, and bank employee outcomes. Service Industries Journal, 39(2), 86–108.

Kaya, B., & Karatepe, O. M. (2020). Does servant leadership better explain work engagement, career satisfaction and adaptive performance than authentic leadership? International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 32(6), 2075–2095.

Khattak, M. N., & O’Connor, P. (2021). The interplay between servant leadership and organizational politics. Personnel Review, 50(3), 985–1002.

Kimakwa, S., Gonzalez, J. A., & Kaynak, H. (2021). Social Entrepreneur Servant Leadership and Social Venture Performance: How are They Related? Journal of Business Ethics.

Kül, S., & Sönmez, B. (2021). The effect of nurse managers’ servant leadership on nurses’ innovative behaviors and job performances. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 42(8), 1168–1184.

Langhof, J. G., & Güldenberg, S. (2020). Servant Leadership: A systematic literature review—toward a model of antecedents and outcomes. German Journal of Human Resource Management, 34(1), 32–68.

Lemoine, G. J., & Blum, T. C. (2021). Servant leadership, leader gender, and team gender role: Testing a female advantage in a cascading model of performance. Personnel Psychology, 74(1), 3–28.

Li, D., Li, Y., Hu, Y., & Tu, Y. (2021). How do servant leadership and self-esteem at work shape family performance in China? A resource-gain-development Management Perspective. Management Decision, Ahead Of P.

Liden, R. C., Wayne, S. J., Liao, C., & Meuser, J. D. (2014). Servant leadership and serving culture: Influence on individual and unit performance. Academy of Management Journal, 57(5), 1434–1452.

Liden, R., Wayne, S., Liao, C., & Meuser, J. (2014). Servant leadership and serving culture: Influence on individual and unit performance. Academy of Management Journal, 57(5), 1434–1452.

Liden, R., Wayne, S., Zhao, H., & Henderson, D. (2008). Servant leadership : Development of a multidimensional measure and multi-level assessment. The Leadership Quarterly, 19.

Linuesa-Langreo, J., Ruiz-Palomino, P., & Elche-Hortelano, D. (2017). New strategies in the new millennium: Servant leadership as enhancer of service climate and customer service performance. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(MAY).

Mcquade, K. E., Harrison, C., & Tarbert, H. (2021). Systematically reviewing servant leadership. European Business Review, 33(3), 465–490.

Mujeeb, T., Khan, N. U., Obaid, A., Yue, G., Bazkiaei, H. A., & Samsudin, N. A. (2021). Do servant leadership self-efficacy and benevolence values predict employee performance within the banking industry in the post-covid-19 era: Using a serial mediation approach. Administrative Sciences, 11(4).

Nauman, S., Hussain Bhatti, S., Imam, H., & Khan, M. S. (2021). How Servant Leadership Drives Project Team Performance Through Collaborative Culture and Knowledge Sharing. Project Management Journal, 53(I).

Neubert, M. J., Hunter, E. M., & Tolentino, R. C. (2016). A servant leader and their stakeholders: When does organizational structure enhance a leader’s influence? Leadership Quarterly, 27(6), 896–910.

Osborne, S. P. (2018). From public service-dominant logic to public service logic: are public service organizations capable of co-production and value co-creation? Public Management Review, 20(2), 225–231.

Otero-Neira, C., Varela-Neira, C., & Bande, B. (2016). Supervisory servant leadership and employee’s work role performance: A multilevel mediation model. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 37(7), 860–881.

Peng, J. C., & Chen, S. W. (2021). Servant Leadership and Service Performance: A Multilevel Mediation Model. Psychological Reports, 124(4), 1738–1760.

Peterson, S. J., Galvin, B. M., & Lange, D. (2012). Ceo servant leadership: Exploring executive characteristics and firm performance. Personnel Psychology, 65(3), 565–596.

Politis, J. D., & Politis, D. J. (2018). Examination of the relationship between servant leadership and agency problems: gender matters. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 39(2), 170–185.

Rofcanin, Y., Heras, M. las, Bosch, M. J., Berber, A., Mughal, F., & Ozturk, M. (2021). Servant leadership and family supportiveness: Looking into employees’ work and family outcomes. Journal of Business Research, 128, 70–82.

Ruiz-Palomino, P., Linuesa-Langreo, J., & Elche, D. (2021). Team-level servant leadership and team performance: The mediating roles of organizational citizenship behavior and internal social capital. Business Ethics, Environment and Responsibility.

Saleem, F., Zhang, Y. Z., Gopinath, C., & Adeel, A. (2020). Impact of Servant Leadership on Performance: The Mediating Role of Affective and Cognitive Trust. SAGE Open, 10(1).

Sawyerr, E., & Harrison, C. (2020). Developing resilient supply chains: lessons from high-reliability organisations. In Supply Chain Management (Vol. 25, Issue 1, pp. 77–100). Emerald Group Holdings Ltd.

Schwarz, G., Newman, A., Cooper, B., & Eva, N. (2016). Servant Leadership and Follower Job Performance: The Mediating Effect of Public Service Motivation. Public Administration, 94(4), 1025–1041.

Sendjaya, S., & Sarros, J. C. (2002). Servant leadership: It’s origin, development, and application in organizations. Journal of Leadership and Organization Studies, 9(2), 57–64.

Siddiquei, A., Asmi, F., Asadullah, M. A., & Mir, F. (2021). Environmental-specific servant leadership as a strategic tool to accomplish environmental performance: a case of China. International Journal of Manpower, 42(7), 1161–1182.

Sihombing, S., Astuti, E. S., al Musadieq, M., Hamied, D., & Rahardjo, K. (2018). The effect of servant leadership on rewards, organizational culture and its implication for employee’s performance. International Journal of Law and Management, 60(2), 505–516.

Sousa, M. (2016). Introducing a Short Measure of Shared Servant Leadership Impacting Team Introducing a Short Measure of Shared Servant Leadership Impacting Team Performance through Team Behavioral Integration. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(January), 1–12.

Stollberger, J., las Heras, M., Rofcanin, Y., & Bosch, M. J. (2019). Serving followers and family? A trickle-down model of how servant leadership shapes employee work performance. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 112, 158–171.

Stoten, D. W. (2013). Servant leadership in English sixth form colleges: What do teachers tell us? International Journal of Educational Management, 27(4), 377–386.

Sudarmo, Suhartanti, P. D., & Prasetyanto, W. E. (2021). Servant leadership and employee productivity: a mediating and moderating role. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management.

Thompson, G., Buch, R., & Glasø, L. (2019). Servant leadership, span of control, and outcomes in a municipality context. Journal of General Management, 44(2), 87–95.

Tripathi, D., Priyadarshi, P., Kumar, P., & Kumar, S. (2021). Does servant leadership affect work role performance via knowledge sharing and psychological empowerment? VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, 51(5), 792–812.

Tuan, L. T. (2021). Effects of environmentally-specific servant leadership on green performance via green climate and green crafting. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 38(3), 925–953.

Varela, J. A., Bande, B., del Rio, M., & Jaramillo, F. (2019). Servant Leadership, Proactive Work Behavior, and Performance Overall Rating: Testing a Multilevel Model of Moderated Mediation. Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing, 26(2), 177–195.

Wang, Z., Xu, H., & Liu, Y. (2018). Servant leadership as a driver of employee service performance: Test of a trickle-down model and its boundary conditions. Human Relations, 71(9), 1179–1203.

Xu, A. J., & Wang, L. (2020). How and When Servant Leaders Enable Collective Thriving: The Role of Team–Member Exchange and Political Climate. British Journal of Management, 31(2), 274–288.

Yagil, D., & Oren, R. (2021). Servant leadership, engagement, and employee outcomes: The moderating roles of proactivity and job autonomy. Revista de Psicologia Del Trabajo y de Las Organizaciones, 37(1), 58–65.

Ye, Y., Lyu, Y., & He, Y. (2019). Servant leadership and proactive customer service performance. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 31(3), 1330–1347.