Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)




This case study poses the following question; does Greenleaf's servant- leadership theory provide a sufficiently comprehensive framework for effective leadership?

This study offers a review of literature that explores five key tenets of servant-leadership. These tenets include the exploration of the interconnections between leader, follower and institution, the idea that individuals are active agents in the creation of their life, the transformational nature of servant- leadership, the importance of a common purpose or vision and the use of persuasion as the primary means of influence.

The second half of the study is dedicated to evaluating the theory in practice. The case study considers the work and life of a senior officer in a mid- size financial services organization, The study is presented in a series of three scenarios that are told in a narrative style. Each narrative paraphrases a story shared by the case study participant. This style allows the reader to experience the situation described from the participant's point of view. Analysis follows each scenario and relates back to the five tenets of Greenleaf's theory as discussed in the review of literature.

The author concludes in both the review of Iiterature and the case study, that Greenleaf's work provides an effective framework for leadership. The author suggests that although Greenleaf's servant-leadership theory does not have al! the answers, it does provide an effective leadership foundation to build upon.


SC 11.MAL.2000.Rasmusse.J