Servant Leadership Versus Authentic Leadership: Critique And Their Effectiveness Assessment Answer

pages Pages: 4word Words: 890

Question :

Choose only ONE topic.

1.     Theories of leadership – reviewing current research on the evolution and applicability of leadership theories

2.     Servant leadership versus authentic leadership – critique the two and their effectiveness

3.     Followership – exploring the concept of followership and its impact on leadership practice

4.     Distributed leadership versus shared leadership – exploring origins and key concepts of the two forms of leadership

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Answer :

Servant Leadership versus Authentic Leadership – Critique the Two and Their Effectiveness


Leadership can be defined in many ways in relation to a business organisation. It can be defined as a style or an approach that applies to manage human resources at the workplace. In other words, leadership is an art of influencing people by helping through the innovative solution of problems. The current assignment is a literature review of servant leadership and authentic leadership and their advantages and drawbacks that impact upon people at the different work environment. 

Understanding the Concept of Servant Leadership and Authentic Leadership---

Servant leadership can be recognised as the behaviour of an individual is a servant first. In other words, the servant leadership can be better known as the long-term behaviour of an individual thinking about the desires and needs of followers (van Dierendonck and Patterson 2015). In fact, the concept of servant leadership has been introduced by Robert Green Leaf in his essay published in the year 1970 stating that the primary motive of  servant leaders is to do something kindness for the people and the society to which they are born. Hence, it can be deduced from this concept that servant leaders are well known for sharing their power with other people (Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership 2019). 

Besides, authentic leadership is a theory that inspires employees working in a particular organisation. Authentic leadership can also be referred to as a management style that reminds people about their nature of being reliable, apparent, good decision-maker and internalized with ethical viewpoint (Datta 2015). From this statement, it determines the concept that an authentic nature develops from an innate quality and the ability to adapt one with numerous situations fulfilled with challenges and risks. Hence, it substantiates this fact that a truly authentic leader sets illustrations for admirers (Forsey 2019).

Literature Review of Servant leadership versus authentic leadership and their usefulness------

The theoretical and practical understanding differs from one another in terms of recognition and application at genuine workplaces. According to Yasir and Mohamad (2016), leadership approaches evolve out as an action for considering ethical perspectives on the mind. It tries to depict the fact that some leaders tend to give high value and importance to the ethical code of conduct in terms of leading and managing people as a first priority. However, there is a simple difference in thought and perception that mostly, servant leaders fundamentally focus on authorization and strengthening of followers by in-depth empathizing with the situation of others. On the contrary, Copeland (2016) argued that the concern of ethics and morals comes under prime significance that lies beneath the concept of authentic leadership function in an organisational context.  It tries to move on the cursor on the idea that often authentic leaders prefers to be more authentic in terms of ethical perspective in taking every single decision-making process. Hence, in that case, an authentic leadership style and approach can be effective in successfully running all the functions of an organisation positively. 

Green et al. (2016) opined that a servant leadership approach has an altruistic calling nature and emotional healing touch on its followers. In contrast to that argued by Lemoine et al. (2019) that an authentic leader has an inclination towards relational transparency towards organisational culture and environment. From the stated arguments, it can be understood that two different approaches of leadership have been effective in their individual ways. For instance, the presentation of the colour coded chart in Ford automobile Company discovers the fact that most of the leaders are reluctant to express themselves as clear and transparent to the next person. Further, a leader presented a chart of similar business, by designing with a different colour. The incident demonstrates the fact that being open and transparent can be beneficial as an authentic leader (Forsey 2019). Unlike this, another incident noticed while distributing books as a donation to the residents of a local charitable foundation named Martha’s House. It determined a simple fact that donating books to a local charitable house for women especially, which is accepted as a local intermediary provision for women re-entering after confinement. A servant leader who exists and belongs to an ordinary individual can serve people healing people emotionally and encouraging other authors to do donate books equally spreading awareness to the people to who needs can also a leader in true spirit (Forbes 2019). The following arguments and its relevant instances establish the fact that servant leadership approach is preferred to be more influential and productive in terms of social service and community development as well compared to authentic leadership that is applicable mostly in corporate firms. 

Covelli and Mason (2017) stated that being an authentic leader is a strategic management style that provides a guideline and strategic plan of action addressing the risks in the business of an organisation. Contrasting those Eva et al. (2018) argued back that the servant leadership approach is chiefly dependent on three-way interfaces, which includes demarcation, integration, cost-cutting leadership and sanctification.  Based on these contexts, it can be evaluated the fact that some personal specifications and skills are inborn in both types of leadership advances. However, they differ in some specific situations. For instance, if a leader conducts a general meeting with the employees or the subordinate staffs and discusses an issue in front of them and expects opinion of others to take certain decision, then the leader can turn out to be authentic not being biased to some specific viewpoint but depending on the final judgment after acknowledging the pros and cons of any critical situation (Forsey 2019). On the other hand, if an instance, which shows that a leader showing care for his own people by presenting a small token of love in the form of a gift in someone’s sad time, then it makes sure that the man can be a genuine servant leader for thinking of someone in difficulty (Forbes 2019). Therefore, it can be deduced from these two different issues and incidents that both are distinct in style and appearance as well as in functioning differently, as per situations. Perhaps, servant and authentic leaders are effective in terms of thinking for others. However, noticed some specific differences in actions where a servant leader tries to invest in people of closed ones and own community first by spending valuable time with them for inspiration (Forbes 2019). 

Seto and Sarros (2016) opined that servant leaders are often motivated by trust and quality relationship in organisational settings. Beside, opposed by Shapiro and Bottary (2016) that it depends on the organisational culture, power and politics that influence most of the leaders aimed to be authentic in nature. Considering the two arguments, it can be estimated here that most of the leaders present themselves as servant first tries to give importance to building quality relationship making. For instance, of leader involves deeply with the trade unions in the factories of manufacturing industries especially understanding the issues internally well and finds peer solutions without damaging the work environment of the industry then such leader can be a servant leader placing oneself at the heart of the labours. Therefore, it can be one such situation that indicates how to be a true servant leader and fixing the dignity and position at the heart of the people. On the other hand, another example, if in a situation of presenting a senior manager has to present a lecture before a group of subordinates in an organisation, it is necessary to start with the discussion of describing personal background pointing the experience in the previous organisation that highlights glimpses of being an authentic in towards subordinates according to the culture, power and politics (Forsey 2019). It simply means that if an organisation’s culture is diversified in nature and contains an extreme level of politics in terms of recruitment and selection procedures and managing and promoting employees then, the leader needs to be diplomatic sometimes for achieving the self-set target by adopting ethical practices. From the analysis of the stated arguments above, it can be understood that in case of the servant leader, there is a touch of biases in the nature of being merged with the trade association's culture and practices, whereas, an authentic leader considered diplomacy at workplaces from his previous experience to the current organisation. Therefore, once again, it can be justified that servant leadership philosophy is beyond everyone’s reach and state of mind as well as being a reliable leader can be constructed by making oneself according to the challenges given in front of someone.

Hogue (2016) stated that gender biases exist in some of the characteristics and nature of servant leadership approaches. On the other hand, Becker (2018) argued back that authentic leadership style and approach can be adaptive and flexible, as there are increasing contemporary issues relevant to moral ethics and practices. For instance, if an employee visits a place for making money with quick scheme and shortcuts in the market, then an authentic leader restricts such kind of people in that particular firms by taking ethical decisions against such unethical practices exists in the organisations of financial services. Hence, it demonstrates the nature of being internalized and keeping high standards being stick to moral perspectives (Forsey 2019). Another instance can be put forward, if there is an issue relevant to hygiene and problems with housekeeping and cleanliness of an organisation, a leader exists in between the housekeeping staff sits along with the members of that particular organisation for identifying the cause of this increasing issue for finding probable solutions at the end. This situation mentioned above identifies that the organisation where there are issues of housekeeping staff and cleanliness of the toilets, it consists of male staff and the servant leader tends to be more dominant here due to the influence of male power and strength. Hence, both the incidents are justified with the fact that in case of ethical code of conduct, authentic leaders remain stagnant and determined in the power and position and proceeds according to the organisational perspective and respect. However, a servant leadership approach, sometimes become inclined towards gender biases for showing more power and ability. 

Considering all the above statements, it has been understood that authentic leadership approach is the one that can be suggested for contemporary organisations more suitable and practical. In fact, it can also be treated more complicated in nature to handle and manage the team and employees of an organisation as well. On the other hand, in case of servant leadership approach, although such kind of leaders are emotional and acts as the healing agent and empathize with others' situation; well, it still has some limitations of being more focussed on own community and closed people. Therefore, in the case of organisational context, servant leaders can work successfully in specific segments like departments of housekeeping or in an industrial platform in case of trade union and membership activities. In other words, it cannot be much suitable for controlling the entire employees of an organisation as a whole that demands diplomacy like an authentic leader. Further, another point to be considered here in case of authentic leadership, theory, that it is evident that if there is an unethical practice in relevant to financial transactions, as studied from online article, (Forsey 2019) it dares to stand against such things and takes the right decisions against such type of employees as well. Moreover, an authentic leader also stands by team members being supportive in nature by identifying the problems among the individuals working under the common roof. Being authentic is complicated even; the reason is giving conscious effort and consistent improvement of work and organisational activities through the team members by constantly checking the growth and performance of the staff and providing training knowledge and directions required at every stage for the staffs as well. Apart from this, an authentic leader prepares oneself as flexible in nature accustomed to the changing environment and new challenges that come to the path of success.  


The overall review of the topic of servant leadership versus authentic leadership has determined the fact that both the perspective and approaches are positive according to their individual way of appliance and actions. In other words, authentic style can be most appropriately suitable in implementing in an organisation, as it is innovative and diplomatic and conforms all such necessary requirements that employees expect from leaders.