Servant Leadership: Theory & Practice


Many of the prevailing strategies to address corporate misconduct are focused on an increase in regulation, greater oversight, and stricter punishments for offenders. Other strategies, often found in business schools, focus on developing cognitive moral reasoning skills. Both of these theories, by their nature, underestimate the power of context in ethical decision-making, as well as the importance of affirmative efforts to develop moral character. The following article explicates elements of servant-leadership theory that serve as ethical safeguards regarding a person’s ability to make ethical decisions, as well as aiding in the formation of contexts and cultures that facilitate ethical decision-making. Using psychosocial and neurological research, as well as philosophical insight, a case is built that the practice of servant-leadership theory provides a more effective safeguard against corporate misconduct than either of the current prevailing strategies.