Servant Leadership in Diverse Contexts

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There are many different cultures which one will have a different religious viewpoints on things especially when it comes to being a servant leader. Here we are looking at the study with servant leadership and how it is viewed from different cultural perspective and for a different religious point of view other than Christianity, so we will see how the Muslims perceive servant leadership. There have been studies shown on how a servant leader and its behavior and how it relates to the African concept.

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Being able to see the evident of the principles that servant leadership in the African Bantu culture and as well as the Muslim religion. There are similarities and differences from each of these studies of the African Bantu culture and the Muslim religion.

Literature Review Betenn Servant Leaderships Philosophies and the Values

Servant leaderships share their power and put’s their needs of others, which makes them worry about the development to make everyone succeed not just your self. Greenleaf put into terms that servant leaders are servants. Greenleaf compares a servant leader to selfless work and the leader is selfless in what they do, which putting others before their self.

Greenleaf’s main focus of a servant leadership is having and keeping a positive outlook on not just yourself but others. A servant leaders spiritual values will guide them to serve others and everyone else involved. Listening will also help you gain their trust, you have to put others self interest, assisting others and helping them find their inner spirit helps you become a better servant leader.

Servant Leadership in Islamic Religion

Allah mentioned, “And We made them chiefs (leaders) who guide by Our command, and We inspired in them the doing of good deeds and the right establishment of worship and the giving of alms, and they were worshippers of Us (alone)” (Qur’an). When reading about Quran, a servant leader leads from the laws and ways of Allah. They don’t bear the freedom to satisfy their personal needs or pressure of others. Islam leadership is helps the behavior and attitudes of the people who follow and maintain their goals of the company (Adlouni and Sweidan, 2007). The servant leader needs to be visionary and spiritual so that they can help others to work towards achieving their group’s achievment.

In Islam leadership looks a lot on doing good for other’s for Allah’s sake, and for the Muslims. (Kader, 1973). This says that a servant leadership is supposed to be able to see the psychological between the servant leader and the ones that follower. A servant leader needs be able to give protection to others and help them in doing what’s right to give credit when credit is due. Chowdhury (2002) a servant leader in Islam is seen to serve and be a guardian (Adnan, 2006).

Khalif says that there is principles of Islamic leadership that one must compiled by Muslim authors over the years. Adnan has a list of the nine leadership components, which are principles of servant leadership in the Islam community.

African Culture and Servant Leadership

Three studies have been formed to bring the concept of servant leadership in Africa. One study servant leadership with 27 South African leaders, a theory by Patterson was studied and another by Nelson. Nelson pointed out the effectiveness of Ubuntu, the South African leaders in government and in business of companies. Nelson says the servant leadership model by Patterson would help the leaders in South African.

Another study was by Koshal, which focused on the acceptability of servant leadership with 25 leaders and supervisors from Africa. Koshal seen the relationship of the Harambee culture in Kenya to Patterson’s model in being a servant leader. Koshal paid attention to the acceptability and applicability of Patterson’s by the leaders to see how the servant leadership modeled in different cultural settings.

The last study is by Hale and Fields, this compared servant leadership was studied in the US and in Ghana. Hale and Fields looked at the leaders on how effective they were how they carried out by the leaders in the two countries. This study was said that a servant leader isn’t looked at in Ghana as much as it is in the United States.

Ubuntu, is used with Bantu people of Central, which is the philosophical view of human relations, which is the importance of the shared community. Humanistic looks at the this as relationship, respect and compassion are the big part of what addressed and or said by the philosophy of Ubuntu. Desmond Tutu, is a African leader that practices on reconciliation.

Survival is a big part of the philosophy of Ubuntu which is practiced in African culture and it shares their resources with everyone mutual benefits and concern for existence (Pouvan, et al., 2006). This is a survival that is from the Ubuntu culture that’s cares about the people around them.

Ubuntu looks at solidarity, which based on the community’s understanding of their self. Bekker says “Ubuntu is more than mere interdependence, as the identity of the self is defined in finding the other in the community” (P. 19). This organization is viewed as one and not as a group of people.

Dignity and respect are values that comes from the Ubuntu culture. This is giving credit to others. Values such as these have been seen in the African leadership to keep unity and coherence with others.

Similarities and Differences

  1.  You need to have room to work with others, which you will be able to give criticism in a positive way.
  2.  Put others first and work together to help achieve the goals.
  3.  Give direction to your followers in a positive way to achieve goals.
  4.  Guiding others in change for the better to achieve goals.
  5.  You have to have trust in the Islamic leadership.
  6.  The role of a servant leader is to have a long term sustenance in the company.
  7.  African and Islamic the leaders play a role of development in the culture.

Islamic and African leaders are honest and humble in serving the creator. The difference in the two concepts is that the African cultural view is to practice servant leadership. Philosophy is Ubuntu, is with the Bantu languages in Central, East and Southern Africa. Another African culture is Harambee, which is in Kenya. Focuses on politics, which was formed when Kenya was getting their independence.


This paper is reviewing the literature as far as a servant leadership goes. Studies of servant leadership from a religious perspective was done along with a study of servant leadership from a cultural perspective. Similarities and differences were discussed as well.

As far as my point of view when reading about each of these studies when it comes to servant leadership it had positive outcomes in others along with making progress and achieving goals. The similarities that were talked about a servant leader talks about life in general and it has a positive outcome on the public.


  1. Adnan, A. (2006), A study of Islamic leadership theory and practice in K-12 Islamic school in Michigan
  2. from
  3. Aydin, B. & Ceyland, A., A research analysis on employee satisfaction in terms of organizational culture and spiritual leadership, International Journal of Business and Management, 2009
  4. Beekun, R.I. and Badawi, J., Leadership: An Islamic Perspective, 1998 Retrieved from
  5. Blanchard, K., The heart of a leader: Insights on the art of influence, 1999 Tulsa, OK:Honor Books
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Servant Leadership in Diverse Contexts. (2021, Nov 21). Retrieved from