Developing Leaders to Serve and Servants to Lead

Jennifer D. Bragger, Nicole A. Alonso, Kayla D’Ambrosio, Nikita Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In this paper, we propose a model of how balanced and integrated development across spiritual, cognitive, social, emotional, and moral domains can result in a servant leader orientation for both those who are predisposed to serve but might not be leaders, and those who are leaders but might not be predisposed to serve. First, we review the benefits of servant leadership in today’s organizations and the commonly agreed upon dimensions of servant leadership. We then propose how balanced and integrated development can facilitate a transition to a servant-oriented style of leadership for both those that serve and those that lead. We discuss organizational barriers to servant leadership development, and how organizations can overcome these barriers by creating contexts in which such integrated vertical development can facilitate a cycle of servant leadership. Lastly, we make suggestions for how organizations’ human resource functions might develop servant leaders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-45
Number of pages37
JournalHuman Resource Development Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • horizontal development
  • leadership development
  • servant leadership
  • vertical development


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