Servant Leadership

Essay by khanzCollege, Undergraduate November 2007

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The Role of Values in Leadership Values are a vital parts of each individual's psyche. They are core beliefs - the underlying thoughts that stimulate human behavior. Rokeach (2003) defined values as a prescriptive, enduring standard that have cognitive, affective, and behavioral components. Since values are prescriptive, they play a central role in determining the choices we make. Values are enduring standards that collectively form the value systems of our lives.

Personal Values of Leaders

Kouzes and Posner (2003) postulate that the process and practices of leadership are fundamentally amoral, but leaders are themselves moral or immoral. Consequently, the personal values of leaders have a very significant effect on leader-follower relationships. In addition, values affect leaders' moral reasoning and a personal behavior.

Moral Reasoning Values affect a moral reasoning by influencing judgments about ethical and unethical behavior. Individuals with strong value systems tend to behave more ethically than those with weak value combinations.

However, males differ from females in their moral reasoning modes, with females showing a higher relationship and caring characteristics.

Behavior Personal values and value systems result in characteristics or a manner that in turn affect behavior. Rokeach (2003) went so far as to say that the definition of values includes their behavioral influence. England and Lee (2006) identified seven ways in which values affect leaders:

Values affect leaders' perceptions of situations.

Leaders' values affect the solutions they generate regarding problems.

Values play a role in interpersonal relationships.

Values influence perceptions of individual and organizational successes.

Values provide a basis for differentiating between ethical and unethical behavior.

Values affect the extent to which leaders accept or reject organizational pressures and goals.

Personal values may also affect managerial performance.

Development of Personal Values

Personal values develop in a social context; therefore, they may be influenced by national or regional...