George E. Richards, Ph.D. CPP
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
The literature pertaining to the Public Administration
discipline is replete with theoretical models of leadership
which supervisors may employ to meet agency demands.
Public service agencies have been consistently viewed as
prone to use authoritative models of leadership in obtaining
desired results. Yet, other models of leadership may be more
appropriate for the service orientation of a bureaucratic
agency. Drawing upon a sample of police administrators in
the United States, this paper will examine whether or not
support for the values of servant leadership exists within the
American law enforcement community.
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Coined term Servant Leadership
The servant-leader is servant first… It
begins with the natural feeling that
one wants to serve, to serve first. Then
conscious choice brings one to aspire
to lead. That person is sharply
different from one who is leader first,
perhaps because of the need to
assuage an unusual power drive or to
acquire material possessions… (p. 13)
Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of
legitimate power and greatness. New York: Paulist Press.
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Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while
being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more
autonomous, more likely themselves to become
servants? And, what is the effect on the least
privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least
not be further deprived? (pp. 13-14)
Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. New York: Paulist Press.
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The Ohio State Leadership Studies
Seek to identify and describe categories of leadership
behavior
The Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ) was
designed by the Personnel Research Board of The Ohio State
University
Instrument directs respondents to describe the behaviors of
leaders in any type of organization
OSU researchers compiled 1800 examples of leadership
behavior and then selected 150 items that appeared to be
the best examples.
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Statistical analysis of the LBDQ with a sample
of military and civilian personnel revealed
two dimensions of leadership
 Consideration of follower’s feelings, opinions and ideas, and
maintaining an amiable working environment. The leader should
nurture genial relationships between workers. The aim is to foster the
growth of trust between the leader and the followers.
 Initiating Structure which involves task related behaviors involved in
the initiation of action, the organization and assignment of tasks, and
the determination of clear-cut standards of performance. Here, the
leader’s behavior is focused on defining and organizing work
relationships and roles. The emphasis is upon establishing clear
communication and effective ways of completing tasks.
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Analysis is based on a
survey of 128 police
managers from 24 U.S.
states and Turkey
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 Administrative Officer’s
Course at the Southern Police
Institute during the academic
year 2007-2008 (N = 128)

Survey was conducted in
the beginning of a course
on Leadership at the
AOC/SPI
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Questionnaire used in this
investigation includes
reliable and valid measures
from the Leader Behavior
Description Questionnaire
Form XII
Items on the scale were
recoded:
 0 – Never
 1 – Seldom
 2 – Occasionally
 3 – Often
 4 – Always
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The main objective of this analysis was to
identify the level of support among police
managers for the tenets of Servant
Leadership. Accordingly, we identified those
scale items that corresponded with the
theory of Servant Leadership.
A factor analysis was then conducted on the
100 scale items.
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VARIABLE
(%)
AGE
VARIABLE
(%)
RACE
25-34
8.6
White
85.9
35-44
61.7
African-American
7.8
45-54
28.1
Asian
3.1
55-64
1.6
Hispanic
.8
Other
2.3
GENDER
Male
88.3
Female
11.7
9
VARIABLE
(%)
EDUCATION
VARIABLE
(%)
AGENCY TYPE
High School
Diploma
2.3
Very Large
Municipal Force
32.0
Some College
27.3
Large Municipal
Force
11.7
College Diploma
33.6
Medium Municipal
Force
13.3
Some Professional/
Graduate School
21.1
Small Municipal
Force
15.6
Professional/
Graduate School
Diploma
15.6
State Police
7.0
Sheriff’s Office
17.2
Other
3.1
10
VARIABLE
(%)
CURRENT ASSIGNMENT
VARIABLE
(%)
CURRENT RANK
Patrol
58.6
Sergeant
45.3
Detective/Investigative
12.5
Lieutenant
35.2
Special Operations
12.5
Captain
14.1
Communications
.8
Major
2.3
Other
15.6
Deputy Sheriff
.8
Other
2.3
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The analysis of the scale items revealed factor loadings on three components
that correspond to three leadership styles:
 Servant Leadership: This style is people-oriented. The leader is motivated to
help subordinates achieve goals and objectives in the service of their clientele.
The focus is upon the establishment of positive relationships based upon
mutual respect and trust. Subordinates are consulted and their ideas are
considered and drawn upon.
 Autocratic Leadership: Obtaining and maintaining power is the foremost goal
of the leader. They make the decisions and give orders rather than invite
group participation.
 Laissez-faire Leadership: A hands-off approach to organizational leadership.
The leader abandons and abdicates their main function and serves largely as
an information center, exercising little or no control. As a result, the
organization runs itself with little or no input from management.
 The mean values and other statistics for these subscales are presented in Table 1.
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TYPE
# OF ITEMS
EIGAN
VALUE
CRONBACH’S
ALPHA
GRAND
MEAN
S.D.
Servant
Leadership
35
10.17
.92
3.24
.37
Autocratic
Leadership
12
3.47
.76
2.60
.41
Laissez-faire
Leadership
8
2.79
.70
2.50
.47
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Each of the subscales had acceptable values of Cronbach’s
Alpha that attested to the validity of the factors.
The Grand Mean values clearly indicated that these police
managers expressed strong beliefs in the value of Servant
Leadership over those for Autocratic and Laissez-faire.
ANOVA revealed that the mean difference between the
mean values for the Servant, Autocratic and Laissez-faire
Leadership subscales were statistically significant.
These police leaders believe the ideal police leader should
express and follow the values of Servant Leadership.
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ITEM
MEAN
Let group members know what is expected of them
3.62
Look out for the personal welfare of the group members
3.60
Maintain definite standards of performance
3.57
Encourage initiative in the group members
3.57
Make accurate decisions
3.56
Inspire enthusiasm for a project
3.52
Handle complex problems efficiently
3.46
Remain calm when uncertain about coming events
3.45
Anticipate problems and plan for them
3.44
Keep the group working together as a team
3.42
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ITEM
Table 3: Attributes of Autocratic Values
MEAN
Encourage the use of uniform procedures
3.02
Be easily recognized as the leader of the group
2.94
Speak as a representative of the group
2.82
Act as a spokesman for the group
2.81
Urge the group to beat its previous record
2.63
Push for increased production
2.55
Decide what shall be done and how
2.48
Keep work moving at rapid pace
2.42
Be working his way to the top
2.36
Be working hard for promotion
2.25
Ask members to work harder
2.21
Stress being ahead of other groups
2.19
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ITEM
MEAN
Assign a task, then let the members handle it
3.06
Be able to tolerate postponement and uncertainty
2.62
Turn the members loose on a job, and let them go to it
2.60
Allow the members complete freedom in their work.
2.56
Let the members do their work the way they think is best
2.49
Accept defeat in stride
2.40
Permit group to set your own pace
2.23
Accept delays without being upset
2.12
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The results indicate these police managers
believe leaders should follow the tenets of
Servant Leadership as expressed under the
items of the Leader Behavior Description
Questionnaire.
 Compared to these values, they
rejected the creeds of both the autocratic,
command and control method and the hands-off,
detached style of Laissez-faire leadership.
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Servant Leadership