Servant leadership is an other-oriented approach to leadership with multiple positive outcomes. However, its influence in the context of medicine, particularly on healthcare leaders, is less clear. We conducted a rapid review to examine the impact of servant leadership in healthcare over the last decade. We included a total of 28 articles, 26 of which described beneficial organisational, relational and personal outcomes of servant leadership. However, most of these were either conceptual or opinion-based articles. Moreover, most quantitative studies were cross-sectional, precluding causal inferences. Our review demonstrates that the purported positive association between servant leadership and healthcare outcomes lacks a strong evidence base. We conclude by calling for more rigorous empirical research to examine the effects and potential challenges of implementing servant leadership in healthcare contexts.
- medical leadership
- health system
- organisational effectiveness
Data availability statement
Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Contributors LYW conceived and performed the review. SS, SW and AR assisted with the review process. All authors were involved in preparing and writing the manuscript.
Funding LYW is the recipient of a Swinburne University Postgraduate Research Award (SUPRA) scholarship, jointly funded by Swinburne University of Technology and the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.