Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Servant leadership, empowerment climate, and group creativity_ a case study in the hospitality industry

Jorge Linuesa-Langreo


Abstract: Leadership, due to its power to influence, is one of the most important tools available to organisation in order to become competitive, and as such it is one of the recurring themes in social sciences. Today, new leadership strategies have emerged as new drivers of effectiveness in workplace relationships based on the leader–follower relationship. One
of these leadership strategies is servant leadership, whose motto is ‘put and promote followers’ interests and needs first’, which makes this leadership style strongly linked to exercising high ethics. As agapao love and service to others are important distinctive features of these leaders’ decisions and behaviours, the ethical influence relationship with their collaborators is thought to reach high levels. It is no surprise then that
this ethical influence relationship makes followers to serve others and inculcates in followers values such as acceptance, tolerance, empathy, love, or forgiveness. More importantly, these leaders might make followers to grow in matureness, intelligence, creativity, and self-management, among other aspects. However, despite findings in recent literature of positive effects of servant leadership on valuable employee outcomes, research is still lacking on the results of this phenomenon on collective organisational variables and its influence in work groups. A case study analysis of a historic and emblematic hotel situated in a small Spanish city declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site provides evidence of the relationship between servant leadership and valuable work-group outcomes such as empowerment climate and group creativity.

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