Servant leadership breeds marketing creativity

By Mohammad Zarei Karg Abad

26 January 2021 15:23

Servant leadership breeds marketing creativity

Doctoral student Mohammad Zarei has reviewed international research on the effects of servant leadership. He suggests that firms with marketing managers that adopt a servant leadership style may develop a competitive advantage.

In my doctoral thesis, I study the effects of servant leadership on the performance of followers in marketing organizations. In order to build strong brands over time, there is a need for marketing managers to attract young marketing talent, make them thrive and succeed in releasing their analytical and creative potentials. To this end, a servant leadership style is highly relevant.

The defining characteristic of servant leadership is the focus on the growth and well-being of followers. In this effort to forward personal development in followers, servant leaders are not only concerned with followers’ current needs and skills, but also their potential; what they could be capable of becoming.

A review of the literature shows that servant leadership has a number of positive effects: Higher job satisfaction, greater sense of meaning and value, and more cooperation and care for colleagues and customers. In turn, these effects lead to greater trust in the leader and an atmosphere in the firm that facilitates sharing of ideas, risk-taking and creativity.    

In the next studies, I will take a closer look at how servant leadership among marketing managers affects marketing creativity among followers. The findings may shed new light on how marketing managers may contribute to improving the creativity of their followers.

For an overview of servant leadership research, see:

Eva, N., Robin, M., Sendjaya, S., van Dierendonck, D., & Liden, R. C. (2019). Servant leadership: A systematic review and call for future research. The Leadership Quarterly, 30(1), 111-132.