A Bibliometric Analysis of Servant Leadership for Future Research


Ahmad Idris(1*), Nafisatul Zairoh(2)

(1) Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta
(2) Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta
(*) Corresponding Author


Introduction/Main Objectives: This study is to provide a wider bibliometric literature review on servant leadership (SL). Background Problems: SL requires a comprehensive review of existing studies. Looking for potential topics is one way to develop knowledge in SL by using bibliometric studies. Novelty: This paper is to fill in the gaps by providing an extensive bibliometric analysis of the literature related to SL. Research Methods: We analyzed 368 articles published from January 1, 2011 until July 12, 2021, a 10 year period. Articles were taken from the Scopus database. We have tried to classify articles using VOSviewer software. Finding/Results: The bibliometric analysis is done to identify the development in the total number of SL publications, SL articles mostly cited, top journals in SL research, most productive authors in SL research, most countries publishing SL research, and subject area of SL publications. SL studies were classified into nine clusters. From each cluster, the trend shows that SL studies are mostly done on terms that have many occurrences and link strengths. From the overlay visualization analysis for the new year, opportunities for future research such as perceived organizational support, psychological capital, work engagement, life satisfaction, and emotional intelligence for SL emerge. Conclusion: This article is the second servant leadership bibliometric study with a different database and complements the first. This article explores the development of servant leadership research. Some of the keywords found using VosViewer become opportunities for future research.


servant leadership; scopus; bibliometric; vosviewer

Full Text:



Aguillo, I. F. (2012). Is Google Scholar useful for bibliometrics? A webometric analysis. Scientometrics, 91(2), 343–351. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-011-0582-8

Allen, G. P., Mark Moore, W., Moser, L. R., Neill, K. K., Sambamoorthi, U., & Bell, H. S. (2016). The role of servant leadership and transformational leadership in academic pharmacy. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 80(7), 1–7.

Andersen, J. A. (2018). Servant leadership and transformational leadership: from comparisons to farewells. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 39(6), 762–774. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-01-2018-0053

Bande, B., Fernández-Ferrín, P., Varela, J. A., & Jaramillo, F. (2015). Emotions and salesperson propensity to leave: The effects of emotional intelligence and resilience. Industrial Marketing Management, 44, 142–153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2014.10.011

Barbuto, J. E., Gottfredson, R. K., & Searle, T. P. (2014). An Examination of Emotional Intelligence as an Antecedent of Servant Leadership. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 21(3), 315–323. https://doi.org/10.1177/1548051814531826

Bouzari, M., & Karatepe, O. M. (2017). Test of a mediation model of psychological capital among hotel salespeople. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 29(8), 2178–2197. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-01-2016-0022

Chiniara, M., & Bentein, K. (2016). Linking servant leadership to individual performance: Differentiating the mediating role of autonomy, competence and relatedness need satisfaction. Leadership Quarterly, 27(1), 124–141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2015.08.004

Chughtai, A. A. (2018). Examining the Effects of Servant Leadership on Life Satisfaction. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 13(4), 873–889. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-017-9564-1

Clarence, M., D, V. P., Jena, L. K., & George, T. S. (2021). Predictors of Positive Psychological Capital: An Attempt Among the Teacher Communities in Rural Jharkhand, India. Management and Labour Studies, 46(2), 139–160. https://doi.org/10.1177/0258042X21991013

Coetzer, M. F., Bussin, M. H. R., & Geldenhuys, M. (2017). Servant leadership and work-related well-being in a construction company. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 43(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v43i0.1478

De Clercq, D., Bouckenooghe, D., Raja, U., & Matsyborska, G. (2014). Servant Leadership and Work Engagement: The Contingency Effects of Leader-Follower Social Capital. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 25(2), 183–212. https://doi.org/10.1002/hrdq.21185

Dierendonck, Dirk Van. (2011). Servant Leadership: A Review and Synthesis. Journal of Management, 37(4), 1228–1261. https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206310380462

Eva, N., Robin, M., Sendjaya, S., van Dierendonck, D., & Liden, R. C. (2019). Servant Leadership: A systematic review and call for future research. Leadership Quarterly, 30(1), 111–132. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2018.07.004

Gašková, J. (2020). Servant leadership and its relation to work performance. Central European Business Review, 9(3), 24–37. https://doi.org/10.18267/j.cebr.236

Greenleaf, R. K. (1970). The servant as leader. In Center for Applied Studies. Cambridge, Mass.

Gui, C., Zhang, P., Zou, R., & Ouyang, X. (2020). Servant leadership in hospitality: a meta-analytic review. Journal of Hospitality Marketing and Management, 30(4), 438–458. https://doi.org/10.1080/19368623.2021.1852641

Heersmink, R., van den Hoven, J., van Eck, N. J., & van Berg, J. den. (2011). Bibliometric mapping of computer and information ethics. Ethics and Information Technology, 13(3), 241–249. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10676-011-9273-7

Hoch, J. E., Bommer, W. H., Dulebohn, J. H., & Wu, D. (2018). Do Ethical, Authentic, and Servant Leadership Explain Variance Above and Beyond Transformational Leadership? A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Management, 44(2), 501–529. https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206316665461

Hu, J., & Liden, R. C. (2011). Antecedents of Team Potency and Team Effectiveness: An Examination of Goal and Process Clarity and Servant Leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(4), 851–862. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0022465

Huning, T. M., Hurt, K. J., & Frieder, R. E. (2020). The effect of servant leadership, perceived organizational support, job satisfaction and job embeddedness on turnover intentions: An empirical investigation. Evidence-Based HRM, 8(2), 177–194. https://doi.org/10.1108/EBHRM-06-2019-0049

Hunter, E. M., Neubert, M. J., Perry, S. J., Witt, L. A., Penney, L. M., & Weinberger, E. (2013). Servant leaders inspire servant followers: Antecedents and outcomes for employees and the organization. Leadership Quarterly, 24(2), 316–331. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2012.12.001

Jit, R., Sharma, C. S., & Kawatra, M. (2016). Servant leadership and conflict resolution: a qualitative study. International Journal of Conflict Management, 27(4), 591–612. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCMA-12-2015-0086

Kashyap, V., & Rangnekar, S. (2016). Servant leadership, employer brand perception, trust in leaders and turnover intentions: a sequential mediation model. Review of Managerial Science, 10(3), 437–461. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11846-014-0152-6

Kim, T.-W., You, Y.-Y., & Hong, J.-W. (2020). A study on effect of servant leadership and perceived organizational support on characteristics of agile organizational culture. Research in World Economy, 11(2), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.5430/rwe.v11n2p1

Krishnan, K. S., Rani, N. S. A., & Suradi, Z. (2019). Transformational leadership, servant leadership, and strategic leadership of women entrepreneurs: A case of restaurant owners. International Journal of Recent Technology and Engineering, 8(1), 135–141.

Langhof, J. G., & Güldenberg, S. (2020). Servant Leadership: A systematic literature review—toward a model of antecedents and outcomes. German Journal of Human Resource Management, 34(1), 32–68. https://doi.org/10.1177/2397002219869903

Latif, K. F., Machuca, M. M., Marimon, F., & Sahibzada, U. F. (2021). Servant Leadership, Career, and Life Satisfaction in Higher Education: a Cross-Country Study of Spain, China, and Pakistan. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 16(3), 1221–1247. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-019-09809-x

Lee, A., Lyubovnikova, J., Tian, A. W., & Knight, C. (2019). Servant leadership: A meta-analytic examination of incremental contribution, moderation, and mediation. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 93(1), 1–44. https://doi.org/10.1111/joop.12265

Li, Y., Li, D., Tu, Y., & Liu, J. (2018). How and when servant leadership enhances life satisfaction. Personnel Review, 47(5), 1082–1098. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-07-2017-0223

Liden, R C. (2012). Leadership research in Asia: A brief assessment and suggestions for the future. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 29(2), 205–212. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10490-011-9276-2

Liden, R C, Wayne, S. J., Meuser, J. D., Hu, J., Wu, J., & Liao, C. (2015). Servant leadership: Validation of a short form of the SL-28. Leadership Quarterly, 26(2), 254–269. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2014.12.002

Liden, Robert C., Wayne, S. J., Zhao, H., & Henderson, D. (2008). Servant leadership: Development of a multidimensional measure and multi-level assessment. Leadership Quarterly, 19(2), 161–177. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2008.01.006

Lo, P., Allard, B., Wang, N., & Chiu, D. K. W. (2020). Servant leadership theory in practice: North America’s leading public libraries. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 52(1), 249–270. https://doi.org/10.1177/0961000618792387

Luthans, F., Youssef, C. M., & Avolio, B. J. (2007). Psychological Capital : Developing the Human Competitive Edge. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Marques, T. M. G. (2021). Research on Public Service Motivation and Leadership: A Bibliometric Study. International Journal of Public Administration, 44(7), 591–606. https://doi.org/10.1080/01900692.2020.1741615

McCune Stein, A., Bell, C. M., & Ai Min, Y. (2020). Does “the servant as leader” translate into Chinese? A cross-cultural meta-analysis of servant leadership. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 29(3), 315–329. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2019.1703681

Moed, H. F., Burger, W. J. M., Frankfort, J. G., & Van Raan, A. F. J. (1985). The use of bibliometric data for the measurement of university research performance. Research Policy, 14(3), 131–149. https://doi.org/10.1016/0048-7333(85)90012-5

Muhammad, H., & Sari, N. P. (2021). Implementation of the Synergy of Transformational-Servant Leadership Character in Islamic Boarding School. Journal of Leadership in Organizations, 3(2), 173–192. https://doi.org/10.22146/jlo.65642

Mustamil, N., & Najam, U. (2020). Servant Leadership: A bibliometric Review. International Journal of Organizational Leadership, 9, 138–155. https://doi.org/10.33844/ijol.2020.60501

Neubert, M. J., Hunter, E. M., & Tolentino, R. C. (2016). A servant leader and their stakeholders: When does organizational structure enhance a leader’s influence? Leadership Quarterly, 27(6), 896–910. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2016.05.005

Newman, A., Schwarz, G., Cooper, B., & Sendjaya, S. (2017). How Servant Leadership Influences Organizational Citizenship Behavior: The Roles of LMX, Empowerment, and Proactive Personality. Journal of Business Ethics, 145(1), 49–62. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-015-2827-6

Nicholas, D., & Ritchie, M. (1978). Literature and bibliometrics. C. Bingley.

Otto, K., Geibel, H. V, & Kleszewski, E. (2021). “Perfect Leader, Perfect Leadership?” Linking Leaders’ Perfectionism to Monitoring, Transformational, and Servant Leadership Behavior. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.657394

Parris, D. L., & Peachey, J. W. (2013). A Systematic Literature Review of Servant Leadership Theory in Organizational Contexts. Journal of Business Ethics, 113(3), 377–393. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-012-1322-6

Pritchard, A. (1969). Statistical bibliography or bibliometrics. Journal of Documentation, 25(4), 348–349.

Rabiul, M. K., & Yean, T. F. (2021). Leadership styles, motivating language, and work engagement: An empirical investigation of the hotel industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 92, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2020.102712

Reed, L. L., Vidaver-Cohen, D., & Colwell, S. R. (2011). A New Scale to Measure Executive Servant Leadership: Development, Analysis, and Implications for Research. Journal of Business Ethics, 101(3), 415–434. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-010-0729-1

Rodríguez-Carvajal, R., Herrero, M., van Dierendonck, D., de Rivas, S., & Moreno-Jiménez, B. (2019). Servant Leadership and Goal Attainment Through Meaningful Life and Vitality: A Diary Study. Journal of Happiness Studies, 20(2), 499–521. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-017-9954-y

Schaubroeck, J., Lam, S. S. K., & Peng, A. C. (2011). Cognition-Based and Affect-Based Trust as Mediators of Leader Behavior Influences on Team Performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(4), 863–871. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0022625

Scheffler, M., & Brunzel, J. (2020). Destructive leadership in organizational research: a bibliometric approach. Scientometrics, 125(1), 755–775. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-020-03621-3

Sendjaya, S., Eva, N., Butar Butar, I., Robin, M., & Castles, S. (2019). SLBS-6: Validation of a Short Form of the Servant Leadership Behavior Scale. Journal of Business Ethics, 156(4), 941–956. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-017-3594-3

Sims, C., Carter, A., & Moore De Peralta, A. (2021). Do servant, transformational, transactional, and passive avoidant leadership styles influence mentoring competencies for faculty? A study of a gender equity leadership development program. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 32(1), 55–75. https://doi.org/10.1002/hrdq.21408

Sims, C. M. (2018). The Diversity Intelligent Servant Leader: Developing Leaders to Meet the Needs of a Diverse Workforce. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 20(3), 313–330. https://doi.org/10.1177/1523422318778009

Tal, D., & Gordon, A. (2016). Leadership of the present, current theories of multiple involvements: a bibliometric analysis. Scientometrics, 107(1), 259–269. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-016-1880-y

Tal, D., & Gordon, A. (2018). Intellectual Leadership of Leonardo da Vinci: A Bibliometric Study. Society, 55(6), 549–554. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12115-018-0307-1

Tal, D., & Gordon, A. (2020). Leadership as an Autonomous Research Field: A Bibliometric Analysis. Society, 57(5), 489–495. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12115-020-00522-2

Tjahjono, H. K., Prasetyo, F., & Palupi, M. (2018). Kepemimpinan transformasional pada organizational citizenship behavior dan komitmen afektif. Jurnal Manajemen Dan Pemasaran Jasa, 11(2), 217–232.

Tupan, T., Rahayu, R. N., Rachmawati, R., & Rahayu, E. S. R. (2018). Analisis Bibliometrik Perkembangan Penelitian Bidang Ilmu Instrumentasi. Baca: Jurnal Dokumentasi Dan Informasi, 39(2), 135–149. https://doi.org/10.14203/j.baca.v39i2.413

van Dierendonck, D., & Nuijten, I. (2011). The Servant Leadership Survey: Development and Validation of a Multidimensional Measure. Journal of Business and Psychology, 26(3), 249–267. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-010-9194-1

van Dierendonck, D, & Patterson, K. (2015). Compassionate Love as a Cornerstone of Servant Leadership: An Integration of Previous Theorizing and Research. Journal of Business Ethics, 128(1), 119–131. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2085-z

Van Dierendonck, D, Stam, D., Boersma, P., de Windt, N., & Alkema, J. (2014). Same difference? Exploring the differential mechanisms linking servant leadership and transformational leadership to follower outcomes. Leadership Quarterly, 25(3), 544–562. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2013.11.014

van Eck, N. J., & Waltman, L. (2010). Software survey: VOSviewer, a computer program for bibliometric mapping. Scientometrics, 84(2), 523–538. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-009-0146-3

VanMeter, R., Chonko, L. B., Grisaffe, D. B., & Goad, E. A. (2016). In search of clarity on servant leadership: domain specification and reconceptualization. AMS Review, 6(1–2), 59–78. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13162-016-0075-2

Varela, J. A., Bande, B., Del Rio, M., & Jaramillo, F. (2019). Servant Leadership, Proactive Work Behavior, and Performance Overall Rating: Testing a Multilevel Model of Moderated Mediation. Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing, 26(2), 177–195. https://doi.org/10.1080/1051712X.2019.1603417

Vogel, R., & Masal, D. (2015). Public Leadership: A review of the literature and framework for future research. Public Management Review, 17(8), 1165–1189. https://doi.org/10.1080/14719037.2014.895031

Wang, Z., Xu, H., & Liu, Y. (2018). Servant leadership as a driver of employee service performance: Test of a trickle-down model and its boundary conditions. Human Relations, 71(9), 1179–1203. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726717738320

Yasir, M., & Mohamad, N. A. (2016). Ethics and morality: Comparing ethical leadership with servant, authentic and transformational leadership styles. International Review of Management and Marketing, 6(4), 310–316.

Yoshida, D T, Sendjaya, S., Hirst, G., & Cooper, B. (2014). Does servant leadership foster creativity and innovation? A multi-level mediation study of identification and prototypicality. Journal of Business Research, 67(7), 1395–1404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.08.013

Yoshida, Diah Tuhfat, Sendjaya, S., Hirst, G., & Cooper, B. (2014). Does servant leadership foster creativity and innovation? A multi-level mediation study of identification and prototypicality. Journal of Business Research, 67(7), 1395–1404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.08.013

Yousaf, F., Masrek, M. N., & Bahry, F. D. S. (2021). Emotional Intelligence: A Bibliometric Analysis and Implication for Future Research. In Library Philosophy and Practice (Vol. 2021).

Zhang, Y., Zheng, Y., Zhang, L., Xu, S., Liu, X., & Chen, W. (2019). A meta-analytic review of the consequences of servant leadership: The moderating roles of cultural factors. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 38(1), 371–400. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10490-018-9639-z

Zhao, C., Liu, Y., & Gao, Z. (2016). An identification perspective of servant leadership’s effects. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 31(5), 898–913. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-08-2014-0250

Žiaran, P., Kuèerová, R., Melasová, K., & Pokorná, H. (2015). Humility and modesty in leadership - A bibliometric perspective. Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, 63(6), 2221–2228. https://doi.org/10.11118/actaun201563062221

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22146/jlo.69841

Article Metrics

Abstract views : 5224 | views : 4170


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Leadership in Organizations

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Journal of Leadership in Organizations


Editorial Team
Focus and Scope
Peer Review Process
Publication Ethics
Screening for Plagiarism      


Author Guidelines
Submission Guidelines               
Online Submissions
Copyright Notice
Privacy Statement   
Author Fees            


Reviewer Guidelines      


General Search
Author index
Title index                       



Journal of Leadership in Organizations (JLO), with registered number ISSN 2656-8829 (Print) and ISSN 2656-8810 (Online), is published by the Center for Leadership Studies, Department of Management, Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Gadjah Mada. The content of this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

© 2019 Journal of Leadership in Organizations