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Leadership theories have evolved from a focus on traits, to behaviors, to contingency theories, to more contemporary approaches including servant leadership theory. This paper provides an overview of the principles of servant leadership and identifies characteristics displayed by servant leaders in the workplace, with special emphasis on the importance of empowerment in defining a servant-leader. It also addresses the application of servant leadership in a cross-cultural context utilizing Hofstede's five cultural dimensions as a framework. This paper concludes that servant leadership is best applied in a culture with low power distance, low to moderate individualism, low to moderate masculinity, low uncertainty avoidance and a moderate to high long-term orientation.
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