The SAM Advanced Management Journal is pleased to announce the publication of the article Servant Leadership in Times of Crisis: Southeastern Virginia Police Chiefs Respond by Shannon O. Jackson and Pamela Chandler Lee in Volume 84 Edition 4.
Law enforcement agencies across the country are struggling to recruit and retain police officers while attempting to counter negative public perceptions about their work. To investigate the influence of leadership behaviors in response to this crisis, we conducted an exploratory study by surveying the Chiefs of the largest police departments in Virginia, and asked if servant leadership is effective in a crisis. Spears’ (2010) ten characteristics of servant leadership were used for this analysis of the Chiefs’ survey responses. These characteristics are: listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community. The exemplar case methodology, which relies on participants who demonstrate particular characteristics “more consistently and more intensely” (Bronk, 2012, p. 1) than other individuals, provided the framework for this analysis. Nine of the ten servant leadership characteristics were supported; only conceptualization was not revealed in the Chiefs’ responses. This exploratory study augments empirical research investigating the influence of servant leadership behaviors in the workforce. Results show how servant leaders demonstrate and encourage listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, foresight, stewardship, personal development and community in times of crisis.