Servant Leadership Through Distance Learning: A Case Study


Eric James RUSSELL


ABSTRACT
This qualitative study explored the influence a distance learning servant leadership course had on the emergency service students’ understanding of leadership. The research study utilized a case study design in order to tell the story of the lived experiences of the participants. The setting for the study was a state university in Utah, with the six participants being declared, undergraduate emergency services majors that underwent a 15-week distance learning servant leadership class. The data used in the study consisted of the post-hoc online eJournal writings of the participants. The data analysis revealed to two themes that formed the individual case descriptions presented in results section. The literature review acknowledged the problem of bureaucracy within the emergency services and identified the practice of servant leadership as a possibility for overcoming the often-bureaucratic approach towards leadership. In addition, the literature review identified commonalities between established constructs of servant leadership and the emergency services. The findings of the study seem to demonstrate that undergoing a class on servant leadership left lasting impressions on becoming a servant leader and overall was a positive experience for the student. This study’s findings add to the existing body of knowledge associated with servant leadership within emergency service academia.


KEYWORDS: Servant Leadership, Emergency Services, Distance Learning

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