The health care sector in the United States (US) has experienced turbulent changes in the environment (Fennell & Adams, 2011). Many of these changes have tested the leadership of organizations and, consistent with Organizational Ecology Theory, some organizations have died, while others are surviving and thriving (Miles, 2012). Leadership style is extremely important in a market environment that is changing. According to the Organizational Ecology Theory, the first stage of growing pains when organizations are in a state of transition is crisis of leadership (Miles, 2012).
Notwithstanding servant leadership was introduced five decades ago, empirical studies have only been conducted since the 1990s (van Dierendonck, 2011). Very little research has been completed in a health care setting, thus a thorough literature review on servant leadership in healthcare is not possible, which is a gap in the extant literature. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine and organize the current body of research literature that, both quantitatively or qualitatively, explored servant leadership in a given organizational setting and explore how servant leadership relates to healthcare environments.