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Servant Leadership Roundtable Goes Global

By Amanda Morad | July 27, 2012

Speaker of Queensland's Parliament, Fiona Simpson '08 (GLE), stands with Dr. Kathleen Patterson, associate professor in GLE and co-chair of the Global Servant Leadership Research Roundtable.

Regent University's School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship (GLE) sponsored the second Global Servant Leadership Research Roundtable this June, hosted at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

The conference is an outgrowth of GLE associate professor Dr. Kathleen Patterson's Servant Leadership Research Roundtable hosted at Regent each year. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this spring, the event brings together leadership experts in scholarly discussion of research streams, new models, testing of existing concepts, instrument development and validation, as well as servant leadership case studies.

The first global roundtable was held at Erasmus University in the Netherlands in 2008. Regent's partnerships with these leading world universities begins with renowned leadership scholars Dirk van Dierendonck, from roundtable co-sponsor Erasmus University; Sen Sendjaya, from Monash University; and Andre Pekerti, from the roundtable co-sponsor the University of Queensland Business School.

"It is always a privilege to plan and participate with scholars from around the world, all centered on a central theme of servant leadership," Patterson said. "The very idea of the leader taking the stance of the servant is a powerful concept—a concept that has the power to change lives, communities, organizations and the world."

Regent alumna Fiona Simpson '08 (GLE) was featured as a session speaker alongside Patterson. Simpson recently won her seat in Queensland's Parliament for the eighth time and was elected as Speaker of the Parliament—the first woman to hold this position in the legislative body's 150-year history.

Several GLE doctoral students also had the opportunity to attend the conference in Melbourne and present research from their dissertations.

"The blend of diverse global perspectives on servant leadership combined with the strong representation of professors and researchers made this a truly prestigious and insightful event," said Ph.D. student David Peltz, who presented research on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s model of servant leadership. "Perhaps most significant was the valuable group and one-on-one feedback I received from all the experts in the field of servant leadership. Their feedback challenged and encouraged me to consider and incorporate additional facets of servant leadership content into my dissertation."

"I learned a great deal about the diversity of servant leadership scholars, the wide scope and applicability of the concept through the practitioners, and potential areas for future research on this important topic," explained student John Hargadon. "It allowed for networking with others from around the globe, establishing relationships for potential future research collaboration, and a general improvement in cross-cultural understanding, the importance of which might be the greatest benefit of all."

Hargadon's research on servant leadership in military settings was presented at the roundtable, as was fellow student Eric Coggins' research on servant leadership in Eastern and Western cultures.

"The privilege to attend and present at the 2nd Global Servant Leadership Roundtable afforded me the opportunity to interact with high-level scholars in the field of leadership," Coggins noted. "I was able to make great connections with other scholars in the field of servant leadership."

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