Scouting and Servant Leadership in Cross-Cultural Perspective: An Exploratory Study


Ric RohmFollow

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2013


College of Business and Legal Studies


Department of Historical, Legal, and Leadership Studies


This qualitative case study evaluates the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), Boy Scouts of America, Scout Association of Japan, and the four major German scouting organizations (Deutsche Pfadfinderschaft Sankt Georg, Pfadfinderinnenschaft Sankt Georg, Bund der Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder, and Verband Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder) as servant leadership development programs. After a brief history of the origins of scouting, the WOSM and the three national scouting organizations are examined, comparing their mottos, promises, and laws. All programs promote service to God, country, and community; teaching leadership through outdoor living and community service projects. A review of servant leadership literature yields six different models: Laub (1999); Patterson (2003); Barbuto and Wheeler (2006); Wong and Davey (2007); Liden, Wayne, Zhao, and Henderson (2008); and Sendjaya, Sarros, and Santora (2008). To assess the scouting programs for evidence of servant leadership, Sendjaya et al.’s (2008) model is chosen to study six characteristics of servant leadership: (a) voluntary subordination, (b) authentic self, (c) covenantal relationship, (d) responsible morality, (e) transcendental spirituality, and (f) transforming influence.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.