The term “servant leader” was first documented by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970, who credits the formulation of the term to the 1956 novel The Journey to the East (Northouse 226) . Right at the tail end of WWII, the 1950s made way for the Civil Rights Movement. For context, this time period brought about the invention of TV and widespread use of cars in America, the Korean War, and the Cold War. Throughout the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King’s success as one major face of the movement became accredited to his devotion to servant leadership that became a highlight of the era.
Path Goal Theory first emerged in leadership texts in the early 1970s (Northouse 115). Leading up to this point, the Civil Rights movement still had a heavy presence in society, and technological advancements landed the first man on the moon (“1960s”).
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, "06. Servant Leadership & Path-Goal Theory" (2019). CORE. 18.