Leadership: a perniciously vague concept.
Purpose “ Despite the vast amount of literature covering the concept of leadership, it remains contentious, under-conceptualised and often uncritical. The purpose of this paper is to question the validity of the concept and dispute its application. Design/methodology/approach “ The paper reviews what the idea of leadership means, how it relates to competing accounts of management in the public services, and what value it adds. Findings “ There is no evident reason why the supposed roles, tasks, or qualities of leadership either need to be or should be concentrated in the person of a leader; the tasks involved in leading an organisation are not in fact the tasks of motivation, influence or direction of others which are at the core of the literature; and there is no reason to suppose that leadership is a primary influence on the behaviour of most organisations. Practical implications “ In the context of the public services, there is no set of skills, behaviours or roles that could be applied across the public services; the emphasis in leadership theory on personal relationships may be inconsistent with the objectives and character of the service; and the arrogation to a public service manager of a leadership role may be illegitimate. Originality/value “ The argument here represents a fundamental challenge to the concept of leadership, its relevance and its application to public services.
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Publication Date||Jun 30, 2012|
|Journal||International journal of public sector management|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Institution Citation||SPICKER, P. 2012. Leadership: a perniciously vague concept. International journal of public sector management [online], 25(1), pages 34-47. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1108/09513551211200276|
|Keywords||Leaders; Leadership; Public administration; Public sector management; Public sector organisations; Public services|
SPICKER 2012 Leadership a perniciously vague concept
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