International Challenges and Perspectives
Edited by Jeffrey A. Raffel, Peter Leisink and Anthony E. Middlebrooks
Chapter 12: Leadership in the Unglued Organization
Patricia Wallace Ingraham Despite a massive literature devoted to the topic, leadership – its many definitions, its many implications and impacts, its many ‘how to’ manuals, and its many demands – remains a somewhat elusive concept (see the summary, for example, in Alexander and Van Slyke 2006). At the same time, for organizations in all sectors, governments at all levels and the millions of people in those combined workforces, leadership is of fundamental importance. This duality of elusiveness paired with great significance creates problems for organizations throughout the world. In the United States, for example, three-quarters of citizens responded that they believe that public leaders are not prepared to lead in a crisis and are out of touch with the ordinary citizens they serve (Schwab 2007). Bouckaert (2009) concludes that around the world governments require ‘new models for governing and also new types of political, administrative, and citizen leadership.’ Many of the new models of governance, however, create particular dilemmas for leadership. For public sector organizations, which are the primary focus of this chapter, a prominent example of the dilemma is provided by contracting for public sector goods and services. To understand the dilemma more fully it is necessary to view contracting through several lenses. Organization theory literature, leadership literature and public policy literature, for example, all contribute useful perspectives. In combination they can present critical insights into a contemporary leadership dilemma. Even in combination, however, these three do not permit a full understanding, either theoretical or practical, of the dimensions of...
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