Table of Contents

Public Sector Leadership

Public Sector Leadership

International Challenges and Perspectives

Edited by Jeffrey A. Raffel, Peter Leisink and Anthony E. Middlebrooks

The authors of this book define the issues facing public authorities and organizations in a range of developed nations as they address the challenges of the 21st century. They examine an array of ways leaders across these nations are addressing these challenges. The result is a comprehensive analysis of ways to improve leadership in the public sector and of the role of political and administrative leaders in shaping the future of the public sector. The overriding question addressed by this volume is how public leadership across the globe addresses new challenges (e.g., security, financial, demographic), new expectations of leaders (e.g., New Public Management, multi-sector service provision), and what leadership means in the new public sector.

Chapter 13: Beyond Cognition: Affective Leadership and Emotional Labor

Meredith A. Newman, Mary E. Guy and Sharon H. Mastracci

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies, public management, politics and public policy, leadership, public administration and management, public policy


Meredith A. Newman, Mary E. Guy and Sharon H. Mastracci Leadership boils down to a series of social exchanges in which the leader can drive the other person’s emotions into a better or worse state. (Goleman 2006, p. 276) Leadership touches the human spirit, and touching the human spirit has always been the work of art and aesthetics. It’s not surprising, therefore, that good leaders have always thought of leadership as more of an art than a science. (Denhardt and Denhardt 2006, p. 175) Leadership . . . is above all an emotional phenomenon. (Popper 2005, p. 4) Public Service leadership is soulwork. (Kramer 2002, p. 131) Group leadership is far more an art than a science. (Bennis 2000, p. 140) Attention to any number of high-profile administrative and leadership failures (FEMA Director Brown’s response to Hurricane Katrina) and successes (NY Mayor Giuliani’s response to 9/11) encourages us to rethink our assumptions about what it takes to be an effective leader – or more precisely to be an affective leader. How do the concepts of emotional labor and artful affect translate into our understanding of leadership? Where would one find affective leadership in practice? In order to address these questions we conducted field research into the daily work experiences of public servants on the front-line of service delivery. The purpose of this chapter is to use their ‘stories’ to advance our understanding of leadership and to shine a bright light on the skills that are inherent to its practice. How might leadership relate to...

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