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Andrew Beer

This chapter examines regionalism in Australia and New Zealand and argues there are both profound similarities and differences between the two in their approach to regions, and the communities that live within them. In both nations neoliberal policies over the past three decades have eroded government support for regional policies, with decision makers favouring national economic growth over a concern for the spatial distribution of economic opportunities. In Australia this policy framework has been enacted within a federal system of government, while New Zealand has a unitary system of government. In both instances, regional policies have emerged episodically and have not found systematic translation to programmes and actions. The chapter goes on to demonstrate that in Australia over the past 20 years governments have given greater political priority to questions of regional well-being, and this renewed focus has emerged as a response to voter dis-satisfaction outside the capitals. It argues that this new political landscape has generated new opportunities for regions to gain access to resources and make representations to central governments for resources.

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Edited by Markku Sotarauta and Andrew Beer

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Markku Sotarauta and Andrew Beer

This chapter frames the handbook by discussing the concept of leadership and its place in city and regional development and discussing briefly the conceptual variety in the study of city and regional leadership. City and regional leadership are discussed by using the notion of ‘place leadership’ as an umbrella concept, capturing many conceptualisations. Place leadership is defined as the mobilisation of key resources, competencies and powers; it is argued that mobilisation is one of the core concepts in place leadership. Relatedly, all leadership studies set in a sub-national context show that leadership is more relational and collaborative rather than heroic and individualistic. Therefore, in any study on place leadership, it is crucial to understand its relationship with governance, economic and geographical structures. The contextual nature of place leadership is one of the cornerstones in a study of its many dimensions. The chapter also discusses who place leaders might be in varying contexts. In conclusion, the key questions in a study of city and regional development are introduced.

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Andrew Beer and Jacob Irving

Place leadership research has made significant advancements in recent years, but has lacked a concern for the embrace of new methodologies. While there has been some experimentation with alternative approaches, many opportunities remain unexplored that have found pre-eminence in other fields. By drawing on insights from organisational studies’ refined quantitative methods and metrics, and the qualitative methods of political science to capture greater context and purpose of leadership, there is the potential to advance our capacity to find solutions to pressing academic and policy challenges within regional research and practice. Likewise, further rich methodological and conceptual insights are found within the broader social sciences literature and beyond. This chapter concludes there is a need for researchers of place leadership to adopt innovative approaches and move beyond small scale research, with major technical and conceptual advances likely to come from larger programs of work and substantial groups of scholars working together.

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Helen Dinmore and Andrew Beer

Both academic and popular media accounts of the transformation of cities, towns and regions are rich in stories of the efforts of local leaders. Outside academic research, narratives of leadership tend to be focussed on the role of an individual and their apparent solo efforts to transform the future of their rural community, town or major urban centre, while within academic scholarship there has been a reliance on the identification and analysis of specific case studies. Both are instances of ‘storytelling’ and utilise the social power of narratives to influence the reader and take a culturally-situated position on leadership and its contexts. This article gives an overview of a number of narratological concepts relevant to a subsequent close analysis of two texts: one a popular media account of the ‘Beechworth Baker’, and one an academic article on multi-level governance settings in Italy and the UK. It demonstrates the effect of the narrative impulse and narrative techniques in writing governed by two very different sets of conventions, and acknowledges the power of narrative as a communication tool for researchers while alerting them to the implications of storytelling as a cultural practice.

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Edited by Markku Sotarauta and Andrew Beer

In this timely Handbook, people emerge at the centre of city and regional development debates from the perspective of leadership. It explores individuals and communities, not only as units that underpin aggregate measures or elements within systems, but as deliberative actors with ambitions, desires, strategies and objectives.
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Andrew Beer, Markku Sotarauta and Karen Ayles

The notion of place leadership with its many names has attracted increasing interest in scholarly communities. This chapter paints a picture of the spread and depth of contemporary place leadership studies. It presents the main results of a literature review that was undertook in January and February 2020. The research questions were: How has the study on place leadership evolved and, more specifically, what are the empirical contexts these studies focus on, what kind of methodologies have been exploited? Also, what are the main observations? The chapter adds to existing research on place leadership by providing the first systematic review of academic literature on leadership in its many territorial and spatial forms. The chapter concludes: (a) there is a need to develop substantially the theoretical and methodological basis for the study of place leadership; (b) comparative research designs involving case studies are an effective way of identifying the linkages between urban and regional growth and leadership; (c) research on place leadership is well positioned to inform policy makers and development practitioners at different levels on how to improve leadership capacity in, and for, a range of governance settings, leadership practices and capabilities.