Edited by Shaun Goldfinch and Joe L. Wallis
Chapter 5: Public Value-Seeking Leadership: Its Nature, Rationale and Development in the Context of Public Management Reform
Joe L. Wallis and Linda McLoughlin Introduction Theories of leadership have been formulated and developed in a number of disciplines in the humanities and allied social sciences. In many cases these theories conceive leadership as a response to dilemmas or issues that are of particular relevance to scholars working in a particular discipline or field of inquiry. Thus historians have long been interested in whether leadership is a significant causative factor in explaining historical change. For example, can significant historical changes be attributed to specific leaders as Carlyle’s (1841) ‘great man theory’ suggests or is leadership a response to situational factors that function as the main determinants of change? Or is it a combination of the two? Contemporary explanations of ‘the political economy of policy reform’ (Rodrik 1996; Wallis 1999) see leadership as a trait-dependent response by identifiable policy leaders to the ‘window of opportunity’ provided by a perceived economic crisis. In an exhaustive survey of leadership theories Bass (1990) notes that the debate between trait and situational theorists dominated the literature right up to the 1940s. After the Second World War there was a burgeoning of empirical and experimental work by psychologists and sociologists into the emergence of leadership in small groups (Fiedler 1967; Hersey and Blanchard 1967; House 1971; Vroom and Yetton 1973) that was integrated into theories of management and organizational behaviour. Bryman (1986) pointed out that this work tended to generate as many definitions as there were theories of leadership. However, its small group focus is...
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