Public Sector Leadership
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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.
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Chapter 4: Leading Central Banking in Europe

Martin Marcussen


Martin Marcussen FROM BUDDIES TO MANAGERS It is not so long ago that central bankers cultivated an image of mysticism by actively invoking the sacred aura of their institution. When newly employed personnel entered the US Federal Reserve Building, they were expected to abide by the confidential fraternity of that institution. They were ‘taking the veil,’ an expression that describes nuns entering a convent (Greider 1987, p. 54). In Germany, it was the same. The Bundesbank was reputed for its very effective socialization mechanisms ensuring that newcomers rapidly internalized the procedures and cultures of the institution. Bundesbank insiders referred to this phenomenon as ‘the Becket effect’ drawing ‘on the saga of Henry II’s chancellor, Thomas à Becket, who opposed the King after he was made Archbishop of Canterbury – and was murdered for his pains’ (Marsh 1992, p. 22). This helps to explain the development of a very strong sense of community within the Bundesbank. The Federal Reserve’s decision-making process has been described as the modern equivalent of mysterious sanctification. The Fed ‘enfolded itself in the same protective trappings that adorned the temple – secrecy, mystique, an awesome authority that was neither visible nor legible to mere mortals. Like the temple, the Fed did not answer to the people, it spoke for them. Its decrees were cast in a mysterious language people could not understand, but its voice, they knew, was powerful and important’ (Greider 1987, p. 240). In a similar vein, and borrowing a concept from William Ouchi (1980), Bundesbank governors...

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