Role Of Leadership In Public Administration

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Previous literature has sought to understand the phenomenon of leadership in public administration. Research has found significant and interesting evidence contributing to the characteristics thought to be most useful in the field (Javidan and Waldman 2003), while other research focuses on leadership in the public sector of administration (Wart 2003). However, perhaps the most compelling argument surrounding leadership in administration focuses more on the structure administrators serve within (Huxham and Vangen 2000).
Leadership, as defined by Shafritz (2004), is the exercise of authority, whether formal or informal, in directing and coordinating the work of others. This definition alludes to the varying capacities in which administrators
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Burns stated that leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomenon on earth; however, I believe that if we are able to understand Huxham and Vangen’s proposed cyclical connection, we are in turn allowing for a better understanding of leadership. From this, I understand that leadership is in part a product of leadership legitimacy, with the bulk of the product originating from predetermined structures, process, and participants. This not only affects leadership effectiveness, it also effects the role ethics and accountability plays. Ethics is crucial to the influence of power, tools, and skills used by leaders. For example, if the executive director of Bridges, a non-profit in Memphis, wanted to add more programs the way she would motivate her employees to do so should be in an ethical yet efficient way. However, if she decides to make use of her ability to manipulate her employees in an unethical manner, she would still be acting as a leader despite the tactic used to do so. Despite the opportunity to not do so, leaders in public administration, more specifically those in the public sector, should use ethics as they serve in their various leadership roles since their implementation and carryout of a policy directly impacts those around them. Likewise, accountability is also held at a constant for leaders in the public sector. Much like with their ethical values, leaders are to be able to effectively implement action that they can be held accountable

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