Leadership Within Public Administration : The Field ( Javidan And Waldman 2003 )

Leadership Within Public Administration : The Field ( Javidan And Waldman 2003 )

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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 serve, further suggesting the hierarchy of leadership directly affects those lower in the practice of implementation. Using this definition as a basis, I believe it is a promising start for us to better understanding the role “leadership” plays in administration.
Given its broad nature, Wart (2003) suggests that a comprehensive model for leadership within public administration must be far more articulated to have the requisite explanatory power for the variety of situations and factors inherent in the vast world of public-sector leadership. Furthermore, considering the importance of leadership as it relates to the effectiveness of an administrator, Javidan and Waldman (2003) find that charismatic leadership is indeed helpful for productive and efficient work environments; however, this does not seem to be easily transferable to public sector bureaucracies since they are primarily characterized by their lack of turmoil and ambiguity. Although there is a clearer understanding of the role leaders...


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... 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 for.
Although there is a continuing need for more research, the research thus far on leadership is substantial. Administrators, practitioners, and the like should be held accountable for their ethical conduct as well as their leadership skills used to influence the productivity of work, despite the structure they are required to work in.

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