Developing “middle leaders” in the public services? The realities of management and leadership development for public managers
McGurk, Patrick (2009) Developing “middle leaders” in the public services? The realities of management and leadership development for public managers. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 22 (6). 464- 477. ISSN 0951-3558 (doi:10.1108/09513550910982841)Full text not available from this repository.
Purpose – This paper aims to assess the actual contribution to organisational change of management and leadership development (MLD) activity for middle managers (MMs) in public service organisations (PSOs).
Design/methodology/approach – Using the case study approach, the paper compares the content and outcomes of management and leadership training interventions for MMs in two large PSOs. The organisations, a fire brigade and a train operating company, are leaders in their sectors with respect to management development and “modernisation” of their services.
Findings – The paper demonstrates how, in one case, MM development was largely an exercise in regulatory compliance, with little effect on individual MMs' performance or organisational outcomes. The second case demonstrates how MMs were effectively trained to enforce specific human resource policies which contributed to the successful implementation of top-down strategy yet paid little attention to the potential leadership role of MMs.
Research limitations/implications – The paper highlights the need for further contextualised research at organisational level into the outcomes of MLD, especially in terms of different public service contexts. Practical implications – The paper demonstrates the dangers of designing and implementing development programmes without sufficient regard to professional practice and the realities of managerial discretion in PSOs.
Originality/value – The paper provides an in-depth and contextualised insight into the conditions for success and failure in management development interventions in PSOs.
|Additional Information:|| First published: 2009.  Published as: International Journal of Public Sector Management, (2009), Vol. 22, (6), pp. 464-477.  Highly Commended paper in the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2010, for the International Journal of Public Sector Management (for further information see - http://www.emeraldinsight.com/authors/literati/index.htm).|
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||leadership development, management development, middle managers, public sector organizations, public sector reform|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management|
|School / Department / Research Groups:||School of Business|
School of Business > Work & Employment Research Unit
|Last Modified:||11 Dec 2013 11:28|
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