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Developing “middle leaders” in the public services? The realities of management and leadership development for public managers

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:https://doi.org/10.1108/09513550910982841)

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] First published: 2009. [2] Published as: International Journal of Public Sector Management, (2009), Vol. 22, (6), pp. 464-477. [3] 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
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Work & Employment Research Unit (WERU)
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Work & Employment Research Unit (WERU)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:04
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/1734

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