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Public Performance & Management Review

For a Special Issue on

Getting specific about public leadership

Manuscript deadline
01 July 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Lotte Bøgh Andersen, Aarhus University, Denmark
[email protected]

Sandra Groeneveld, Leiden University, the Netherlands
[email protected]

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Getting specific about public leadership

With the rise of autocratic leaders putting democracy at risk, the study of public leadership is more urgent than ever before. Administrative leadership - leadership of and within public organizations - needs to be responsive to changing demands from a variety of stakeholders, and also needs to uphold a diverse set of public values. While recent reviews of the literature (e.g. Vogel & Masal, 2015; Backhaus & Vogel, 2022) highlight that leadership is crucial for the effectiveness of public organizations, these and other syntheses of the literature also show weaknesses and blind spots in public leadership scholarship (Crosby & Bryson, 2018; Ospina, 2017). A wide variety of theories are used to inform academic research on public leadership but relying on concepts of leadership from generic management literature, so far, public leadership scholarship has failed to systematically include the essential features of leading public organizations and the potential impact on public value creation. Key questions are who or what is being led for what purposes with what results and who is involved in the leadership processes pertaining to issues of leadership and followership, collective forms of leadership, and diversity.

Drawing on previous calls (see for instance Crosby & Bryson, 2018), this special issue aims to collect empirical papers addressing the distinctiveness of public leadership, framed as “leadership for the common good, for the purpose of creating public value” (Getha-Taylor et al., 2011, p. i84). The special issue welcomes contributions scrutinizing the public of public leadership. We prioritize empirical papers that make a conceptual or theoretical contribution based on rigorous methodologies, either quantitative, qualitative or mixed-methods from diverse empirical settings. Topics include, but
are not limited to:

  • The specificities of public leadership entailing questions about the role of publicness and public values in leadership enactment.
  • The dark sides of leadership entailing questions about leadership and power abuse as well as leadership destroying rather than creating public value.
  • How different types of leadership are associated with outcomes that are especially relevant in a public context (e.g. public service motivation, inclusive culture and attainment of politically determined goals).
  • Leadership as a relation and as a process entailing questions about leadership and followership.
  • Collective forms of leadership, such shared and distributed leadership, their conceptualization and measurement as well as the role division between formal and informal leadership.
  • Diversity and discrimination in public leader selection and assessment.
  • Features of leadership development programs that have proven to support public leadership practice.

Deadline: 1 July 2024

Submission Instructions

Select the title of the Special Issue when submitting your paper to ScholarOne. Questions can be sent to [email protected] and [email protected].

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