scispace - formally typeset
Search or ask a question
Journal ArticleDOI

Perceived managerial and leadership effectiveness within the Canadian public sector

01 Dec 2020-Human Resource Development Quarterly (Wiley)-Vol. 31, Iss: 4, pp 423-448
TL;DR: In this article, an accepted manuscript of an article published by Wiley in Human Resource Development Quarterly on 28/07/2020, available online: https://doi.org/10.1002/hrdq.21406
Abstract: This is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Wiley in Human Resource Development Quarterly on 28/07/2020, available online: https://doi.org/10.1002/hrdq.21406 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version

Summary (5 min read)

1. INTRODUCTION

  • In the increasingly complex and ambiguous world of the 21st century new challenges and pressures are being placed on public sector organizations (Vogel & Masal, 2015).
  • This emerged from a multiple cross-case comparative analysis of their obtained empirical source data.
  • The authors conclude there is a compelling need for more management researchers to explore and identify the specific types of managerial (manager/leader) behavior required to manage and lead employees effectively within contemporary public sector organizations.

2.2. Recent public sector management and administrative leadership research

  • Historically, most public sector administrative leadership research has been focused on issues of reform, administrative discretion, and ethics in government, while practitioners have continued to focus their attention on debates of leaders’ characteristics and leaders’ actions rather than on their behavioral effectiveness (Van Wart, 2003; 2013).
  • Only 23 of the 129 studies were empirical qualitative inquiries applying qualitative data analysis methods.
  • As reported by Van Wart (2013), the authors have found from their own review of the public management and public administration literature very few contemporary empirical managerial behavior studies that focus specifically on ‘managerial effectiveness’, ‘leadership effectiveness’, or other ‘managerial performancerelated’ issues.
  • These studies say little about modern-day perceptions of those specific managerial behaviors that public managers need to emulate, or avoid exhibiting, if they are to be perceived and judged effective by their respective superiors, peers, and subordinates.

2.3. Recent calls for more managerial behavior research in the public sector

  • Head (2010) argues that researchers should be focusing attention onto the specific experiences of today’s managers and how they perceive and understand the skills and managerial behaviors required for strategic [and operational] success.
  • These theories, as well as other classical theories of leadership, are widely assumed to be generic and universally applicable in all organizational settings.
  • As Vogel and Masal (2015) conclude, “much still remains to be done in order to yield urgently needed insights into the complex phenomenon of public leadership” (p.1183).
  • Indeed, as Whiddett and Hollforde (2007) claim, many managers find it hard to use management competency frameworks.
  • The authors address these concerns and criticisms by generating a body of public sector context-specific evidence that could be applied with considerable confidence by HRD practitioners and other HR professionals to inform and shape the creation of various HRrelated ‘tools’, including MLD programs, management competency frameworks, 360 degree feedback questionnaires, and performance appraisal criteria.

2.4 Non-functionalist approaches to the study of managerial activities and behaviour

  • Since the 1980s most studies of managerial activities and behavior have fallen within the functionalist paradigm (Burrell & Morgan, 1979) using predominantly Bass and Avolio’s (1990) multifactor leadership questionnaire (MLQ) for gathering data (cf. Chapman et al., 2016; Hinkin & Schriesheim, 2008; Vogel & Masal, 2015).
  • For the afore-mentioned and cited cumulative series of qualitative managerial behavior studies within UK public, private and third sector organizations, Hamlin and his co-researchers adopted a ‘constructivist-interpretivist’ approach and used the critical incident technique (CIT) to collect their empirical data (Hamlin, 2009).
  • A common feature of these various non-functionalist studies is that the resulting sets of behavioral measures (dimensions/criteria) and emergent lay models were derived from people’s perceptions of managerial effectiveness or leadership effectiveness which, as claimed by Lord (1985), influence managerial behavior.
  • These concerns have led to several calls for leadership behavior research to be conducted in public healthcare-specific settings (see Gilmartin & D’Aunno, 2007; West et al., 2015; Willcocks, 2012).

3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

  • To address RQ1, their philosophical position was informed by ‘pragmatism’ and the pragmatic approach (Morgan, 2007).
  • This approach allows researchers to adopt paradigmatic assumptions that best fit the purpose of the central and specific research questions of a study (Cunliffe, 2011).
  • The authors assumed a post-positivist ontology and a constructivist-interpretivist epistemology (Bryman & Bell, 2015; Hamlin, 2015; Ponterotto, 2005).
  • The authors research design was additionally informed by Tsang and Kwan’s (1999) notion of ‘empirical generalization’ research based on ‘replication logic’, and by Eisenhardt’s (1989) advocacy of ‘cross-case comparative analysis’ plus Anderson’s (2017) criteria for evaluating qualitative research.

3.1.1. Organizational context and sample of research participants

  • The collaborating organization for this component of their study is a Canadian public utility company where, at the time this research took place, Author 2 was employed in a senior managerial position.
  • The company, which employs around 2,500 people, is in the business of electricity generation, transmission, and distribution.
  • As this component of their study was replicating Hamlin’s public sector-related ‘replication’ managerial behavior research conducted in the UK, the research design was similarly guided by the ‘multiple constituency model’ of organizational effectiveness as used by Tsui (1990) for exploring managerial reputational effectiveness.
  • Hence, a purposeful sampling methodology (Creswell, 2005) was deployed to obtain a balanced sample of research participants (Baarspul & Wilderom, 2011).
  • The sample was comprised of managers (n=28) and non-managerial employees (n=28) drawn from three functionally distinct departments.

3.1.2. Data collection

  • Empirical data was collected solely by Author 2 using Flanagan’s (1954) critical incident technique (CIT).
  • Those participants who held managerial positions were told not to volunteer CIs describing behaviors relating to their own management/leadership practices.
  • In the main the actual words and phraseology of the research participants who had provided the CIT data were used.
  • She then subjected these retained usable CIs to ‘member validation’.

3.1.3. Data analysis

  • The authors jointly subjected the retained CIs to a theoretical coding and categorizing process involving open coding and axial coding (Flick, 2009) applied at a semantic level of analysis.
  • The coded CIs seen to be identical or closely the same in textual substance and meaning with other CIs were accordingly grouped together to form discrete behavioral categories.
  • Once a consensus had been reached the respective BCs and descriptive labels were re-elaborated.
  • Because the authors could find no directly comparable North American-based studies, they decided to use instead one or more ‘replication’ managerial behavior studies carried out by Author 1 with various co-researchers within the public sector of another ‘Anglo’ country, namely the UK.
  • Similarity was deemed to exist when the BS sentences and/or phrases were different, but the kind of meaning was the same.

4. RESULTS

  • 1. Component 1 Results (Addressing RQ1) Author 2 collected a total of 530 usable critical incidents (CIs) from 56 research participants (see Table 3) of which 269 were examples of positive and 261 of negative <<<Insert Table 3 about here>>> (in) managerial behavior.
  • The qualitative open and axial coding of these CIs resulted in 50 positive discrete behavioral categories (BSs) and 49 negative BSs being deduced, as presented in the left-hand columns of Table 4 and Table 5 respectively.
  • They are presented in bold typeface above the respective clusters of underpinning constituent BSs in the left-hand columns of Table 4 and Table 5 respectively.
  • Furthermore, they contain no consistency of meaning with any of the deduced positive BCs.

4.2. Component 2 results (Addressing RQ 2)

  • The authors multiple cross-case/cross-nation (Canada-UK) comparative analysis revealed high degrees of convergent meaning, as indicated by the way the compared British BSs are juxtaposed in the right-hand columns of Table 4 and Table 5 respectively.
  • Due to an assumed potential word count limit, in Table 4 only one (or in some cases two) of the respective juxtaposed positive British BSs are shown in full.
  • In Table 5, only the identification number of the negative British BSs are shown.
  • Full details of the Component 2 cross-case/cross-nation comparative analyses are available on request from Author 1].
  • In addition, by being ‘nearopposite’ in meaning to the negative Canadian BSs (N25, N26 and N32), a further 6% (n=3) of the deduced positive Canadian BSs (P48, P49 and P50) are also generalised to the British public sector.

5. DISCUSSION

  • And how they compare against what has been found in the UK.the authors.
  • Overall, the 28 deduced positive and negative behavioral criteria (BCs) and their respective underpinning BSs provide meaningful and contextually relevant insights and a better understanding of what behaviorally distinguishes effective managers from ineffective managers within a Canadian public utility company.
  • Conversely, they are perceived ineffective when they: exhibit rude, disrespectful, undermining and/or selfish/self-serving behaviour; treat staff inconsistently and with favouritism; avoid dealing with conflict/disciplinary issues; mislead and manipulate people; procrastinate, avoid making decisions and abdicate from their managerial responsibilities; make decisions based on assumptions instead of facts; and exhibit inappropriate autocratic controlling behaviour.
  • A superficial comparison against Cammock et al.’s (1995) lay model of managerial effectiveness relevant to a large public sector organization in New Zealand has revealed a high degree of convergent meaning.

5.2. Component 2 (Addressing RQ 2)

  • Of the combined positive and negative BSs resulting from their Component 1 research, 92.93% (n=92) appear to a greater or lesser extent to be similar to the BSs resulting from the four equivalent British public sector single organization ‘replication’ studies against which they were compared.
  • These high degrees of similarity and consistency of meaning suggest perceptions of effective and ineffective managers held by people employed within one subarea of the Canadian public sector, are much the same as those of people employed within the ‘central government’, ‘local government’ and ‘healthcare’ subareas of the UK public sector.
  • It should be noted that the descriptive labels of the 7 deduced Canadian BSs (P21, P29, P32, P47, N4, N5, N11) which have no convergent meaning with any of the compared British BSs, contain no element of meaning that can be regarded as being context-specific or culture-specific to the Canadian public utility sector.
  • Interestingly, the BS findings resulting from the previously cited equivalent ‘replication’ studies carried out by Hamlin and other co-researchers within public hospitals in Egypt, Mexico and Romania respectively, are highly convergent in meaning with the BS findings of the two British NHS Trust hospital studies (Case UKB & Case UKC) used for their Component 2 research.
  • And over 84% of the positive and negative Mexican BSs were found to be consistent in meaning with over 82% and 90% of BSs resulting from the British UKB and UKC studies, respectively.

5.3 Theoretical contribution

  • Component 1 of their study has generated a lay model of perceived managerial and leadership effectiveness.
  • This has been shown to be directly convergent in meaning with equivalent public sector-specific lay models generated in the UK and New Zealand, and indirectly in several ‘Non-Anglo’ countries.
  • Specifically, it provides contemporary insights from 21st century research as to the types of behavior that public managers need to emulate and avoid exhibiting, if they are to be perceived effective by their superiors, peers, and subordinates.
  • Hence, the authors suggest their derived public sector-related context-specific lay model is likely to strike a stronger chord with public managers than the context-general theories, concepts, and models of management and leadership generated from mid-20th century research.
  • Additionally, their affective negative reaction to ineffective managerial behavior may be stronger than their positive reaction to effective managerial behavior.

5.4. Implications for HRD practice

  • The authors study addresses Orazi et al.’s (2013) call for the creation of specific public sectorrelated leadership development programs rather than mimicking programs designed for leaders in the private sector.
  • Furthermore, various writers claim that many MLD training programs are ineffective, or that skills and knowledge learned are insufficiently transferred back to the manager’s job (Alimo Metcalfe & Alban Metcalfe, 2003; Brown, McCracken & Hillier, 2013; Gurdjian, Halbeisen, & Lane, 2014).
  • The findings of their study have been shown to be context-general, and not context- specific to the Canadian public utility company that the authors studied.
  • Furthermore, they could be used to derive behavioral measurement criteria relevant for selection, performance appraisal and other HR systems, and/or to inform ‘evidence-based’ HRD/OD initiatives for bringing about strategic change in the management culture of public sector organizations (e.g. Hamlin & Reidy, 2005).
  • Those with a self-regulatory focus (Higgins, 1996; Stam, Van Knippenberg, & Wisse, 2010) on ‘promotion’ and the desire to reach successes and ideals, would likely be motivated by the positive BCs constituting the model.

5.5. Limitations and suggestions for future research

  • The authors acknowledge two limitations to the study.
  • First, the code of anonymity applied during the Component 1 CIT data collection process required that participants did not reveal the identity of the manager whose ‘critical incident’ behavior was being described.
  • Hence, the findings from this component of their study can make no contribution to advancing a multidirectional understanding of perceived managerial and leadership effectiveness.
  • Second, the results of their Component 1 research within the selected Canadian public utility company have been shown to be similar to those that resulted from equivalent single organization ‘replication’ managerial behavior studies in three different subareas of the British public sector.
  • Furthermore, these should be followed by MCCCAs of the respective findings because country-spanning research of this kind might lead to the identification of a public sector-related ‘universalistic’ model or taxonomy of perceived managerial and leadership effectiveness.

5.6. Conclusion

  • The authors paper offers new and contextually relevant contemporary insights into the types of managerial behaviors that managers within a Canadian public utility company need to emulate -or avoid exhibiting- if they are to be perceived effective by their superiors, peers and subordinates.
  • Additionally, it demonstrates empirically that managers and nonmanagerial employees in this Canadian company perceive effective and ineffective managerial behavior in much the same way as their counterparts within other organizations in different subareas of the public sector in the UK and New Zealand, and indirectly in several Non-Anglo countries.
  • This suggests the findings of their study might have relevance and utility for informing HRD policy and practice within a wider range of public sector organizations within other subareas of the public sector, and in other countries.

Did you find this useful? Give us your feedback

Content maybe subject to copyright    Report

Citations
More filters
Journal Article
TL;DR: The purpose and functions of the Highway Research Board's Committee on Conduct of Research are set forth, and papers sponsored by the committee and presented at the Annual Meetings of the highway Research Board are mentioned.
Abstract: The purpose and functions of the Highway Research Board's Committee on Conduct of Research are set forth, and papers sponsored by the Committee and presented at the Annual Meetings of the Highway Research Board are mentioned. The Committee, which seeks to improve the quality and effectiveness of research, serves as a forum for the exhange of ideas and the delineation of the problems associated with the various methods of organizing and administering research programs, the consideration of project design and instrumentation, and the application of research findings in the transportation field. The Committee has sponsored Annual Meeting sessions (in 1969, 1973, and 1974) on various aspects (selection, design, and supervision of projects as well as the implementation of results and evaluation of the benefits) of research management. Papers presented at the 1969 sessions were published in Highway Research Record 338. Eight papers presented at the 1973 sessions are included in this publication.

795 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: This program introduces participants to the five practices of exemplary leadership: modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling others to act, and encouraging the heart
Abstract: Building Leadership Effectiveness This program encourages leaders to develop practices that transform values into action, vision into realities, obstacles into innovations, and risks into rewards. Participants will be introduced to the five practices of exemplary leadership: modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling others to act, and encouraging the heart Coaching & Communicating for Performance Coaching & Communicating for Performance is a highly interactive program that will give supervisors and managers the opportunity to build skills that will enable them to share expectations and set objectives for employees, provide constructive feedback, more effectively engage in learning conversations, and coaching opportunities. Skillful Conflict Management for Leaders As a leader, it is important to understand conflict and be effective at conflict management because the way conflict is resolved becomes an integral component of our university’s culture. This series of conflict management sessions help leaders learn and put into practice effective strategies for managing conflict.

231 citations

01 Jan 2006
TL;DR: In this article, the authors investigate the effects of appeals that focus on preventing an undesirable situation (i.e., prevention-appeals) as well as appealing to promote a desirable situation (e.g., promotion-appeal).
Abstract: It is generally argued that leader visions motivate followers by focusing on reaching desirable end-states. However, it has also been suggested that visions may motivate followers by focusing on avoiding undesirable situations. In this paper we investigate the effects of appeals that focus on preventing an undesirable situation (i.e., prevention-appeals) as well as appeals that focus on promoting a desirable situation (i.e., promotion-appeals). We argue that the effectiveness of promotion- and prevention-appeals is contingent on follower regulatory focus. In two experiments we show that prevention-appeals lead to better performance than promotion-appeals for more prevention-focused followers, while the reverse is true for more promotion-focused followers. We find this pattern for a dispositional measure of follower regulatory focus (Study 1) as well as for a manipulation of follower regulatory focus (Study 2). Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

106 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Mar 1987-Nature
TL;DR: The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Vol. 2, No. 2 1837-1843 as discussed by the authors, edited by Frederick Burkhardt and Sydney Smith. Pp.1,138.
Abstract: The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Vol. 2 1837–1843. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt andSydney Smith. Cambridge University Press:1987. Pp.603. £30, $37.50. The Darwinian Heritage. Edited by David Kohn. Princeton University Press: 1986. Pp.1,138. $95, £63.40.

4 citations

References
More filters
Journal ArticleDOI
01 Feb 2009
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors describe the process of inducting theory using case studies from specifying the research questions to reaching closure, which is a process similar to hypothesis-testing research.
Abstract: Building Theories From Case Study Research - This paper describes the process of inducting theory using case studies from specifying the research questions to reaching closure. Some features of the process, such as problem definition and construct validation, are similar to hypothesis-testing research. Others, such as within-case analysis and replication logic, are unique to the inductive, case-oriented process. Overall, the process described here is highly iterative and tightly linked to data. This research approach is especially appropriate in new topic areas. The resultant theory is often novel, testable, and empirically valid. Finally, framebreaking insights, the tests of good theory (e.g., parsimony, logical coherence), and convincing grounding in the evidence are the key criteria for evaluating this type of research.

40,005 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors define a leadership event as a perceived segment of action whose meaning is created by the interactions of actors involved in producing it, and present a set of innovative methods for capturing and analyzing these contextually driven processes.
Abstract: �Traditional, hierarchical views of leadership are less and less useful given the complexities of our modern world. Leadership theory must transition to new perspectives that account for the complex adaptive needs of organizations. In this paper, we propose that leadership (as opposed to leaders) can be seen as a complex dynamic process that emerges in the interactive “spaces between” people and ideas. That is, leadership is a dynamic that transcends the capabilities of individuals alone; it is the product of interaction, tension, and exchange rules governing changes in perceptions and understanding. We label this a dynamic of adaptive leadership, and we show how this dynamic provides important insights about the nature of leadership and its outcomes in organizational fields. We define a leadership event as a perceived segment of action whose meaning is created by the interactions of actors involved in producing it, and we present a set of innovative methods for capturing and analyzing these contextually driven processes. We provide theoretical and practical implications of these ideas for organizational behavior and organization and management theory.

22,673 citations

Journal ArticleDOI

8,493 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, an introduction to qualitative research is presented, with an emphasis on the use of qualitative research in the context of information systems, and an overview of the methods used.
Abstract: (2000). An introduction to qualitative research. European Journal of Information Systems: Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 127-128.

6,912 citations


"Perceived managerial and leadership..." refers methods in this paper

  • ...Author 1 (Hamlin) initially subjected the derived BSs to selective coding to identify a smaller number of core categories around which they could be grouped, and by which they could be integrated (Flick, 2009)....

    [...]

  • ...The authors jointly subjected the retained CIs to a theoretical coding and categorizing process involving open coding and axial coding (Flick, 2009) applied at a semantic level of analysis....

    [...]

  • ...process involving open coding and axial coding (Flick, 2009) applied at a semantic level of analysis....

    [...]

  • ...Author 1 (Hamlin) initially subjected the derived BSs to selective coding to identify a smaller number of core categories around which they could be grouped, and by which they could be integrated (Flick, 2009)....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors found that bad is stronger than good, as a general principle across a broad range of psychological phenomena, such as bad emotions, bad parents, bad feedback, and bad information is processed more thoroughly than good.
Abstract: The greater power of bad events over good ones is found in everyday events, major life events (e.g., trauma), close relationship outcomes, social network patterns, interpersonal interactions, and learning processes. Bad emotions, bad parents, and bad feedback have more impact than good ones, and bad information is processed more thoroughly than good. The self is more motivated to avoid bad self-definitions than to pursue good ones. Bad impressions and bad stereotypes are quicker to form and more resistant to disconfirmation than good ones. Various explanations such as diagnosticity and salience help explain some findings, but the greater power of bad events is still found when such variables are controlled. Hardly any exceptions (indicating greater power of good) can be found. Taken together, these findings suggest that bad is stronger than good, as a general principle across a broad range of psychological phenomena.

5,340 citations

Frequently Asked Questions (2)
Q1. What are the contributions in "Perceived managerial and leadership effectiveness within the canadian public sector" ?

This study responds primarily to numerous calls for specific public management and public administration-related research to better understand public leadership currently performed in an increasingly complex and ambiguous world. Implications of these study findings for HRD research and practice are discussed. 

The authors then outline the implications of their findings for practice, discuss the study limitations, offer suggestions for future research, and close with a few concluding comments. Their results suggest that 21st century managers are perceived effective by their superiors, peers and subordinates when they: produce well informed plans and schedules of work, clearly structure staff roles, responsibilities and performance expectations ; monitor and hold staff accountable against set performance criteria ; provide constructive feedback ; take ownership and accept responsibility when things go wrong ; investigate and handle staff problems with discretion and sensitivity ; show a personal interest in the work of their staff by interacting with them and parading their achievements ; praise and thank staff for work well done ; delegate to and empower staff ; show genuine concern for their welfare and well-being ; actively address their learning and personal development needs ; build trusting relationships and follow through on promises and commitments ; involve staff in decisions by seeking and listening to their ideas and concerns ; engage in two way dialogue and hold regular meetings with staff ; share information on important matters that affect them, and show and secure commitment to change initiatives, acting as champion and taking ownership of the change process. Following Cammock et al. ( 1995 ), the authors suggest their 16 derived positive BCs and 12 derived negative BCs could be thought of as a two-dimensional lay model of perceived managerial and leadership effectiveness relevant to the studied Canadian public utility company.