Administrative reform as adaptive challenge

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Administrative reform as adaptive challenge

  1. 1. Administrative Reformas Adaptive Challenge:Selected PublicLeadership ImplicationsErwin SchwellaSchool of Public Management andPlanningUniver sity of StellenboschSouth Africaerwin.schwella@sopmp.sun.ac.za
  2. 2. Introduction The complex and dynamic context of public service across the globe creates many challenges for public leaders. Administrative reform represents one such recurring and important challenge for public service systems and public leadership.
  3. 3. Introduction To deal with administrative reform, public leaders have to understand and analyse the context in which they lead. Based on this they have to select and develop relevant leadership strategies and behaviours.
  4. 4. Introduction Purpose: Focus on leadership implications of administrative reform.
  5. 5. Introduction To serve this purpose:  Investigate the nature and impact of the context of public leadership  Identify challenges from the context, specific reference to administrative reform.  Introduce current public leadership concepts and theories to enhance an understanding of public leadership.  Use and apply this understanding towards an analysis of the nature of the challenges faced by public leaders today  Provide pointers towards useful and functional public leadership responses to these challenges.
  6. 6. The nature and impact of the contextof public leadership  Context considered in terms of:  The importance of context,  Conceptualising context,  Public sector leadership contexts,  Techniques that can be used to understand and analyse context  Strategic analysis  Scenario analysis
  7. 7. Leadership challenges from thecontext with specific reference toadministrative reform Increasing the understanding of the variety of developments that are frequently characterised as globalisation; the globalisation challenge. The realisation that the public problems which governments now most frequently deal with have grown in number, are becoming even more complex and that frequently there appears to be no clear-cut solutions or right or wrong answers for many of them; the complexity challenge.
  8. 8. Leadership challenges from thecontext with specific reference toadministrative reform The growing gap between the rich and the poor in both the developed industrialised countries and the less economically well-developed transitional countries; the inequality challenge. The critical need to further address issues of gender equality, especially in the area of educational opportunities in all societies; the gender equality challenge. The growing incorporation of norms of cultural diversity into all sectors of society, with the consequent escalating demands for the direct representation of cultural and ethnic interests and heritages in the processes of public administration and governance; the diversity challenge.
  9. 9. Leadership challenges from thecontext with specific reference toadministrative reform The considerable movement toward political democratisation with its greatly increased emphasis on ethical behaviour in government, civil service transparency and accountability; the good governance challenge. The gradual weakening of state capacity, and in some cases, the actual disintegration of the state; the capacity challenge.
  10. 10. Leadership challenges from thecontext with specific reference toadministrative reform The combination of a decrease of trust in government institutions, and the growth of multinational integration, leading to the increased disintegration of the capacity of the nation state; the erosion of confidence challenge. The rapidly growing interest in the decentralisation of previously centralised governance institutions and the broadening of local governance capacity; the local empowerment and capacity challenge.
  11. 11. Leadership challenges from thecontext with specific reference toadministrative reform The continued search for optimal solutions to optimalise the structures and functioning of policy implementation and service delivery systems recently resulting in the new public management approach with its emphasis on market based options to address public policy needs linked to significant increases in utilising private or non-profit sector institutions and/or “solutions” for delivering public programmers; the administrative reform challenge.
  12. 12. Towards understanding publicleadership: public leadershipconcepts and theories Leadership approaches  Traits approaches  Behavioural approaches  Situational approaches  Transformational approaches  Social learning approaches  Administrative reform as adaptive issue
  13. 13. Adaptive versus TechnicalWork Direction Define problems and Identify adaptive provide solutions challenge, frame questions/issues Protection Shield organisation from Expose to external threats pressures within a tolerable range Orientation Clarify roles and Challenge roles; let new responsibilties ones develope Managing Conflict Restore order Expose conflict and let it emerge Shaping Norms Maintain norms Challenge unproductive roles
  14. 14. Social Learning Approaches Ronald Heifetz’s “Leadership Without Easy Answers”  Adaptive versus technical work  Get on the balcony  Identify the adaptive challenge  Regulate distress  Maintain disciplined attention  Give the work back to the people  Protect voices of leadership from below
  15. 15. Leadership and Learning inContext Aardema identifies leadership strategies in terms of issue dimensions, namely hard/soft; internal/external Examples:  Internal soft issues require people directed exploring and learning leadership  External soft issues require scanning context directed innovative leadership  External hard issues require directive performance based leadership  Internal hard issues require organisation directed rule setting and accountability seeking leadership
  16. 16. Conclusion Finally back to contingency approach where leadership strategies and actions are decided and taken on the basis of problem analysis in context Administrative reform as adaptive problem with internal/external and soft/hard dimensions require leadership that is analytical and context sensitive
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