Volume 7, Number 2, Summer 2004

CONTENTS

REGULAR ARTICLES

Administrative Capacity and Welfare Reform in North Carolina: Does Administration Matter? ....................................................... 141
D. M. Daley and M. L. Vasu

SYMPOSIUM

Toward Understanding How Public Administrators Perform as Leaders: A Symposium ............................................................... 161
G. T. Gabris and M. Van Wart

Symposium Introduction ............................................................................................................................................................................... 162
G. T. Gabris and M. Van Wart

A Comprehensive Model of Organizational Leadership: The Leadership Action Cycle ................................................................... 173
M. Van Wart

Developing Public Managers into Credible Public Leaders:Theory and Practical Implications ..................................................... 209
G. T. Gabris

Street-Level Leadership in The Public Sector: A Case Study of the Challenges ............................................................................... 231
L. A. Dicke

Have We Neglected Hierarchies in the Study of Public Sector Leadership? ..................................................................................... 252
D. M. Ihrke

ABSTRACT. This article was written to encourage scholars to not forget to include the power of hierarchy in their studies of leadership in public sector organizations. Contemporary theories of leadership too often assume that hierarchy will wither away once the leader imposes his or her will on the organization, an assumption that does not seem to work in reality given the bureaucratic nature of public organizations. Instead it is argued that we can learn about public sector leadership needs by remembering the power of hierarchy and what it demands in terms of leadership from different levels in the organization. The article concludes with speculation as to how future research on leadership might be directed with hierarchy in mind.

ABSTRACT. This article seeks to provide a comprehensive model of leadership applicable to managers in the public sector. Although it is based on the leadership literature, the format is intended for practitioners and teachers; that is, although it uses a highly detailed specification of leadership elements, it purposely oversimplifies causal relationships. Leaders first assess their organization and the environment (8 elements are identified) as well as look at the constraints that they may face (4 elements). From this information they set goals including deciding on the level of focus and the degree of change emphasis. Leaders bring to the concrete leadership situation a number of traits (10 elements) and overarching skills such as communication capability (4 elements). The totality of leaders' actions are perceived as styles based on key factors such as decisional input, which are more or less appropriate based on the situation. Leaders may or may not have a broad range of styles at which they excel. Finally, the model identifies concrete management behaviors that leaders typically engage in—with more or less success based on their styles, traits, and skills. These behaviors are categorized as largely being task-oriented, people-oriented, or organization oriented (21 elements). Ultimately, leaders evaluate their organizations' and their own performance, and the cycle begins again. The model's strength is the detailed articulation of leadership elements (50 including goal setting and leader evaluation).

ABSTRACT. This article suggests that leadership does not just occur in the higher echelons of a bureaucratic hierarchy, but is endemic throughout the organization and is present even at the basic rank and file level. Street-level leaders emerge when the need arises for quick decisions and responses to complex stimuli. These relatively "informal" leaders can exert a significant influence on how and what things get done. Many of these decisions involve transactional decisions between leaders and followers. However, to deal with more complex challenges, street-level leaders may need to incorporate transformational leadership strategies, similar to leaders higher in the hierarchy. To test this thesis this article reports the survey findings of a study of state agency of disabilities and their contractor provider organizations.

ABSTRACT. This study examines the administrative role played by the state of North Carolina in the provision of welfare. A survey of county professionals was conducted in April 2000 assessing perceptions of how well the state was performing its administrative functions. Fifty-three survey items composed ten indices that were grouped into three categories of resources, leadership and accountability. Logistic regression analyses examined perceptions of the state's Resources, Leadership, and Accountability administrative capacity in relationship to the four Work First Report Card measures of (1) putting people to work, (2) having them stay off of welfare, (3) reducing the number on welfare, and (4) collecting child support. Findings indicate that the state's efforts are not perceived as contributing to the success of welfare reform. Administrative capacity perceptions account for little of the variation explained by the logistic regressions. The state is not perceived as contributing to putting people to work or helping them to stay off of welfare subsequently. It actually is seen as slightly hindering efforts at reducing the welfare rolls. Only in the area of child support collection does state administrative capacity (in leadership and budgeting) improve the odds for success.

ABSTRACT. This article makes the case that for leaders to be effective they also need to be credible. Credibility is achieved by practicing leader behaviors focusing on vision, trust, modeling the way, risk taking, and rewarding others. Leaders who possess high credibility are able to more successfully adapt to environmental change, because employees throughout the hierarchy will accept change mandates as legitimate. Leadership credibility is associated with the transformational model of leadership, and this article suggests that public managers would be advantaged by practicing this particular leadership strategy.

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