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Public-Sector Leadership Theory: An Assessment

Montgomery van Wart
Public Administration Review
Vol. 63, No. 2 (Mar. - Apr., 2003), pp. 214-228
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/977592
Page Count: 15
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Public-Sector Leadership Theory: An Assessment
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Abstract

This article reviews the mainstream leadership literature and its perennial debates and compares it to the public-sector (administrative) leadership literature. The mainstream leadership literature fully articulated the transformational models in the 1980s and began the serious work of integrating transactional and transformational types of leadership into comprehensive models in the 1990s. Many have considered this to be a major advance over the field's previous fragmentation and excessively narrow focus. This integration has not been reflected in the public-sector literature, in which the normative debates about what leaders should do has received most of the attention in the last decade. Although many types of leadership in the public sector have been discussed extensively, such as leadership by those in policy positions and working in community settings, administrative leadership within organizations has received scant attention and would benefit from a research agenda linking explicit and well-articulated models with concrete data in public-sector settings.

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