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'Leaderism': an evolution of managerialism in UK public service reform

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date12/2010
JournalPublic Administration: An International Quarterly
Journal number4
Volume88
Number of pages19
Pages960-978
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper argues that ‘leaderism’– as an emerging set of beliefs that frames and justifies certain innovatory changes in contemporary organizational and managerial practice – is a development of managerialism that has been utilized and applied within the policy discourse of public service reform in the UK. The paper suggests that ‘leaderism’ is an evolution of entrepreneurial and cultural management ideologies and practices. An analysis of the articulation of leaderism with public service reform in the UK is presented. The paper problematizes the construals of leadership contained within these texts and reflects on their promotion of leadership as a social and organizational technology. ‘Leaderism’ is argued to be a complementary set of discourses, metaphors and practices to those of managerialism, which is being utilized in support of the evolution of NPM and new public governance approaches in the re-orientation of the public services towards the consumer-citizen.