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Developing Public Service Leaders: elite orchestration, change agency, leaderism, and neoliberalization

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Publication date10/11/2022
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages384
ISBN (Print)9780199552108
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Developing Public Service Leaders examines why and how governments and professional associations have mounted major interventions over recent decades to develop senior staff from public service organizations as leaders. A critical explanation is developed of the foundational contribution made by national leadership development interventions in the 2000s to the emergence, proliferation, and normalization of leadership development provision. Drawing on their qualitative research in England, the authors examine the origins, implementation, and direct outcomes of national leadership development interventions for school education, healthcare, and higher education. The diffuse contemporary legacy of these interventions is also explored within the growing international movement to develop public service leaders, comparing interventions in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and England. This deeply contextualized critical analysis shows how powerful elite groupings orchestrate leadership development interventions, widely acculturating senior staff as leaders but not necessarily also as change agents for public service reforms. The interventions also offer a source of credentials fostering leadership as an incipient profession that serves the ongoing neoliberalization of public services. Developing Public Service Leaders is a comprehensive and essential read for any researcher, policymaker, or student striving for an in-depth understanding of leadership development as policy, practice, and emergent institution.