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Leadership Importance & Issues

How and why is leadership important in public administration?

Although leadership is difficult to define, it is essential in all types of organization, but even more important in public administration. There are more levels of leadership involved in public administration, with at least different levels specific, both inside and outside the organization (Gorton, Mahler, and Nicholson 291). These are the formal levels of leadership, not to mention the informal leaders that exist in every organization.

Another reason that leadership is important in public administration is that there is such a focus on performance. The public organization is continually under scrutiny, again from within and without, as to how it is performing its functions and how well it is making use of its funding. It may be compared to private enterprises, as is the U.S. Postal Service. It may feel its funding in jeopardy if it is viewed as performing inadequately and failing to be accountable to its constituency. Leadership is the key to performance and to ensuring that the organization operate at its maximum effectiveness (Shafritz and Russell 331).

Performance management is not simply the responsibility of leadership, of course, but those three formal levels of leadership that Gorton, Mahler and Nicholson mentioned have a great deal to do with controlling organizational outputs. These are the executive, management, and supervisory people who monitor employee performance, do evaluations, and ensure that the agency is meeting its public mandate.

Explain the various issues that affect leadership, specifically: trait theories, transactional approaches, contingency approaches and transformational leadership.

The history of the study of leadership is fascinating, because there have been so many different theories about what comprises leadership. The matter is still under consideration even today, with various theorists favoring differing ideas...

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