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Leiden Leadership Centre

Past Projects

Here you can find an overview of the past projects of the Leiden Leadership Centre.

How can public organisations foster an inclusive workplace and how does public leadership play a role in this? With the aim of improving public services and enhancing societal representation, public organisations increasingly seek to create an inclusive work environment. Inclusive leadership contributes towards this goal by fostering a work environment where employees feel free to express themselves, can work together effectively in a team, and identify with the organisation. However, little is known under which conditions inclusive leadership occurs and how it can be further developed in practice. Therefore, this project aims to gain more insight in the antecedents of inclusive leadership. 

Each year, the Leids Universitair Fonds (LUF) awards grants to research and educational project in various academic fields. In 2019, dr. Tanachia Ashikali received a grant to conduct an in-depth study into the determinants of inclusive leadership in public organisations: What does it take to be an inclusive leader? Unravelling determinants of inclusive leadership in public organizations. Read more about this research project here

The Leadership Crossing Boundaries project brought together stakeholders and organisations around three leadership themes.

Three working groups that centre on knowledge exchange and generation are working on an agenda that will serve as the basis for innovative projects and sustaining partnerships in the area of public leadership. Societal challenges concerning smart cities, decentralisation in the social and health care sectors, developing education and knowledge and local and international partnerships: these all require a lot of organisations and thus of the role and interpretation of leadership.

1. Inclusive leadership that engages different generations and social groups with the organisation

A diverse and complex environment with different players with different interests, perspectives and needs demands inclusive leadership. Inclusive leadership is leadership that is open to these differences and despite these differences is able to bring together the different players to work on shared goals. How do we give shape to this inclusive leadership (internally and externally)? Which issues play a role? And how can we develop a research and development agenda?

Coordinator: Tanachia Ashikali (t.s.ashikali@fgga.leidenuniv.nl)

2. Relational leadership that fosters collaboration between organisations (public and private) and institutions (local, national, European, global)

The systemic policy challenges of the future call not only for inter-domain collaboration between organisations and institutions at various levels of government, but also for dynamic collaboration processes and structures that facilitate these strategic conversations, learning processes and partnerships. What are the key emerging topics in an urban context? Who are the main stakeholders? And how can a diverse network of organisations play a leadership role in the development and implementation of policy solutions?

Coordinator: Bert Fraussen (b.fraussen@fgga.leidenuniv.nl)

3. Change Leadership in times of crisis leadership that brings about transition, innovation and maintains change

Public organizations have been confronted with severe budget cuts as a result of the most recent crisis. Public managers are tasked with the implementation of cutbacks. Using different case studies within Dutch ministries and the prison sector, we assessed public managers’ change leadership in times of crisis.organisations must increasingly be able to respond to a changing and complex environment. This demands other forms of organisation, such as self-organisation, and thus other forms of leadership. How do these changes fit within political-administrative systems? Which tensions does this create in the field of control and transparency? And what does this mean for change leadership?

Coordinator: Ben Kuipers (b.s.kuipers@fgga.leidenuniv.nl)

Implementing changes, introducing new structures, far-reaching rules and administrative systems sometimes may distract from the purpose or public task of the organisation. Moreover, there is increasing recognition for the need felt by employees in public organisations to make their work more meaningful: the experience of contributing to societal goals. The central question for this research project is therefore: ‘How does public leadership ensure the translation of public value into daily practice in the organisation?’

The LLC conducts research into public leadership in collaboration with public organisations. Academics, representatives from public and private organisations and students come together to explore public leadership issues in various meetings. In 2018, this led to the research and development agenda: ‘Furthering Public Leadership’. This agenda describes various public leadership themes and presents key questions in researching and developing public leadership. 

How can public organisations increase their inclusiveness in order to enhance their representation and responsiveness that is needed in an increasing diverse and complex society? Dr. Tanachia Ashikali studied how public managers succeed in attaining inclusive public organisations. The studies provide insights in public managers’ leadership role for creating inclusive organisations and its effect on employees and performance. The studies are conducted in Dutch public sector organisations, such as ministries and municipalities.

Public organizations have been confronted with severe budget cuts as a result of the most recent crisis. Public managers are tasked with the implementation of cutbacks. In this research project, Dr. Eduard Schmidt used different case studies within Dutch ministries and the prison sector to assess public managers’ change leadership in times of crisis.

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