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Creating public value in frontline teams: an empirical exploration of shared leadership behaviour by frontline officials

In this study, Lara van Osch, Sandra Groeneveld and Ben Kuipers aim to provide insight into the way in which frontline officials in teams employ leadership behaviour aimed at creating public value.

Lara van Osch, Sandra Groeneveld & Ben Kuipers
16 April 2024
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In this article, it is demonstrated that frontline officials employ shared leadership behaviours to stimulate each other to base decision-making on a shared meaning of public value and to facilitate work processes that enable public value creation. Frontline officials employ four different types of shared leadership behaviours to create public value. Each type contributes to public value creation in a specific way. The employed leadership behaviours are contextual practices related to specific situations in which team members made the processual decision to employ leadership. Also, these behaviours are shared behaviours, as they are enacted by various frontline officials without a formal leadership position and their direct supervisor to mutually influence one another.

The results of the study are practically relevant by indicating that leadership is not bound to individuals with a leadership position and emerges in vertical top-down relations, but also is employed by individuals without a leadership position and emerges in horizontal relations within and across teams. This means that frontline officials can, and will, employ various leadership behaviours to influence colleagues and others involved to create public value. 

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