Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Public Purpose

Implementing all kinds of change and introducing new structures, far-reaching rules and administrative systems may sometimes seem to distract an organisation from its purpose. Furthermore, there is growing recognition of the need of staff of public organisations to find more meaning in their work: the experience of having impact through one’s work. The key question in this research project is therefore: ‘How can public leadership ensure that public purpose is translated into the daily work practices everyday work of the organisation?’

Ben Kuipers
Municipality The Hague Municipality The Hague

Municipality The Hague, Sociale Verzekerings Bank

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. At the presentation of the agenda on 11 April 2018, the expert jury comprising Simone Roos, Peter Hennephof and Gerard Bakker announced the first project based on this agenda: ‘Leadership and public purpose’.

This research project ties in with current demand for organisations to be more conscious of their societal impact. It will provide insight into how to translate public purpose into daily work practices within organisations. It will give pointers for the role that leadership plays in breaking down barriers and in inspiring and stimulating through putting purpose to the fore. The project was developed in collaboration with public organisations and will be carried out in conjunction with practitioners. Data on various cases will be gathered through observations, interviews and focus groups. This data will then be analysed and compared to gain insight into the way organisations are working from their purpose. The results and learning experiences will be shared with organisations at various points during the project.

On the 18th of May the content of the researchproject was discussed with practitioners, watch the video here (Dutch)!

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