Towards a New Vision on Public Leadership
In their vision trajectory, the Office for the Senior Civil Service (in Dutch: Bureau Algemene Bestuursdienst) communicated its plan to renew its vision on public leadership. Over the course of 2021, the Leiden Leadership Centre contributed as a scientific partner to the substantiation of this vision.
- 2021 - 2022
- Sandra Groeneveld
Office for the Senior Civil Service
In 2021, the Office for the Senior Civil Service (in Dutch: Bureau Algemene Bestuursdienst) communicated its plan to renew its vision on public leadership. The Leiden Leadership Centre (LLC, Leiden University) contributed as a scientific partner to the substantiation of this vision. In 2019, Mark Frequin already started his ‘search’ for public leadership and presented a ‘travelogue’ that maps out changes in the environment, organization, processes, and culture within the central government.
In order to align this new vision with the needs and challenges that arise in practice, and to substantiate it scientifically, the LLC contributes as a scientific partner to the new vision on public leadership. In doing so, the LLC has carried out a literature review and an empirical study.
More information about this project and the collaboration can be found on the (Dutch) project website of the Office for the Senior Civil Service.
The Senior Civil Service (in Dutch: Algemene Bestuursdienst) consists of 1,700 (top) civil servants within the government. The Top Management Group is a specific group within the Senior Civil Service. This group consists of Secretaries-General, Directors-General, Inspectors-General and other similar positions.
The Office for the Senior Civil Service (in Dutch: Bureau Algemene Bestuursdienst) is the central management development organisation for (top) managers within the national government and is part of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. It facilitates the recruitment and selection of top managers for the national government. In addition, the Office for the Senior Civil Service supports the further career development of these (top) managers so that they remain well employable in the long term.
The research project consists of two parts:
- Literature study
- Empirical study
- Focus groups
- Survey including a discrete choice experiment
The first part of the research took the form of a narrative literature review. This method focuses on identifying and interpreting the most relevant insights, concepts, and themes from academic literature. Based on this interdisciplinary and narrative approach, the LLC combined the latest academic insights on public leadership with the most important themes as mentioned in Frequin’s Travelogue (2021). In doing so, the LLC has relied on input from an LLC Expert Team and a sounding board of international academics.
In the second part of the research project an empirical study has been conducted. In the initial phase of this empirical research multiple focus groups have been held with the purpose of investigating the experiences of how the elements of leadership are being put into practic, and what tensions and dilemmas are involved in this. In total, 9 focus groups have been conducted with 4-6 participants that each varied across ‘domain’ and ‘hierarchical level’.
Subsequently, a survey was set out among top managers, managers, and employees. The research objective of this survey was to identify the extent to which certain elements of leadership are present in the behaviour of the target group. A discrete choice experiment was embedded in the survey to test the extent to which the target group agrees that certain elements are relevant to the vision on public leadership.
Below you can download and read the summaries of the output documents of this research project.
For the purpose of further elaborating the new vision on public leadership and implementing and evaluating it, the LLC will continue this project during 2022 at the request of the Office for the Senior Civil Service by carrying out pilot studies and developing a leadership scan.