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BUSM097 Leadership and Strategy in the Public Sector


2 (2016/17)



Module organiser

Dr Marie Bailey

Module overview

We explore principal theories, typologies (e.g., transactional and transformational) and styles of individual and collective leadership both in high office and at team level in public services, before reviewing research evidence on the effectiveness and otherwise of leadership on performance in public organisations. Particular attention is given to crisis leadership. The module questions the scope for deliberate, prior objective-driven rather than emergent strategy in the highly constrained and politicised setting of public authorities, reviewing recent more optimistic evidence for its prospects and its effects upon performance. Strategic capabilities required for both styles are considered. The role of stakeholder consultation in strategy development and legitimation is examined. The module contrasts growth and retrenchment strategies. Strategic issues in organisational and inter-organisational design are addressed, and processes of change management in the politically sensitive conditions of the public services are explored.


100% coursework 

Indicative reading list

  • Teelken C, Ferlie E and Dent  M, 2012, Leadership in the public sector: promises and pitfalls, London: Routledge.
    Joyce P, 2012, Strategic leadership in the public services, London: Routledge
  • Van Wart M, 2012, Leadership in public organizations: an introduction, 2nd edn, Armonk, New York: ME. Sharpe.
  • Javidan M and Waldman DA, 2003, Exploring the charismatic leader in the public sector: management and consequences, Public administration review, 63, 2, 229-242.
  • Rainey HG and Thompson J, 2006, Leadership and the transformation of a major institution: Charles Rossotti and the Internal Revenue Service, Public administration review, Jul-Aug 596-604.
  • Kouzes JM and Posner BZ, The leadership challenge, 4thedn, New York: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Petrovsky N, 2010, Leadership, in Ashworth R, Boyne G and Entwistle T, eds, Public service improvement: theories and evidence, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 78-97.
  • Boyne G, 2010, Strategic planning, in Ashworth R, Boyne G and Entwistle T, eds, Public service improvement: theories and evidence, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 60-77.
  • March JG, 1999, The pursuit of organisational intelligence, Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Mintzberg H and Waters JA, 1985, Of strategies, deliberate and emergent, Strategic management journal, 6, 3, 257-272.
  • Agranoff R, 2007, Managing within networks: adding value to public organizations, Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.
  • Andrews R, Boyne GA, Law J, Walker RM, 2009, Strategy, structure, and process in the public sector: a test of the Miles and Snow model, Public administration. 87, 4, 732-749.
  • Bozeman B 2010, Hard lessons from hard times: reconsidering and reorienting the “managing decline” literature, Public administration review, 70, 4, 557-563.
  • Johnson G and Scholes K, eds, 2000, Exploring public sector strategy, London: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall.,
  • Boyne GA and Walker RM eds, “The future of strategic management”, section of a special issue of Public administration review, 70, S1, s185-s291.
  • Mulgan G, 2010, The art of public strategy: mobilizing power and knowledge for the common good, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Walker RM, 2010, Strategy: which strategies matter?, in Walker RM, Boyne GA, Brewer GA, eds, 2010, Public management and performance: research directions, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 227-252.
  • Andrews R, Boyne GA, Law J and Walker R, 2011, Strategic management and public service performance, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Stacey R, 2003, Strategic management and organisational dynamics: the challenge of complexity, 4th edn, London: Financial Times - Prentice Hall.
  • Brown K and Osborne SP, 2005, Managing change and innovation in public service organizations, London: Routledge.

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