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Read the article “Effective Public Management”. The author makes an argument about applying “business management principles” to public organizations. Do you think this argument is still applicable? Why or why not?

Your initial response to this discussion should be at least 500 words in length. Be careful to cite sources appropriately.



A Br i ef Tour of Publ i c Or gani zat i on Theor y i n t he Uni t ed St at es

Gary S. Marshall Public administrative organizations in the United States rest on the twin pillars of management and democracy. Because the management processes of public organizations are not solely instrumental but involve the public interest, public agencies have to be more than mechanisms of rationality. Public administrative action has both an instrumental quality, i.e., its capacity for optimal technical rationality (technique), and a social quality—an underlying connection to the social bond between self and other.

With this backdrop, we begin the focus of this chapter which recounts the sociology of organizations with an emphasis on key democratic moments in the history of American public administration. Before doing so, we might ask how the central terms used in our discussion will be defined. What are organizations? For the purposes of this chapter, organizations are the basic unit through which virtually all social relations are formed in post-traditional society. In that sense, all social life is understood as organizational life (Denhardt,1 1981). Management, coterminous with any definition of organization, refers to the regularized relations within organizations. As will be developed in the chapter, the rationalization of work led to formal and informal relations within public organizations, and the “management” of those relations is the primary way in which the term management is used here.

Democracy, literally “rule of the people,” is another term central to our discussion. As the book’s editor, Richard Box, noted in the Introduction, “The practice of public administration in the United States is set within the context of a .” On this point, our discussion of publicliberal-capitalist, representative democracy organization theory reflects the dynamics of administrative institutions and their role within the general processes of societal governance. The prevailing view of democracy in relation to twentieth- and twenty-first-century public organizations is one of (Redford, 1969). That is, bothoverhead democracy politicians and administrators are held accountable in a democratic society.2

A second important dimension in our discussion of democracy is the dramatic shift in the United States from an agrarian to an industrial society. Industrialism in western societies led to the rationalization of work and human relations with new forms of organization. Hence, the study of public administrative organizations is grounded in a tradition of industrial democracy.

A final point about democracy as it relates to this chapter is workplace democracy: the participatory dimension of internal organizational processes. Public organizations have been understood for the most part as administrative systems characterized by top-down legal-rational authority. This formal structure notwithstanding, the incorporation and practice of democratic principles and actions in the workplace have also been present within the public organizational setting, dating back to the anti-federalist ethos of the founding period of the U.S. Constitution.

C o p y r i g h t 2 0 0 7 . R o u t l e d g e .

A l l r i g h t s r e s e r v e d . M a y n o t b e r e p r o d u c e d i n a n y f o r m w i t h o u t p e r m i s s i o n f r o m t h e p u b l i s h e r , e x c e p t f a i r u s e s p e r m i t t e d u n d e r U . S . o r a p p l i c a b l e c o p y r i g h t l a w .

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Publ i c Or gani zat i ons and t he For gi ng of t he Admi ni st r at i ve St at e

After the Civil War, American society transitioned to its modern form. The economy underwent a basic revision wherein regional monopolies disbanded and large corporate trusts developed. The political and social conditions of this period have been well documented (Bailyn et al., 1977; Hofstadter, 1955; Link & McCormick, 1983; McConnell, 1966; Wiebe 1967; Woll, 1977). The United States began to shift after 1830 from a predominantly agrarian society to an industrial society. By 1900, 40 percent of the American population was located in urban centers such as New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia (Bailyn et al., 1977).

In addition, the structure of work changed. Bailyn et al. (1977) note that industrial technology, with its emphasis on specialization and the division of labor, melded man into an instrument of the manufacturing process. On the farm, the harvester replaced the scythe, and in the cities, machines and the technological assembly line processes revolutionized whole industries, as the Bessemer process did for the steel industry. Industrial and economic expansion occurred on all fronts, including mining, railroads, and industries in the cities. The result of this economic expansion was that by the end of the century, the largest business interests in each arena—steel, oil, agriculture, rail transport, and manufacturing—consolidated their market share to the point of monopoly. Technological changes and developments signaled the end of the period of rural democracy. This period of industrial expansion and subsequent consolidation created a set of diverse political expectations and social conditions. On the one hand there were the unregulated interests and concentrated economic power of the industrialists, and on the other hand there were the interests and distributed wealth of individuals who were farmers, local merchants, and industrial workers.

Until the late 1880s, there was little movement for a national authority to regulate economic activity. Rather, government had played a role in fostering economic development and as a result had a stake in continuing to promote the interests of business. More important, the reigning assumption of the period was that a natural economic equilibrium would occur independently of regulation. However, the social and political conditions eventually put government in an awkward position. As Woll (1977, p. 39) notes: “Having fostered industries with subsidies of various kinds, both national and state governments had to contend with political and social problems such as economic instability, deceptive business practices, and the growth of monopolies that were directly attributed to the activities of groups that they originally supported.”

The Et hos of Techni que

The field of public administration responded to the material requirements of a modern administrative state required in the wake of industrial expansion. Between 1870 and 1930, the number of federal employees rose from 73,000 to 700,000 (Mosher, 1975). During the period spanning from the turn of the century to 1935, many changes and developments took place in the field. The Taft Commission on Economy and Efficiency led the way for budget reform and an executive budget by 1921. The New York Bureau of Municipal Research became a clearinghouse for new research in public administration. Specialized knowledge about municipal governance was sought. The ideas generated from these reform efforts became known as the bureau movement and represented “the conviction that only through efficient government could progressive social welfare be achieved… . So long as government remained inefficient, volunteer, and detached, [any] effort to remove social handicaps would continue a hopeless task” (Mosher, 1981, p. 93).

The expanded role for public administrators was heralded by most because of their (1) subject matter expertise, (2) continuity as civil servants, and (3) commitment to the public interest. In addition, their application of scientific principles in the conduct of administration was seen as a positive step. It was assumed that the scientific method employed by the administrator would bring both impartiality and progress (better solutions through the ordered process of rationality) to an untenable situation. In their Papers on the

, Gulick and Urwick (1937, p. 49) wrote: “There are principles which can beScience of Administration arrived at inductively from the study of human organizations… . These principles can be studied as a

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technical question, irrespective of the enterprise.” In an essay entitled “Notes on the Theory of Organization,” Gulick articulated the principles of administration known by the acronym POSDCORB—Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, COrdinating, Reporting, and Budgeting.

The ethos of technique as evidenced by the above discussion dominated this period of research and theorizing about public organizations. This emphasis on the technical character of administration did not mean, however, that the democratic nature of public institutions had been foreclosed. Rather, it reflected the predominantly Wilsonian view at the time that there ought to be a clear separation between politics and administration. As Gulick wrote, the place of the administrator with his/her expertise is “on tap, not on top” (Gulick, in Harmon & Mayer, 1986, p. 127). The view was that the United States would thrive as a democracy if its strong political leadership was supported by administrative agencies with strong institutional capacity.

Sci ent i f i c Management and Ear l y Or gani zat i on Theor y

The specter of scientific management and its emphasis on the instrumental, in retrospect, haunts the twentieth century. But, in the first two decades of that century, efficiency was a word that portended apolitical social change, scientific progress, and increased material wealth. During this period of industrialization and modernization, bureaucracy and its corollary, scientific management, were understood as humane alternatives to the autocratic patterns of earlier decades wherein there was little regard to safety and systematization of work. The so-called rationalization of work allowed a heavy workload to be accomplished by the fewest people in the most efficient way possible. As Weber (1991, p. 214) noted: “The decisive reason for the advance of bureaucratic organization has always been its purely technical superiority over any other form of organization. The fully developed bureaucratic organization compares with other organizations exactly as the machine with the non-mechanical modes of production.”

Frederick Taylor, with his work at the Midvale and Bethlehem Steel companies, was the strongest proponent of these ideas. Taylor’s efforts all focused on strategies to limit worker autonomy and individual discretion in the production process in favor of a model that valued one best way to carry out a task as determined by scientific expertise. His view of human nature portended the behavioral revolution in social science. While one might not be able to fully explain people’s motives, one could direct their behavior through economic motives and scientific expertise. Taylor held that “man is an economic animal who responds directly to financial incentives within the limits of his physiological capabilities and the technical and work organization which is provided to him” (Silverman, 1971, p. 176). A famous conversation between Taylor and one of the Bethlehem workers found in the essay , gives onePrinciples of Scientific Management a flavor:

What I want to find out is whether you are a high-priced man or one of those cheap fellows here … whether you want to earn $1.85 a day or … are you satisfied with $1.15 just the same as all those cheap fellows. … Oh you’re aggravating me. Of course you want $1.85—everyone wants it… . Well if you are a high-priced man, you will do exactly as this man tells you to-morrow, from morning till night… . And what’s more, no back talk… . Do you understand that? (1947a, p. 45)

In Taylor’s view, man is not capable of accomplishing work without an expert to direct his/her behavior. Hence, he calls for the “one-best way of the scientific method.” This reflects, in spite of Taylor’s lionizing of the worker, a profound distrust in human beings. In his classic paper “Shop Management,” he wrote about the “social loafing” of workers. This loafing or soldiering proceeds from two causes. First, from the natural instinct and tendency of men to take it easy, which may be called natural soldiering. Second, from more intricate second thought and reasoning caused by their relations with other men, which may be called systematic soldiering (1947b, p. 30).

Not only did Taylor have disdain for subordinates, but for their superiors as well. He wrote extensively about the “indifference” of employers to the plight of good management. Taylor sought to shift authority from management to the expert, whose sphere of authority was legitimated through the planning departments of organizations. As satirized in Chaplin’s , work processes are analogous to the pieces of aModern Times mechanical clock. All the parts are discrete entities, some parts are more important than others, but in the

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final analysis all fit together to make it work. In this analogy, the scientific expert plays the role of the watchmaker.

Taylor’s legacy remains firmly in place today not only in his view of worker-management relations but also in the form of systems from managerial accounting, organizational form and function, artificial intelligence applications, and many other organizational systems. His approach required nothing less than a mental revolution. As his testimony before a House Special Committee investigating the union strikes at the Watertown Arsenal reflects:

Now, in essence, scientific management involves a complete mental revolution on the part of the working man engaged in any particular establishment or industry—a complete mental revolution on the part of these men as to their duties toward their work, toward their fellow men, and toward their employers. And it involves the equally complete mental revolution on the part of those on the management’s side—the foreman, the superintendent, the owner of the business, the board of directors—a complete mental revolution on their parts as to their duties toward their fellow workers in the management, toward their workmen, and toward all of their daily problems. And without this complete mental revolution on both sides scientific management does not exist. (1947c, p. 27)

To summarize, scientific management reflects these four elements: organizations exist to accomplish production-related and economic goals; there is one best way to organize for production, and that way can be found through systematic, scientific inquiry; production is maximized through specialization and division of labor; and people and organizations act in accordance with rational economic principles (Shafritz & Ott, 1996).

The Ear l y Human Rel at i ons Movement

“But scientific management has never studied the facts of human social organization, it has accepted the 19th century economic dictum that economic interest and logical capacity are the basis of the social order” (Henderson & Mayo, 2002, p. 311). This quotation, in an essay by L. J. Henderson and Elton Mayo, reflects the assessment of a group of researchers at Harvard University who, in part due to Henderson’s championing of Vifredo Pareto’s concept of social equilibrium (Heyl, 1968), wrote about organizations as social systems.

The work of Henderson, Mayo, Roethlisberger, and Dickson at General Electric’s Hawthorne Plant represents an important development in the history of organization theory. These so-called early human relationists sought to emphasize the interpersonal dimension of work life, i.e., the relationships that people form with one another in the workplace and the meaning made through those relationships and work experiences. The major point was that the underlying social bond between and among individuals is extremely powerful and not necessarily malleable to the rapid changes that the technical dimension of the organization projects upon it. A further quote from Henderson and Mayo makes this point quite well:

Now the social codes which define a worker’s relation to his work and to his fellows are not capable of rapid change. They are developed slowly and over long periods of time. They are not the product of logic, but of actual human association, they are based on deep rooted human sentiments. Constant interference with such codes is bound to lead to feelings of frustration, to irrational exasperation with technical change of any form. (2002, p. 311)

These researchers brought into stark relief the disjuncture between the technical demands of the organization and the rapidity of functional changes with regard to management processes within an organization on the one hand, and the informal long-term social and psychic relationships of one human being to another. This “social dimension” of human association had (has) a logic all its own that bears little relationship to the functional or formal organizational design that is configured according to the goals, objectives, and production processes of the organization. No doubt, the work itself is central to the group dynamics of those working in the organization, but the functional relationships are in some sense artificial as compared with the underlying social bond of those in the workplace. This social bond follows a psychological path rather than a functional path.

The “solution” offered by the Harvard group might be labeled a benignly corporatist one. As Harmon and Mayer note:

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The thrust of these interpretations [by the Harvard group] is clear: The dissatisfied individual (the source of the complaint) is to be manipulated by alterations in his or her position or status; this is achieved by manipulation, to the extent possible, of the social organization, etc… . Essentially, people are seen as socially motivated and controlled. Any increase in morale (and therefore in productivity) is, thus, necessarily related to change in the human and social conditions, not the physical or material condition. (1986, p. 101)

This perspective is more fully developed by Chester Barnard. Barnard’s book, The Functions of the , is considered a classic in the organization theory literature. It builds on insights about the socialExecutive

dimension of organizational life and presents organizations as systems of cooperation that must be well managed by the organization’s leaders. Barnard writes:

A part of the effort to determine individual behavior takes the form of altering the conditions of behavior, including a conditioning of the individual by training, by the inculcation of attitudes, by the construction of incentives. This constitutes a large part of the executive process… . Failure to recognize this position is among the most important sources of error in executive work. (1968, p. 15)

Thus for Barnard the executive must act as sea captain, ready at the helm to guide the human systems—formal and informal—to propel the organizational vessel in the appropriate direction. This view reinforced a top-down view of government institutions, wherein a responsive public executive ensured democratically accountable administrative practices.

Mar y Par ker Fol l et t

The pioneering work of Mary Parker Follett represents an alternative perspective on knowledge that human relationships are the central factor in organizational action. Although the compelling quality of Follett’s work went largely unheralded in her day, Follett is an important contributor to an understanding of the social dimension of organizational life (Drucker, 1995). She lectured and wrote extensively and was a compatriot of the members of the Harvard group. Like her colleagues, she saw social cooperation as an important and underdeveloped criterion in the study of group processes. Follett however, did not see social cooperation as merely a functional element of industrial organization. Rather, she saw it as evidence of the vital human bond between people. In a word, social process—the process of relating to others, an engagement of social experience—was a prerequisite to all human action. For Follett, relationship is the primary unit of analysis and the wellspring from which all else unfolds.

The social process is the interaction that occurs between human beings. It is in Follett’s language the having and digesting of social experience. This social process is the basis through which common agreement and common action can be undertaken. As she notes: “We have seen that the common idea and the common will are born together in the social process… . They complete themselves only through activity in the world of affairs, of work and of government” (Follett, 1995a, p. 247).

Writers who have championed Follett’s work emphasize the integrative dimension of her approach. The use of the term “integrative” refers to a key insight by Follett that human activity resists reduction to causal analysis. In the Pavlovian stimulus-response equation, the response “is not merely the activity resulting from a certain stimulus and that response in turn influencing that activity; it is because it is response that it influences that activity, that is part of what response means” (Follett, 1995b, p. 41). Social relations are never static. Rather, they are an evolving situation—a situation of constant interdependent reciprocal influence. As she notes:

In human relations … I never react to you but to you-plus-me; or to be more accurate, it is I-plus-you reacting to you-plus-me. “I” can never influence “you” because you have already influenced me; that is, in the very process of meeting, by the very process of meeting, we both become something different. (Follett, 1995b, p. 42)

Integration refers to the constant integrating of experience. Social process then is a platform under which all human process takes place, or more properly stated, evolves. Organizations are institutions of social process wherein goal-directed behavior on the part of leaders, managers, supervisors, and workers does not accurately account for the way in which events unfold. This basic approach serves as the grounding for all of

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Follett’s work, including her well-known analysis on the concept of power, the giving of orders, the law of the situation, and the quality of twentieth-century democracy.

Central to this chapter is the view of the self as understood by the management theories under review. Follett’s perspective represents a radical departure because she posits the self as constantly in process, constantly evolving. Such a view is diametrically opposed to the self as economic man: a rational calculating being who knows what he wants or whose wants can be predicted. For Taylor, the worker was motivated by a higher wage. For the early human relationists, workers were also social beings whose “sentiments” were to be afforded a certain degree of attention in service of organizational productivity.

This emphasis on the interpersonal dimensions of organizational life paved the way for an increased study of groups and group dynamics. Beginning with the work of Jacob Moreno, whose pioneering sociometric methods gave researchers a way to analyze the patterns of verbal and non-verbal behavior in small groups, group dynamics validated Follett’s insight of a live social process beneath the formal structure of the organization. More specifically, the insight of group dynamics is that groups are discrete entities that foster behavior that would not occur otherwise.

Kur t Lewi n

Kurt Lewin is the best-known writer on the study of groups and the contribution of group dynamics to organizational theory and organizational change. Why was his work so pivotal? First, like the early human relationists, he championed the human dimension in the workplace. In Lewin’s earliest work as a researcher at Berlin University, he demonstrated in his study of the work processes of Silesian textile workers that technique based on manual dexterity— the central claim of scientific management—was not the overriding factor in creating a productive workplace. Rather, when one considers total job demands, including the intrinsic value of the work itself, the worker’s self-perception, and motivation and commitment, scientific management’s rigid criterion of technical competence was too narrow (Weisbord, 2004, pp. 85–86).

In 1933, Lewin immigrated to the United States and began a fruitful period of research at the University of Iowa, where he worked with the sociologist Margaret Mead among others. One of their key findings was that organizational processes are more likely to succeed when the decision-making process is an inclusive one. Mead and Lewin determined that to get families to eat other kinds of meats than the types subject to severe rationing during World War II, so-called gatekeepers (typically moms in this case) needed to be a part of the decision-making process. As Mead so famously noted: “you cannot do things to people but only with them” (Mead, in Weisbord, 2004, p. 94). Their research demonstrated that meaningful inclusion in the decision-making process leads to sustained organizational commitment.

While the notion of the “group mind” can be attributed to the work of Gustave LeBon and his famous work (1982), Lewin pioneered the study of groups and the principleThe Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind that feedback and therefore participatory processes were requisites to organizational productivity and success. With the establishment of the National Training Laboratories (NTL) in Bethel, Maine, T-Groups or “training groups” became a vehicle by which the ideas of participative management were disseminated into the workplace. The current emphasis on teams in the workplace is a direct result of this work. Further, better insights into group dynamics were developed as a result of the T-Group phenomenon, e.g., the stages of group development.

Lewin’s legacy also lives on in the action research model of organizational analysis. Consistent with his famous dictum “there is nothing so practical as good theory,” the action research model incorporates worker feedback into its framework, particularly in the problem definition and clarification stages. Worker participation is also central to the joint problem-solving and implementation stages of action research. Lewin’s work is central to the sociology of organizations because he saw human beings as goal directed but profoundly affected by the context.

The concept of workplace democracy can most directly be attributed to Lewin. His research showed that democratic workplace processes, characterized by group goal setting and mutual feedback, led to stronger task completion, synchronicity, and innovation. While he advocated participation (workplace democracy), he

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was not an advocate of unstructured participation. Lewin’s field research showed that so-called laissez-faire management (wrongly assumed to be “democratic”) led to drops in productivity far lower than the drops demonstrated in long-terms studies of authoritarian management environments.

Her ber t Si mon and t he Rat i onal Model of Or gani zat i on

After World War II a refined discourse of rationalism and efficiency took hold in conjunction with the technological innovation occurring after the war. Early in the twentieth century, in the social sciences, science was essentially understood as a rationalizing technology, that is, making systems work more efficiently by ordering the processes to accomplish maximum output using the least resources. Technical solutions were very appealing given the scale of the changes that occurred in the wake of industrial expansion, the Great Depression, and two World Wars.

As gains in natural science took hold, there was a push by social scientists to effect the same rigor in the social sciences. As Denhardt notes:

In keeping with the general scientism of the period, many political scientists felt their earlier studies of government institutions lacked the rigor (and therefore, presumably the dignity) of work in such “real” sciences as physics and chemistry. To correct the situation, they argued on behalf of an approach to science based on the philosophical perspective of logical positivism. This approach held that regularities in human behavior, as in the behavior of physical objects, could be determined by the careful and objective observation of exhibited (or manifest) behavior and that scientific theories could be logically derived from such observations. Just as one could observe the behavior of molecular structures, and then develop theories concerning physical life, so it was argued, one could observe the behavior of human beings “from the outside,” then develop theories concerning social life. (2004, p. 68)

This led to a push toward a so-called science of administration. A major contributor to such an approach was Herbert A. Simon. Simon’s book shaped the post-World War II view ofAdministrative Behavior organizations. In his famous article “The Proverbs of Administration,” he trivialized as naïve the management theory of the early twentieth century. Probably the most significant effect of Simon’s work was that prior to (1976), theorists sought to control work processes. After Simon,Administrative Behavior theorists sought to control decision processes. Using behaviorist methods, if one could predict and control human behavior in organizations, then one could predict and create successful organizational outcomes.

The crucial argument made by Simon is that one should design theories of organization to focus only upon the so-called rational component of the mind. That is, what is most predictable about human behavior is our capacity to be rational: to act with conscious intention. Simon later went on to show how decision support systems and artificial intelligence models could enhance the vital but limited capacity of humans to act rationally. As Denhardt notes in a quotation from Simon: “The rational individual is, and must be, an organized and institutionalized individual” (2004, p. 74).

The prototype for Simon was . Denhardt recounts a definition for us:administrative man

The classical utility-seeking “economic man” is replaced by a more modern and more institutionalized “administrative man”: administrative man accepts the organizational goals as the value premises of his decisions, is particularly sensitive and reactive to the influence upon him of other members of his organization, forms stable expectations regarding his own role in relation to others and the role of others in relation to him, and has high morale in regard to organizational goals. (2004, p. 76)

The acceptance of organizational goals as value premises is and has been a controversial point. Which trumps which when the values of efficiency and democracy collide? Simon attempted to finesse this vital debate by suggesting a separation between policy and administration. He argued that the administrator’s task is to optimally implement the stated policy directions that have been democratically decided upon by the elected representatives of government. Such an argument avoids the artificial nature of such a split, as administration is clearly governance. In addition, it is hard to argue with Dahl’s (1947) point that the application of the value of efficiency as an overriding criterion in the conduct of administration is a policy decision in its own right. Both Dahl and Dwight Waldo (1948; 1952) sought to refute Simon’s push for an administrative science that discounted the normatively democratic character of public administration.

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This period in the history of the study of organizations is often called the golden age of organization theory. In this period, organizational roles were understood as a unit within the broader social system of organization. Such a view held the organizational role as relatively unproblematic. As McSwite suggests, the role is “defined as the set of stabilized expectations that organizations comprise. Human beings are seen simply as role players who respond to ‘role senders’ who transfer expectations to them” (1997, p. 185).

The logic of this view was structural-functional (Burrell & Morgan, 1979; Parsons, 1951). That is, the organization was understood as a tangible, typically biological, structure composed of subunits that ensured its survival. Parsons, in an effort to describe human action, argued that while social scientists were often at odds to explain the particular behavior of individuals, a coherent explanation of human action could be ascertained if one examined the roles (the functions) that individuals carried out within the context of the larger society. From this perspective, one’s identity or “self” was based on one’s societal roles. As such, “One is a mother, a son, a Texan, a Scot, a professor, a sociologist, a Catholic, a lesbian—or a combination of these social roles and possibilities” (Kellner, in Anderson, 1997, p. 107). This view, dominant at the time, emphasized the of a society and the way in which an individual’s “values” either facilitated orfunctions complicated an individual’s socialization and integration into the social order. It emphasized the values that established and maintained the social order. Entities such as the home, the nuclear family, and the school were understood as sites for the reinforcement of this perspective.

Such a view also framed the worker, as we see with Simon above, as an information processor, a rationally choosing entity able to consciously identify its interests and choose how to act in accordance with those interests. This view serves as the foundation for the self as developed by those in the field of artificial intelligence. It was also the base for early work in cognitive science.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the organization as a system was the dominant metaphor. As work in this area developed, theorists moved from closed systems to open systems. This in part reflected the importance of the environment outside of the organization’s functional or technical operations. As Katz and Kahn wrote in their classic : “Social systems are flagrantly open systems in that the inputThe Social Psychology of Organizations of energies and the conversion of output into further energic input consists of transactions between the organization and its environment” (1966, p. 18). The result of this perspective was a focus on a variety of “environmental effects” and the “feedback” from those external environments.

A concomitant influence during this period was general systems theory (GST) (Kast & Rosenzweig, 1972). GST is a meta-theory that incorporates all types of biological, physical, and social systems. The creation of such a meta-theory in the natural sciences led to so-called second order theorizing about organizational systems, thereby yielding contingency theory. This approach, attributed to Harvard researchers Paul Lawrence and Jay Lorsch, looked for patterns of relationships in organizational subsystems. The lessons learned from these patterns would allow a manager to respond to specific contingencies or situations with the right mix of task, technology, and people. As another well-known organization theorist, J. D. Thompson, wrote:

The contingency view seeks to understand the interrelationships within and among subsystems as well as between the organization and its environment and to define patterns of relationship or configuration of variables. It emphasizes the multivariate nature of organizations and attempts to understand how organizations operate under varying conditions and in specific circumstances. (1967, p. 157)

The systems and neo-classical approaches to the study of organizations had the organization’s efficient function as their raison d’être. This perspective was matched with a value-neutral approach to public service. That is, the expertise of the administrator, coupled with his or her ability to manage for efficiency, was the ideal type of the period. Social and political events in the United States in the 1960s revealed the dilemma of viewing public organizations as purely rational instruments. A classic example is the Defense Department’s use of “body count” during the Vietnam War. American success in the war was measured by the number of enemy killed. Such an operational variable “made sense” in the parlance of organizational goals and objectives, but giving primacy to this instrumental view led to a distorted picture of events on the ground to say nothing of the public’s response to the detached analytic posture of its politicians and administrators.

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4. 3. 2. 1.

Public administration writers of this period sought to establish a New Public Administration to respond to a seemingly changed social order. The core view that animated the New Public Administration was that “the purpose of public organization is the reduction of economic, social and psychic suffering and the enhancement of life opportunities for those inside and outside the organization” (LaPorte, 1971, p. 32). The core dialectical themes that animate the public administration field—politics and administration; facts and values; efficiency and equity; hierarchy and participation—all seemed out of balance. As the organizational theorist Chris Argyris wrote in Public Administration Review:

Organizational theory in public administration may be undergoing an important transformation. The new critics find much administrative descriptive theory to be nonrelevant to many critical problems of organizations. They suggest that the present theories are based on a concept of man, indeed a morality, that leads the scholar to conduct research that is, intentionally or unintentionally, supportive of the status quo… . The newer critical writings are also concerned with individual morality, authenticity, human self-actualization. The scholars are not only asking what makes an organization more effective; they are concerned with the issues: For whom are the organizations designed? How humane can organizations become and still be effective? (1973, p. 253)3

Or gani zat i onal Humani sm

Argyris’s work gained prominence in light of the critique of the rational model of organization. The so-called later human relationists reasserted the primacy of the individual in organizational theorizing. The early human relationists like Henderson, Mayo, Roethelisberger, and Barnard introduced the importance of the individual in organizational life. However, their view was that human “sentiment” was a dimension of organizational life to be managed in the accomplishment of organizational goals and objectives. The rational model of organization in its neo-classicist and systems forms sought to predict and control the work of its members by using the organizational structure as a means to produce rational behavior. Argyris, whose work built on that of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y, heralded an expanded role for member participation in organizations. In his famous book 4 Personality and Organization (1957), he argued that because the trajectory of individual human development would always differ from the trajectory of the organization’s goals and objectives, the task of management should be to mediate the gap of this inherent disparity.

This perspective, also known as organizational humanism, led to significant changes in organizational design. Ideas about worker autonomy and participation that we now take for granted were ushered in in this period. Among works in public administration, Robert Golembiewski’s Men, Management and Morality (1967) is continually cited as best expressing the elements of organizational humanism within public organizations. The following five tenets reflect the normative stance taken by Golembiewski:5

Work must be psychologically acceptable to the individual … Work must allow man to develop his own faculties … The work task must allow the individual considerable room for self-determination … The worker must have the possibility of controlling, in a meaningful way, the environment within which the task is to be performed … The organization should not be the sole and final arbiter of behaviour; both the organization and the individual must be subject to an external moral order (1967, p. 65).

The Economi st s’ Response t o Bur eaucr acy

The very large bureaucracy will (1) become increasingly indiscriminating in its response to diverse demands, (2) impose increasingly high social costs upon those who are presumed to be its beneficiaries, (3) fail to proportion supply and demand, (4) allow public goods to erode by failing to take actions to prevent one use from impairing other uses, (5) become increasingly error prone and uncontrollable to the point where public actions deviate radically from rhetoric about public purposes and objectives, and (6) eventually lead to a circumstance where remedial actions exacerbate rather than ameliorate problems. (Ostrom, 1989, p. 56)

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In a sweeping analysis of the way in which public organizations have been viewed, Vincent Ostrom’s book (1989) argued that large-scale bureaucracies are not the soleThe Intellectual Crisis in Public Administration

instruments capable of delivering public goods and services. Ostrom championed a public choice approach to organization theory. Public choice theory developed by James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock applies economic decision-making to the realm of politics and public policy. Ideas that have now gained acceptance such as education vouchers, pollution credits, and open competition for the provision of public services had their genesis in Buchanan and Tullock’s book the (1962).Calculus of Consent

The themes of public choice theory that undergird a public choice theory of organizations are methodological individualism and decentralized organizational arrangements. Methodological individualism refers to the individual as the unit of analysis in the examination of all social phenomena (Donaldson, 1996, p. 342). Moreover, the definition of the individual is tightly circumscribed. He/she is (1) motivated by self-interest, (2) rational in his/her ability to rank alternatives, and (3) seeks to maximize his/her net benefit in any given situation (Ostrom, 1989, pp. 44–46).

Public choice organization theory centers on decentralized organizational arrangements. The rationale for such arrangements is based on an economic argument about the delivery of goods and services. Between purely private transactions, purchasing a toaster for example, and purely public transactions, defending the nation’s citizens, for example, there is a vast middle range, which Ostrom suggests should be subject to economic models of collective action rather than other forms of decision-making (Ostrom, 1989, pp. 46–47). In this sense, “public agencies are viewed as a means for allocating decision-making capabilities in order to provide public goods and services responsive to the preferences of individuals in different social contexts” (Ostrom & Ostrom, in Denhardt, 2004, p. 207). Hence, for a broad range of public-sector-related activities, bureaucratic systems ought to be replaced by decentralized market-like mechanisms. This approach, in Ostrom’s view, is not only more responsive to individual choice, but more closely aligned with Madison’s and Hamilton’s design for American government than with Woodrow Wilson’s interpretation of the relation between politics and administration.6

The public choice model represents an exchange-based view of human behavior that has maintained its prominence. New Public Management practices across all western governments have approached the reform of public sector organizations in the tradition of public choice’s principal-agent model. Put simply, these theories argue that each actor possesses an asset another actor needs, and this interdependence spurs an exchange; that leaders establish the terms of exchange with other actors whose cooperation is important for achieving goals; and that both parties of the exchange (principals and agents) are opportunistic, seeking to maximize their gains. The principal’s primary task is to monitor the agent closely to ensure compliance and cooperation (Reitan, 1998).

From the standpoint of organization theory however, it is not clear whether the public choice cum new public management model provides any real innovation in terms of its view of human behavior. In all its varieties, the principal-agent model is based on the unwavering view that in an effort to maximize his/her self-interest, the agent will try to shirk his/her responsibilities to the principal. Echoing Oliver Williamson (1985), the agent is “an individual who has the inherent propensity to , to be , to maximizeshirk opportunistic his or her self-interest, to act with guile, and to behave in ways that constitute a ” (Donaldson,moral hazard 1996, p. 340). Such a view, so reminiscent of Taylor’s systematic soldiering claims, leads one to wonder whether much has changed in the study of organizations.

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The Net wor k Model of Or gani zat i on Theor y

Since the mid-1990s, there has been a proliferation of writing about the network model of organization. From the organizational structure standpoint, the network model creates the possibility for reduced layers of communication, ease of information flow, and, ideally, better access to services. The value of such a model is the optimization of resources, including human resources. Catherine Alter and Jerald Hage’s notable text,

(1993, p. 46), defines organizational networks as “the basic social form thatOrganizations Working Together permits interorganizational interactions of exchange, concerted action, and joint production. Networks are unbounded or bounded clusters of organizations that, by definition, are nonhierarchical collectives of legally separate units.” In Alter and Hage’s definition, two overriding characteristics of the network model are an emphasis on horizontal rather than hierarchical relationships and an emphasis on exchange-based assumptions about human behavior.

To a large degree, the network model is an extension of the decentralized approach to organizing. As Goldsmith and Eggers note in their widely read :Governing by Network

The hierarchical model of government persists, but its influence is steadily waning, pushed by governments’ appetite to solve ever more complicated problems and pulled by new tools that allow innovators to fashion creative responses. This push and pull is gradually a new model of government in which executives’ core responsibilities, no longer center on managing people and programs but on organizing resources, often belonging to others, to produce public value. Government agencies, bureaus, divisions, and offices are becoming less important as direct service providers, but more important as generators of public value within a web of multiorganizational, multigovernmental, and multisectoral relationships that characterize modern government. (Goldsmith and Eggers, 2004, p. 8)

As networks seek the optimal mode of operation, each component of the network tries to function in its best possible fashion. There is an emphasis on lean operations and optimal linkages. Hierarchical organizations are flattened; redundant systems are exorcized. How does today’s public administrator cope with the demands of administering in a decentralized system wherein both normatively and operationally lines of authority are more fluid and where democratic representativeness and accountability—the staples of administrative legitimacy—are rendered both more complex and more ambiguous? Two answers surface in the literature. In the United States the emphasis has been primarily instrumental. That is, the focus has been on techniques for network managers (Agranoff & McGuire, 1999; Berry et al., 2004; McGuire, 2002).

McGuire (2002) maintains that there is a core set of behaviors that the current public administrator must possess in order to manage successfully in the network setting. First, an administrator must hold activation skills. Activation is a set of behaviors employed for identifying and incorporating the persons and resources (such as funding, expertise, and legal authority) needed to achieve program goals. The single organization parallel to activation would be personnel issues of staffing. Activating involves identifying participants for the network and including key stakeholders in the process. The removal of network participants is known as “deactivating.” Second, McGuire claims an administrator must also have framing behaviors. Framing behaviors are used to arrange and integrate a network structure by facilitating agreement on participants’ roles, operating rules, and network values. Third is mobilization. Mobilizing develops commitment and support for network processes from network participants and external stakeholders. The last core behavior is synthesizing. Synthesizing behaviors build relationships and interactions that result in achieving the network purpose. The crowded schedule of the public manager must include room for these support-building activities.

In the European literature, there is an emphasis on democratic network governance. S0rensen and Torfing define a governance network as: (1) a relatively stable horizontal articulation of interdependent, but operationally autonomous actors, (2) who interact through negotiations, (3) that take place within a regulative, normative, cognitive, and imaginary framework, (4) that to a certain extent is self-regulating, and (5) that contributes to the production of public purpose within or across particular policy areas (2005). This broader definition reflects their view that network models of organization do not operate solely based on the heretofore-discussed principal-agent model but have the potential to operate from various epistemological frames.

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Sørensen-Torfing Model: Four Basic Theories of Network Governance

Calculation Culture Conflict Interdependence theory Governmentality theory Coordination Governability theory Integration theory

At the level of social theory, they distinguish between theories of rational calculation and theories that presume culture influences social action. The authors then juxtapose these dimensions of social theory with assumptions operative within networked systems: network approaches that emphasize coordination and network models that assume that conflict is the logic behind interaction within the network. Such a juxtaposition offers a more nuanced view of relations within a network.

A second major component of S0rensen and Torfing’s analysis is their engagement of post-liberal theories of democracy. Whereas the U.S. public management network literature takes the question of democratic network governance as a given, S0rensen and Torfing convincingly argue that the network model of governance affects the traditionally understood democratic practices within both the administrative sector and the larger political structure of society (Sørensen, 2002; Sørensen & Torfing, 2005). Although the public management movement within the United States has not been silent on, for example, the question of substantive versus procedural democracy, it has typically understood its research agenda as standing outside the work done by democratic theorists (Box, Marshall, Reed & Reed, 2001).

Concl usi on

So ends our brief tour of public organization theory in the United States. Public organizations today are increasingly decentralized and multisectoral. This creates new challenges for organizing and managing and also for sustaining the democratic character of public administration. With regard to the former—organization and management—the network structure is not without its limitations and as such, horizontal coordination is vital. With regard to the latter—democracy—there are implications for the normative dimensions of democratic governance and for the possibility of workplace democracy.

The decentralized model of organization changes the normative equation. Rather than large administrative institutions as symbols—both physically and socially—of the public interest, we have multiorganizational arrangements. These multisectoral arrangements are understood to be more democratic because of their capacity to be responsive to citizen preferences. These new arrangements may perhaps also provide new opportunities for workplace democracy, if the lessons of Kurt Lewin’s work on groups are applied and if the type of collaborative social process described by Mary Parker Follett is realized. Equally possible in the largely networked organization environment on the horizon is the expanded application of the principal-agent model to all types of organizational forms and relationships. In such a scenario, the social bond that is characteristic of public life will take on an increasingly exchange-based rather than substantively democratic quality.

Not es

1. I am using the term post-traditional society to refer to both modernity and its echo: postmodernity. Central to this definition is an understanding of modernity. According to Giddens (1991, p. 15), there are four key aspects to modernity. That is, four main discourses: (1) industrialism—the social relations implied in the widespread use of material power and machinery in production processes; (2) capitalism—a system of commodity production involving both competitive product markets and the commodification of labor power; (3) surveillance—the supervisory control of subject populations, whether this control takes the form of “visible” supervision in Foucault’s sense or the use of information to coordinate social activities; and (4) organization— the regularized control of social relations across indefinite time-space distances.

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• •

• •

2. Redford’s argument is that administrative agencies play a crucial role in sustaining a democratic society. As Orion White noted of his mentor: “Emmette Redford represented the idea that effective governance, performed by responsible officials and of which administration was an indispensable and legitimate part, was a vital part of social life and societal well-being” (McSwite, 1997, p. 7). A different interpretation is offered by Meier and Krause (2003), who argue that Redford’s overhead democracy is a precursor to the principal-agent literature in organization theory.

3. In using this particular quote from Argyris, I want to highlight the broader discussion of Argyris’s work developed by Mike Harmon and Rick Mayer in their excellent book .Organization Theory for Public Administration Mike Harmon was the scholar who introduced me to the field of public organization theory. His superb scholarship and excitement for this field of study has had a lasting effect on me. The logic of this chapter is grounded in Mike’s teaching.

4. As is well known, the hierarchy of needs moves from very basic survival and economic concerns to the higher plane of psychological satisfaction: physiological needs, safety needs, love (affiliation) needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization. Maslow’s premise is that “man is a perpetually wanting animal.” His theory assumes that people are not unlike organisms who have biological “needs” that they seek to reduce or “satisfy”(McSwite, 1997).

Douglas McGregor’s book (1960) was extremely well received, albeit dismissed asThe Human Side of Enterprise facile by some management science types. While the theory in the book was developed early on, the examples and the tone of the book were forged by McGregor’s practical experience both as a consultant and as president of Antioch College in Ohio. In addition, he actively wrote and consulted during a period of unprecedented industrial growth in the United States. It was for America, the zenith of modernism. As a result, McGregor more than others successfully influenced the corporate and governmental sectors because his practices became institutionalized in a variety of workplace settings. Weisbord argues that McGregor introduced the idea that social (and organizational) change starts deep inside each of us (2004, p. 113). This leads directly into his famous Theory X and Theory Y. Most of us have learned about the theory and understand it as a contrast between two management styles, with Theory X being the big stick authoritarian approach and Theory Y the “carrot giving” sensitive approach. These broad characterizations lead us back to questions of authority and participation. More than anything else, McGregor’s book fit the robust post-World War I economy in the United States. After decades of Taylorism (Weisbord, 2004, p. 137), workers were sufficiently inculcated with segmented, expert-based work systems. However, they were also ready for more inclusive approaches. The six core assumptions of Theory Y are as follows:

Work is as natural as play. People like or dislike it based on conditions that management can control. External control is not the only way to achieve organizational goals. People will exercise self-control toward objectives they feel committed to. Commitment comes from rewards based on satisfying people’s needs for status, recognition, and growth. Under the right conditions the average person will seek and accept responsibility rather than avoid it. Many people have the ingenuity and creativity needed to solve organizational problems. These qualities are not the rare province of a gifted few. Modern industry uses only a part of the ability, talent, and potential brainpower of the average person (Weisbord, 2004, p. 140).

The final observation about McGregor’s work that I want to highlight is the presentday discussion of Theory X and Theory Y. Rather than narrowly categorizing one person as completely devoted to one management style or another, one might also read McGregor’s work as suggesting that each of us has some of the elements of the other. For example, a person who sees him/herself as a no-nonsense realist (Theory X) may in fact have a nonconformist creative side even thought he/she projects all Theory Y types to be self-absorbed and anarchic. Similarly, a person who sees him/ herself as sensitive, empathic, and open may in fact be strong willed and objectivist, even though he/she would claim that all Theory X types are boring and unaware (Weisbord, 2004, p. 141).

This point is important because not only does it problematize the oppositional talk (Theory X managers are bad, Theory Y managers are good or vice-versa), it also makes the point that managers and/or supervisors are not neutrals who apply a particular management technique. Rather their singularity, their strengths and weaknesses make them who they are and the person to whom their employees will react (respond).

5. This view follows the two long-standing textbooks of public administration theory, Harmon and Mayer’s (1986) and Denhardt’s (2004).Organization Theory for Public Administration Theories of Public Organization

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6. Wilson’s admiration for the British civil service is well known.

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66 Academy af Management Perspectives Navember


Effective Leadership Behavior: What We Know and What Questions Need More Attention by Gary YukI

Executive Overview Extensive research on leadership behavior during the past half century has yielded many different behavior taxonomies and a lack of clear results about effective behaviors. One purpose of this article is to describe what has been learned about effective leadership behavior in organizations. A hierarchical taxonomy with four meta-categories and 15 specific component behaviors was used to interpret results in the diverse and extensive literature and to identify conditions that influence the effectiveness of these behaviors. Limita- tions and potential extensions of the hierarchical taxonomy are discussed, and suggestions for improving research on effective leadership behavior are provided.

The essence of leadership in organizations isinfluencing and facilitating individual and col-lective efforts to accomplish shared objectives. Leaders can improve the performance of a team or organization by influencing the processes that de- termine performance. An important objective in much of the leadership research has been to iden- tify aspects of behavior that explain leader influ- ence on the performance of a team, work unit, or organization. To be highly useful for designing research and formulating theories, leader behavior categories should be observable, distinct, measur- able, and relevant for many types of leaders, and taxonomies of leader behaviors should be compre- hensive but parsimonious.

Thousands of studies on leader behavior and its effects have been conducted over the past half century, but the bewildering variety of behavior constructs used for this research makes it difficult to compare and integrate the findings (Bass, 2008; Yukl, in press). The behavior taxonomies guiding past research have substantial differences in the number and type of behaviors they include. Some

taxonomies have only a few broadly defined be- havior meta-categories, whereas other taxonomies have a larger number of narrowly defined behavior categories. Some taxonomies are intended to cover the full range of leader behaviors, whereas others include only the behaviors identified in a particular leadership theory. Some taxonomies describe leader behaviors used to motivate indi- vidual subordinates, whereas other taxonomies de- scribe behaviors used to lead groups or organiza- tions. Some taxonomies include other types of constructs along with behaviors, such as leader roles, skills, and values. Additional confusion is created by lack of consistency in the use of cate- gory labels. Sometimes different terms are used to refer to the same type of behavior, and sometimes the same term is used for different forms of behavior.

The primary purpose of this article is to review what has been learned about effective leadership behavior from research conducted over more than half a century. To integrate results from a large number of studies with many different ways of

Gary Yukl (g.yukl@albany.edu) is a Professor in the School of Business at the University of Albany.

Copyright of the Atodemy of Management, all rights reserved. Contents may not be copied, emailed, posted to a listserv, or otherwise transmitted without the copyright holder’s express written permission. Users may print, download, or emoil ortkles for individual use only. http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/amp.2012.0088

2012 YukI 67

classifying and measuring leadership behavior, it was first necessary to develop a comprehensive behavior taxonomy. The article begins by describ- ing how decades of behavior research provides the basis for a hierarchical taxonomy with four broad meta-categories and 15 specific component be- haviors. Next is a brief overview of research on the effects of widely used behavior categories, fol- lowed by a more detailed description of what has been learned about the relevance of each specific behavior in the hierarchical taxonomy. Several conditions that influence the effects of the behav- iors are described, and the need for more research on them is explained. The article ends with a summary and suggestions for improving future research.

Research on Behavior Taxonomies

The method used most often to identify catego-ries of leadership behavior is factor analysisof behavior description questionnaires. This method is most useful when clear, relevant items are selected for the initial questionnaire and re- spondents are able to remember the leader’s past behavior and provide accurate ratings. Unfortu- nately, the selection of behavior items for a ques- tionnaire is usually influenced by preconceptions about effective leadership or the desire to develop a measure of key behaviors in a leadership theory. The sample of respondents is seldom systematic, and the accuracy of most behavior questionnaires is seriously reduced by respondent biases and at- tributions. Finally, the basic assumptions of factor analysis (high correlation among examples from the same category) do not apply very well when a behavior category includes several alternative ways to achieve the same objective and a leader needs to use only one or two of them. The limi- tations of this method may help to explain the substantial differences among leader behavior taxonomies.

Another common method for identifying dis- tinct behavior categories is to have subject matter experts sort behavior descriptions into categories based on similarity of purpose and content, but this method also has limitations. The selection of categories may be biased by prior assumptions and implicit leadership theories, and disagreements

among subject matter experts are not easily re- solved. A behavior taxonomy is more likely to be useful if it is based on multiple methods and is supported by research on the antecedents and outcomes of the behaviors.

From 1950 to 1980 most of the research on leadership behavior was focused on explaining how leaders influence the attitudes and perfor- mance of individual subordinates. In the early survey research, factor analysis of leadership be- havior questionnaires found support for two broadly defined behavior categories involving task-oriented and relations-oriented behaviors. Different labels were used for these meta-catego- ries, including initiating structure and consider- ation (Fleishman, 1953; Halpin & Winer, 1957), production-centered and employee-centered lead- ership (Likert, 1961), instrumental and supportive leadership (House, 1971), and performance and maintenance behavior (Misumi & Peterson, 1985). The specific behaviors defining the two meta-categories varied somewhat from one taxon- omy to another, and some relevant behaviors were not adequately represented in any of these taxonomies. Finding the two meta-categories was a good start, but researchers failed to conduct systematic follow-up research to build on the ini- tial discoveries.

Leadership behaviors directly concerned with encouraging and facilitating change did not get much attention in the early leadership research. Change behaviors are more relevant for execu- tives than for the low-level leaders studied in much of the early research, and they are more important for the dynamic, uncertain environ- ments that have become so common for organi- zations in recent decades. In the 1980s one or two specific change-oriented behaviors were included in questionnaires used to measure charismatic and transformational leadership, but leading change was still not explicitly recognized as a distinct meta-category. Researchers in Sweden and the United States (Ekvall & Arvonen, 1991; Yukl, 1999; Yukl, Gordon, & Taber, 2002) eventually found evidence for the construct validity of a leading-change meta-category. The classification of change-oriented behavior as a distinct and

Academy af Management Perspectives Navember

meaningful meta-category provided important new insights about effective leadership.

In most of the early research on leadership behavior the focus was on describing how leaders influence subordinates and internal activities in the work unit. Leader behavior descriptions were usually obtained from subordinates who had little opportunity to observe their leaders interacting with people outside the work unit. Thus, it is not surprising that few leadership studies examined external (“boundary-spanning”) behavior, and only a few leader behavior taxonomies included any external behaviors (e.g., Stogdill, Goode, & Day, 1962). However, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, descriptive research on managers found that it is important to influence bosses, peers, and outsiders as well as subordinates (Kaplan, 1984; Kotter, 1982; Mintzberg, 1973), and later research on teams found that boundary-spanning behavior is important for effective team performance (e.g., Ancona &. Caldwell, 1992; Joshi, Pandey, &. Han, 2009; Marrone, 2010). The importance and uniqueness of external leadership behavior pro- vides justification for classifying it as a separate meta-category.

Hierarchical Behavior Taxonomy

The hierarchical taxonomy proposed in thisarticle describes leadership behaviors usedto influence the performance of a team, work unit, or organization. The four meta-categories and their component behaviors are shown in Table 1. Each meta-category has a different primary objective, but the objectives all involve determinants of performance. For task-oriented behavior the primary objective is to accomplish work in an efficient and reliable way. For rela- tions-oriented behavior the primary objective is to increase the quality of human resources and relations, which is sometimes called “human capital.” For change-oriented behavior the pri- mary objectives are to increase innovation, col- lective learning, and adaptation to the external environment. For external leadership behavior the primary objectives are to acquire necessary information and resources, and to promote and defend the interests of the team or organization. In addition to these differences in primary objec-

Toble 1 Hierarchical Taxonomy of Leadership Behaviors





Clarifying Planning Monitoring operations Problem solving Supporting Developing Recognizing Empowering Advocating change Envisioning change Encouraging innovation Focilitating collective learning Networking External monitoring Representing

tives, each meta-category includes unique specific behaviors for achieving the objectives. The rele- vance of each component behavior depends on aspects of the situation, and the effect is not always positive for the primary objective or for other outcomes.

The proposed taxonomy builds on the exten- sive factor analysis research by Yukl and col- leagues (2002), and it also reflects findings in other taxonomic research linking specific behav- iors to the performance of a team or organization. The three meta-categories in the Yukl and col- leagues (2002) taxonomy were retained, but an- other component on task-oriented behavior (problem solving) was added, consulting and del- egating were combined into a broader relations- oriented component (empowering), and taking risks to promote change was included in a broader change-oriented component (advocating change). The new taxonomy also includes a fourth meta- category (external behavior). Two of the compo- nent behaviors (networking and representing) were not included in the questionnaire used for the Yukl and colleagues (2002) research, and the third component (external monitoring) was in their questionnaire but it was included in the change-oriented meta-category.

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Overview of Research on Effects of Leader Behavior

i uch of the research on effects of leader he- havior has been guided by popular leadership theories that emphasized one or two broadly

defined behaviors. Early leadership theories such as path-goal theory (House, 1971), leadership suh- stitutes theory (Kerr & Jermier, 1978), situational leadership theory (Hersey & Blanchard, 1977), and the managerial grid (Blake & Mouton, 1964) emphasized task-oriented and relations-oriented behavior, and these meta-categories were used in much of the research conducted from 1960 to 1980. Reviews and meta-analyses of results from hundreds of studies concluded that hoth meta- categories are related to independent measures of leadership effectiveness (DeRue, Nahrgang, Well- man, &. Humphrey, 2011; Judge, Piccolo, &. Hies, 2004).

Since the 1980s, much of the research on the effects of leadership hehavior has been based on theories of transformational and charismatic lead- ership (Avolio, Bass, &. Jung, 1999; Bass, 1985; Conger & Kanungo, 1987; House, 1977; Shamir, House, &. Arthur, 1993). As in the earlier re- search, most of these studies reported results only for composite scores on behavior meta-categories included in the theory. Reviews and meta-analy- ses of this research found that transformational leadership was related to indicators of leadership effectiveness in a majority of studies, hut results were inconsistent for transactional leadership and charismatic leadership (De Groot, Kiker, & Cross, 2000; Judge & Piccolo, 2004; Lowe, Kroeck, & Sivasubramaniam, 1996; Wang, Oh, Courtright, &. Colbert, 2011; Yukl, 2013).

The research on effects of hroadly defined he- haviors has limitations that make the results dif- ficult to interpret. The limitations include differ- ences in the way behavior is defined and measured from study to study, use of composite scores based on diverse component behaviors that do not have the same effects, the exclusion of other relevant behaviors likely to be confounded with the mea- sured hehaviors, and over-reliance on weak re- search methods such as same-source survey stud- ies. The results found for independent measures of

leadership effectiveness were much weaker than results found for same-source measures, especially when objective performance measures were used (Burke et al, 2006; Kaiser, Hogan, &. Craig, 2008).

The popularity of survey research on meta- categories may have inhihited research on effects of specific hehaviors, hecause the number of stud- ies on them is much smaller. The research on effects of specific leadership behaviors included several types of studies. Some studies used a he- havior description questionnaire, but other studies used hehavior descriptions from ohservation, dia- ries, or critical incidents. Several multiple-case studies used interviews, records, and other data collection methods to investigate how leader de- cisions and actions influenced performance for a team or organization, and the hehavior of effective and ineffective leaders was usually compared. A few studies used laboratory or field experiments in which leader behavior was manipulated to assess the effects on suhordinate performance. The find- ings in this research provide evidence that each of the 15 specific hehaviors in the proposed taxon- omy is relevant for effective leadership.

Effectiveness of Specific Leader Behaviors

I n this section, the relevance of each specificcomponent behavior is hriefly explained, andthe research linking it to effective leadership is cited. The research includes studies on dyadic, group, and organizational leadership. Most studies examined effects of behavior hy individual leaders and included an independent source of informa- tion about leadership effectiveness, such as ratings hy superiors or objective performance measures.

Taslt-Oriented Behaviors As noted earlier, the primary purpose of task- oriented behaviors is to ensure that people, equip- ment, and other resources are used in an efficient way to accomplish the mission of a group or or- ganization. Specific component hehaviors include planning and organizing work-unit activities, clar- ifying roles and ohjectives, monitoring work-unit operations, and resolving work-related prohlems.

70 Academy af Management Perspectives Navember

Planning This broadly defined behavior includes making decisions about objectives and priorities, organiz- ing work, assigning responsibilities, scheduling ac- tivities, and allocating resources among different activities. More specifically, activity planning in- volves scheduling activities and assigning tasks in a way that will accomplish task objectives and avoid delays, duplication of effort, and wasted resources. Project planning includes identifying essential action steps; determining an appropriate sequence and schedule for them; deciding who should do each action step; and determining what supplies, equipment, and other resources are nec- essary. The planning often requires information provided by other people such as subordinates, peers, bosses, and outsiders. Negative forms of this behavior include making plans that are superficial or unrealistic. Several types of research provide evidence that planning can enhance a leader’s effectiveness, including survey studies (e.g., Kim & Yukl, 1995; Shipper, 1991; Shipper &. DiUard, 2000; Shipper & Wilson, 1992; Yukl, Wall, & Lepsinger, 1990), incident and diary studies (e.g., Ancona &. Caldwell, 1992; Morse & Wag- ner, 1978; Yukl & Van Fleet, 1982), and mul- tiple-case studies (e.g., Kotter, 1982; Van Fleet & Yukl, 1986).

Clorifying Leaders use clarifying to ensure that people under- stand what to do, how to do it, and the expected results. Clarifying includes explaining work re- sponsibilities; assigning tasks; communicating ob- jectives, priorities, and deadlines; setting perfor- mance standards; and explaining any relevant rules, policies, and standard procedures. Setting clear, specific, and challenging but realistic goals usually improves performance by a group (Locke &. Latham, 1990). Negative forms of clarifying include failing to provide clear assignments, set- ting vague or easy goals, providing inconsistent instructions that create role ambiguity, and giving excessively detailed directions (micromanaging). Evidence that clarifying can enhance leadership effectiveness is provided by survey studies (e.g., Kim & Yukl, 1995; Shipper, 1991; Shipper &

DiUard, 2000; Shipper & Wilson, 1992; Yukl & Kanuk, 1979; Yukl et al, 1990), incident and diary studies (e.g., Amabile, Schatzel, Moneta, &. Kramer, 2004; Yukl & Van Fleet, 1982), compar- ative case studies (e.g.. Van Fleet & Yukl, 1986), an executive team simulation study (Zalatan, 2005), a laboratory experiment (Kirkpatrick & Locke, 1996), and field experiments (Latham & Baldes, 1975; Latham & Yukl, 1976).

Monitoring Leaders use monitoring to assess whether people are carrying out their assigned tasks, the work is progressing as planned, and tasks are being per- formed adequately. Information gathered from monitoring is used to identify problems and op- portunities and to determine if changes are needed in plans and procedures. Information from moni- toring can also be used to guide the use of rela- tions-oriented behaviors such as praise or coach- ing. There are many different ways to monitor operations, including directly observing activities, examining recorded activities or communications, using information systems, examining required re- ports, and holding performance review sessions. Negative examples include types of monitoring that are intrusive, excessive, superficial, or irrele- vant. Evidence that monitoring can improve lead- ership effectiveness is provided by survey studies (e.g., Kim & Yukl, 1995; Wang, Tsui, & Xin, 2011; Yukl et al, 1990), studies using direct ob- servation or diaries (e.g., Amabile et al, 2004; Brewer, Wilson, & Beck, 1994; Komaki, 1986), comparative case studies (e.g., Peters & Austin, 1975; Van Fleet & Yukl, 1986), and a laboratory experiment (Larson & Callahan, 1990).

Problem Solving Leaders use problem solving to deal with disrup- tions of normal operations and member behavior that is illegal, destructive, or unsafe. Serious dis- ruptions of the work usually require leadership intervention, and other terms for problem solving include “crisis management” and “disturbance handling.” Effective leaders try to quickly identify the cause of the problem, and they provide firm, confident direction to their team or work unit as they cope with the problem. It is important to

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recognize the difference between operational problems that can be resolved quickly and com- plex problems likely to require change-oriented behaviors and involvement by other leaders. Prob- lem solving also includes disciplinary actions in response to destructive, dangerous, or illegal be- havior by members of the work unit (e.g., theft, sabotage, violation of safety regulations, falsifica- tion of records). Problem solving can be proactive as well as reactive, and effective leaders take the initiative to identify likely problems and deter- mine how to avoid them or minimize their adverse effects. Many things can be done to prepare the work unit or organization to respond effectively to predictable types of disruptions such as accidents, equipment failures, natural disasters, health emer- gencies, supply shortages, computer hacking, and terrorist attacks. Negative forms of problem solv- ing include ignoring signs of a serious problem, making a hasty response before identifying the cause of the problem, discouraging useful input from subordinates, and reacting in ways that cre- ate more serious problems. Evidence that problem solving is related to leadership effectiveness is provided by survey studies (e.g., Kim &. Yukl, 1995; Morgeson, 2005; Yukl & Van Eleet, 1982; Yukl et al., 1990), studies using critical incidents or diaries (e.g., Amabile et al., 2004; Boyatzis, 1982; Yukl & Van Eleet, 1982), and comparative case studies (e.g.. Van Eleet & Yukl, 1986).

Relations-Oriented Behaviors Leaders use relations-oriented behaviors to en- hance member skills, the leader-member relation- ship, identification with the work unit or organi- zation, and commitment to the mission. Specific component behaviors include supporting, devel- oping, recognizing, and empowering.


Leaders use supporting to show positive regard, build cooperative relationships, and help people cope with stressful situations. Examples include showing concern for the needs and feelings of individual team members, listening carefully when a member is worried or upset, providing support and encouragement when there is a difficult or

stressful task, and expressing confidence that someone can perform a difficult task. Supporting also includes encouraging cooperation and mutual trust and mediating conflicts among subordinates. A significant relationship between supporting and leadership effectiveness was found in survey stud- ies (e.g., Dorfman, Howell, Cotton, &Tate, 1992; Kim & Yukl, 1995; McDonough & Barczak, 1991; Yukl & Van Eleet, 1982; Yukl et al, 1990), in studies using incidents or diaries (e.g., Amabile et al, 2004; Druskat & Wheeler, 2003; Yukl & Van Eleet, 1982), and in a laboratory experiment (Gilmore, Beehr, <St Richter, 1979). Negative forms of supporting include hostile, abusive be- havior. Research on abusive supervision finds that it reduces trust, elicits resentment, and invites retaliation (Mitchell & Ambrose, 2007; Tep- per, 2000).


Leaders use developing to increase the skills and confidence of work-unit members and to facilitate their career advancement. Examples of developing include providing helpful career advice, informing people about relevant training opportunities, making assignments that allow learning from ex- perience, providing developmental coaching when it is needed, asking a group member to provide instruction to a new member, arranging practice sessions or simulations to help members improve their skills, and providing opportunities to apply new skills on the job. Developing is mostly done with a subordinate or team, but some aspects may be used with a colleague or an inex- perienced new boss. A positive relationship be- tween developing subordinate skills and indicators of leadership effectiveness was found in survey studies (e.g., Kim & Yukl, 1995; Yukl et al, 1990), in research using critical incidents and interviews (e.g., Morse & Wagner, 1978), in comparative case studies (e.g., Bradford & Cohen, 1984; Ed- mondson, 2003b; Peters &. Austin, 1985), and in an experiment (Tannenbaum, Smith-Jentsch, Salas, & Brannick, 1998).


Leaders use praise and other forms of recognition to show appreciation to others for effective per-

72 Academy of Management Perspectives Navember

formance, significant achievements, and impor- tant contributions to the team or organization. Recognizing may involve an award presented in a ceremony, or the leader’s recommendation for a tangible reward such as a pay increase or bonus. Effective leaders are proactive in looking for things that deserve recognition, and they provide recognition that is sincere, specific, and timely. Negative examples include providing excessive recognition for trivial achievements, failing to recognize an important contribution, and taking credit for another person’s ideas or achievements. Evidence for the positive effects of praise and recognition on subordinate performance is pro- vided by survey research (e.g., Kim & Yukl, 1995; Shipper, 1991; Shipper & Wilson, 1992; Yukl & Kanuk, 1979), research with incidents or diaries (e.g., Amabile et al, 2004; Atwater, Dionne, Avolio, Camobreco, &. Lau, 1996), and descrip- tive case studies (e.g., Kouzes & Posner, 1987; Peters &. Waterman, 1982). A field experiment found that increased use of praise by supervisors improved performance by employees (Wikoff, An- derson, &. Crowell, 1983).

Empowering Leaders can empower subordinates by giving them more autonomy and influence over decisions about the work. One empowering decision proce- dure called consultation includes asking other people for ideas and suggestions and taking them into consideration when making a decision. An even stronger empowering decision procedure called delegation involves giving an individual or group the authority to make decisions formerly made by the leader. When used in appropriate ways, empowerment can increase decision quality, decision acceptance, job satisfaction, and skill de- velopment (Vroom &. Yetton, 1973; Yukl, in press). Ineffective forms of the behavior include using the supposedly empowering decision proce- dures in a way that allows no real influence, and giving too much autonomy or influence to people who are unable or unwilling to make good decisions.

The term “participative leadership” is some- times used to describe extensive use of empower- ing decision procedures, and many studies have

assessed the effects on subordinate attitudes and performance. Meta-analyses of this research found a weak positive relationship with leadership effec- tiveness (e.g.. Miller &. Monge, 1986; Spector, 1986; Wagner & Gooding, 1987). Stronger evi- dence that specific empowering decision proce- dures are related to leadership effectiveness has been provided by survey studies that measured a leader’s use of consultation and delegation (e.g., Kim & Yukl, 1995; Shipper & Wilson, 1992; Yukl et al., 1990), by research with critical incidents and diaries (e.g., Amabile and colleagues, 2004; Druskat & Wheeler, 2003), by comparative case studies (e.g., Bradford & Cohen, 1984; Edmond- son, 2003b; Kanter, 1983; Leana, 1986), and by field experiments (Bragg & Andrews, 1973; Coch & French, 1948; Korsgaard, Schweiger, & Sapi- enza, 1995).

Change-Oriented Behaviors

Leaders use change-oriented behaviors to increase innovation, collective learning, and adaptation to external changes. Specific component behaviors include advocating change, articulating an inspir- ing vision, encouraging innovation, and encour- aging collective learning. The first two compo- nent behaviors emphasize leader initiation and encouragement of change, whereas the second two component behaviors emphasize leader facil- itation of emergent change processes.

Advocating Change Explaining why change is urgently needed is a key leadership behavior in theories of change manage- ment (e.g., Kotter, 1996; Nadler et al., 1995). When changes in the environment are gradual and no obvious crisis has occurred, people may fail to recognize emerging threats or opportunities. Leaders can provide information showing how similar work units or competitors have better per- formance. Leaders can explain the undesirable outcomes that are likely to occur if emerging prob- lems are ignored or new opportunities are ex- ploited by competitors. Influencing people to ac- cept the need for change involves increasing their awareness of problems without creating an exces- sive level of distress that causes either denial of the problem or acceptance of easy but ineffective

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solutions (Heifetz, 1994). Resistance to change is common in organizations, and courage is required to persistently push for it when the leader’s career is at risk. It is easier to gain support for making innovative changes when a leader can frame un- favorable events as an opportunity rather than a threat. The leader can propose a strategy for re- sponding to a threat or opportunity, but involving people with relevant expertise usually results in a better strategy and more commitment to imple- ment it. Negative forms of the behavior include advocating a costly major change when only in- cremental adjustments are necessary (McClelland, Liang, & Barker, 2009), or advocating acceptance of a costly new initiative without considering the serious risks and obstacles (Finkelstein, 2003). Ev- idence that advocating relevant change is related to effective leadership is provided by comparative case studies (e.g.. Beer, 1988; Edmondson, 2003b; Heifetz, 1994; Kotter & Cohen, 2002; Tichy & Devanna, 1986) and by an experiment using a simulated team task (Marks, Zaccaro, & Ma- thieu, 2000).

Envisioning Change

An effective way for leaders to build commitment to new strategies and initiatives is to articulate a clear, appealing vision of what can be attained by the work unit or organization. A vision will be more inspiring and motivating if it is relevant to the values, ideals, and needs of followers and is communicated with colorful, emotional language (e.g., vivid imagery, metaphors, stories, symbols, and slogans). An ambitious, innovative vision is usually risky, and members of the team or organi- zation are more likely to accept it if the leader can build confidence that they will be successful (Na- dler, 1988). However, an appealing vision based on false assumptions and wishful thinking can divert attention from innovative solutions that are more likely to be successful (Mumford, Scott, Gaddis, &. Strange, 2002). Consistently pursuing a risky and unrealistic vision is a major reason for serious performance declines in organizations with a charismatic leader (Finkelstein, 2003). Evidence that articulating an appealing and inspiring vision is relevant for effective leadership is provided by survey studies (e.g., Baum, Locke, &. Kirkpatrick,

1998; Elenkov, Judge, & Wright, 2005; Keller, 2006; Kim & Yukl, 1995; Wang, Tsui, & Xin, 2011; Yukl et al., 1990), comparative case studies (e.g., Bennis &. Nanus, 1985; Emrich, Brower, Feldman, & Garland, 2001; Kotter & Cohen, 2002; Roberts, 1985; Tichy & Devanna, 1986), and laboratory experiments (e.g., Awamleh & Gardner, 1999; Kirkpatrick «Si Locke, 1996).

Encouraging Innovation

There are many ways leaders can encourage, nur- ture, and facilitate creative ideas and innovation in a team or organization. Other terms that de- scribe aspects of this behavior include “intellec- tual stimulation” and “encouraging innovative thinking.” Leaders can encourage people to look at problems from different perspectives, to think outside the box when solving problems, to exper- iment with new ideas, and to find ideas in other fields that can be applied to their current problem or task. By creating a climate of psychological safety and mutual trust, a leader can encourage members of the team or organization to suggest novel ideas. Leaders can also help to create an organizational culture that values creativity and entrepreneurial activities, they can provide oppor- tunities and resources to develop new products or services, and they can serve as champions or spon- sors for acceptance of innovative proposals. Evi- dence linking this type of change behavior to indicators of effective leadership is provided by survey studies (e.g., Bass &. Yammarino, 1991; Elenkov, Judge, & Wright, 2005; Howell & Avo- lio, 1993; Keller, 2006; Waldman, Javidan, & Varella, 2004; Zhu, Chew & Spangler, 2005), comparative case studies (e.g., Edmondson, 2003b; Eisenhardt, 1989; Kanter, 1983; Peters & Austin, 1985), a laboratory experiment (Red- mond, Mumford, &. Teach, 1993), and a field experiment (Barling, Weber, & Kelloway, 1996).

Facilitating Collective Learning

There are many ways leaders can encourage and facilitate collective learning of new knowledge relevant for improving the performance of a group or organization (Berson, Nemanich, Waldman, Galvin, «Si Keller, 2006; Popper & Lipshitz, 1998). Collective learning may involve improvement of

74 Academy of Management Perspectives November

current strategies and work methods (exploita- tion) or discovery of new ones (exploration). Leaders can support internal activities used to discover new knowledge (e.g., research projects, small-scale experiments) or activities to acquire new knowledge from external sources. Leaders can use practices that facilitate learning by an opera- tions team (e.g., after-activity reviews, bench- marking) or a project development team (e.g., providing resources and opportunity to test new ideas). By helping to create a climate of psycho- logical safety, leaders can increase learning from mistakes and failures. To enhance collective learning from hoth successes and failures, leaders must avoid common tendencies to misinterpret causes and over-generalize implications (Baumard &. Starhuck, 2005). Leaders can help their teams to better recognize failures, analyze their causes, and identify remedies to avoid a future recurrence (Cannon &. Edmondson, 2005). Leaders can also influence how new knowledge or a new technol- ogy is diffused and applied hy explaining why it is important, guiding the process of learning how to use it, and encouraging the use of knowledge- sharing programs. Leaders can help people de- velop a better understanding about the determi- nants of organizational performance. More accurate, shared mental models will improve stra- tegic decisions and organizational performance. Evidence that facilitating collective learning is related to effective leadership is provided by com- parative case studies (e.g., Baumard &. Starbuck, 2005; Beer, 1988; Edmondson, 1999; Edmondson 2002, 2003a) and by experiments with teams (e.g., Ellis, Mendel, & Nir, 2006; Tannenhaum, Smith- Jentsch, & Behson, 1998).

Externai Leadership Behaviors In addition to influencing internal events in the work unit, most leaders can facilitate performance with hehaviors that provide relevant information about outside events, get necessary resources and assistance, and promote the reputation and inter- ests of the work unit. Three distinct external hehaviors include networking, external monitor- ing, and representing.

Networking It is important for most leaders to huild and main- tain favorable relationships with peers, superiors, and outsiders who can provide information, re- sources, and political support (Iharra & Hunter, 2007; Kaplan, 1984; Kotter, 1982; Michael & Yukl, 1973). Networking includes attending meetings, professional conferences, and ceremo- nies; joining relevant associations, clubs, and so- cial networks; socializing informally or communi- cating with network members; and using relationship-huilding tactics (e.g., finding com- mon interests, doing favors, using ingratiation). In addition to developing their own networks, lead- ers can encourage relevant networking by subor- dinates. Networking is a source of information that facilitates other leadership behaviors, but there are potential costs if it is overdone (e.g., time demands, role conflicts). Evidence that net- working can facilitate leadership effectiveness is provided by survey studies (e.g., Kim &. Yukl, 1995; Yukl et al., 1990); studies with incident diaries, interviews, or ohservation (e.g., Amabile et al., 2004; Ancona &. Caldwell, 1992; Druskat & Wheeler, 2003; Luthans, Rosenkrantz, & Hen- nessey, 1985); and comparative case studies (e.g., Katz & Tushman, 1983; Tushman &. Katz, 1980).

External Monitoring This external hehavior includes analyzing infor- mation about relevant events and changes in the external environment and identifying threats and opportunities for the leader’s group or organiza- tion. Information may be acquired from the lead- er’s network of contacts with outsiders, by study- ing relevant publications and industry reports, by conducting market research, and hy studying the decisions and actions of competitors and oppo- nents. Other terms for external monitoring are “environmental scanning” or “scouting.” The ex- tent to which top executives accurately perceive the external environment of their organization is related to financial performance (Bourgeois, 1985), and it is more important when the envi- ronment is dynamic and competitive. For a team or work unit in an organization, the importance of external monitoring depends on how much their

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performance is likely to be affected by external events. Likewise, the need to closely monitor events in other subunits is determined by depen- dence on them. Evidence that external monitor- ing is related to indicators of effective leadership is provided by survey research (Dol- linger, 1984), research with critical incidents and diaries (e.g., Druskat & Wheeler, 2003; Katz &. Tushman, 1981; Luthans et al, 1985), research with comparative cases (e.g., Celetkanycz & Hambrick, 1997; Grinyer, Mayes, &. McKieman, 1990; Van Fleet & Yukl, 1986), and a study using an executive team simulation (Zalatan, 2005).


Leaders usually represent their team or organiza- tion in transactions with superiors, peers, and out- siders (e.g., clients, suppliers, investors, and joint venture partners). Representing includes lobbying for resources and assistance, promoting and de- fending the reputation of the team or organiza- tion, negotiating agreements, and coordinating related activities. Other terms used to describe this type of leadership responsibility include “pro- moter,” “ambassador,” and “external coordinator.” Leaders of project teams have more successful projects when they have sufficient influence to obtain essential resources and support from top management (Katz & Allen, 1985). For work units that have high interdependence with other subunits of the organization or with outsiders such as suppliers, clients, and distributors, it is impor- tant for the leaders to coordinate activities, re- solve disagreements, and buffer work-unit mem- bers from interference (Ancona &. Caldwell, 1992). Top executives need to influence external stakeholders whose confidence and support are important to the success and survival of the organization (Fanelli &. Misangyi, 2006). Repre- senting also includes some political tactics that can be used to influence decisions relevant for a leader’s work unit or organization, but research on the use of political tactics by leaders in organiza- tions is still very limited. Evidence that represent- ing is related to effective leadership is provided by research using survey questionnaires (e.g., Ancona &. Caldwell, 1992; Dorfman, Howell, Cotton, &. Täte, 1992; Yukl, Wall, & Lepsinger, 1990), re-

search with incident diaries and interviews (e.g., Amabile et al, 2004; Ancona & Caldwell, 1992; Campbell, Dunnette, Arvey, &. Hellervik, 1973; Druskat & Wheeler, 2003), and comparative case studies (e.g., Ancona &. Caldwell, 1992; Edmond- son, 2003b; Kanter, 1983; Van Fleet & Yukl, 1986).

Future Research uch of the research on effects of leader be- havior has examined how often the behavior

lis used, but the effects also depend on other conditions that are seldom considered. To im- prove leadership theory and practice we need to know more about how much the behaviors are used, when they are used, how well they are used, why they are used, who uses them, the context for their use, and joint effects on different outcomes. This part of the article explains the need for more research on the quality and timing of behavior, patterns of behavior, leader skills, leader values, trade-offs for multiple outcomes, situational vari- ables, the joint effects of multiple leaders, and the joint effects of behavior and formal programs.

Quality and Timing of Behavior Most leader behavior studies emphasize how much the behavior is used rather than how well it is used. Few studies have examined the quality and timing of the behavior or checked the possibility of a non-linear relationship between behavior and the performance criterion. There is growing evi- dence that most types of leadership behavior can be overused as well as underused, and the optimal amount of behavior is often a moderate amount rather than the maximum amount (e.g., Fleish- man & Harris, 1962; Gebert, Boemer, & Lan- wehr, 2003; Pierce &. Aguinis, in press). For ex- ample, too much clarifying can limit innovation, empowerment of subordinates, and development of their problem-solving skills, but too much au- tonomy can result in coordination problems, lower efficiency, and inconsistent treatment of clients. Even when doing more of a behavior does not reduce the benefits or have negative side effects, spending more time than necessary on a behavior means that the leader is losing the op- portunity to use more beneficial types of behavior.

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Timing is often a critical determinant of effec- tiveness for a behavior, and acting too early or too late can reduce the effectiveness of many behav- iors. Eor example, taking action to avoid a prob- lem or resolve it quickly is usually more effective than waiting until the problem becomes very se- rious and difficult to resolve. Praise for an achieve- ment or contribution is usually more effective when it is given promptly rather than waiting months to mention it in a formal performance review. Research is needed to identify optimal levels of the behaviors and when the behaviors are most likely to be effective.

Patterns of Behavior In most research on the effects of leader behavior the focus is on the independent effects of each meta-category or individual behavior, but in many cases the effects depend in part on what other behaviors the leader uses. To understand why a leader is effective requires that we examine how different behaviors interact in a mutually consis- tent way. The effective pattern of behavior may involve multiple components of the same meta- category or component behaviors from different meta-categories. Eor example, monitoring opera- tions is useful for discovering problems, but unless something is done to solve the problems, moni- toring will not contribute to leader effectiveness. Monitoring is more effective when used together with other behaviors such as problem solving, coaching, and recognizing.

The descriptive research on effective leaders suggests that they use complementary behaviors woven together into a complex tapestry, and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts (Kaplan, 1988). Similar results were found in research using incident diaries from team members (Amabile et al, 2004). The pattern of specific component behaviors is usually more important than how much each behavior is used, and more than one pattern of behavior may be used to accomplish the same outcome. Sometimes it is necessary for a leader to find an appropriate balance for behaviors that appear inconsistent, such as directing versus empowering (Kaiser & Overfield, 2010). More research is needed to determine how interacting

behaviors are used effectively by leaders in differ- ent situations.

Multiple Outcomes and Trade-Off s Each specific type of leadership behavior can in- fluence more than one type of outcome or perfor- mance determinant. Eor example, developing is classified as a relations-oriented behavior because the primary objective is usually to help people improve their capabilities and advance their ca- reers. But some types of developing are used to improve performance in the current job (a task objective) or facilitate the successful use of an innovative new technology (a change objective). Consulting with team members about the action plan for a new project may increase member com- mitment (human relations), improve the use of available personnel and resources (efficiency), and identify more innovative ways to satisfy clients (adaptation).

Specific behaviors with positive outcomes for more than one objective are desirable and can increase a leader’s effectiveness. However, some leader behaviors have unintended side effects that are negative rather than positive. A behavior can have positive effects for some outcomes and neg- ative effects for other outcomes. Eor example, delegating responsibility for determining how to do a task to someone with little experience may increase learning for the person, but it can reduce short-term efficiency (e.g., more errors, slower task completion, lower quality). Some decisions in- tended to benefit employees (e.g., increasing pay and benefits) may increase costs and reduce short- term financial performance. Some decisions in- tended to reduce costs can reduce human relations and resources (i.e., downsizing can result in less commitment for remaining employees and loss of unique knowledge). Some decisions made to re- duce costs (e.g., reducing research activities, out- sourcing operations that involve unique knowl- edge) can also reduce future adaptation. The trade-offs for different outcomes are described by leadership theories such as competing values the- ory (Quinn & Rohrbaugh, 1983) and flexible leadership theory (Yukl, 2008). More research is needed to discover how effective leaders use spe- cific behaviors that enhance multiple outcomes.

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minimize negative side effects, and balance diffi- cult trade-offs.

Situational Variahles The effects of a leader’s behavior also depend on the situation. Each meta-category includes behav- iors that are often relevant for influencing perfor- mance outcomes, but aspects of the situation de- termine which component behaviors are relevant. Effective leaders analyze the situation and identify the specific behaviors that are relevant. The abil- ity to use a wide range of specific behaviors and adapt them to the situation is sometimes called “behavioral flexibility,” and it is related to effec- tive leadership (Hart &. Quinn, 1993; Hooijberg, 1996; Yukl & Mahsud, 2010). Unfortunately, most studies on situational moderator variables have used behavior meta-categories, and the re- sults are weaker and more difficult to interpret for a broad category than for specific behaviors. For example, the research testing contingency theo- ries about the effects of task-oriented and rela- tions-oriented behaviors failed to find strong, con- sistent results (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Aheame, &. Bommer, 1995). There has been less research on situational moderators for the other meta-catego- ries, and there is little systematic research to iden- tify situations where specific leadership behaviors are most likely to impact performance outcomes. More research is needed to learn how leaders adapt their behavior to changing situations and to assess the importance of behavioral flexibility for different types of leaders. The common practice of examining one situational variable at a time is less useful than examining how the situational vari- ables that define common situations for leaders jointly determine which behaviors are most relevant.

Leader Skills Skills involve the ability to perform some type of activity or task, and some studies on effective leadership use skills rather than observable behav- iors as the independent variables. Different tax- onomies have been proposed for classifying skills, and some scholars define them more broadly than others. The early research identified three broadly deflned skills (Katz, 1955; Mann, 1965): Techni-

cal skills are primarily concerned with things, in- terpersonal skills are primarily concerned with people, and conceptual skills are primarily con- cerned with ideas and concepts. Other types of skills that have been used in leadership research include political skills (Ferris, Treadway, Perrewé, Brouer, Douglas, &. Lux, 2007), administrative skills, and competencies involving the ability to use specific types of behavior such as planning and coaching (e.g., Mumford, Campion, & Morgeson, 2007). Skills are not equivalent to actual behav- ior, but they can help us understand why some leaders are able to select relevant behaviors and use them more effectively. A combination of skills and traits can help to explain why some leaders are able to recognize what pattern of behavior is relevant, how much of each behavior is optimal, and when to use the behaviors. The research on how skills can enhance the effects of leader be- havior is still very limited, and more studies are needed to discover how a leader’s skills and per- sonality traits influence the choice of behaviors and leader flexibility in adapting behavior to dif- ferent situations.

Leader Values and Integrity The effects of the specific component behaviors also depend on how much the leader is trusted by people he or she wants to influence. Most types of leadership behavior can be used in ethical or un- ethical ways, and a leader who is not trusted will have less influence. Leader values and integrity did not get much attention in the early research on effective leadership, but interest in them has increased in recent years (Brown &. Trevino, 2006). Values such as honesty, altruism, compas- sion, fairness, courage, and humility are empha- sized in servant leadership theory (Greenleaf, 1970), spiritual leadership theory (Fry, 2003), and authentic leadership theory (Avolio, Gardner, Walumbwa, Luthans, & Mayo, 2004; George, 2003). Proponents of these theories contend that leaders whose behavior reflects these values will be more effective. However, research on these subjects is still very limited, and more studies are needed to understand how leader values influence the use of the specific behaviors and the effects of the behaviors.

78 Academy af Management Perspectives November

Multiple leaders and Shared Leadership Most of the research on the outcomes of leader- ship behavior examines relationships only for in- dividual leaders. However, organizations have many leaders who can influence important deci- sions and determine how successfully they are implemented (Mintzberg, Raisinghani, & Theo- ret, 1976; Schweiger, Anderson, & Locke, 1985). Sometimes two or more leaders have shared re- sponsibility for an activity or project, and some- times leaders have different but interdependent responsibilities. The performance of an organiza- tion depends in part on the level of cooperation and coordination among interdependent leaders (Yukl, 2008; Yukl & Lepsinger, 2004). It is more difficult to achieve a high level of cooperation when the leaders do not share the same objectives or have the same priorities. In some cases, one leader’s actions to improve subunit performance can be detrimental to the performance of other subunits and the overall organization. For exam- ple, a subunit leader may gain control of resources that other subunits need and could use more ef- fectively. Several scholars have discussed how shared or distributed leadership is related to team or organizational effectiveness (e.g.. Brown &. Gioia, 2002; Carson, Tesluk, &. Marrone, 2007; Denis, Lamothe, &. Langley, 2001; Friedrich, Vessey, Schuelke, Ruark, &L Mumford, 2009; Pearce &. Conger, 2003). However, more research is needed to discover how the use of the specific behaviors by different leaders can influence their effectiveness.

Behaviors and Formal Programs Management programs and systems can enhance the effects of direct leadership behaviors. For ex- ample, encouraging innovative thinking is more likely to increase innovation when an organiza- tion has a climate of psychological safety for risk taking and appropriate rewards for creative ideas about improving products and processes. Programs and structures can also limit the use of leadership behaviors or nullify their effects. For example, it is difficult to empower subordinates when they must follow elaborate rules and standard procedures for doing the work. Management programs and sys-

tems can also serve as substitutes for some types of direct behaviors. For example, company-wide training programs for widely relevant skills can reduce the amount of training that managers need to give their immediate subordinates. Top execu- tives have responsibility for implementing and revising programs, and the effectiveness of pro- grams depends on support by lower-level manag- ers. The effects of leader behavior and manage- ment programs have been examined separately, but more systematic research is needed to examine their joint and interacting effects on organiza- tional performance.

Summary and Recommendations

The proposed hierarchical taxonomy facilitatesthe integration of important findings in re-search on leader behavior constructs and re- search about the effects of specific behaviors on team or organizational performance. More than half a century of research provides support for the conclusion that leaders can enhance the perfor- mance of a team, work unit, or organization by using a combination of specific task, relations, change, and external behaviors that are relevant for their situation. Why the behaviors are impor- tant for effective leadership is explained better by theories about the determinants of group and or- ganizational performance than by leadership the- ories focused on motivating individual followers. A limitation of the conclusions about effective leadership is that enhancing performance is not the only basis for evaluating effectiveness, and the importance accorded different criteria affects the selection of relevant behaviors for a taxonomy.

The hierarchical taxonomy can be used to ex- plain results found in the extensive research on behavior meta-categories not used in the taxon- omy, such as transformational and transactional leadership. The results found in survey research on transformational leadership can be explained as effects of specific behaviors used to compute the composite score for each leader (e.g., Yukl, 1999; Yukl, O’Donnell, & Taber, 2009). Individualized consideration includes supporting and develop- ing, inspirational motivation includes envision- ing change, and intellectual stimulation in- cludes aspects of encouraging innovation.

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Idealized influence is primarily a measure of perceived leader integrity involving consistency between leader actions and espoused values. Transactional leadership includes one task-ori- ented hehavior (monitoring), one relations-ori- ented hehavior (recognizing), and communica- tion of reward contingencies, which are usually specified hy the formal compensation program.

The taxonomy described in this article should not be viewed as the final solution for classifying leadership hehavior. Behavior con- structs are conceptual tools, and there is no oh- jective reality for them. They are most useful when they can he measured accurately, they can predict and explain leader influence on important outcomes, and they can improve leadership devel- opment programs. Future research may discover additional component behaviors that should he included (e.g., implementing change). Some com- ponent behaviors may need to be expanded to include forms of the behavior not explicitly in- cluded in the current descriptions. Some of the hroader component hehaviors in the current tax- onomy may need to he suhdivided in the future if it is found that narrower components would pro- vide a better explanation of leadership effective- ness. However, at this time it does not appear worthwhile to make the taxonomy any more com- plex. The current version is easy to remember and easy to use for developing an observation checklist or a coding guide (the hehavior definitions are provided in the appendix).

Future research may also provide justification for adding more meta-categories, and a possihle candidate is ethical and socially responsible lead- ership. One component of this meta-category could he leadership behavior that encourages eth- ical practices. Some examples are communicating ethical standards, encouraging ethical conduct, modeling ethical hehavior, and opposing unethi- cal conduct. Another component could he lead- ership behavior that encourages corporate social responsibility. Examples include making decisions that consider the needs of different stakeholders, encouraging support of worthy community service activities, encouraging improvements in product safety, and recommending practices that reduce harmful effects for the environment. Leadership

decisions and actions intended to henefit employ- ees, customers, or the environment are controver- sial if they do not also benefit the organization (Cameron, 2011; Waldman, 2011; Waldman & Siegel, 2008). Research on the effects of ethical and responsible leadership is still very limited, and more research is needed to identify relevant be- haviors and assess their short-term and long-term effects. The focus of this article is on leadership behaviors intended to improve performance, and more research is needed to determine if ethical and responsihle leadership should he included as a separate meta-category in a taxonomy for descrih- ing performance-enhancing behaviors.

The hierarchical taxonomy provides a broad perspective for understanding the types of behav- ior that determine how effective a leader will be, but the specific component behaviors are much more useful than the meta-categories for develop- ing better contingency theories and practical guidelines for leaders. Moderator variables for some of the specific behaviors have heen suggested (Yukl, 2013), but more research is needed on the joint effects of situational variables. Other rele- vant conditions that need more attention in fu- ture research include non-linear relationships be- tween behavior and outcomes, reciprocal causality, lagged effects, effects for different out- comes, effects of negative forms of the hehaviors, effects of different combinations of specific behav- iors, mediating processes that explain why the hehaviors influence performance, the joint effects of multiple leaders, multi-level effects of behav- iors, and joint effects for behaviors and programs.

When designing future studies on leadership it is important to select research methods that are appropriate for the type of knowledge sought rather than merely using a method that is familiar or convenient. Each research method has limita- tions, and it is desirahle to use multiple methods whenever feasible. Strong research methods should be used more often, including longitudinal field studies and experiments with manipulation of leader hehaviors in simulated teams or organi- zations to assess immediate and delayed effects. More studies should include incident diaries or video recording of leaders. When hehavior ques- tionnaires are used, more effort should be made to

Academy of Management Perspectives Navember

improve measurement accuracy and minimize re- spondent biases (e.g., train respondents to under- stand and recognize the behaviors). If a survey is conducted for a sample of homogeneous leaders (e.g., project team managers, coaches of athletic teams, public administrators), it should include some behavior items that are directly relevant for the sample rather than relying only on a behavior questionnaire with generic examples. Leadership effectiveness should be assessed from the perspec- tive of multiple stakeholders and with multiple criteria that include objective measures of work unit or organizational performance.

Finally, it is important to recognize that observ- able leadership behaviors are not the same as skills, values, personality traits, or roles. These other constructs can be useful for understanding effective leadership, but they differ in important ways from observable behaviors. When feasible, future studies should investigate how the different types of constructs jointly explain leader influence on work unit performance and other outcomes.

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Appendix Definitions off 15 Speciffic Leadership Behaviors Planning: develops short-term plans for the work; deter- mines how to schedule and coordinate activities to use people and resources efficiently; determines the action steps and resources needed to accomplish a project or activity. Clarifying: clearly explains task assignments and member responsibilities; sets specific goals and deadlines for impor- tant aspects of the work; explains priorities for different objectives; explains rules, policies, and standard procedures. Monitoring: checks on the progress and quality of the work; examines relevant sources of information to determine how well important tasks are being performed; evaluates the performance of members in a systematic way. Problem Solving: identifies work-related problems that can disrupt operations, makes a systematic but rapid diagnosis, and takes action to resolve the problems in a decisive and confident way. Supporting: shows concern for the needs and feelings of individual members; provides support and encouragement when there is a difficult or stressful task, and expresses confldence members can successfully complete it. Recognizing: praises effective performance by members; provides recognition for member achievements and contri- butions to the organization; recommends appropriate re- wards for members with high performance. Developing: provides helpful feedback and coaching for members who need it; provides helpful career advice; en- courages members to take advantage of opportunities for skill development. Empowering: involves members in making important work- related decisions and considers their suggestions and con- cerns; delegates responsibility and authority to members for important tasks and allows them to resolve work-related problems without prior approval. Advocating Change: explains an emerging threat or oppor- tunity; explains why a policy or procedure is no longer appropriate and should be changed; proposes desirable changes; takes personal risks to push for approval of essential but difficult changes. Envisioning Change: communicates a clear, appealing vi- sion of what could be accomplished; links the vision to member values and ideals; describes a proposed change or new initiative with enthusiasm and optimism. Encouraging Innovation: talks about the importance of innovation and flexibility; encourages innovative thinking

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and new approaches for solving problems; encourages and supports efforts to develop innovative new products, ser- vices, or processes. Facilitating Collective Learning: uses systematic procedures for learning how to improve work unit performance; helps members understand causes of work unit performance; en- courages members to share new knowledge with each other. Networking: attends meetings or events; joins professional associations or social clubs; uses social networks to build and maintain favorable relationships with peers, superiors, and

outsiders who can provide useful information or assistance. External Monitoring: analyzes information about events, trends, and changes in the external environment to identify threats, opportunities, and other implications for the work unit. Representing: lobbies for essential funding or resources; promotes and defends the reputation of the work unit or organization; negotiates agreements and coordinates related activities with other parts of the organization or with outsiders.

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Effective public management

It isn’t the same as effective business management

Joseph L Bower

Are the principles of man- agement basically the same everywhere—in the public sector as well as in the private sector? Once asked mostly by academicians, the question has become of great practical importance to Americans today. A new admin- istration in Washington has pledged to bring effective leadership to the federal government. National economic plan- ning has come out of the closet and into the parlor of national debate. Energy and conservation policies are being pressed on the federal and state governments. Several large cities and states are struggling with frightening fiscal problems. And throughout the land there is an insistent clamor for more efficiency and “cost effectiveness” in. the pubhe sector. The main contention of this article is that public management is not just different in degree from corporate management but different in quality. The differences have important implica- tions for public managers as they view their jobs— for corporate managers

seeking to develop good relationships with gov- ernment and, of course, for management educators.

Mr. Bower is professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School and member of the faculty of public admin- istration at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is the author of Managing the Resource Allocation Process [Boston, Mass.: Division of Research, Harvard Business School, 1970I, the McKinsey Foundation book award for that year, as well as many other articles on planning and organiza- tion. In addition, he chairs the new Harvard program called Senior Managers in Government.

Illustration by Hans-Georg Rauch.

Political scientists, legislators, educators, business executives, lawyers, consumerists—practically every- one, it sometimes seems-is calling for better public management. For businessmen, the need is especial- ly important because they feel surrounded by gov- ernment institutions with which tbey are legally required to intera-ct.

But entbusiasm for good government is one tbing; understanding tbe nature of it, to say notbing of achieving it, is another. Often we seem to assume tbat effective management in tbe public sector bas the same basic qualities as effective management in tbe private sector.

Yet, several years after Watergate, Americans are still chafing at the acts of a president who claimed to have taken considerable care to keep bis office businesslike. To bim, tbat meant no leaks, absolute loyalty to tbe organization, tigbt bierarcby in struc- ture and operations, and a single coordinated voice in relations witb other organizations and tbe public. Some observers have taken tbe consequences of tbe Nixon White House to be evidence not merely of the personal failure involved but also of tbe in- herent weakness of applying a business model to government activity.

If indeed good business management is qualitatively different from good government management, we need to retbink some of our expectations of public servants as well as many common notions of man- agerial performance and training in government. As botb individuals and agents of tbeir companies, business people should operate under no illusions about there being similarities between their work and tbe tasks of public administrators.

Harvard Business Review Maich-Apiil 1977

To eompare management in the two sectors, let us begin with a common definition and an example that businessmen will readily reeognize. Manage- ment is commonly defined in some such terms as “the aeeomplishment of purpose through the or- ganized effort of others.” A business executive car- ries out the corporation’s purpose by building and modifying organization structures, systems, and re- lationships through the efforts of the men and women whom he (or she| recruits. As Chester Bernard, former president of New Jersey Bell Tele- phone Co., pointed out years ago, the effectiveness of a corporation can be measured by the degree to whieh it aecomplishes its purpose.’ Its efficiency can be measured by whether individuals are willing to serve as workers, shareholders, bankers, and/or

A very good measure of effieieney, as we all know, is profit. The fact that the first thing we expect business managers to do is manage profitably colors our expeetations of them—of what they do as well as of how soon they do it.

For instanee, it took IBM about ten years to con- ceive and build the 360 series of computers. The effort began after Thomas Watson, Jr. became chief executive offieer in 1956, when IBM was predom- inantly a marketer and an assembler of computers. The concept of the 360 series was revolutionary. It meant formulating a new eorporate strategy. It led to major reorganization, the breaking of the power of IBM world trade |so that development could pro- ceed on a worldwide, integrated basis), the entry of IBM into eomponent manufacturing [to proteet its proprietary circuitry), the crash introduction of “time sharing” eapability, and the rise of a young, talented generation of managers eommitted to the notion of compatibility among computers.

From 1956 to 1966, IBM did just what a well-man- aged corporation is supposed to do. It achieved its purpose—gaining leadership in the industry. There- fore, it met the test of effeetiveness. In addition, during that decade its executives, other employees, and shareholders profited. Therefore, it met the test of effieieney. Having managed to meet both tests, management was above challenge for its choice of a new strategy and the time required to carry out the strategy.

The IBM example typifies our expectations of busi- ness in general. But what of management in the public sector? The late Professor Wallace S. Sayre of Columbia University once suggested that “busi-

ness and government administration are alike in all unimportant respects.” On the basis of the previous discussion, it is relatively easy to show that he was right.

Sayre was correct in the first half of his aphorism, for it is true that we can talk usefully about the publie exeeutive’s role in terms of purpose, organiza- tion, and people. But when we get to the content of those words, the similarity ends. Like a business, a publie organization is expeeted to serve society. But without a market to determine effeetiveness, the process of measuring beeomes diffuse and complex. Moreover, if the executives of an effective public organization distribute the surplus resources they control (that is, the excess of revenues over expend- itures) among the executives whose skills produce the surplus, the officials are put in jail when ap- prehended.

Moreover, any good Tammany politician will tell you what a few “social scientists” have just dis- covered: namely, that the most important results of activity may be related not to the stated purposes of the organization but rather to how that purpose is accomplished—in partieular, to how the revenues called “eost of operation” are distributed. To put the point in the extreme, one could conceive of an effective welfare program in whieh 85% of the funds received would go toward operating expenses. If the operators themselves would be on welfare but for the program, it would not matter so mueh that out- side recipients would get only 15% of the funds.

What does purpose mean in the public sector? As in the private sector, the administrative motive is self- interest; but the stated organizational motive is not. The neat relationship between the external view of an organization in terms of its accomplishments and the internal view of administrative arrangements is shattered. The administrator who finds a “product” to keep the Rural Eleetrification Administration alive is criticized as a recalcitrant bureaucrat, a pre- server of unneeded jobs. Though it may motivate administrative success, self-interest is eonsidered venal. Moreover, the chief exeeutive in a public or- ganization may have no presumptive right to set purpose; it may be given by legislation.

Still more difficult to cope with is the fact that the changes in formal organization and systems that are the principal sources of managerial influenee in large eorporations are only marginally available to I. Chester Beiuard, Tbe Function Haivaril UniverBity Press, ipjB].

0/ the Executive (Cambridge. Mass

Public management

Harvard Business Review March-April 1977

the public executive and can only be used at con- siderable political cost. The structure of public agen- cies is usually dictated by legislation. Furthermore, the selection and compensation of people, an im- portant business tool, is almost universally con- trolled by a civil service system.

Public management vs. private management

However management in the public sector is defined and delineated, it differs from corporate manage- ment in several important ways. Public sector man- agers frequently must;

D Accept goals that are set by organizations other than their own. D Operate structures designed by groups other than their own. n Work with people whose careers are in many re- spects outside management’s control. D Accomplish their goals in less time than is allowed corporate managers.

Let us examine some realities of public management and see how important these differences can be.

One public manager’s plan of action

To begin, consider the contrast in behavior of public and private executives on assuming office. The pri- vate manager is usually promoted from within the organization. He (or she) knows that in order to alter the direction of the corporation he needs to change the organization’s structure and its people. Doing so is customarily his first move. Almost with- out exception, he makes changes among the key people reporting to him and modifies their johs.

In contrast, one can describe public officials as out- siders who enter office with cherished policy objec- tives, accomplish httle, and leave office with un- fulfilled desires for structural reform; for, in order to accomphsh important political objectives having to do with due process and responsiveness to the

electorate, the United States has very nearly denied the public executive the tools of management. It is almost true that the business executive’s enabling resources—structure and people—are the public ex- ecutive’s constraints.

How, then, can the pubhc manager accomplish his (or her) ends? First, we must remember what his goals are: like the private manager, he seeks a share of the rewards generated by his organization’s activ- ity. Since this share cannot include the profits of government, he usually seeks such goals as salary, the perquisites of office, and the intangible rewards of serving the public. The intangible rewards may be ephemeral or real, but ideologically they are as important in the public sector as the profit motive is in business. The intangibles include infiuencing policy, changing the direction of events, and helping others. Common to all of them is the pleasure of exercising power usefully. Power is a necessary ele- ment of effectiveness and a reward for efficiency. Thought of as the ability to influence outcomes, power has both short-term and long-term dimen- sions. Like money, it can be spent for today’s results or invested for tomorrow’s.

The goal of the public manager on taking office is to “get things done” in such a fashion that when he (or she) leaves office, he will have the satisfaction of accomplishment as well as the prospect of the office becoming higher or more useful in the future. This prospect will be the result of increased respect for his personal capability or of his participation in important coalitions.

But how does he get things done when the usual sources of managerial influence in the private sector are not available? Part of the answer is illustrated hy the comments of Gordon Chase, the widely re- spected former administrator of the New York City Health Service Administration. Reflecting on his approach to that task. Chase said:

“My own view, after talking with a lot of people and thinking about it a long while, is that there were roughly four kinds of prohlems in the city pertaining to health care. Some of them I could have a large impact on; others I could not change.

“The first set of problems was a series of social and environmental dangers that affected enormous numbers of people-lead poisoning, drug addiction, alcoholism, hypertension, and so on. One character- 2. Unpublished inten City Ciiarter Study.

n Tvith the New Yoik

Public management

istic of these types of problems is that they have usually heen ignored by the health establishment. One of my first objectives was to fix that deficiency or begin to fix it, and in fixing it, to drag in by some means the health establishment. Eventually, that was done through the contract mechanism.

“There were a couple of reasons for employing this method. One was our conscious decision to try to involve the whole medical establishment. While roughly one-third of all the health services in New York arc delivered by the public sector, the largest part is still provided by the voluntary hospitals or private sector. I very much wanted to get that vol- untary sector involved in the city’s problems to a greater degree, and the contract approach allowed me to do that. Involving the voluntary sector also gave me a basis to measure the performance of the municipal sector with.

“Another important reason for going the contract route was time. When we started the methadone program, we wanted to get under way very fast. It was clear to me that if we had run it as a city opera- tion, it would have been impossibly slow to set up. We would have to go to the Bureau of the Budget and the Department of Purchasing for everything. We would run into problems like not being able to pay doctors enough to do the job. We would en- counter the usual incredible amount of red tape.

“The second major thing that struck me was a whole series of irrationalities in the system. There was a bad distribution of hospitals and doctors. I could do something about this problem hut not much.

“Third, a whole series of gross social inefficiencies existed in the system. They affected enormous num- bers of people, directly and indirectly, but the med- ical establishment in the past had often ignored them. These inefficiencies affected inostly poor people.

“The fourth category of things connected with the second and third. This was the whole problem of rising health care costs.” ‘

At the very beginning. Chase’s comments seem to be describing a situation that a private sector man- ager would find familiar. The system for delivering health care in New York City had the wrong goals, functioned irrationally and inefficiently, and was

becoming very costly. But the problem on which Chase had to operate lay substantially beyond the boundaries of his agency, large as it was. He had to “drag in the health establishment.” And to do that, he had to bypass the city administration and in the end use the contract mechanism.

Compressed in Chase’s words is a significant point. The time horizon of the public administrator is far shorter than that of the traditional corporate man- ager. IBM had about a decade to establish the 360 computer series, as we saw earlier. In 1963, George Romney, then president of American Motors, ad- mitted that it had taken him seven years working within his company and seven years selling in the market to make the idea of a Detroit-made compact car acceptable. Fourteen years! (In retrospect, we see that even more time was needed.)

Chase sought to improve the delivery of care for lead poisoning, drugs, and alcoholism as well as traditionally defined disease in “very fast” time- how fast is not clear but certainly less that 14, 10, or even 5 years. Why so little time for such complex tasks? In part, because the public executive doesn’t have more time. Our system of appointed admin- istrators gives the chief executive responsibility in operating agencies to men and women whose tenure is tied to the elected executive who appointed them.

A manager with an early deadline to meet

We will come hack to Chase later. Now let us con- sider the reflections of another former government executive.

William Ruckelshaus, appointed the first head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in November 1970, began his administration as Chase did, talking to a great many people and trying to get a sense of direction. Similarly, he found many of the operations inappropriately focused. In an interview, he spoke sharply of the importance of his time horizon:

“The automobile emission problem was obviously something we were going to have to deal with. There was going to come a time-if you read the Clean Air Act, this was in January 1971, right after it passed—that [the auto companies] were going to come ask me for some more time [to comply with the emission standards). I was going to have to decide whether or not they had made a ‘good faith’ effort. If this whole situation wasn’t going to be completely

Harvard Business Review March-April 1977

farcieal, the first thing I had to do was eonvince the automobile industry that we were serious about enforcement. That was immediately clear to me. Otherwise, there would be no way, two years hence or whenever they asked for an extension of time, that I could conceivably make a judgment that they had made this good faith effort. So, we had to figure out how we were going to convince them that we were serious. Every 30 days we had deadlines to meet involving very complicated matters on the Clean Air Act.” “

In other words, 60 days after taking office, Ruckels- haus had to take steps that would influence the be- havior of the entire U.S. auto industry. And there would be further deeisions every 30 days. Ruckels- haus pointed out that his goals were complicated by legislative and other acts:

“The agenda was, in the first plaee, spelled out in terms of the inheritance in the reorganization plan, in terms of the agencies we inherited. Seeondly, we inherited, along with those agencies, a lot of im- plementing legislation that, like the Clean Air Aet, just rapidly came on and didn’t give us a lot of lee- wâ f in terms of setting not only the goals but also the method by whieh they were to be achieved.

“The Council on Environmental Quality had been in existenee since January of that year and had in its first report laid out a very extensive environ- mental agenda for the administration. There had been a lot of work done on that. The president, in his message of February r97O, had also laid out 37 separate goals that he wanted to achieve in the next year and to translate into legislation.”

Goals were also set by pressure groups and elected superiors. Ruckelshaus had to concern himself with the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, and the Earth Day movement, not to mention General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and (if jobs were threatened), the AFL-CIO.

The resouree alloeation process is fragmented pre- cisely so that it ean be responsive to loeal wants. As long as these wants are expressed as needs or

Harvard Business School Case 4-375-083, prepared by Peggy Wiehl under the direction of Professor Josepfi L- Bower and distributed by the Intercollegiate Case Clearing Honse, Soldiers Field, Boston, Mass. 02163 (copyright 1974 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College)-

. McGeorge Bnndy, “Dam my,” address delivered N

the Absolute: Notes on Authority and Auto vember 11, r97O to The Scottish Council.

demands in a way that makes good press or good politics, they find their way onto the administrator’s agenda. Sometimes these local goals make good sense; sometimes they are an obstaele and a burden.

Pressure from the press

For top exeeutives in the public sector, the press is a vital eonsideration—mueh more so than for eor- porate management. The press has an important bearing on goals and time horizons. Here is what Chase had to say:

“My view is that in New York you’re always going to get a certain amount of bad press because you can’t avoid it. The media are very tough here; they have a lot of access. Good press is very important. You should try to build up some ‘press capital’—it’s good to have money in this bank for a lot of reasons. One reason is that it’s good for your programs. If you get good press on what you’ve done and what your programs have done, it makes recruiting easier, it makes getting money easier, it makes all sorts of things easier. It also does another thing. It tends to keep people off your baek. If your press is reasonably good, it will keep people from hounding you. Presi- dent Harry Truman onee said something to this effect: ‘In Washington they sometimes hit a man when he’s down. In New York, they always hit a man when he’s down.’

“The people in government who have a tough life with regard to the press are those people who run programs and who are responsible for pieces of the budget. You get caught if you aren’t truthful, and then you’re really in trouble.

“One other thing I learned was that you have, in the media, stars and nonstars. My advice to any official is that you should know with whom you are dealing. If you are dealing with a star, whether a reporter from the New York Times or a TV guy, remember that he knows he’s a star and what he’s interested in is looking very good. The way that he’s going to look good is, usually, to make you look bad. What some guys are interested in is looking good on the six o’clock news. Other reporters, prob- ably the vast majority, really seem to be interested in what is going on.”

As opposed to the business executive, who can func- tion with near anonymity, the public exeeutive must manage the fiow of information about his (or her)

Public management

agency so that he can get on with the task of achiev- ing goals. When MeGeorge Bundy was special assist- ant to President Johnson, he once eommented on what he eonsidered the pernicious impact on policy of the media’s treatment of issues, espeeially tele- vision’s.* Press stars must produce news that sells daily. They do not want stories about the slow, eare- ful turnaround of an organization or about the deli- cate conversion of an establishment to new ideas.

Restraints on the public manager’s power

In the corporation, purpose, organization, and people are eentral themes of top management. In govern- ment, the same themes appear—but with what a differenee!

Business strategy has been ealled the art of im- balanee—the applieation of massive resources to lim- ited objeetives. In eontrast, a public institution’s strategy might be ealled the art of the imperfect- the application of limited resourees to massive ob- jeetives. The point is not that a business has more money at its eommand relative to its objectives than government. Usually the opposite is true. But a busi- ness is allowed to limit its objectives to a set of tasks consistent with its resources.

If Chase’s time horizon of a few years seems very short in comparison with Romney’s 14 and IBM’s ro, what about Ruekelshaus’s? He had to set emis- sion standards for the U.S. auto industry in 60 days!

Compounding the difficulty is the laek of control of key resourees. Consider Chase’s situation again. Responsible in prineiple for the health of New York, his agency dealt with only a fraetion of the organiza- tions and activities responsible for health. The or- ganizations he could control were seen as so slow to respond to his efforts that he worked around them rather than through them.

Why did he not take the slower, more direet ap- proach? Beeause he would be out of offiee long before the consequences of sueh an approach might work themselves out. An extreme example of the impact of time horizons is the ease of Jerome Miller, youth services commissioner in Massachusetts from 1969 to 1973. Having diseovered that faeilities for ineaiceration and correetion of youthful offenders

were destruetive as well as filthy and eruel, and having eoncluded that he could not make perma- nent improvements during his tenure, he closed all the facilities rather than let them slip baekward after he left office.

One reason, then, that publie seetor executives find it hard to mobilize resourees in order to achieve ob- jectives is that time horizons are short but institu- tional response times are long. It is true that agen- cies can be reorganized. But as Chase, Ruckelshaus, and many other government leaders have found out, the ageney head is unlikely to have the time, the information, or the ready control of incentives to redirect the efforts of operating levels of the or- ganization.

But this is not all. Partly because measures of prog- ress are hard to devise (in Ruekelshaus’s case, for instance, what is a good measure of “elean air”?), partly beeause public accounting systems tend to be designed to control expense and not to support management and planning, partly beeause the civil serviee protects personnel from the immediate de- sires of politieal leaders, and partly beeause it is virtually impossible to change any organization’s behavior quiekly-for all these reasons, publie man- agers seldom find it possible to make the ehanges they would like.

Operating managers

Both Chase and Ruekelshaus were able to bring talented people in to staff their new organizations. In some ways, these two were lueky. New leaders of old organizations are often quite constrained. But the odd faet is that public managers seldom eom- plain about the quality of their immediate sub- ordinates. It is at operating and middle management levels that complaints arise.

Compare the situation in private business. The heads of a eompany ean alter the size of the manage- ment cadre at any level. They can pay a limited number of managers well, and—perhaps most im- portant—they ean take time and money to invest in management edueation. But outside of the mili- tary and a very few eivilian career services (like the forest service and the foreign service), there is no tradition in the United States of training public managers, perhaps because it has usually been thought more important for managers to be respon- sive than skillful. After all, if a publie manager has the time and power to build a smoothly running or-

Harvard Business Review March-April 1977

Ike analyzes his presidential style Presidents and governors often face the task of “managing” wfien power over the purse, organization, and personnei rests in the hands of a iegisla- ture controiled by an opposing party. A clear analysis of

this situation is provided in a let- ter that Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote in response to 7/me’s pub- iisher Henry Luce, who had assessed Eisenhowers presi- dency as insufficientiy

Augusts, 1960

Dear Harry:

I plead guilty to the general charge that many people have felt i have been too easy a boss. Respecting this there are one or two things that you might like to think over. (I do not mean to defend, merely to explain.)

Except for my first two years as President, during which I enjoyed the benefit of a very skimpy majority in the Congress, I have had to deal with a Con- gress controiled by the opposi- tion and whose partisan antagonism to the Executive Branch has often been biatantly dispiayed. The hope of doing something constructive for the nation, in spite of this kind of opposition, has required the use of methods caiculated to attract cooperation even though a natu- rai impulse would have been to lash out at partisan charges and publicity-seeking demagogues.

Another point- the government of the United States has become too big, too compiex, and too pervasive in its influence on aii our lives for one individuai to pretend to direct the details of its important and critical program- ming. Competent assistants are mandatory; without them the Executive Branch would bog down. To command the loyalties and dedication and best efforts of capable and outstanding indi- viduais requires patience, understanding, a readiness to delegate, and an acceptance of responsibility for any honest errors— real or apparent—those associates and subordinates might make. Such loyalty trom such people cannot be won by

shifting responsibiilty, whining, scoiding or demagoguery. Prin- cipal subordinates must have confidence that they and their positions are widely respected, and the chief must do his part in assuring that this is so.

Of course i could have been more assertive in making and announcing decisions and ini- tiating programs, i can oniy say that I adopted and used those methods and manners that seemed to me most effective. (I should add that one of my prob- lems has been to control my temper-atemperthat I have had to battle ali my lite!)

Finaiiy, there is the matter of maintaining a respectable image of American life before the worid! Among the qualities that the American government must exhibit is dignity. In turn the prin- cipal governmental spokesman must strive to display it. in war and in peace I’ve had no respect for the desk-pounder, and have despised the loud and slick talker. It my own ideas and prac- tices in this matter have sprung from weakness, I do not know. But they were and are deliberate or, rather, natural to me. They are not accidental.

As ever,


The tone is wry and managerial. Whether Eisenhower was a strong president or not, the evi- dence shows that he recognized

essential aspects ot the public management problem in a democracy.

ganization, his successor does not necessarily benefit. For the successor, that very organization may be an obstacle to the achievement of newly chosen social objectives.

This point is critical, for it may well be that, with enough time and persistence, a public administrator can move structure and people to produce the ends he wishes. The organization then becomes as ef- ficient a producer of a well-defined product as any private organization. Examples of this sort of public manager are Claude Shannon of the National Insti- tutes of Health, J. Edgar Hoover of the F.B.I., Robert Moses of the Triborough Bridge Authority and the New York State Park Commission, and Edward King of the Massachusetts Port Authority. Each of these men was able to maneuver himself into a position where his control over the personnel and structure of his organization and of the organization’s access to funds was immune to political intervention. |For another example, see the ruled insert to the left.)

Measurements of performance

To list these names is to reveal a new problem. When efficient public managers achieve political monopolies that enable them to ignore market pres- sures, the costs to society ean be much greater than the costs of a business monopoly violating the Sher- man Act. The question of the costs and benefits of politically immune managers needs to be studied further, but part of the answer is likely to be found in the way we measure top managers.

In the private sector, as mentioned earlier, we rely on the market to test the purposes of private man- agers. If the market wants what they produce, the purposes are accepted. If a company wants its man- agers’ efforts, it rewards the managers. In contrast, in the public sector we ask whether there is due process in the way a manager has accomplished his task. And in judging the substance of a program, we debate whether it is an efficient use of resources, given promised results.

But due process is a political end. What can it mean that we use a political end to judge the means of management and use an efficiency criterion, applied before the fact, to judge the ends of a promised pro- gram? Back in the 1960s, was Head Start a “waste of funds,” as often alleged, because it was a poor idea (this was the conventional view) or because it was implemented at the operating level by inadequately skilled people (an alternative view)?

Public management

Everything we have learned about the technology of managing large organizations suggests that when the stakes of administrators are tied to short-term, intermediate outcomes rather than to the broad, long-term consequences of their action, the results are often pathological for the organization.” Effort is distracted from and often becomes subversive of purpose.

What can the public manager do to be constructive when it is given that (1) his time horizon must be short, and (2) his elected boss—and, therefore, he – are politically vulnerable? Direction toward an an- swer may be found in the record of how Chase and Ruckelshaus managed organizational purpose, the problem of structure, and the selection of people.

To begin with, both men were willing to lead. Each found a simple goal that helped orient his organiza- tion and that protected his political flanks. Chase’s comments are instructive:

“Basically, I felt my job was making people healthy and that politics—whether with a big P or with a little p—would not, even if I handled it well, neces- sarily make people healthy. However, it was very important to handle those situations as skillfully as I could because, if I didn’t, I could have a lot of trouble and the work wouldn’t get done. So what I tried to tell myself, and also my staff, was that the way they had to measure themselves was to ask, ‘Whom did we make healthy today?’ That was the output. Having a meeting with this councilman or that community group per se was not an output.”

In the same vein, Ruckelshaus explained why he chose pollution abatement as a goal for the EPA. Everyone in the organization could understand and relate his or her activity to that goal. In the admin- istrative terms we have discussed, they stated pur- pose in terms of outputs that could be measured. Chase’s looser deadlines permitted him a second step that was denied Ruckelshaus. He noted:

“In my view, politics happens very often when there is a vacuum, when there is no real analysis. Then the resource allocation decision is usually based on who has more clout or who screams louder. I feel very strongly that if you don’t have the analytic talent and if important decisions are up, they’ll be

5. See, for example, my article, “Planning in the Firm,” Amenean Economic Review, May 1970. p, 186, and Chapter 7 of the book. The Corporate Society, Robin Marris, editor (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1974}.

made, but they’ll be made by another process than analysis.”

As a consequence. Chase moved early to build his own analytic capability. Ruckelshaus also created a staff for analysis, but he could not bring it to bear on the early decisions the EPA had to make.

Each man was responsible for managing a new agglomeration of previously independent agencies. Ruckelshaus moved to integrate his subunits by reorganizing from programmatic lines toward func- tional lines and by grouping the headquarters staffs in a single building. Perhaps because Chase’s an- alysis indicated that he would not operate directly through his own organization, he made no structural changes in the operating agencies.

Chase did, however, make important changes in operating personnel. Most notably, he brought in professional managers as number-two men in pro- grams traditionally run by doctors. Chase’s choices for top jobs reflected his concern for the lack of analysis and inefficiency that he believed character- ized the health delivery system. His choices reflected also his political sensitivity to the role of doctors in the health establishment. In contrast, Ruckels- haus drew new managers for EPA from within the traditional regulatory and federal administration structure. Forced to work through rather than around the organizations he inherited, he needed managers familiar with the intricacies of Washing- ton and with the capabilities of his subunits.

Ruckelshaus was ingenious in the use he made of the political pressure from environmentalists and Senator Edmund Muskie. With environmental goals under debate, Ruckelshaus used the environmental lobby in effect to measure his organization’s posi- tion and accomplishments. The lobby’s measures— and its ability to get them publicized-helped keep pressure on Congress and the White House to sup- port further efforts of his organization. In contrast. Chase took an approach characteristic of the private sector: he built reporting systems to provide quant- itative control over operations.

In sum, it would seem that both Chase and Ruckels- haus made progress because they managed to in- fluence the purpose, structure, and people of their organizations. But they were able to do this because each was able to devise a politically acceptable way of phrasing the goals of his organization. Also, each was ahle to move his organization toward the goals

Harvard Business Review March-April 1977

with actions that were politically acceptable. Both were good politicians, hut neither “played politics” in the pejorative sense of that phrase.

This presumably is the message toward which Richard E. Neustadt and other political scientists have directed our attention. To be effective in the public sector, you must be a politician. But (perhaps contrary to what they have argued is wise) you must not play for political power. Rather, it is through use of analytic and operating skills, supported by staff, that a substantive program can be developed and implemented.

Because direct access to administrative influence is limited, this task is extremely difficult. Progress comes not from revolutionary turnarounds or purg- ing of established agencies but from adjustments in the perspective, manning procedures, and measures of the existing framework. It is precisely because time is short, the tools limited, and the political con- text consuming that good public managers are so hard to find. The management job is staggering.

Discarding an old analogy

I have tried to show that American business is an inappropriate analogy for discussing and evaluating public management. In the public sector, purpose, organization.; and people do not have the same meaning and significance that they have in business. The differences would become even greater and more complicated if we could take space to recog- nize the contrasts among public organizations—regu- latory agencies as opposed to military and paramili- tary organizations, for example, or cabinet secre- taries as opposed to elected ofEicials.

Although we know enough about management in the public sector to know that it is different from corporate management, we do not know nearly as much as we should. There is enormous promise in some of the university courses in public manage- ment that have been developed around the country. They are building the base of understanding we need. If we accept as inevitable that legislatures will legislate the Second Coming at least once a sitting, and that the press will proclaim the arrival of mes- siahs and devils with weekly regularity; if we under- stand that efficiency of certain sorts implies mon-

opoly of power in a way that we do not tolerate even in the making and selling of plastic, appli- ances, or food; and if we can accept these phenom- ena as human and not pathological; then perhaps we can systematically observe how public organ- izations behave and learn how to manage them better.

Diffusion of power

The experience of the New Deal and subsequent political events ex- emplifies Samuel P. Huntington’s observation that power in America is fragmented much as it was in Elizabethan England—the England from which Locke descended and which in many respects he was describing. Not only is power deliberately diffused among the three separate branches of govem- ment, which jealously guard their boundaries; but also within each of these hranches, power is dispersed among competing groups and interests. Our Presidents, like Tudor kings, have had the continuing task of creating some unity and simpHcity out of enormous diversity and complexity. This is the way our Constitution was written. As Walter Bagehot put it:

“The English constitu- tion . . . is framed on the principle of choosing a single sovereign author- ity, and making it good: the American, upon the principle of having many sovereign author- ities, and hoping that their multitude may atone for their inferiority.”

Unlike the federal admin- istrative processes of other modern governments, ours have worked to disaggregate puhlic power instead of making it more coherent. . . . Our federal ahility to control the mighty has weakened; its vulnerability to control hy them has increased.

The New Ameiican Ideology, by George Cabot Lodge. Copyright © i974; i97S by George Gahot Lodge. RepriDted with the permissioD of Alfred A. Knopf; pages a73-i74-

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