Session Recap：The Relationship Between Leaders and Employees in Governance
November 12, 2014 10:00 AM
By Liu Yi, Harvard University
Leadership is a constant hot topic in public management. The relationship between leaders and employees become more and more important since scholars find many interesting topics related to it. How will the relationship between leaders and employees affect the organization’s performance? Great attention was put on this topic at this year’s Fall Research Conference.
Performance improvement becomes increasingly important for the public administration discipline. Motivated by trying to confirm leader-employee distance as a crucial predictor of leadership effectiveness, Ulrich Thy Jensen from Aarhus University conducted research with Louise Ladegaard on leadership, distance and performance in Leadership, Distance, and Performance. Their research questioned how the effect of transformational and transactional leadership strategies on performance is moderated by distance. Specifically, they discussed and tested the implication of leader-employee distance for the effect of the idealized transformational and transactional leadership strategies on performance. To fully assess leadership implications, the authors included different leadership strategies and expand on the question of if and why different distance dimensions might have different effects across different leadership strategies.
A servant leader can be defined as "one who is committed to the growth of both the individual and the organization, and who works to build community within organizations". Since relatively few studies have been conducted to examine the role of servant leadership in the context of government organizations, Dong Chul Shim from San Jose State University put forward a research on this topic with co-authors Hyun Hee Park, San Jose State University, and Tae-Ho Eom, Yonsei University in their paper Servant Leadership: Is It a Myth or Powerful Reality? Their study examined whether servant leadership can contribute to (1) developing a better leader-subordinate relationship (leader-member exchange), (2) enhancing employees’ perception of fair work procedure (procedural justice), and (3) inducing benevolent work behaviors (organizational citizenship behaviors: OCB).
After the presentations, both discussant James Harrington, University of Texas at Dallas, and the audience gave a positive response to both panel papers. Meanwhile, the discussion revolved around what the relationship is between public service motivation and servant leadership. Panel Chair James Perry, Indiana University, also gave some tips on data selections related to publishing papers.