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Change and Leadership


Public And Private leadership And

Performance Management

~ PhD Student Christine (mihaescu) Demeter (Management Faculty, Academy of

Economic Studies, Romania)
E-mail: demeter.chris@gmail.com
~ PhD Student ana-Claudia apardel (Management Faculty, Academy of Economic
Studies, Romania)
E-mail: tanaclaudia@yahoo.com

Abstract: The aim of this article is to make a comparing between the private and public leadership.
We analyze (1) whether there are differences between public and private sector leadership based on some
variables related to job complexity of a manager (including the managerial behaviour, job autonomy, and
job clarity), decision-making vs policymaking process and the stakeholders vs political influence, and (2) to
assess the degree of their effects on the managerial competences and performance management. Our study
is conducted from the Romanian perspective on public organizations.
As the methodology used, in order to identify the perception on political influence in Romanian public
administration we conducted a survey among civil servants at central and local level. Our research is based
on the empirical analysis of the relevant literature in public administration, leadership and organizational
Key words: leadership, managerial competences, performance management, public admin-
istration, private organizations.
Jel: L3, L33

1.introduction organizations and private management in

order to establish whether there are differ-
In the public administration and pub-
ences between public and private sector man-
lic management literature, a large num-
agers. There are not so many studies related
ber of studies make references to private

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Change and Leadership
to leadership differences between public and From this perspective, we consider as
private organizations (Anderson 2010). In an ending point of this analysis the desirable
particular, the public leadership adopted by managerial competences and performance
the public managers is presented in related management that private and public organi-
literature as public managerial abilities and zations are trying to achieve.
skills (Fernandez 2005). Managerial Competences
The phenomenon of public leadership
is more related to New Public Management Most private and public managers,
(Pollitt and Bouckhaert 2004), in the context who are responsible for management devel-
on public administration reforms, which opment and learning, accept that competen-
promote introducing managerial skills and cies comprise a mixture of three essential
abilities of management from private compa- elements: (1) the skills and abilities practiced
nies into public organizations. The fact that in daily actions; (2), knowledge, expertise
leadership is different in public administra- and experience in making the decisions and
tion than this is in private companies had (3) the personal qualities, attitudes and val-
been already demonstrated (Anderson 2010). ues they espouse.
Moreover, the literature argues that there are These three elements that promote the
different styles of leadership depending on managerial competences could easily be de-
the specific structure of organizations, based scribed as understanding how a manager
on the organization-context, even there are should or would acts (skills), based on what
private or public. These identified differences it needed to know (knowledge) and what at-
make the effects of influence to be different, titude to adopt in order to make a decision, or
from this point of view, because managers to implement a policy.
are operating under different and very spe- These three combined elements give the
cific constrains. behaviours of the manager. There are not, so
Our research objectives are: (1) to identi- far, differences between public and private
fy what are these differences between the pri- manager. The components are similar for
vate and public leadership styles sectors, and both sectors.
(2) to assess the degree of their effects on the Besides these, the public manager has
managerial competences and performance a political role in his organization. He is
management. Therefore, we agreed on some not representing only the organization he
internal and external factors that, from the worked for, but the whole society or tar-
literature perspective, we consider as hav- get group, to whom the public services are
ing great influence on leadership adopted ei- provided. The public managers are, mostly,
ther by private or public organizations. The political figures, elected or appointed for a
factors we considered for our analysis are: determined period of time. They are leading
related to job complexity of a manager (in- the public organizations. Politicians make a
cluding the managerial behavior, style, job distinctive contribution by rising controver-
autonomy, and job clarity), decision-making sial issues, promoting projects and setting di-
(vs policymaking) process and the stakehold- rections, generating resources, even making
ers (vs political) influence. compromises mobilizing citizens they are

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Change and Leadership
making the things move. This is the leader- for different leadership model.
ship definition for the public managers. The private leadership is more con-
Performance management centrated on the results and profit, on the
efficiency of the well done job, while the
The managerial competences are very public leadership is concentrated on dis-
much related to the performance of the or- tributing powers between different levels of
ganization, both private and public. The governance. Different styles of leadership
performance is about achieving the estab- characterize the two sectors: participative
lish objectives and desired results. The per- leadership for private organization which en-
formance of private organizations is related courage the support and collaboration, even
to their profits, while the managerial perfor- implication of the employees, and directive
mance of public administration is about pro- leadership for the public administration that
viding services and running projects with incorporates rules, control and indications.
limited resources and efficiently spending of From the job description point of view,
the public money. public managers have more job complexity
There are internal and external factors than private managers (Hansen and Villadsen
that influence both the managerial compe- 2010). The reasons are: public administration
tences and the performance management of is more bureaucratic than private companies
private as well as public organizations, as we (Boyne 2002). The goals of public administra-
are describing in the following sections. tion are more open to environmental influ-
2. Managerial complexity ence, are more complex and less stable and
The managerial complexity is related to they have to face a lot of external constrains,
the context by which the managers are con- such as the political factor.
ducting their activities. From this perspective As referring to job autonomy, the public
the managerial style depends by different managers have less autonomy than the pri-
organizational context related to employees, vate managers. The more political influence
power and task structure. Thus, the job com- leads the public administration management
plex is related to clarity, complexity, and au- the less autonomy public managers have. The
tonomy of a job that influences managerial reason of this affirmation is based on the fact
performance. that political factor is external and above
the public institutions. The managers have
On the other hand, the job complexity
week authority and power if they are in re-
is influenced by several factors related to: na-
lations with their superiors (as well consid-
ture of the task they need to be solved, the or-
ered an external political factor of influence)
ganization of work and cooperation system
and even on their subordinates dues to insti-
within and outside the organization, exist-
tutional and regulatory constrains. The leg-
ing systems and technologies, organizational
islation is very conservative for the public
structure, as a whole and the organizational
institutions in terms of defining their roles,
the management style, procedures and struc-
Taking into account all the above men-
tures. This not let so much space for defining
tioned factors, the job complexity and con-
performance and establishing performance
text could create opportunities and barriers
measuring procedures.

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Change and Leadership
3.Decision making process vs 4.stakeholders vs Political influence
policymaking on performance

The decision making process, in the We already have presented the influ-
public and private sectors, is very much in- ences stakeholders could have on the man-
fluenced by the institutions management agement and on the leadership of a private
functions and its organizational structure. company, as well as the political factor is a
The management is a dynamic process, by very influential one on the public administra-
which organizations are directed, controlled, tion. The impact of these two factors is reflect-
and held accountable, consisting of various ed on the performance of the organization.
elements and activities. The process is about Referring to the public administration,
the selection of a course of action among sev- Edmund C. Stazyk and Holly T. Goerdell
eral alternative scenarios. The difference that (2011) have demonstrated the relationship
appears between private and public organi- between ambiguity of the managerial goals,
zation is related to decision making and pol- hierarchical authority, political support and
icy making, as long as the main objective of organizational effectiveness/performance.
public administration is to implement public The main conclusion of their research is that
policies that address to the whole society or high organizational performance is linked to
to a specific defined target group. low political performance, low authority and
The decision making process in public less bureaucracy.
institution is hierarchical decision-making In order to demonstrate the great im-
process in a traditional institution. pact that political influence has on Romanian
The general picture of a public institu- public administration we conducted a survey
tion structure is pretty similar. The head of among civil servants from the central and lo-
the public institution, which is the highest cal level of Romania public Administration.
position (mainly political one), who is rep- The survey was conducted in January and
resenting the institution mission, objectives February 2013, and we gather about 300 re-
and approve the whole processed and activi- spondents to questions.
ties is the president, state secretary, minister In our survey we wanted: to assess the
etc. The next position is mainly a highest ex- actual system of performance management
ecutive position who will most likely receive of Romanian public administration, to inden-
a certain segment of the workload to be com- tify the influence of the external factors on
pleting and to coordinate the activities and the policymaking process and on the public
the projects run by the institution. management efficiency and to identify the
This responsibility will then be passed membership of civil servants at different as-
from this position down the hierarchy so that sociative structures or organizations.
each aspect of the administration is being Regarding the actual system of perfor-
covered correctly. mance management, we can remark that civ-
The decision making process looks il servants considered that their institutions
more participative and is based on the gener- have in percent of 28 % an acceptable level
al consensus in the private organization than of performance, 17% evaluated a low level of
in public administration. performance and only 14 % considered that
No. 17 ~ 2013
Change and Leadership
the Romanian public institutions have a high and behaviours. We argued that the differ-
level of performance. ences are because of different internal and
In order to identify the influence of the external factors that influence and impact
external factors on the policymaking process the managerial competences and the per-
and on the public management efficiency of formance management of an organizational.
the Romanian public institutions, we iden- The managerial job is very complex, ambigu-
tified a very strong political influence: 40% ous, with less autonomy and with a strong
high, 16% acceptable and only 10 % of the political influence on the policy making pro-
civil servants appreciated a low level of po- cess in the public organizations that conducts
litical influence. Other external factors with to a directive leadership style. On the other
a major impact are: the economic and social hand, private organizations are developing
factors 45 % high level of influence; the le- a more participatory style based on the fact
gal framework and the actual legislation 50 that the jobs are more clearly defined, more
% high level of influence and responsibilities autonomous, flexible and the decision mak-
and government policies undertaken at na- ing process is a not so highly influenced by
tional, European and international level (the the stakeholders. The results of the survey
relation with European Union, International showed that the political factor has a huge
Monetary Fund and World Bank) 40 % high impact on the on the policymaking process
level of influence. and on the public management efficiency of
Regarding the membership of civil ser- the Romanian public institutions and that the
vants at different associative structures or actual performance management system in
organizations we can see the only 11 % rec- the Romanian public administration is not a
ognized or declared that they are member of very satisfactory one and is necessary to de-
a political party. Most of them declared their velop and implement new management in-
membership to a professional association or struments in the public sector, instruments
to a trade union. which may come from the private leadership
But we can note that a huge percent of experience.
civil servants, between 35 40%, didnt an- acknowledgments
swer to some of the survey questions and the
reasons can be numerous and interpretable. This work was cofinanced from the
European Social Fund through Sectoral
Operational Programme Human Resources
Development 2007-2013; project number
In this article we presented the differ- POSDRU/107/1.5/S/77213 Ph.D. for a career
ences between private and public manag- in interdisciplinary economic research at the
ers that lead to different leadership styles European standards.

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Change and Leadership
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