Print ISSN: 2204-1990

Online ISSN: 1323-6903

Issue 1,

Issue 1


Lessons from the street: Leading complex work at the front line

Nita L Cherry

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2013, Volume 19, Issue 1, Pages 7-18

Emerging academic commentary asks how people can be prepared for work and leadership under conditions of increasing complexity. It has been noted, however, that treatments of leadership in the management literature have been slow to engage with complexity thinking and also remain largely focused on executive and middle level leadership. This paper explores the implications of complexity thinking for front-line leadership work. It does that, firstly, by considering leadership questions implied by newer theoretical perspectives on complex practice and secondly, by revisiting earlier insights into complex work at street level. Lipsky’s (1980) exploration of street-level bureaucracy suggested that unresolvable paradoxes in public policy have always created significant dilemmas for front-line practitioners and leaders. Policing, education and welfare are prime examples of this space. Indeed, Perez (2011) suggests that operational police and their leaders face uniquely complex dilemmas. Thirdly, then, this paper references research undertaken with 50 serving police officers in Melbourne to focus on key issues for contemporary front-line leadership.

Leadership Excellence in Higher Education: Present and future

Nejdet Delener

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2013, Volume 19, Issue 1, Pages 19-33

Universities and colleges are expected not only to create knowledge, improve equity, and respond to student needs, but to do so more efficiently and effectively. Hence, to capture the advantage of this more central focus and role, institutions of higher education need to transform their structures, missions, leadership, and processes and programs in order to be more flexible and more responsive to changing social needs. Pivotal to institutional success in achieving this transformation is effective leadership, a critical factor in sustaining and improving universities’ quality and performance. This paper, therefore, examines whether the leaders of higher education are indeed taking the path to success and whether, in doing so, they are implementing a transformational or transactional leadership style. Specifically, this paper aims to systematically review the key findings in the existing literature investigating the styles of and approaches to leadership behaviors that are associated with effectiveness in higher education. The discussion includes a synthesis of the theoretical literature on leadership in higher education and concludes with an overview of potential strategies for educational leaders.

Leadership in Liquid Modernity

Julian Lippi

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2013, Volume 19, Issue 1, Pages 35-45

This paper explores possibilities for refreshing thinking about leadership from perspectives of liquid modernity suggested by Bauman (2000), who identified several dimensions of modern uncertainty in human life and work. Reflecting unease with post-modernism, Bauman’s work has been influential in contemporary understandings of society, culture, learning and identity. It is also being taken up in emerging explorations of liquid learning in the educational literature. However, its implications for leadership remain largely unexplored in the management literature. This paper considers how current conceptions of leadership that emphasise the power of individual agency might be usefully re-considered in the light of Bauman’s contribution and it develops a number of generative questions to help that process. It then turns to conceptions of liquid learning to suggest some navigational aids for leading under conditions of liquidity.

Leadership, Business Schools and Financial Crises: The search for a missing link

Dr Ashfaq Khan, Dr Wiqar Ahmad

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2013, Volume 19, Issue 1, Pages 47-64

Business schools produce leaders who command ‘power’ and ‘governmentality’, as per Foucault’s theoretical conceptualisations, to institutionalise routines and social practices in contemporary organisations. These leaders must uphold ethics in their business decisions; however, this has not been reflected in many instances, as recurring financial crises have depicted over time. Efforts to address the issue and reach its root cause have failed to deliver concrete results so far, which necessitates an objective probe into today’s business education. This conceptual-cumanalytical paper proposes an alternate, indirect approach to effectively tackle the issue. We suggest two remedies: first, transformative teaching and learning activities that inculcate ethical values into students should be implemented at the grass root level – primary and secondary schools, that feed into business schools with future business leaders; second, a conducive corporate governance environment within business organisations that supports ethical decisions and nurtures ethical behaviour needs to be developed – arguably the first being the prerequisite for the second

Leadership Up The Ladder: The construction of leadership styles in the hospitality industry

Paul A. Whitelaw

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2013, Volume 19, Issue 1, Pages 65-79

This paper explores and quantifies the differences in the perceptions of leadership styles suitable for various outcomes across three levels of management in the Melbourne hospitality industry. Using a well established self-administered instrument, the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) v5, the researcher used a ‘snow balling’ technique to recruit a self-selected sample of 282 residents of Melbourne, Australia who work in large, international standard hotels and major catering companies with more than 100 staff. The respondents were classified as working at one of three managerial levels; senior manager, middle manager, or front line manager wherein each level encountered different challenges in the nature of their work and thus required different approaches to leadership. The data indicated that there are several differences within and across the three managerial levels in their leadership styles depending upon the goal at hand. These differences include the specific types of leadership style adopted, and the number of styles adopted, both within and across the task at hand. The author wishes to formally acknowledge the support of MLQ Pty. Ltd. for granting permission to use the MLQ Instrument.