Public and Private Sector Differentials in Leadership: Developing a Conceptual Model

Michael Joseph O'Mullane

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter

    13 Downloads (Pure)


    This study is an exploratory examination of leadership differentials that ostensibly characterize public and private sector organizations in order to construct a plausible explanatory model. A key difference between the sectors is the contextual purpose of the organization: “for the public good” in public sector organizations and for the benefit of owners in private sector organizations. Though there has been a long term comparative interest, these differentials in context are a neglected area in the leadership field.In the development of a rationale, two key question are posed: “Are there grounds for assuming differentials in the approach to leadership that is needed and preferred in public and private sectors?” and “To what extent are assumed differentials real or illusionary?” In answering these questions, the analysis of concepts identifies key influences on leadership and leadership formation.The model constructed provides a transect of influences on leadership that are behavioural, contextual, perceptual and “expectational”.From these, the study recognizes that the values orientation of leaders and the leadership system is a critical variable and identified three states: ducocentrism whereby the predominant concern is on leadership; bureaucentrism where the predominant concern is the organization and its functioning; and egocentrism in which leaders pursue mainly self interests which may be in conflict with the other areas. Societal expectations become the overall criterion judging behaviour. These values orientations can differ between public and private sector organizations so that there can be expectations of different values which may characterize behaviour of leaders and leaderships systems.The paper concludes with five recommendations for research and concept refinement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationReflecting on Issues and Controversies in Current Management Trends
    EditorsDimitrios N Koufopoulos
    Place of PublicationAthens, Greece
    PublisherAthens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER)
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)9789606672163
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    Dive into the research topics of 'Public and Private Sector Differentials in Leadership: Developing a Conceptual Model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this