Public Administration

Web Resources

The Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) is a program of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Wilson Center which empowers the next generation of women around the world and mobilizes them on issues of critical importance in public service. Through innovative research, dynamic learning institutes, and strategic peer-to-peer and two way mentoring, the WPSP is committed to a new global partnership aimed at reaching a minimum of 50 percent of all decision-making positions in public service held by women by 2050 (“50 × 50”).

A variety of good resources are available from this site. About: The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit educational group that helps turn grassroots activists into progressive champions. Our goal is to transform American politics from the grassroots up, to promote equity and justice, and to restore the American Dream. We host the nation’s largest network of progressive lawmakers, the Progressive Leaders Network, comprised of more than 13,000 school board members, city councilors, county officials, state legislators, and statewide officeholders. Through this network, lawmakers can access model legislation, collaborate with their peers, interact with non-profit leaders, and learn values-based messages to be front-line communicators of their ideas.

The following article is an excerpt from "Creating Leadership for the Twenty-First Century," which was published in the book For the People: Can We Fix Public Service? (John D. Donahue and Joseph S. Nye Jr. eds.; Brookings Institution Press, 2003).  

-Dr. Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

The performance review is perhaps the most hated phrase in the workplace. Studies show it's not just employees, but also managers and even HR professionals who dislike the practice. This show by NPR’s Diane Rehm discusses this process, why leaders do it, why the process is disliked and how it can be improved. This goes to the heart of how leaders evaluate followers, and how followers perceive this. This may be listened to,or there is a written transcript.

-Dr. Barbara Warner, Arkansas State University


Multimedia Resources

The president delivered his State of the Union speech, addressing a wide range of issues, including the economy, immigration and national security.

Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington serve as the Captain and Executive Officer of an American nuclear submarine. The submarine is ordered to fire their missiles to prevent a nuclear launch upon the United States. Or is it? Hackman and Washington disagree, to say the least, on the proper course of action. What follows is a riveting chess game of mutinies and counter-mutanies between the two men (1995, 115 minutes).

Foreign Service Officers are the face of America around the world. At a time in the not so distant past, FSOs were almost always white, middle to upper class and from the Northeast. Today, there are more women and minorities, but they are underrepresented. The State Department is working to remake the institution into one that looks like America today; diverse and multi-cultural. 

Former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty talks with the Washington Post's Steven Pearlstein about why he made some tough decisions during his tenure, and why he doesn't regret losing his position because of it. 

Acclaimed American historian Doris Kearns Goodwin on judging presidential leadership today versus national leaders of the past, President Obama's fixation on Abraham Lincoln, the role of the media in toxic politics, and parallels between the deep divisions of today and the era of Teddy Roosevelt a century ago. 

-Dr. Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Russian leader Vladimir Putin increasingly has developed a coercive style of leadership in Russia. His leadership that has gone on for 15 years and is set to last at least another decade. There are a variety of segments offered by PBS’s Frontline series that an instructor could choose from to illustrate this from the total show, which is 54:10 minutes long, although the whole video is well worth watching. Not only may students see elements of this in American life, but we must assume some will enter the international realm, and dealing with such leaders is challenging.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women. 

We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives (could be used for various chapters).

Simon Sinek presents a simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?" His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers -- and as a counterpoint Tivo, which until a court victory that tripled its stock price appeared to be struggling.

According to author Bob Sutton, a professor at Stanford University, when someone is placed in a position of power, three things can happen to cause "power poisoning": 1) The leader focuses on their own needs and concerns; 2) The leader focuses little attention on the needs of others; and 3) The leader often acts like the rules don't apply to them.  Evidence is also mounting, says Sutton, that the more successful a leader is, the more likely they are to break the rules.

An interesting new book is “The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations,” by Christopher Lasch. Leaders may have a tendency toward narcissism, which is not often talked about, but which some think is increasing in American culture. It’s important for followers to know how to deal with narcissistic leaders, which can be tricky.

-Dr. Barbara Warner, Arkansas State University


SAGE Journal Articles with Discussion Questions

Article 1.  Collier, M. S. (1994).  Leadership: Learning From Success and Failure. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 1(2), 108-120.


1. Collier’s article presents a case study about the mayor’s role as an elected leader during the Flint MI financial crisis.  Dealing with the crisis required working with groups internal and external to the city’s operations.  What leadership capacities are critical to effectively relating to and working with organizations and people who are external to the city’s organization?

2. What leadership theories are most useful in examining the leadership roles and responsibilities of an elected official who serves as the organization’s chief executive?  Explain why the leadership theories you identified are relevant.

3. This case focuses on elected leadership. It should allow you to begin thinking about the differences in the roles and responsibilities of an elected versus an appointed chief executive of a public sector organization.  Create a list of leadership characteristics that may distinguish an elected from an appointed executive.  

Article 2.  Drago-Severson, E., Maslin-Ostrowski, P.,  Hoffman, A. M. and Barbaro, J. (2014).  Managing Adaptive Challenges: Learning With Principals in Bermuda and Florida. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 9(1), 6-33. 


1. Define capacity building. Why does capacity building as presented in this study of school administrators in the United States and Bermuda represent an adaptive challenge?

2. How do technical challenges differ from adaptive strategies? Why must a leader be proficient in implementing both technical and adaptive alternatives?

3. What leadership behaviors are most supportive of the adaptive approach? Which are less likely to  encourage effective adaptive leadership?

4. Training leaders to use the adaptive leadership approach was noted as an important factor. How would you train leaders within your public service area to become adaptive in their approach?

Article 3.  Orazi, D.C., Turrini, A. and Valotti, G. (2013). Public sector leadership: new perspectives for research and practice. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 79(3), 486-504.


1. What is integrated leadership? How are transformational, transactional and ethical leadership approaches woven into the authors’ perspective of an integrated approach? Why do the authors advocate an integrated approach for public sector leaders?                

2. How do public sector leaders differ from private sector leaders? (Craig Hickman’s book Mind of a Manager, Soul of a Leader would serve as a good resource to develop a  discussion  about leader-manager distinctions.)

3. In their criticism of current public sector leadership training, the authors indicate that “individual empowerment” rather than “team building” may be more effective in developing leaders and that failure to account for  “operational context” hinders leader development. If you were in charge of training and development within a public sector organization, what effect would the authors’ criticism have on your approach to developing leadership capacity?

Article 4.  Ritz, A., Giauque, D., Varone. F. and Anderfuhren-Biget, S. (2014). From Leadership to Citizenship Behavior in Public Organizations: When Values MatterReview of Public Personnel Administration, 34(2), 128-152.


1. This article addresses the leader’s impact or influence on the followers (employees) within the public sector organization. How does this research reinforce your understanding of transformational leadership theory?

2. What values are critical to the daily operation of public sector organizations? How do transformational leaders encourage followers (employees) to embrace the values in the exercise of their roles and responsibilities?

3. What is organizational culture? Do transformational leaders have the potential to integrate public service values into the formal and informal organizational culture? Why?/why not? 

Article 5.  Zhu, W., Norman,  S.M., Peng, Z., Riggio, R.E. and Sosik, J.J. (2012). The impact of ethical political leadership on the public: The mediating role of confidence in political leaders. Leadership, 8(2), 109-124.


1. What does this article teach you about the relationship between public sector leadership and ethics?

2. Does ethical public leadership affect public perceptions of personal safety and commitment to the nation?

3. Are public sector leaders across the all levels of government expected to demonstrate higher ethical standards than their constituents?  Why?/why not?

-Dr. Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Article 1.  Men, L. R. (2014). Strategic Internal Communication: Transformational Leadership, Communication Channels, and Employee SatisfactionManagement Communication Quarterly, 28(2), 264-284.


1. What types of communication do you want most from your leaders?

2. What are the main challenges of communication in public sector organizations?

3. What are some guidelines you should be aware of as leaders in communicating via email (e.g., neutral language, positive language, length of emails, clarity, answering all the questions posed, keeping it professional, not emailing more people than need to be informed, confidentiality, etc.)

4. What kind of rules should be set up for social media communication between leaders and followers, and how public should this be allowed to be? How savvy should leaders be about the technicalities of social media communication?

Article 2.  Winter, J.K, Neal, Joan C. and Waner, Karen K. (2001). How Male, Female, and Mixed-Gender Groups Regard Interaction and Leadership Differences in the Business Communication CourseBusiness Communication Quarterly, 64(3), 7-35.


1. Should leaders communicate differently with female and male followers, given the latters’ preferences for communication? If so, how? How should this be adjusted if the leader is male or female?

2. How important are communication skills for leaders and followers, and how does their proficiency at this affect how they are perceived? What should be done to spur improvements in these areas for both groups?

3. How should professors teach effective team leadership?

4. How should cultural differences in perceptions of male and female leaders be addressed in work places?

Article 3.  Ulmer, Robert R. (2012). Increasing the Impact of Thought Leadership in Crisis CommunicationManagement Communication Quarterly 26(4), 523-542.


1. How important is it to define what constitutes a crisis in an organization? How should this be done?

2. How should a leadership team be identified in advance of any crisis? How should a spokesperson be identified, and what should be the rules as to who may release information?

3. What kind of media training should leaders receive?

Article 4.  Flauto, F. J. (1999, Winter/Spring). Walking the Talk: The Relationship Between Leadership and Communication CompetenceJournal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 6(1-2), 86-97.


1. How important is leader communication to followers in transactional leadership?

2. How important is leader communication to followers in the LMX leadership style?

3. How should we assess leaders’ communication competence, and how important should this be to assessing one’s ability to being a leader?

Article 5.  Manning, T. T. (2003, Winter). Leadership Across Cultures: Attachment Style InfluencesJournal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 9(3), 20-30.


1. How prepared are leaders to manage cross-cultural followers?

2. How does attachment style affect leadership cross-culturally?

3. How can we encourage leaders to develop confidence in overseeing cross-cultural followers so they are more effective?

-Dr. Barbara Warner, Arkansas State University



Activity 1.  Have students read these items under Web Resources: Going Partisan: Presidential Leadership in a Polarized Political Environment and Going Partisan: Presidential Leadership in a Polarized Political Environment. This Multimedia Resource, Miller Center: Doris Kearns Goodwin: Presidential Leadership, would also be good for this activity. Then have the class as an outside of class activity view the most recent Presidential “State of the Union” Address (see item under Multimedia Resources for link).  Class discussion would expect students to assess President Obama’s leadership approach using the readings as a foundation for their observations.

Activity 2.  Divide the class into two groups.  Assign one of two websites dedicated to public leadership: Public Leadership Institute or About the Women in Public Service Project to each group (see items under Web Resources).  Have groups develop and present a discussion about the group, its mission, the programs and resources provided through the web site for those who are interested in and/or involved with public leadership.

Activity 3.  This activity especially encourages the application of theory to practice.  Use item, Groups say fly ash near state prison in Fayette County causing health problems, under Web Resources to consider the leadership challenges and range of potential responses/actions by state government elected and appointed executive officials to the issues raised by outside advocacy groups.  Links to a newspaper article and the full report are provided.  Have students do an Internet search of regional news media for updates about this situation.

Activity 4.  All effective leaders use stories to teach and motivate their followers. Have students view “Concise Storytelling for Leaders Workshop” under Multimedia Resources. Then have the students develop and present a story about leadership (preferably reflecting their own experience) to the class. Encourage the class to comment/ask questions after each presentation that provide constructive suggestions about how to better the “stories.”

Activity 5.  Divide the class into groups of 3 or 4 students. Use articles drawn from the 5 SAGE Journal articles to create a roundtable discussion of the scholarly literature related to public leadership. Have students include discussion about the research method(s) as well as the questions and outcomes. 

-Dr. Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Activity 1.  Have the class break into small groups and discuss the question below. Then have a leader from their group report on their consensus or lack of consensus. As you continue with groups, have a different person report every time from the same group. Question: You’ve assigned a project to be worked on by teams. However, some team members are telling you that there is one or more “free riders,” or people who don’t do their part or do it on time, but think they can hide behind the work of others and get the credit. This is overburdening some with work. As a leader, what do you do to try to address this? Have you experienced this in academia or your work place, and if so, how have you handled it?

Activity 2.  Ask for volunteers to draw on the white board an organizational chart of an entity for which they work, or have worked. Have them draw the lines of communication, who reports to whom, who really has authority and who does not (using titles rather than names). Help students flesh this out further in class discussion. This has proven very illuminating, especially of communication dysfunction.

Activity 3.  Have students take turns discussing a news article on government that evidences leadership or lack of leadership. Provide them with a list of reputable and relevant news and/or professional sources to choose from.

Activity 4.  Invite the district director from your local congressional office to speak to your class about the challenges of leading on behalf of a political figure, including what kind of leadership activities they engage in daily and how they coordinate with the leadership in the Washington, D.C., office and with other district leaders. This is preferable to trying to get a member of Congress herself, which is very difficult, and helps you get to the nuts and bolts, rather than canned speeches. You can style it as a career information event. Students love to see what they are learning in practice.

Activity 5.  Show part or all of a video from online on Wikileaks or Edward Snowden or have students do this in advance. An article they read in advance can be substituted. Transcripts also exist for some videos. Great to use the NBC News series “Inside the Mind of Edward Snowden” (done in parts), New York Times video "Leakers: Saints or Villains," and Frontline's "WikiSecrets." Ask the class to discuss how they can apply any of the leadership principles in Northouse to prevent followers in government from feeling they have to leak information on issues they believe are not addressed and that if they did report, could result in reprisals (this can also apply to business, but there different ramifications).

-Dr. Barbara Warner, Arkansas State University


 Suggested Assignments

Assignment 1.  Reflective Essay Parts 1 and 2

Successful leaders are self-reflective. During the first class, to encourage the practice of self-reflection, all students will complete a short essay (500-750 words) in response to three questions. This essay will be revised at the end of the semester. The essay and revision will constitute 20% of your course grade. The first asks you to consider your leadership impact. The second and third will give me insight about the group and what should be considered as we proceed this semester. Consider: Why should anyone be led by you? What would you like to gain from this course? What are your greatest concerns about this course?

Assignment 2.  Leadership Assessment Portfolio 

The Northouse book presents assessment tools and conceptual models which foster self-awareness and reflection and the creation of personal development strategies. Students are encouraged to complete the assessments in Northouse coincidental to the discussions of leadership theories. For this project, you will create a portfolio of (1) the results of those assessments and (2) draft a personal development strategy. The section of the paper related to results of the assessments should provide a summary of the overall outcome you had for the six (6) assessments which are most meaningful to you from the Northouse book. The personal development strategy should consider  your  assessment results as they relate to your approach to leadership, your interactions with followers, maintaining your areas of strength, and addressing  areas where change would be beneficial. Must be 5-8 pages.

Assignment 3.  Leadership Case Study

The principal project for this course will be the development of a leadership case study. In a review of over forty course syllabi, I found that many leadership theory courses require students to complete a major project in the form of a case study. Essentially, a case study is a story which describes and analyzes events and circumstances and illustrates a particular point or has a definite teaching purpose in mind. Effective storytelling and effective leadership have been linked by leadership experts who believe that communications through storytelling helps the leader motivate followers and gain support for the organization’s vision by relating examples and analyzing activities. Potential outcomes for students who successfully complete a leadership case study include:

  • The process of choosing the story makes the student “converse” with the leadership ideas to make sure it really illustrates leadership.  
  • The process of writing the case study makes the student integrate many of the components of the course.  
  • The activity of identifying different leadership perspectives makes the student clarify his or her understanding of various ways of seeing leadership in action.

For this case study, each student will select someone who is recognized as a leader of or within a public organization who demonstrates high level leadership performance. To gather information for the case study, students are expected to conduct research of secondary sources and interview the individual selected. You may find it helpful to interview a few individuals who are associated with the leader — the followers, higher level leaders or board members. All of the case studies should cover the same elements. The areas with suggested questions follow: 

Biographical sketch/description of the public leader:

  • Who is the leader?  Why did you choose this person?
  • What is the leader’s educational and professional background?
  • What was the leader’s path to his/her current leadership position?
  • How long has the leader been in this position?
  • What education or life experiences best prepared the leader to serve in his/her current position?
  • What were the two or three key events in this person’s life that truly indicate to you that the person has exhibited leadership (versus good management or strong character)?  Describe the situation, the dilemma, and what the person did and why you think it demonstrated leadership.
  • How did this person learn to lead? 

Public Sector Organization:

  • What organization does the person lead?
  • What is the leader’s vision for this organization?
  • What is the organization’s mission?
  • In the last five years, what are the three most significant leadership challenges s/he has faced?  (Provide detail about the situations and how they were handled, what would the leader do if a similar situation were to arise today?  Were the leader’s choices effective? What leadership theory does this leader model?)

Public Leadership:

  • How does this person view him/herself-self as a leader? 
  • How does this person define leadership?
  • What is his/her leadership philosophy? 
  • What does he/she think is most important in order to influence others and have people follow him/her?
  • Why is this person an successful/effective leader?
  • What is this leader’s approach to leadership and management?
  • Where did his/her leadership approach come from? 
  • What did the leader do to build his/her leadership skills?
  • How does the leader motivate his/her followers?
  • What individual skills and abilities does it take to be successful in a leadership position?
  • What were the person’s key leadership strengths and vulnerabilities? 
  • How would you assess the leader’s emotional intelligence?
  • What does the leader like best about his/her position? What does the leader like least?
  • Would the leader recommend this position to others?  Why/why not?
  • What advice does this leader have for anyone desiring to serve in his/her position?


  • How important is ethics? To the leader?  To the followers?  To the organization?
  • Outline the leader’s approach to ethics. 
  • Describe a significant ethical dilemma.  How was it resolved?  What would the leader do differently, if he/she had another opportunity to resolve the dilemma? 
  • What ethical principles are reflected in this leader’s ethical orientation? 

Summary and Reflection:

  • How did your focused analysis of this leader enhance your understanding of leadership and the challenges one faces?
  • What leadership lessons can be learned from your research?
  • Where do you have the sharpest disagreement with the leader in terms of either an action they took or some aspect of their philosophy of leadership?  Elaborate on the nature of your disagreement(s).
  • In what ways is this person’s story as much a story about other people’s leadership or followers – who else contributed to their leadership....were they aided by a key individual, unique circumstances, a team?

Assignment 4.  Presentation: Personal Leadership Story

Each student during the semester will be allocated 10 minutes for a class presentation. The goal for this assignment is for you to reflect on your learning about leadership theories and your leadership experiences and communicate your message in an effective manner to the rest of class. We will rely on resources related to Squirrel, Inc. to guide this assignment. The questions you should address in your presentation are:

  1. Which leadership theory(ies) is/are most relevant to your exercise of leadership?  
  2. From the leadership assessments you have completed, what areas will you pursue/have you pursued to develop your leadership capacity?
  3. Has a mentor/model from your discipline helped establish your leadership perspective/approach?  What did that mentor/model lend to you?

This time in class should be interesting and exciting for all involved!

-Dr. Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Assignment 1.  Book Project

Students must choose from a list of pre-approved books on leadership. Everyone must do a different book, and students should especially focus on books that go beyond the topics covered in Northouse. Students should produce a 10-page short paper using only the book itself, in which they summarize the essence of the book and analyze what aspects of the book would best apply to public administration. Students should then do a 15-20 minute oral presentation to the class on their findings, managing discussion that follows for a maximum of 10 minutes.

Assignment 2.  Presentation

Have students prepare a 15-20 minute oral presentation to the class on a time when they assumed leadership, no matter what the setting or how large the assignment. Student should divide their time as follows (1) tell about a time when they were a leader; (2) describe the leadership qualities they displayed (make sure they are not management qualities – see Northouse Chapter 1); and (3) say what they would do better as a leader, based upon this experience. Students may use brief notes but should not read verbatim from a script. They should keep eye contact with the class as much as possible. They should be prepared to engage in class discussion afterward, which may last up to 10 minutes. Times may be adjusted. This also serves as a bonding exercise in class.

Assignment 3.  Group Discussion

In discussing Northouse’s case studies, group students and assign rotating leaders who must manage the discussion questions and report the consensus, or lack of consensus on the questions provided for that case study. You may also employ a student evaluation form for each student’s turn at leadership in that group. Student leaders could share their experiences of being leader with the class. Managing discussion is a big part of leadership.

Assignment 4.  Journal Entries

Assign students a weekly journal entry of 500 words or less, in which they chronicle the main thing they learned that week about leadership and how they would apply it to their jobs (many of ours are going to the public sector).

Assignment 5.  SAGE Journal Presentation

Have students choose an article from the SAGE journals that is not covered in Northouse and present a 20-minute summary of the article to the class, telling how they would apply this to public administration and managing 10 minutes of discussion that follows, including posing questions if needed.

-Dr. Barbara Warner, Arkansas State University


Discussion Questions

Chapter 1: Introduction

Question: Northouse defines leadership as a process where an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.  Demonstrate your understanding of the leadership process definition by applying it to differentiate public sector elected and appointed leaders.

Chapter 2: Trait Approach

Question:  Review the major leadership traits; intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity and sociability.  Rank order their importance for public sector leaders. Explain the basis for your rankings. Should other traits be added to the list of major traits for public sector leaders?

Chapter 3: Skills Approach

Question: The skills approach to leadership suggests that leadership capacity can be developed through training and education. Within a local government setting, what types of training for department level supervisors would increase technical, human and conceptual skills?

Chapter 4: Behavioral Approach

Question: The behavioral approach distinguishes leadership as two orientations; task and relationship. In the public sector where with compliance rules and procedures frequently create the framework for interactions with citizens, how does the public administrator balance task and relationship orientations when managing employees who enforce planning, zoning and development regulations?

Chapter 5: Situational Approach

Question: Use the Situational Leadership II diagram in the chapter to guide your response. Is situational leadership an appropriate leadership style for public sector administrators who operate within an environment  where crisis management and unpredictable/changing circumstances are  the  norm? Why/Why not?

Chapter 6: Path–Goal Theory

Question: Is the employee reward aspect of path-goal leadership theory contrary to the compensation and benefit systems of public service organizations? Why/Why not?

Chapter 7: Leader–Member Exchange Theory

Question: At the federal level of government, executive level leaders (department secretaries) upon taking office typically are accorded the opportunity to fill upper level administrative and advisory positions with individuals who share their goals and values.  Would such appointees constitute the in groups and career civil servants represent the out groups, if leader-member exchange theory is applied? Why/Why not?

Chapter 8: Transformational Leadership

Question:  Women leaders tend not to be charismatic. Does this significantly hinder their capacity to be transformational leaders who perform as effective public sector change agents?

Chapter 9: Authentic Leadership

Question:  Authentic leadership is described as transparent, morally grounded and responsive to people’s needs and values. During times of public crisis or discontent, why would authentic leadership be an effective leadership approach for a President, Governor or Mayor?

Chapter 10: Servant Leadership

Question:  Are there aspects of government and public service or the non-profit sector such as those that administer human or social service programs that are more compatible with the servant leadership approach than others such as law enforcement and corrections?

Chapter 11: Adaptive Leadership

Question: Apply your understanding of the adaptive leadership approach to distinguish the types of public issues and problems that are more effectively solved by technical fixes as compared adaptive strategies.   Why might people feel threatened when a leader employs the adaptive approach?

Chapter 12: Psychodynamic Approach

Question:  Review the chapter discussion on the interactive social character. What types of public organizational environments would be more productive for leaders who adopt a psychodynamic approach to leadership?

Chapter 13: Leadership Ethics

Question: Ethical leaders set high ethical standards for their organizations and reinforce the standards by continually and consistently modeling the behaviors inherent in the standards. Review the 5 principles of ethical leadership. How would an elected public leader demonstrate the 5 principles in order to facilitate the public’s trust and confidence in government?

Chapter 14: Team Leadership

Question:  Northouse describes the leader’s role in team leadership as coaching followers (employees) towards attainment of organizational goals. In the public sector would team leadership be more effective where the employees focus on well-defined projects where outcomes are measurable such as public works or planning and development rather than where services are rooted in interactions with citizens such as police and emergency management?  Why/Why not?

Chapter 15: Gender and Leadership

Question: Research results indicate that women who are leaders are stronger than men when democratic, transformational, contingent-reward styles are considered. How would these leadership styles be demonstrated by women who participate in the legislative/policy process at the local, state or federal level of government?  

Chapter 16: Culture and Leadership

Question: Why is it essential for public sector leaders to understand the effect of cultural diversity on national and international relations and problem-solving?

-Dr. Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Chapter 1: Introduction

Question: How effective would you consider you could be if you primarily invoked coercion as a means of leadership?

Chapter 2: Trait Approach

Question: How do you assess the traits that are most effective in your leadership situation, and can you develop them if you don’t think you have them (if so, how)?

Chapter 3: Skills Approach

Question: How important are communications skills in leadership and how can they be developed?

Chapter 4: Behavioral Approach 

Question: How can followers prompt leaders to change their behavior? Give an example of something you have experienced. Also, how might employers evaluate in advance the types of behaviors they can expect from prospective leaders?

Chapter 5: Situational Approach

Question: Why, as Northouse says, might followers who learn a task become less committed to that task? Have you experienced this? What might leaders do to reignite commitment? Also, to what degree should leaders try to match their styles of leadership to the demographics and perceived preferences of their followers?

Chapter 6: Path–Goal Theory

Question: How do leaders motivate followers experiencing declining morale because they are asked to constantly do more, may feel disempowered and face stagnant wages and a sluggish economy that still does not provide enough opportunity for followers to seek better opportunities?

Chapter 7: Leader–Member Exchange Theory

Question: How do leaders build relationships with those in their organizations that do not speak English as a first language and may have few English language abilities? And, do you believe that leaders should mix their professional and personal relationships in trying to build rapport with followers?

Chapter 8: Transformational Leadership

Question: In what way can American psychologist Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” inform our understanding of transformational leadership? (Pull up a graphic of this from the web as this is discussed.)

Chapter 9: Authentic Leadership

Question: How important is it that you believe in what you do in terms of inspiring others?

Chapter 10: Servant Leadership

Question: How do you keep leadership from going to your head, given the potentially heady nature of it, so that you focus on others’ needs and remember that the rules still apply to you? How, in thinking of context and culture, does profession/organization affect how servant leadership performed? Why would some followers not want to work for servant leaders? Must you be a saint to be a servant leader?

Chapter 11: Adaptive Leadership

Question: How can adaptive leaders properly assess their skills and abilities, given they tend to overestimate these intangibles the most in themselves?

Chapter 12: Psychodynamic Approach

Question: Without being psychologists, how do followers identify and deal with narcissistic leaders, and similarly how do leaders identify and deal with this in their followers?

Chapter 13: Leadership Ethics

Question: How should leaders promote an ethical environment where followers do not fear repercussions from telling the truth or providing constructive criticism.

Chapter 14: Leadership Ethics

Question: How should followers respond when there is sexual discrimination in the workplace, but the leadership is composed of a good old boys club?

Chapter 15: Gender and Leadership

Question: Why should we care if there are too few women leaders, and why should men care about sharing power?

Chapter 16: Culture and Leadership

Question: Given the changing nature of our demographics in U.S. work places, how should leaders determine how to adapt their leadership styles to adapt to these different perspectives and what cultural practices to employ and allow? (For instance, you can use the French example of not allowing women to wear the hijab at work.)

-Dr. Barbara Warner, Arkansas State University


Sample Syllabi

Public Sector Leadership Theories Hirt, Syllabus.docx

-Dr. Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Administrative Leadership Warner, Syllabus.docx

-Dr. Barbara Warner, Arkansas State University



We gratefully acknowledge  the following individuals for granting us permission to post the content on this page.

Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, PhD
Professor, Political Science Department
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Barbara Warner, PhD
Assistant Professor, Political Science, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Arkansas State University