Making sense of public administrative leadership in the Republic of Ireland: an interpretive research project
This research is a research into the perceptions of senior public administrative leaders in the Republic of Ireland regarding their own leadership at the time when Ireland was facing a significant socio-economic crisis. The research examines the senior Irish administrative leaders’ own perspectives on how leadership should be exercised, and explores how they perceived the environment they were in and on how they made sense of their own leadership responses to the perceived environment. The research takes the Republic of Ireland as a national case study, and focuses on the public administrative leadership, which is the leadership of the implementation of public policies, rather than on the political leadership, which is the leadership of the selection of public policies (Montesquieu 1748, Ostrom 1973, Osborne and Plastrik 1997, Alimo-Metcalfe and Alban-Metcalfe 2003, Van Wart and Dicke 2008). The research is preluded by a conceptual discussion on leadership, morality, ethics and values (Chau 2007b); a qualitative research on leadership values in the Irish public services (Chau 2008); and a quantitative research on public service delivery perspectives in Ireland (Chau 2009). The research interviews were conducted amongst the top two echelons of public administrative leaders, with participation drawn from the Secretary General or Assistant Secretary levels of the Irish civil service, or their equivalent amongst the State Agencies.
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