Contextual Conditions for New Public Leadership
The analysis of the literature and the research findings which is described in the ‘Selfless Leader’ offered an insight in relation to potential dynamic interrelationships between the internal contexts of collective leadership. Each of these are illustrated in the figure above.
The word ‘context’ stems from the latin word ‘contextus’ which comprise the two words con (‘together’) and texere (‘to weave’). It describes the circumstances that form the setting for an event (i.e. leadership), and helps understanding. In this sense, context is not something that is directly controllable but one that does have a clear impact on intentions. It is not simply good enough to identify the contexts. What is also needed is the ability to identify the contextual conditions that either help or hinder the development of public leadership through collective endeavours.
The external (PESTLE) context coexists with, and influences, the six internal contexts.
The first internal ‘P’ is that of principles. As a given, principles are non negotiable as is the end result of those principles, that of creating public value. This is illustrated at the bottom-left of the internal context illustrated above. The importance of principles as a contextual given is highlighted alongside the physical (external) operating environment for public leaders, namely the political, economic, social, technical, legal and environmental contextual conditions and the paradigmatic (internal) environment that determines “how we do business here”. There is no direct influence over either of the external physical conditions or the internal paradigmatic conditions, certainly in the short to medium term. Everything in between the principles and paradigm of the internal context and the physical conditions of the external context and the public value outcomes is not a given and is subject at all times to the creativity and interpretation of all of us.
Dynamic interrelationships exist between the internal contexts of collective leadership which are helpful in identifying appropriate values and behaviours of leaders and leadership with seven possible combinations. Each of the seven combinations is described in terms of the leadership behaviour that each contextual dimension seeks to influence and the wider leadership values that describe each such dimension in terms of its leadership outcome. This is illustrated to the right in which both the first and the third act as a link with respectively the preceding and the following domains. Read More …