Strategic Leadership in the Public Sector: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Strategic Leadership in the Public Sector

2nd Edition

By Paul Joyce


344 pages | 66 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2016-08-30
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In good times and bad, in the different situations of renewal, crisis, and chronic resource constraints, the strategic leadership of public services is crucial. Good leaders are essential in helping the public sector to adapt and solve ‘wicked’ problems, and they are also integral to the reform and modernization of public governance.

This new edition of Strategic Leadership in the Public Sector continues to provide insights into useful approaches and techniques for strategic leaders, looking at:

  • what is expected of leaders
  • competency frameworks
  • leadership theories
  • techniques and processes of strategic leadership
  • leading strategic change
  • the strategic state
  • emerging leadership challenges.

Replete with real-world case studies and examples, and including new material from the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe and India, plus an appendix with practical worksheets, the book gives students a truly international outlook on the subject and offers a clear understanding of the significance of leadership, strategic management and public services reform.

This textbook represents essential reading for postgraduate students on public management degrees and aspiring or current public managers.


'Paul Joyce demonstrates evidence that leaders need to be intelligent, social, and ethical. He re-frames strategic leadership substantially: not organizations, but governance; not followers, but citizens; not from the top, but as a mediator. This book will certainly affect the behaviour of many leaders.' - Geert Bouckaert, President of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium

'The question of leadership in the public sector has never been addressed in a publication with such clear methodological, bibliographic references. This book is a resource for academics and professionals, helping them to go beyond the generalities failing to seriously address this fundamental issue in our public organizations.' - Professor Robert Fouchet, Director of Publications at the International Institute of Administrative Sciences & Director of Research at the Institute of Public Management and Territorial Governance, Aix Marseille University, France

'A compelling read that is both academically rigorous and accessible. Paul Joyce’s reflections on leadership and strategy in the public sector provide new insights for policy makers and students alike.' -Dr Richard Boyle, Head of Research, Institute of Public Administration, Ireland

'Strategy is important but often filled with buzzwords and hype. This thoughtful book gives an excellent overview of relevant theories and practical tools for public sector managers as well as for postgraduate and executive Master's students in public administration and management.' - Åge Johnsen, Professor of Public Policy, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway

Table of Contents

Part I: Leading 1. What is Expected of Leaders 2. The Competent Leader 3. Leaders and Followers 4. Pragmatic Strategic Leaders Part II: Techniques 5. Strategic planning in the public sector 6. Linear strategic thinking 7. Strategic issue management 8. Strategic planning and management 9. Implementation 10. Monitoring 11. Evaluating Part III: Leading and the New Public Governance 12. The Strategic State 13. Economic growth, better regulation, and services Appendix 1. Strategy Workbook Appendix 2. ‘Silent Planning’ Exercise for SMG: Generating Ideas for Action

About the Author

Paul Joyce is Visiting Professor at Leeds Beckett University, UK, an Affiliated Researcher in the Department of Public Management at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Belgium and an Associate at the Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Masters in Public Management

Routledge Masters in Public Management is a series of original texts which offers students and practitioners a concise, coordinated and comprehensive learning resource.

The series benefits from a coordinated format, including the use of such pedagogical features as learning points, text boxes, annotated further reading and questions for further discussion. Each volume in the series stands in its own right as a textbook which is essential reading for a particular module in a public management degree scheme. Taken together, the series offers an integrated and up-to-date collection of core textbooks and supplementary reading that can provide the backbone of any student’s study of public management – whether based upon an MBA or MPA programme, a stand-alone course or through a period of individual study. Taking an expert look at an increasingly important and complex discipline, this is a groundbreaking series.

The resources represented in this series go beyond the “toolkit” or “recipe” format which does not reflect the way working in the public sector actually happens. Rather, the series encourages the reader to develop the core managerial skills and critical thinking required to excel in this discipline.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Strategic Planning
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / General