1st Edition

The Facilitative Leader in City Hall Reexamining the Scope and Contributions

Edited By James H. Svara Copyright 2009
    432 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Two forms of local government are prevalent in American cities. The style of leadership found in mayor-council cities draws attention to the mayor and frequently involves power struggles as mayors attempt to assert control over city councils and city staff. However, the leadership of the mayor in council-manager cities can be less visible and easily overlooked. The Facilitative Leader in City Hall: Reexamining the Scope and Contributions boldly suggests a collaborative model for leadership that identifies what is unique in the council-manager setting. Mayors acting as facilitative leaders can successfully guide their cities drawing on the contributions of the council and the manager rather than attempting to drive them.

    Scholar James H. Svara builds on his work in the 1994 book Facilitative Leadership in Local Government, and provides a more critical analysis of the mayor’s office in a wider variety of cities. This book examines the model of facilitative leadership and the importance of vision in explaining the nature of mayoral leadership and its effect on the performance of city government. It analyzes responses from a 2001 national survey of city council members and examines the findings of fourteen case studies of mayors who have served in recent years. The book features ten case studies from council-manager cities, three from mayor-council cities, and one from Denmark that highlights the importance of culture as well as formal structure in understanding leadership style.

    This book reexamines facilitative leadership across forms of government and addresses two questions: can mayors without separate formal powers be effective leaders? And alternatively, can mayors with formal powers provide more effective leadership by using facilitative approaches? The unexpected answer to both questions is "yes." As cities face the challenge of adapting to new approaches to governance, all mayors need to lead with facilitation and vision.

    Conceptualizing the Facilitative Model
    Reexamining Models of Mayoral Leadership, J.H. Svara

    Exploring Conceptual Issues
    Defining Facilitative Leadership: Lawrence, Kansas, J. Nalbandian and S. Negrón
    Facilitation in its ‘Natural’ Setting: Middelfart, Denmark, R. Berg and U. Kjaer
    Mixing Models of Leadership in a Mayor–Council City: Yorkville, Illinois, C. Wood, G. Gabris, and B. Olson

    Facilitation in the Council-Manager Form
    Switching Roles from Administrator to Mayor:Winston-Salem, North Carolina, K.A. Klase
    Guiding Change in a First Ring Suburb: Plano, Texas, D.J. Watson and A.C. Schortgen
    Commitment to Engagement: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, V.M. Upshaw
    Building a Town and Its Institutions: Midway, Florida, Y. Zhang and K. Yang
    Expanding The Scope of Policy Leadership Through Networks: Grand Rapids, Michigan, E.S. Zeemering and R.J. Durham
    From Conflict to Cooperation: Auburn, Alabama, W.L. Hassett
    Partial Leadership and Alternating Styles: Stockholm, California, R. Benedetti and S. Lambuth
    Charting Progress of the Empowered Mayor: Cincinnati, Ohio, J.T. Spence
    Beating the Odds or Changing the Odds in a Large City: Phoenix, Arizona, J. Denhardt and M. Vanacour

    Facilitation in the Mayor-Council Form
    Building Trust and Developing a Vision: Akron, Ohio, R.W. Cox III
    The Power to Persuade: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, C.M. Wheeland


    Advancing Facilitative Leadership in Practice, J.H. Svara


    Associate Professor Department of Political Science James H Svara (Arizona State University, Phoenix, USA University of North Carolina Arizona State University, Phoenix, USA Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona) (Edited by)