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Governors: Authority and Leadership in Public Management

Define and distinguish between authority and leadership. Discuss the role of leadership in the management of public agencies. Differentiate between transactional and transformational leadership. Explain alternative leadership styles. Explain the role of accountability in leadership. Explain the importance of communication in public management. Describe factors that facilitate and impede effective communication. Explain the flow of communication in organization. Cite examples of federal government efforts to deal with communication issue. Define and explain the role of an electronic government.

Leadership: The Chief Executive, the Bureaucracy, and the Search for Accountability
Leadership is the exercise of authority, whether formal or informal, in directing and coordinating the work of others. The best leaders are those who can simultaneously exercise both kinds of leadership: the formal, based on the authority of rank or office, and the informal, based on the willingness of others to give service to a person with special qualities of authority. There is a difference between leadership and management: management involves power (formal authority) bestowed on the occupant of a position by a higher organizational authority. Leadership, in contrast, cannot be bestowed by a higher authority but must be earned.

Communication Flows in Administration: The Fuzzing of Values
Formal groups are officially created by a larger organization, usually for the purpose of accomplishing tasks. Employees are assigned to formal groups based on their position in the organization. There are two basic types of formal groups. First, there are command groups that are specified in a formal organization chart. These include both supervisors and the people who report directly to them. Groups of this type are the essential building blocks of organizational structure. They vary from a mail room staff to the employees of a small branch office to an entire headquarters staff. Second, there are task groups, formally sanctioned job-oriented units with short lives. Here you will find employees who work together to complete a particular project or task and then are disbanded. Any ad hoc ("for this") task force or temporary ("for this") committee is an example. Informal groups are made up of individuals who have spontaneously developed relationships and patterns of interactions in work situations. Included here are employees who associate voluntarily, primarily to satisfy social needs. Although informal groups at work may have goals and tasks (for example, ethnic support groups, bowling clubs, and luncheon speaker groups), their primary reasons for existence are friendship, affiliation, and shared interests. Although informal groups seldom are formally sanctioned, they are extremely important to the working of organizations. Their norms, values, beliefs, and expectations have significant impacts on work-related behavior and attitudes. Chester I. Barnard in The Functions of the Executive has provided the classic statement on the vital significance of informal groups: Informal organization, although comprising the processes of society which are unconscious as contrasted with those of formal organization which are conscious, has two important classes of effects: (a) it establishes certain attitudes, understandings, customs, habits, institutions; and (b) it creates the condition under which formal organization may arise. Groups in organizations of all types are of high importance and interest to students and practitioners of organizational behavior, both for what happens in them (and why) and what happens between them.

Compose what advice might a former governor give a new governor about being governor.

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This answer is formatted in a letter from the former governor to the new governor.

To: Our Newly-Elected Governor
From: Your Out-Going Governor
Re: An Open Letter to My Successor in the Governor's Mansion:

Congratulations on your recent election to our state's highest office! I believe that I should pass on some of my "wisdom" in the hope that it might help you in your new position. First, the dictionary defines leadership as" the act of leading; guidance; direction." (dictionary.com) In some instances you will be able to guide your stakeholders, legislators and employees. At other times you will be forced to direct those same people to make decisions that are for the benefit of our states' citizens because you know it is the right thing to do. Those decisions are hard to make, but you were elected by our voters to represent and lead our state. ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses authority and leadership within public management.

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