More (good) leaders for the public sector

Beverly Alimo‐Metcalfe (University of Leeds, Leeds, UK and Leadership Research and Development Ltd, Leeds, UK)
John Alban‐Metcalfe (Leadership Research and Development Ltd, Leeds, UK)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Publication date: 1 June 2006



This paper aims to describe the development of a wholly new model of transformational leadership and its applications in practice.


The paper provides a description of a wholly new, inclusive model of transformational leadership and the way in which it can be applied in practice, in the context of embedding good leadership within the culture of an organisation and ensuring “best practice” in 360‐degree feedback.


The paper finds that the Transformational Leadership Questionnaire (TLQ)™, which is both gender‐ and ethnicity‐inclusive measure of “nearby” leadership, differs fundamentally from the kind of “heroic” models that have emanated from the USA and which have dominated the literature. Comparative data are presented of the mean scores on the TLQ, based on direct reports' ratings of their line manager, across a wide range of public sector organisations, including local government, the NHS, schools, and two central government agencies. Patterns emerge in areas of strength and developmental need, and the implications of these findings are discussed in terms of the impact of leadership behaviour and its effect on the psychological safety and well‐being at work of staff.

Practical implications

The following needs are identified: ‐ to adopt a model of leadership that is relevant to the needs of organisations in the twenty‐first century; to embed good leadership practices at all levels; to ensure that, when 360‐degree feedback is given, it is done so in a way that conforms to the principles of ‘best practice’.


The following model of “nearby” leadership that is described is relevant to leaders at all levels in public and private sector organisations. It points to the consequences of poor leadership behaviour, and the need for the adoption of a model of leadership that is relevant to the needs of the twenty‐first century.



Alimo‐Metcalfe, B. and Alban‐Metcalfe, J. (2006), "More (good) leaders for the public sector", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 293-315.

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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