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Transformational public leadership is collaborative: Governments and public services have to change

Su Maddock (Based at Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK)

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Article publication date: 18 October 2011




This article seeks to advance the view that collaborative leadership can generate the relationships necessary to resolve the tensions between rising expectations, smaller budgets and more innovative solutions.


The article contends that, in the 1980s and 1990s, the public sector learned how to manage project and performance from the private sector, but more recently company executives have started to recognize that public‐sector leaders are more adept at managing complexity and broader governance than they are.


It is argued that many local public leaders are now more collaborative and much less insular and actively engaged in external partnerships as well as internal management.

Practical implications

The article claims that the transformative capacity of collaborative leaders could forge the foundations of a new public eco‐system at the local level and create a foundation for both a healthier economy and society if given endorsement by central government.

Social implications

Innovative leaders could radically improve services and new models for service provision and governance if they have more confidence in collaborative practice.


The article offers a place‐based model of leadership that reconnects elected politicians, communities and executive leaders, who through partnership and active collaboration reframe local and regional priorities and strategies.



Maddock, S. (2011), "Transformational public leadership is collaborative: Governments and public services have to change", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 19 No. 7, pp. 40-41.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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