The purpose of this paper is to identify unique values and competencies linked to private and public sector environments.
This study is based on critical incident interviews with a sample of senior leaders who had experience in both the public and private sectors.
The findings illustrate distinct public and private sector relevant competencies that reflect the unique values of their organizations and the character of the organization’s environments. This paper suggests a range of distinct public sector competencies including: managing competing interests, managing the political environment, communicating in a political environment, interpersonal motivational skills, adding value for clients, and impact assessment in decision-making. These were very different than those identified as critical for the private sector environment: business acumen, visionary leadership, marketing communication, market acumen, interpersonal communication, client service, and timely and opportunistic decision-making. Private sector competencies reflect private sector environments where goals need to be specifically defined and implemented in a timely manner related to making a profit and surviving in a competitive environment. Public sector competencies are driven by environments exhibiting more complex and unresolvable problems and the need to respond to conflicting publics and serving the public good while surviving in a political environment.
A key message of this study is that competency frameworks need to be connected to the organization’s unique environments and the values that managers are seeking to achieve. This is particularly important for public organizations that have more complex and changing environments.
Darling, S.D. and Cunningham, J.B. (2016), "Underlying values and competencies of public and private sector managers", Asian Education and Development Studies, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 371-387. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEDS-09-2015-0050Download as .RIS
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