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Public leadership and strategies of Czech municipalities during the COVID-19 pandemic – municipal activism vs municipal passivism

Michal Plaček (Ambis College, Prague, Czech Republic)
David Špaček (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic)
František Ochrana (Charles University, Praha, Czech Republic)

International Journal of Public Leadership

ISSN: 2056-4929

Article publication date: 13 August 2020

Issue publication date: 4 February 2021




This paper discusses the role of public leadership and the strategic response of local governments to the external shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors examine the typical Czech response with regard to how the leadership of municipalities in the Czech Republic responded to this extremely negative external stimulus.


The authors use qualitative research methods for this investigation. They have chosen the case study method (see Yin, 2009; Stake, 1995; Klonoski, 2013). The general case is the Czech Republic. Mini-cases consist of municipalities from the Znojmo region, municipalities of the Central Bohemian region and the municipal districts in the capital city of Prague. Furthermore, the method of participant observation was used.


The authors’ analysis of the problem of local government responses to the pandemic crisis shows that municipal leaders responded with a variety of (non-)adaptation strategies. It appears that certain framework factors influenced the various local governments' behavior.


The article examines the strategic behavior of Czech municipal leaders regarding the pandemic crisis based on the observation of the reactions of local governments in the Czech Republic to the pandemic crisis and strives to define their basic strategies.



Funding: The paper was prepared within the project of the Czech Science Foundation ‘Alternative service delivery arrangements’ (GA19-06020S).


Plaček, M., Špaček, D. and Ochrana, F. (2021), "Public leadership and strategies of Czech municipalities during the COVID-19 pandemic – municipal activism vs municipal passivism", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 108-117.



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