Leading in the shadows: understanding administrative leadership in the context of COVID-19 pandemic management in Bangladesh
International Journal of Public Leadership
Article publication date: 4 September 2020
Issue publication date: 4 February 2021
This article aims to examine the COVID-19 pandemic management system in Bangladesh and the role played by various bureaucratic leaders both at national and local levels. Particularly, attention is paid to the interface between the health sector and administrative leaders. The role played by front-line public servants and their superiors are also examined. Also, an attempt is made to encapsulate lessons learned from the crisis and the ways to prepare for the next one.
This study is based on secondary data and observation by the author as well as insights from the author's 36 years of experience in the Bangladesh bureaucracy. Administrative leadership is conceptualized as bureaucrats appointed to administrative positions and discharging administrative duties both at the national and local levels.
A disfunctionality in the COVID-19 management system is observed, which is a direct consequence of the administrative leaders' preference for leading from behind. Some structural constraints in the system are also uncovered.
It draws on observations, experiences and insights from the author's long association with the Bangladesh administrative system. Its intended users are researchers and practitioners of public leadership.
Alam, M.A. (2021), "Leading in the shadows: understanding administrative leadership in the context of COVID-19 pandemic management in Bangladesh", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 95-107. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPL-06-2020-0050
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