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Competencies for effective public middle managers

Iman Sudirman (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung, Indonesia)
Joko Siswanto (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung, Indonesia)
Joe Monang (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung, Indonesia) (BP2D Provinsi Jawa Barat, Bandung, Indonesia)
Atya Nur Aisha (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung, Indonesia) (Telkom University, Bandung, Indonesia)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 14 June 2019

Issue publication date: 14 June 2019

1215

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate a set of competencies that characterizes effective public middle managers.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 20 middle managers from several public agencies were interviewed in person using the behavioral event interview technique. In all, 80 stories were deductively coded based on the existing National Civil Service Agency’s managerial competency dictionary and inductively examined through a thematic analysis to discover new themes.

Findings

This study’s findings suggest that communication, organizing, information seeking, analytical thinking and planning competencies are common competencies, but essential for effective public middle managers. Conversely, achievement orientation, leadership, directiveness, persuasiveness and innovation are competencies that characterize effective public middle managers and distinguish them from average performers. In addition, some other new competencies inductively obtained using a thematic analysis are also important for effective public managers: adherence to laws and regulations, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and technical competencies (technology management, human resource management and financial management).

Research limitations/implications

The research was undertaken using 20 samples divided into superior and average performers; thus, it is limited to developing competency levels to new competencies.

Originality/value

This study identifies the competencies necessary for effective middle managers within the public sector context. Conducting behavioral event interviews with two distinct groups provides empirically unique behavioral evidence of competencies that characterize effective public middle managers and enables to discover new competencies.

Keywords

Citation

Sudirman, I., Siswanto, J., Monang, J. and Aisha, A.N. (2019), "Competencies for effective public middle managers", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 38 No. 5, pp. 421-439. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-12-2018-0369

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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