Changing roles and competencies for effective public sector leadership, AD Silong, M Mohamad, Z Hassan, I Ariff

Tags: Jurnal Pengurusan Awam, leadership roles, Public Sector Leadership, competencies, Abu Daud, subordinates, organisation, Appelbaum, effective leadership, Public Sector, performance, leaders, Development Dimensions International, Paese, interpersonal roles, Malaysia, informational roles, communication skills, Kepimpinan, strategic leadership, Mintzberg dan Yukl, perkhidmatan awam, di, traditional roles, change driver, INTRODUCTION Mintzberg, Captivator Empowering, Negotiator Yukl, Captivator, Mohd Tap Salleh, Wiley Buckingham, New York, Research skills, collaborative leadership, National Workshop, Leadership Competencies, performance feedback, good relationship, Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam, manager, Public Service Department Malaysia, public relations, MOBILISER, Merujuk kepada Mintzberg
Content: CHANGING ROLES AND COMPETENCIES OF EFFECTIVE PUBLIC SECTOR LEADERSHIP
Dr. Abu Daud Silong, Datin Madinah Mohamad Dr. Zaharah Hassan and Dr. Ismi Ariff abstract artikel ini membincangkan mengenai kepimpinan secara efektif dan perubahan peranan/tugas anggota-anggota perkhidmatan awam. Justeru, Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam haruslah mengambil perhatian terhadap perubahan-perubahan yang akan dilakukan bagi memastikan kepimpinan yang berkesan di dalam sektor awam dengan menyediakan pegawai-pegawai yang berkebolehan dan dapat memimpin secara efektif. Merujuk kepada Mintzberg (1973), terdapat tiga kumpulan di dalam peranan pengurusan iaitu hubungan sesama anggota perkhidmatan awam, informasi di antara satu sama lain dan kebolehan di dalam membuat keputusan. Kepimpinan di dalam perkhidmatan awam memfokuskan kepada dua bentuk sumber rujukan pengurusan yang telah di gambarkan oleh Mintzberg dan Yukl. Kepimpinan secara umumnya mementingkan integriti, visi dan inspirasi. Kajian ini merujuk kepada pengalaman dan maklum bolas yang telah di terima oleh penyelidik di dalam bengkel kepimpinan secara efektif dalam perkhidmatan awam. Kesimpulannya, kepimpinan di dalam sektor awam memerlukan perubahan yang berterusan dalam memastikan ianya sentiasa relevan dan efektif. Kajian ini mendapati perubahan yang dilakukan adalah untuk menyesuaikan dengan bentuk dan kompetensi kepimpinan yang baru. Data yang telah diterima adalah di dalam bentuk kualitatif analisis. Secara tidak langsung, kajian ini juga dapat mengenal pasti Development Dimensions International (DDI's) iaitu peranan-peranan dan lima belas kompetensi bagi kepimpinan Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam pada masa hadapan.
INTRODUCTION Mintzberg (1973) studied the nature of managerial work and was the first to introduce the concept of 'managerial role'. He identified ten roles of managers, divided into three groups: interpersonal roles, information roles and decisional roles. The three interpersonal roles are concerned with interpersonal relationship. Thus in the figurehead role, the manager represents the organisation in all matters of formality, as a symbol both inside and outside the organisation. In the liaison role, the manager interacts with peers and people outside the organisation. The leader role indicates the relationship between the manager and employee (Figure 1). The three informational roles are primarily concerned with the information aspects of managerial work. In the monitor role, the manager gathers information and in the disseminator role, the manager disseminates information that relates to communication from top-down such as values and ideas for the organisation. In the role of the spokesperson, the manager disseminates information to others outside the organisation (Figure 1).
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There are four decisional roles performed by managers. In the entrepreneur role, the manager brings about change. In the disturbance handler role, the manager handles threats to the organisation such as in cases of emergencies, crises and contingencies that just appear and need to be handled. In the resource-allocator role, the manager decides where the organisation will focus its efforts. It includes such activities as delegating, designing the structure of work, supervising and authorizing relevant decisions. In the negotiator role the manager negotiates on behalf of the organisation with people inside the organisation, various stakeholders and clients (Figure 1). Although the studies focused on managerial roles, these roles are also extended to the understanding of leadership roles performed by heads of organisations. The terms leader and manager are often used interchangeably. In actual practice, the two concepts often overlap heavily. They share many common features such as both are oriented towards better performance of the organisation. But they do represent a difference in emphasis. Leadership is paying more attention to the development of attributes that focus on integrity, vision and the ability to inspire. Management puts more emphasis on formal systems, processes and incentives. Leadership is also more about informal influence, that is, how to mobilise people through value and vision. So when leadership roles in organisation are discussed, it is often referred to as Minztberg's managerial role model. These are the traditional or operational roles perform by leaders. Thus, in the interpersonal roles the leader defines the relationship between him/her and the subordinates. On the other hand, in the informational roles the leader is primarily concerned with receiving Informational roles · Monitor · Disseminator · Spokesmen
Interpersonal roles · Figurehead · Leader · Liaison Decisional roles · Entrepreneur · Disturbance handler · Resource allocator Negotiator Figure 1: Mintzberg's Managerial Roles
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and collecting information, disseminates information and becomes the spokesmen to the outside world. Finally, in the decision-making roles, the leader makes the decisions about his/her organisation (Figure 1).
If Mintzberg introduced the classification of managerial roles, Yukl (1994) proposed a related concept of dimensions of managerial behaviour. He described 15 dimensions relevant to managerial activities. Yukl provided more detailed classification than Mintzberg's managerial role, but the two classifications have a number of similarities. The comparison of the two classifications is given in Table 1.
Mintzberg's Managerial Roles 1. Figurehead 2. Negotiator
Yukl's Dimensions of Managerial Behaviours Representing
3. Spokesmen 4. Leader 5. Liaison 6. Monitor 7. Disseminator 8. Entrepreneur 9. Resource Allocator 10. Disturbance handler
Supporting Consulting Delegating Recognising Rewarding Motivating Managing conflict and team building Networking Monitoring Informing Planning and organising problem solving
Table 1: Comparison between Mintzberg's Managerial Roles and Yukl's Dimensions of Managerial Behaviours Source: Yukl, 1994 (p. 68)
Yukl (1994, p. 69) described the 15 dimensions of managerial behaviours as follows: i. Planning and organising - determining long-term objectives and strategies, allocating resources according to priorities, determining how to use personnel and resources, and determining how to use improve coordination, productivity and effectiveness of the organisation.
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ii Problem solving - identifying and analysing work-related problems and finding solutions iii Clarifying roles and objectives - how managers inform subordinates of their duties, responsibilities, task objectives, regulations and what is expected of them. iv Informing - disseminating relevant information about decisions, plans and activities to subordinates that need to do their work, providing them written materials and documents, and answering request for technical information. v Monitoring - gathering information about work activities and conditions affecting the work, checking on the progress and quality of the work, evaluating the performance of the individuals and the organisational unit. vi Motivating and inspiring - using techniques to generate enthusiasm and commitment for the work. vii Consulting - checking with subordinates before making changes that affect them, encouraging suggestions for improvement, inviting participation in decision making, incorporating ideas and suggestions of others in decisions. viii Delegating - allowing subordinates to have substantial responsibility and discretion in carrying out work activities, handling problems, and making important decisions. ix Supporting - acting friendly and considerate, being patient and helpful, showing sympathy and support when subordinate is upset or anxious, listening to complaints and problems. x Developing and mentoring - providing coaching and helpful career advice, doing things to facilitate a subordinate's skills acquisition, Professional Development and career development. xi Managing conflict and team building - facilitating constructive resolution of conflict, and encouraging cooperation, teamwork, and identification with work unit. xii Networking - socialising informally, developing contacts with people who are a source of information and support, and maintaining contacts through periodic interaction, including visits, telephone calls, correspondence and attendance at meetings and social events. xiii Recognising - providing praise and recognition for effective performance, significant achievements and special contributions, expressing appreciation for someone's contributions and special effort. xiv Rewarding - rewarding effective performance of subordinates such as pay increase, promotion and special mentions. xv Representation - act on behalf of the organisation.
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Mintzberg and Yukl analysed and described the more traditional roles of managers or leaders. Recently new leadership roles are being suggested and discussed. There are indications that across the globe, the nature of work and leadership roles in the private and public sector are changing drastically. The Hay Group (Kenmore, 2008) identified different behaviours and competencies related to the new roles. In the UK for example, there is a shift of leadership roles from technical or operational roles at one end of the spectrum to an advisory role at the other end. In the business environment there is a need to shift operational roles to strategic leadership roles (Appelbaum and Paese, n.d.). Contrasted with operational leaders, whose primary role is to manage day-to-day business operations, leaders who transition from operational to strategic leadership must assume a variety of key roles to achieve long-term strategic business results in pursuit of profitable sales growth, increased market share, implementation of change, and the strategic alliances that will help to achieve these goals (p. 1). Appelbaum and Paese further emphasised that: A taxonomy is needed that defines and helps to clarify the nature of these roles and transition leaders must make to perform these roles. This in turn will help better prepare leaders to be successful and to provide a framework for their development (p. 1). Appelbaum and Paese (n.d.) discussed leadership roles transiting from operational to the strategic level. This "represents one of the most critical and professional transitions a leader can take" (p.1) Appelbaum and Paese described nine key DDI's (Development Dimensions International) leadership strategic roles as navigator, strategist, entrepreneur, mobiliser, talent advocate, captivator, global thinker, change driver and enterprise guardian. The nine roles were identified based on more than 30 years of research and practice in the field of executive assessment by DDI's psychologists. i Navigator - clearly and quickly works through the complexity of key issues, problems and opportunities that affect actions (p. 2). ii Strategist - develops a long-range of actions or set of goals to align with the organisation vision (p. 2). iii Entrepreneur - identifies and exploits opportunities for new products, services, and markets (p.2). iv Mobiliser - proactively builds and aligns stakeholders, capabilities, and resources for getting things done quickly and achieving complex objectives (p. 2).
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v Talent advocate - attracts, develops, and retains talent to ensure that people with the right skills and motivations to meet business needs are in the right place at the right time vi Captivator - builds passion and commitment toward a common goal (P. 3 ). vii Global thinker - integrates information from all sources to develop well-informed, diverse perspective that can be used to optimise organisational performance (p. 3). viii Change driver - creates an environment that embraces change, makes change happen - even if the change is radical - and helps others accept new ideas (p. 3). ix Enterprise guardian - ensures shareholder value through courageous decision-making that supports enterprise - or unit-wide interests (P. 3 ). Appelbaum and Paese also made comparisons of the new leadership roles with various models described in the literature such as Covey, Belbin, Gallup and Mintzberg (Table 2). The Table highlights corresponding leadership roles as compared to the DDI's leadership roles. These roles were considered not as comprehensive as described by DDI's nine leadership roles.
NEW ROLES
COVEY'
BELBIN "
GALLUP i" MINTZBERG iv
Navigator
Formulation Disseminator Monitor
Strategist
Pathfinding
Strategic thinking
Entrepreneur
Plant
Creativity Entrepreneur
Mobiliser
Aligning
Company worker, Complete-finisher Activator
Liaison
Talent advocate
Empowering Resource investigator
Leader
Captivator
Empowering, modeling
Stimulator, Persuasion Spokesperson
Global thinker
Chairman
Change driver
Shaper
Enterprise guardian
Monitor-evaluator
Disturbance handler
Table 2: New Leadership Roles Compared to Similar Roles Defined in Leadership Models Source: Appelbaum and Paese (n.d.)
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In discussing DDI's nine roles, Appelbaum and Paese also refer to them as "new roles for leaders". Among them are: Create a New Mindset (Change Driver); Leader as a Coach, and Develop Employees (Talent Advocate); Communicate Effectively (Captivator); Manage Boundaries (Navigator, Global Thinker); and Making the Transition (Change Driver) (Hornsby and Warkoczeski, 2000). Conger and Benjamin (1999) described the need of future leaders: "Strategic opportunists (Strategist); Globally Adept (Global Thinker), Keen Data Analysts (Navigator), and Learning Evangelists (Captivator). Kenmore (2008) discussed the needs for defining new roles and competencies for leaders in private and public sector. He stressed that: To be successful in these [new] roles, leaders will need to adopt a new set of behaviors and competencies..... They will require very high influencing skills, political awareness and leadership styles which are both collaborative and engaging. These will be matched with the ability to articulate a cohesive long-term vision, a high drive for results and the skills to effectively hold disparate groups to account for delivery (whom they do not directly or even indirectly manage) (Kenmore, p. 1). LEADERSHIP COMPETENCIES Generally, the term competencies are closely related to ability which means ability to do or a special talent or in a work situation as being qualified to perform a task. Some definitions of competencies are: Competencies are defined as a set of behaviours patterns that can contribute to effective performance in the organisation. It is also defined as clusters of employee behaviours that generate superior performance. Yet another definition views competencies as underlying characteristics of a person that distinguishes outstanding performance (Manogran, 2000). Appelbaum and Paese indicated that roles described the "what" of leadership and competencies describe the "how" of leadership. Competencies are important to leadership success. Competencies can be thought of as the underlying skills or behavioural Building Blocks inherent in the situational-based roles....competencies describe behaviourally specific skills and abilities that impact effectiveness in those leadership contexts (n.d., p.5).
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The Public Service Department (n.d.) reported that competencies refer to: Skills, knowledge and personal attributes required for competent work performance for each job category. The competencies required in an organisation cover not only managerial and other technical or functional skills but include individual personal competence (p. 40). ...also refers to the ability to perform activities within an occupation or function, according to the standards that are expected (p.41). The report summarized that competencies include: i. Having the ability and attributes for effective job performance and being able to fulfill job roles and expectations. ii. Being able to perform to expected standards. iii. Ability to respond to the dynamics of actual work environment. Competency can be gained through education, training, experience or natural ability. For public sector leadership they require certain competencies to perform their jobs well. Based on research conducted by PSD (Public Service Department Malaysia, n.d.), the researchers had identified various competencies needed by various levels of PSD officers (Table 3). i. The Middle Level Officers identified six clusters of competencies for their development that include professional competence, interpersonal and communication skills, managing people, personal effectiveness, leadership and management skills, management of financial and resources. ii. The Senior Management Officers identified seven clusters as important competencies for their development that include strategic planning and management, interpersonal and communication skills, expertise and professional, leadership, personal effectiveness, managing people and managing of financial and other resources. iii. The Top Level Officers identified six clusters of competencies necessary for their development and these are expertise and professional competence, personal effectiveness, managing people, interpersonal and communication skills, strategic planning and management leadership, management of financial and other resources.
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COMPETENCIES Top level officers Expertise and professional competence Personal effectiveness Managing people Interpersonal and communication skills Strategic planning and management Leadership Management of financial and other resources Senior level officers Strategic planning and management Interpersonal and communication skills Expertise and professional competencies Leadership Personal effectiveness Managing people Management of financial and resources Middle level officers Professional competence Interpersonal and communication skills Managing people Personal effectiveness Leadership and management skills Management of financial and other resources
SCORES (NEED FOR DEVELOPMENT) 4.86 4.21 4.20 4.09 4.09 4.08 3.75 4.68 4.53 4.51 4.41 4.40 4.31 4.31 4.31 4.24 4.22 4.20 4.18 3.99
Table 3: Competencies Needed According to Various Levels of Public Service Department Officers
THE NEED FOR RESEARCH ON CHANGING LEADERSHIP ROLES AND COMPETENCIES In Malaysia, there is a lot of awareness and discussion on the need of changing leadership roles in the public sector. These discussions were highlighted in a two-day "National Workshop on Traditions of Effective Public Sector Leadership, 13-14 December 2007 at Putrajaya (Tam, 2007; Xavier, 2007; Zainul Ariff; S. Omar and M. Kahiru Farhan, 2007). In a highly diverse society such as Malaysia, leadership using the conventional approaches which is top-down and hierarchical in nature are not very suitable. They require an "unconventional and a more collaborative approach which involves a major mindset change among key players in how they view and deal with these complex problems" (Tam, 2007, p.1).
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The discussion indicated that the public service in Malaysia requires a shift in the practice of leadership from the traditional, individual approach to a more innovative, collaborative approach. Summing this sentiment of change, the Director-General of Public Service Malaysia, said that "business is not as usual"; leaders in the public sector have to change to enhance quality public service delivery (Ismail Adam, 2007). In discussing leadership roles in the Malaysian Public Sector, Tam (2007) envisioned the new leadership as collaborative in nature as compared to the traditional roles which are hierarchical in nature (Table 3). In hierarchical or traditional leadership, the leader sets goals, explains plans and strategies, organises and coordinates activities, motivates efforts, and evaluates performance of members. In short, the rote of the traditional leader is to take unilateral and decisive action (p. 3). ...Collaborative leaders have to work across boundaries involving multi-sectoral participants with different and often conflicting values and beliefs as found in highly diverse society (p. 4). The traditional paradigm of public sector leadership strength is focused on command and control behaviours. In this type of leadership there is a clear distinction of roles between leaders and followers. Under the traditional leadership role, the relationship between leaders and followers is based on the leader's authority and the subservience of the followers to that authority. Thus, what has been decided by the public sector and how it has been done is seldom questioned. Nevertheless, things are changing. In a knowledge-intensive society, this classical leadership is losing ground. Relationship between leaders and followers is changing fast. Authority is no more complete in the present situation; hierarchies have been lowered or even broken down in many public organisations. There is also a range of social changes, including more mobility and job opportunity, and in today's public sector, leadership needs to get commitment from their followers, not just compliance. Thus, they need to look beyond their authority to influence their followers.
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Leadership Behaviours Roles Goal setting Influencing Decision-making Process Motivation
Traditional Leadership
Collaborative Leadership
Command and control
Collaborative roles that include as facilitator, communicator, problem-solver, team leader, coach, change agent, model, motivator
Set goals, explains, plans, strategise
Subordinates together with the leader define problems; establish the vision, mission and making strategies.
Rely more on formal power (position) to influence others
Besides formal power, also relies on informal power - rely on credibility, integrity and exemplary attributes
Takes unilateral action
Take a team approach that sustains healthy interactions among subordinates
Emphasize on tasks
Focus on process and relationships
Depends more on entrinsic motivation, that is externally driven through rewards and punishments
Provide intrinsic kind of motivation, where subordinates are given recognition for their efforts
Effectiveness
Less effective
More effective
Table 4: Changing Roles of Malaysian Public Sector Leadership
In the traditional leadership hierarchy, leaders were considered to be very few people in higher positions within the hierarchy. In the public sector, this often involved people in the premier service and the special grade officers. Their role is more focused on command and control kind of behaviours. But in the new leadership model, leadership involves all levels that also include the middle and the junior levels though their roles are different form each other in the hierarchy. Based on this new hierarchy, the leadership levels in the public sector involve not only the top positions, but also the middle level leadership, and the junior level leadership. Their roles are more collaborative in nature that includes being the facilitator, communicator, problem-solver, team leader, coach, change agent and motivator. Other differences between traditional and collaborative roles of leaders include the way the leaders set organisational goats, influencing others, making decisions, utilizing work process and motivate others. The evidence is that as leaders shift to more collaborative roles they become more effective (Table 4).
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As hierarchies are being reduced and information and technology is developing, the public sector environment requires some competencies different from the conventional management ones. Government is finding that managerial skills and qualities that had been given importance during the last two decades or so are not sufficient to cope with future challenges. Hence the effort to reidentify skills and qualities required for the public sector. In the face of new challenges, how would the public sector react? Well it can go on the same way as before or adapt itself or it can also be proactive in its response. Part of this proactiveness is by defining new roles and competencies for the public sector. In the old leadership paradigm, the leader exerts much more authority. In actual fact the leader is playing more the roles of manager as emphasised by Mintzberg and Yukl. In the past, officers in the PSD often play the roles of managers rather than leadership roles. Moqvist emphasised that most countries "has been confronted with the need to review skills and competencies it needs in the public sector (2002, 91).... Competency is closely related to the nature of leadership and work" (2002, 100). The discussion from the two-day workshop also point to the necessity of identifying new roles and competencies for the Malaysian public sector leadership.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Empirical data are needed to identify the changing leadership roles and competencies in the twenty-first century. Thus an initial exploratory research was conducted involving participants who attended the workshop as respondents. It employed the qualitative approach of using open-ended questionnaires distributed in the workshop for data collection. A total of 39 questionnaires were completed by participants. The workshop was attended by 107 officers from Public Sector agencies. Based on the results of the completed questionnaires, the data were coded and then analysed qualitatively according to themes that emerged from the data. The DDI's leadership roles were used as the basis for classifying the roles.
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS
The traditional leadership roles are strong in command and control related behaviours. The leader unilaterally makes decisions, sets goals, explains plans and strategies, organizes and coordinates work activities. Moving to the future, a shift is necessary where leaders collaborate with others and adopt a more open approach. Based on the research findings, is there evidence to support this argument?
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Leadership Roles Based on the data from the responses of the workshop participants, the findings indicated that there is a strong need for changing leadership rotes in the public sector and developing competencies for future leaders. There was a strong response which required public sector leadership to change from the traditional leadership of command and control to the more collaborative behaviours that operate in a more supportive work environment. After analysing the data, three major leadership roles are identified. These are: i. Leadership rotes focusing on engaging others in the work process; ii. Leadership roles focusing on performance and excellence; and iii. Leadership roles focusing on ethics and values. Roles of Engaging Others Some of the key behaviours identified by the respondents are for leaders to engage the followers in planning, implementing and monitoring work activities. In performing their new leadership roles, the respondents indicated that a leader has to be a global thinker, talent advocate, mobiliser and captivator. As a global thinker, a leader must be receptive to diverse perspectives and therefore must be open-minded, a good listener, cooperative, communicative, accept opinions from others including subordinates and focus on team work. The leader also must be a strong talent advocate by recognising staff achievement, be able to take care of subordinates, guide subordinates, listen to their views and comments, delegate, be a model to subordinates and defend subordinates. Finally in engaging others, the leaders also have to play the role of mobiliser and captivator. In getting things done and building passion and commitment towards achieving organisational goals, leaders must have empathy towards the subordinates, make them at ease, mix freely with them, meet with them, get their views, command their respect and also have good relationship with top management. The feedback by respondents: Accept opinions from junior officers; cooperate with others; delegate; be good listener; be open-minded; communicate; delegate; focus on team work [GLOBAL THINKER]. Recognise staff achievement; take care of subordinates; guide subordinates; listen to views and comments of subordinates; be a model to subordinates; defend subordinates; delegate [TALENT ADVOCATE].
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Must have empathy; can make subordinates at ease all the time; must mix freely; meet with subordinates; like to get views; command respect of subordinates; have good relationship with top management [MOBILISER, CAPTIVATOR]. Roles Focusing on Performance and Excellence Behaviours identified by respondents, the leaders should: Solve problem; good decision maker [GLOBAL THINKER] Monitor work flow [NAVIGATOR] Achieve vision and mission [STRATEGIST] Open and ready for change; provide innovations and new ideas [CHANGE DRIVER]; Action-oriented [ENTREPRENEUR, MOBILISER] These behaviours are related to leadership roles that enhance performance and excellence in organisations. In trying to achieve a high level of performance in delivering public service, the leaders have to play the roles of global thinker, navigator, strategist, change driver, entrepreneur and mobiliser. As a global thinker, the leader must be able to integrate information from all sources to solve problems and make decisions. He/she should also be a strategist in order to achieve the vision and mission of the organisation. The leader must be a change driver by being open and ready for change and also provide innovations and new ideas for the organisation to progress, perform and achieve excellence. The leader can also play the role of entrepreneur and mobiliser by taking action to get things done and exploits available opportunities. Roles Focusing on Ethics and Values The respondents also indicated that leaders must have integrity, good values and attributes. They should have: High credibility to be an example to others; transparent; walk the talk; have good attributes such as confident, visionary, firm, intelligent, sincere, meticulous, patient, responsible, charismatic, practical, good temperament, good emotional intelligence, adaptable, diplomatic, friendly, flexible, efficient, innovative, creative and wise [ENTREPRISE GUARDIAN] There is a close relationship between effective public sector leadership and public service ethics. The implementation of the public policy of "bersih, cekap don amanah" (clean, efficient and trustworthy) in the public service reflects the importance of values in work. The public sector leadership should demonstrate high ethical standards of transparency and accountability. The establishment of the Integrity Institute of Malaysia (IIM) underlines the importance of leaders with integrity in the public sector (Mohd Tap Salleh 2007). In addition, their role as promoters of standards of public service
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in general is becoming more important because public service integrity is a prerequisite to, and underpins public trust. It is a keystone of effective leadership and good governance. The most important role the leader has to perform in this context is to be the enterprise guardian where the leader has to keep the values of the public through strong work ethics and good personal attributes. He/she must have high credibility and be a good example to others, walk the talk, transparent and develop good personal attributes such as confident, firm, intelligent, sincere, patient, responsible, charismatic, practical, good temperament, good emotional intelligence, adaptable, diplomatic, friendly, flexible, efficient, innovative, creative and wise. Leadership Competencies Competency can be gained through education, training, experience or natural ability. For public sector leadership they require certain competencies to perform their jobs well. Based on research conducted by PSD, they have identified various competencies for PSD officers (Public Service Department Malaysia, n.d.). Taking those findings as a base, and the findings of this research, various leadership competencies for public sector leadership are identified. The respondents emphasised that leaders must be "knowledgeable" and "have the skills" in order to be effective. Knowledgeable means that the leader has usable information in a particular area. Skills means a leader should have the ability to do something well, such as solving problems (Manogran, 2000). The respondents indicated that leaders should have abilities such as "good social skills, [to] share knowledge, the need to have more training on leadership". Based on the roles identified that leaders should perform, 15 areas of competencies are identified for developing leaders of the future. These are competencies related to communication, teamwork, problem-solving, relational skills, conflict resolution, project management, public relations, interpersonal skills, professionalism, visioning process and strategic thinking, leadership, training and coaching, technical skills, research skills and change management. Leaders who have higher competencies in these areas are likely to be more effective (Table 4).
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RESEARCH IMPLICATIONS AND CONCLUSION In the context of the new leadership environment, the paper posed the question: Moving forward into the future, what are the changing roles and competencies for public sector leadership? The research findings proposed new roles and competencies for effective public sector leadership. In the future, rotes of effective leadership should be focused on three major behaviours - roles of engaging others, roles focusing on performance and roles focusing on ethics and values.
Competencies
Description
i. Communication One of the main competencies required by effective (Ability to :) leaders is communication. · Express oneself effectively in both individual and group settings · Communicate plans and activities to get subordinates support · Listen to others, especially subordinates · Express ideas and instructions clearly · Good in Malay and English
ii. Teamwork (Ability to :)
· Use appropriate techniques to influence members towards desired goals · Able to delegate decision-making and other responsibilities to appropriate individuals · Allocate resources to accomplish tasks with maximum efficiency · Develop high performance teams by establishing a spirit of cooperation and cohesion for achieving goals · Encourage participation
iii. Problemsolving (Ability to :)
· Identifies problem and collect information relevant to the problem · Use techniques such as group discussion and brainstorming to create a variety of choice of solving problems · Decide on the best solution for solving the problem
iv. Relational Skills (Ability to :)
· Networks with subordinates, peers, associates and relevant parties to build a support · Build a supportive relationship
v. Conflict resolutions (Ability to :)
· Effectively handles disagreements and conflicts · Settles disputes, without offending others · Provide mechanisms and supports for handling conflicts
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Competencies
Description
vi. Project management (Ability to :)
· Monitor critical steps in projects to ensure that they are completed on time · Identifies and reacts to external or internal factors that may affect project completion
· Establish a course-of-action to accomplish goals · Identifies, evaluates and implements systems for current and future projects
vii. Public relation · Establish good relationship with external and
(Ability to :)
internal client
· Gather and analyses customer feedback to assist in
decision making
viii. Interpersonal skills (Ability to :)
· Treat others with respect, trust and dignity · Work well with others and being considerate of the needs and feelings of others · Promotes a good feeling and productive culture by valuing individuals and contributions
ix. Professionalism · Sets the example by having strong work ethics
(Ability to :)
· Work with integrity by showing good values i.e.
ensure integrity in personal and organisational
practices · Stay current in terms of professional development · Promotes the profession by active participation in community activities
· Ensure transparent decision making · Hold leadership, subordinates and their organisations accountable for their actions
x. Visioning process and strategic thinking (Ability to :)
· Creates and sets goals · Strategise to accomplish goals · Plan based on analysis of issues and trends and how they link to responsibilities, capabilities and potentials of their organisations · Scan an ever-changing, complex environment in anticipation of emerging crises and opportunities · Develop well-informed advice and strategies that are sensitive to the various needs of multiple stakeholders and partners · Reflect the strategic public sector direction and position of the organisation
xi Leadership (Ability to :)
· Display good attributes to be followed by others · Understand effective leadership styles and roles · Can develop trust between leader and subordinates · Can motivate and inspire subordinates especially when the going gets rough
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Competencies
Description
xii. Training, coaching and developing subordinates (Ability to :)
· Recognises learning opportunities for subordinates, Ex: treats mistakes as learning · Develop future leaders through mentoring programs · Provide performance feedback, coaching and career development to individuals and teams
· Ensure development of leadership capability at every
level
· Ensure performance feedback is an integral part of
day-to-day activities
· Ensure subordinates attend effective training to
develop their skills in their jobs
xiii. Technical and specialized skills (Ability to :)
· Plan and implement rigorous human resource and financial resources accountability system · Maximise the use of ICT in work processes · Develop technical knowledge and skills in relevant
technical areas
xiv. Change management (Ability to :)
· Bring about change in organisations · Managing change in organisations
xv. Research skills (Ability to :)
· Use research findings · Review literature · Collect, analyse and interpret data (qualitative and quantitative methods) · Prepare Research Report
Table 4: Leadership Competencies in the Malaysian Public Sector
CONCLUSION In conclusion, the public sector leadership needs to change to remain relevant and effective. The research findings indicated that part of this change is to adapt to new leadership roles and competencies. The leaders have to focus more on roles that engage people in work processes rather than just emphasising the control and command roles that they have been used to. They have to adopt styles of collaborative leadership. The leaders also have to perform roles focused on ethics and values and performance. This means that in achieving results, leaders have to depend less on formal authority but more on influencing others. And at all times they have to maintain integrity and good values. Aspects such as transparency and accountability are part and parcel of public sector leadership. The leadership roles for the Malaysian public sector include that of DDI's roles such as global thinker, talent advocate, mobiliser, captivator, navigator, strategist, change driver, entrepreneur and enterprise guardian.
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However, further research is needed to understand in greater detail, leadership in the public sector. This is just an exploratory research based on feedback given by participants in a workshop. For the public sector, "Leadership is undoubtedly becoming a key factor in our understanding of organisations and whether they succeed or fail..." (Moqvist 2002, 92). Thus more in-depth studies are needed to really understand effective public sector leadership in the future.
END NOTES Hesselbein, F., Goldsmith, M., and Beckhard, R. (Eds). (1996). The leader of the future: New visions, strategies, and practices for the next era. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Belbin, R.M. (1981). Management teams: Why they succeed or fail. New York: Wiley Buckingham, M., and Coffman, C. (1999). First break all the rules: What the world's greatest managers do differently. New York: Simon and Schuster. Mintzberg. (1973). The nature of managerial work. New York: Harper and Row.
REFERENCES Appelbaum, L. and Paese, M. (n.d.). What Senior Leaders Do: The Nine Roles of Strategic Leadership. Retrieved 9/04/08. http://www.ddiworld.com Belbin, R.M. (1981). Management Teams: Why They Succeed or Fail. New York: Wiley. Buckingham, M., and Coffman, C.(1999). First Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently. New York: Simon and Schuster. Conger, J.A. and Benjamin, B. (1999). Building Leaders: How Successful Companies Develop the Next Generation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Kenmore, P. (March, 2008). Public Sector Leadership: A Time Bomb Waiting to Go Off. Hay Group Newsletter. Retrieved 3/21/2008. http://peopletorque.haygroup.co.uk/e article000368163. cfm?x=b11,0,w Hesselbein, F., Goldsmith, M., and Beckhard, R. (Eds). (1996). The Leader of the Future: New Visions, Strategies, and Practices for the Next Era. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Hornsby, T. and Warkeoczeski, L. (2000). New Roles for Leaders: A Step-By-Step Guide to Competitive Advantage. Franklin, TN: Hillsboro Press. Ismail Adam (2007). Traditions Of Excellence: Leading for Public Sector Delivery Excellence. A Talk presented at National Workshop on Traditions of Effective Public Sector Leadership, 13-14 December, Putrajaya, Malaysia. Manogran, P. (2000). Core Competencies and the Knowledge Economy. Pentadbir, Julai (1), 8-15 Mintzberg, H. (1973). The Nature of Managerial Work. New York: Harper and Row. Peters, T. (1990). The New Builders. Industry Week, 239(5), 27-28 Mohd Tap Salleh (2007). Traditions of Excellence: Leading with Integrity. A Talk Presented at National Workshop on Traditions of Effective Public Sector Leadership, 13-14 December, Putrajaya, Malaysia.
Jurnal Pengurusan Awam / Jun 2008
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Moqvist, L. (2002). The Competency Dimension of Leadership: A Study of Top Managers in Swedish Public Service. In Horton, S., Hondeghem, A., and Farnham, D. (Eds.). Competency Management in the Public Sector. University of Portsmouth: 101 Press. http://book.google.com. Public Service Department Malaysia, Research and Planning Division, (n.d.). Training Needs Analysis of the Public Service Department Malaysia, Putrajaya, Malaysia. Syed Omar Shariffuddin S. Ikhsan and Mohammad Khairu Farhan Md Saad (2007). Leading Change in Public Sector through Knowledge Management. Paper Presented at National Workshop on Traditions of Effective Public Sector Leadership, 13-14 December, Putrajaya, Malaysia. Tam, Weng Wah (2007). Developing Collaborative Leaders for a Highly Diverse Society. Paper presented at National Workshop on Traditions of Effective Public Sector Leadership, 13-14 December, Putrajaya, Malaysia. Xavier, J. A. (2007). How to be a Great Public Service Leader? Paper Presented at National Workshop on Traditions of Effective Public Sector Leadership, 13-14 December, Putrajaya, Malaysia. Yukl, G. (1994). Leadership in Organisations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Zainul Ariff (2007). Traditions of Excellence: Leading a High Performance Public Sector Organisation. A Talk Presented at National Workshop on Traditions of Effective Public Sector Leadership, 13-14 December, Putrajaya, Malaysia.
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