|Pre conference workshop 1|
|Evaluating Public Leadership|
|Dr Stephen Brookes and Dr Adrian Nelson
University of Manchester (Manchester Business School)
Detective Chief Inspector Greater Manchester Police and Visiting Fellow Manchester Business School
15 March 2012
|UKES members||£75.00 + VAT = £90.00|
|Non-members||£100.00 + VAT = £120.00|
Aim of the Workshop
Benefits of attending the Workshop
Leadership clearly focuses on productivity and the efficiency of programmes, as well as the capacity to secure gains and improvements against value for money objectives, but it also has an equally important focus on improving services more widely. The workshop will consider whether the emphasis on results ignores the context and the values and ambitions of stakeholders. Practical examples will be provided of a public leadership framework supported by a case study that is currently examining public leadership in Greater Manchester Police, in the context of domestic abuse. The multi-agency response to domestic abuse calls for close cooperation between policing and health practitioners. Participants will be specifically asked to consider what counts as worthwhile results given that not all programme achievements can be measured. As Albert Einstein had displayed on a wall in his office; "Count what counts and not what can be counted".
Against this background, workshop participants will be invited to contribute their own perspectives on the dominant "wicked issues" they consider relevant to the theory and practice of evaluation within the context of policing and health services. The workshop will assist in stimulating professional learning and help participants to contribute to the improvement of evaluation practice and commissioning in the delivery of policing and health services.
Evaluating Public Leadership
Effective evaluation lies at the heart of achieving this form of public leadership. The approach to collective leadership within the public sector is predicated on the aim of exploring the boundaries between leadership knowledge and its application in practice. An extensive literature exists in relation to leadership ranging from the classical 'great-man' theories (spanning thousands of years) through to the more modern or postmodern views of leadership in relation to its transformational and collective properties. A common theme across many of the theories highlights either implicitly or explicitly the processual and contextual nature of leadership knowledge and practice.
The workshop will use the underpinning research as a vehicle to explore the benefits of adopting a realistic evaluation approach in exploring the complex and far reaching social interactions and interventions in the area of public leadership. Realistic evaluation is an approach that is underpinned by a philosophy of realism with an interest in or concern for the actual or real as opposed to the abstract or speculative and is thus entirely appropriate to evaluating public leadership and to assist in understanding leadership as it really is. Pawson and Tilley recognise reality as a construction of social processes. In a similar way, public leadership can be viewed as such a construction involving complex social interactions and interventions that are comprised of theories, involve the actions of people, consist of steps or processes that interact but not necessarily in a linear way but is heavily dependent on the presenting cultural and social systems and values.
The workshop will briefly summarize the research to date and how realistic evaluation has enabled the development of a public leadership framework based (at the macro level) on the interaction between values (as context), skills and structures (as mechanisms) and appropriate behaviours (as outcomes). The approach offers a means of understanding network-based leadership as a social system, defined through its purpose and implemented through its processes and practices and the degree to which the outcome of public leadership represents public value. It has helped in understanding the contextual influences and changes at different levels and in different circumstances and why public leadership works in some circumstances and conditions but not in others.
Supported by case study approaches, we will explore how the values, skills and structures can be evaluated in terms of the success of public leadership in shaping appropriate behaviours focusing on the use of intelligent networks, knowledge and skills. This can be applied at different levels over time and reinforce the notion of public leadership as a virtuous (rather than a vicious) cycle represented by a 360° evaluation.
To assist in this, the workshop will draw on the excellent response to a challenge set for Tilley in answering the question "Can public leadership be evaluated?" (Tilley 2010) who suggests that traditional experimental approaches are almost impossible to adopt in answering this question as opposed to realist approaches. He argues that "Leadership clearly differs from social programmes" (Tilley 2010:329) such programmes being described as targeting specific problem states of affairs or patterns of behaviour. The workshop will explore what are described as 'mediating factors' such as problem and pattern configurations and the differences in relation to people and places, drawing heavily on Tilley's framework for evaluation.
Brookes, S and Grint, K (2010) The New Public Leadership Challenge, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Pawson R, & Tilley N (1997) Realistic Evaluation, London: Sage Publications.
Tilley, N (2010) Can Public Leadership be Evaluated? In Brookes, S and Grint, K (eds) The New Public Leadership Challenge, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.