An introduction to public leadership
An introduction to public leadership

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Week 1: What is public leadership?


Welcome to Week 1 of An introduction to public leadership. In this course, you will be exploring the concepts and debates surrounding leadership in ‘the public sphere’. Leadership is seen as important because it is often seen as a primary means of bringing about change and innovation in an organisation. But is this actually the case? And what do we mean by ‘public’ leadership?

In the following video, Mike Lucas interviews Jean Hartley, Professor of Public Leadership at The Open University, who introduces the idea of public leadership. She discusses what defines debates that take place in the public sphere and how these influence the priorities of public services.

In her research, Professor Hartley has focused on several of the distinctive features of public leadership – such as the public service and community context, the relationship of leaders’ work to democratic politics and the importance of a focus on public value. She has authored several key reports that inform government thinking on leadership in the public services, and is an influential voice in debates about change in the local government, health and policing sectors.

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