Montgomery van Wart, Lotte Bogh Andersen, Mila Gasco and I have developed a panel for the next IRSPM-conference in Birmingham, entitled “Contemporary Leadership Issues: Managing people, change & innovation”.  If you have any papers relevant for this leadership panel, we would love to receive an abstract.

This IRSPM panel will be used to develop a joint research program on the topic of leadership, innovation and change, including international publication opportunities (such as special issues in international journals).

Call for abstracts panel IRSPM 2015 – H2 – Contemporary Leadership Issues

IRSPM 2014


Title IRSPM panel: “Contemporary Leadership Issues: Managing people, change & innovation”



  • Lars Tummers (Assistant Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam)
  • Montgomery van Wart (Professor at the California State University, San Bernardino)
  • Lotte Bøgh Andersen (Professor at Aarhus University)
  • Mila Gascó (Researcher at the ESADE Institute of Public Governance and Management)


Panel description

As noted in the overall IRSPM call for panels, public management is facing a ‘perfect storm’ of challenges such as growing expectations from citizens, reduced budgets and demographic challenges such as ageing. Leadership is often crucial to deal effectively with such challenging circumstances (Borins, 2002). This panel therefore looks at next steps in public leadership and related innovation and change research. Analyzing these topics is important as it has been acknowledged that scholarly inquiry on public leadership is lagging behind related disciplines such as business administration and psychology (Van Wart, 2013; Tummers & Knies, 2014).

This panel therefore aims to contribute to understanding leadership in public organizations. We invite papers about the following topics, but are also open to other topics related to contemporary leadership challenges:

  • The role of leadership in innovation processes
  • Leadership and motivating employees
  • Leadership during organizational change and public management reforms
  • Horizontal and collaborative leadership in networks
  • Managerial leadership models (transformational, transactional, LMX, etc.) applied to the public sector
  • Leadership and publicness, such as linking to leadership to innovations focused on improving accountability and democracy
  • Leading and managing people in different cultural contexts

Furthermore, we acknowledge that the methods regarding public leadership research can be strengthened. A recent review by Groeneveld et al. (2014), based on articles in the top tier of public administration journals, shows that there is currently a lack of methodological diversification in the broad public administration field. Especially mixed methods and experimental designs are in short supply, but are developing (an example is the LEAP project of Andersen and colleagues which uses experimental methods). We therefore especially encourage papers using such designs. We also welcome papers which employ different designs or are theoretical or normative in nature.

This IRSPM panel will be used to develop a joint research program on the topic of public leadership, including international publication opportunities.

IRSPM Leadership


Note: Sponsored by the EU FP7 Research Consortium Learning from innovation in Public Sector Environments (LIPSE, and the IIAS Study Group Administrative Leadership (IIAS,




  • Borins, S. (2002). Leadership and innovation in the public sector. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 23(8), 467-476.
  • Groeneveld, S. M., Tummers, L. G., Bronkhorst, B. A. C., Ashikali, T., & Van Thiel, S. (2014, in press). Quantitative methods in public administration: Its scale and its development through time. International Public Management Journal
  • Tummers, L. G., & Knies, E. (2013). Leadership and meaningful work in the public sector. Public Administration Review, 73(6), 859-868.
  • Van Wart, M. (2013). Administrative leadership theory: A reassessment after 10 years. Public Administration, 91(3), 521-543.
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