This thesis researches leadership behavior and antecedents of leadership behavior in the public sector. Therefore, a taxonomy of six meta-categories of leadership behavior was developed. The taxonomy consists of task-, relations-, change-, external-, ethical- and processing-orientation.
In order to answer the research questions about the actual leadership behavior in the public sector and about antecedents of this behavior, survey data were collected from street-level leaders of three German public organizations and their followers. An analysis of the data reveals that the proposed taxonomy fits the leadership behavior in the public sector well.
Furthermore, a descriptive analysis of the data shows that there are quite big differences between leaders’ self-perception and followers’ perception of leadership behavior. The difference is especially high for relations- and change-orientation.
In addition to the descriptive analysis, hierarchical linear models are used to analyze antecedents of leadership behavior. The antecedents can be grouped in the four categories “characteristics and attitudes of leaders”, “expectations and interest of supervisors”, “characteristics and attitudes of followers”, and “management instruments and framework”.
The analyses show that the most important antecedents of leadership behavior are the motivation to lead and the management-orientation of the leaders, the commitment to public interest and the task complexity of the followers as well as the strategic leader selection and the leaders’ use of management by objectives.
The results of this thesis expand the literature on leadership behavior in the public sector by a perspective of antecedents. In addition, the developed taxonomy can be used to systematize the discussion about leadership behavior in the public sector. This study also provides information for practitioners about antecedents of leadership behavior and about differences between self- and other-perceptions of leadership behavior.
gestellt an Dr. Dominik Vogel