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India’s District Collectors as administrative entrepreneurs: myth or reality?

India’s District Collectors as administrative entrepreneurs: myth or reality? The purpose of this paper is to understand the relationship between administrative entrepreneurship and bureaucratic (administrative) leadership in government bureaucracies.Design/methodology/approachThis topic is empirically examined in the context of India’s district administration. A within-case analysis is conducted of a District Collector’s efforts to initiate change using a case study research methodology. Data from elite interviews, analyzed in NVivo 11, are used to draw descriptive inferences that are tested against a set of conditions using the process tracing technique.FindingsThe District Collector in the study aspired to be a transformational leader by demonstrating administrative entrepreneurship, but in reality due to the formal organizational structures, the style of bureaucratic leadership functioning is transactional.Research limitations/implicationsThis study contributes to furthering public leadership theory as it opens up the classic question: what type of leadership is expected out of administrative leaders in government bureaucracies? This is a critical issue given that District Collectors are responsible for the welfare of one-sixth of the world’s population.Practical implicationsDistrict Collectors need to get comfortable with the duality inherent in their position – that their organizational structures allow them to be both administratively entrepreneurial and rigid – and learn the art of navigating these complex structures. Public sector training academies for career civil servants need to engage with the subject of administrative entrepreneurship and leadership.Originality/valueThis is the first study, to the best of knowledge, to develop an analytical typology that can be used as a diagnostic tool for administrative leaders to holistically assess their leadership style. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Public Leadership Emerald Publishing

India’s District Collectors as administrative entrepreneurs: myth or reality?

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References (53)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2056-4929
DOI
10.1108/ijpl-01-2017-0002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to understand the relationship between administrative entrepreneurship and bureaucratic (administrative) leadership in government bureaucracies.Design/methodology/approachThis topic is empirically examined in the context of India’s district administration. A within-case analysis is conducted of a District Collector’s efforts to initiate change using a case study research methodology. Data from elite interviews, analyzed in NVivo 11, are used to draw descriptive inferences that are tested against a set of conditions using the process tracing technique.FindingsThe District Collector in the study aspired to be a transformational leader by demonstrating administrative entrepreneurship, but in reality due to the formal organizational structures, the style of bureaucratic leadership functioning is transactional.Research limitations/implicationsThis study contributes to furthering public leadership theory as it opens up the classic question: what type of leadership is expected out of administrative leaders in government bureaucracies? This is a critical issue given that District Collectors are responsible for the welfare of one-sixth of the world’s population.Practical implicationsDistrict Collectors need to get comfortable with the duality inherent in their position – that their organizational structures allow them to be both administratively entrepreneurial and rigid – and learn the art of navigating these complex structures. Public sector training academies for career civil servants need to engage with the subject of administrative entrepreneurship and leadership.Originality/valueThis is the first study, to the best of knowledge, to develop an analytical typology that can be used as a diagnostic tool for administrative leaders to holistically assess their leadership style.

Journal

International Journal of Public LeadershipEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2017

Keywords: Public entrepreneurship; Public sector leadership; Administrative entrepreneurship; District Collectors; Indian Administrative Service (IAS); Policy entrepreneurs

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