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Leading with political astuteness - a white paper. A study of public managers in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom

Authors
Publisher
Australia and New Zealand School of Government, Chartered Institute of Management & The Open University Business School
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Political Science

Abstract

Open Research Online The Open University’s repository of research publications and other research outputs Leading with political astuteness - a white paper. A study of public managers in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom Other How to cite: Hartley, Jean; Alford, John; Hughes, Owen and Yates, Sophie (2013). Leading with political astuteness - a white paper. A study of public managers in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Australia and New Zealand School of Government, Chartered Institute of Management & The Open University Business School. For guidance on citations see FAQs. c© 2013 The Authors Version: Not Set Copyright and Moral Rights for the articles on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copy- right owners. For more information on Open Research Online’s data policy on reuse of materials please consult the policies page. oro.open.ac.uk Leading with political astuteness – a white paper A study of public managers in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom Jean Hartley, John Alford, Owen Hughes and Sophie Yates WHITE PAPER/SEPTEMBER 2013 Contents 3 Foreword 4 Introduction 5 Research aims and methods 6 Key findings 12 Implications for leadership 14 Conclusions 16 Recommendations 18 Appendix 3 Foreword Resolving and pre-empting those issues, as many managers recognise, is the role of politics. It is inescapable. Managers must therefore – at all levels – be politically astute. They should be able to ‘read’ other people’s behaviour and grasp the wider context. They should understand the dynamics of power, and factor in politics when framing decisions and strategies. The challenge is particularly pronounced in the public sector, which is the focus of this paper. Public managers are subject to the authority of governments, which are by definition political. At the same time they are expected to exercise ‘neutral competence’, executing policies and offering unbiased advice. Amid

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