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Paper session at PUPOL conference – Wellington, New Zealand

11 April 2019 - 12 April 2019

The 4th international PUPOL (academic network Public and Political Leadership) conference “Collaborative Leadership for a Sustainable Future” will be held at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 April 2019.

Steven de Waal will participate with a ‘paper session’ about his latest book ‘Civil Leadership as the Future of leadership. Harnessing the disruptive power of citizens’ (Amazon, November 2018).

This book is based on the following research questions:

  1. How are the same digital technologies (internet, ICT, websites, platforms) that are disrupting markets (like hotel- and travelbusiness, taxibusiness, retailbusiness, musicbusiness etc.) influencing citizenship and civil attitudes and the public sector like democracy, politics, public debate and public services? In the book this is eventually analyzed as a third revolution for mankind (‘digital civil revolution’) and this growing influence as ‘disruptive citizenship’.
  2. Given this growing influence of citizens to disrupt the public and political domain, what kind of leadership is then required to organize this influence and what kind of public leadership is necessary to answer, address and eventually harness this growing power of citizens and civil society? In the book this is analyzed as ‘civil leadership’. This was the subject of Steven de Waal’s dissertation and research, to be found in The Value(s) of Civil Leaders. A study into the influence of governance context on public value orientation (Eleven 2014).

33 case- and personalitystudies of civil leaders, that created public value with their leadership

Methodologically the research about civil leadership was based on 33 case- and personalitystudies of civil leaders, that created public value with their leadership, operating from different private governance contexts. A websurvey was added with 230 participants, who experienced a careerswitch between different governance contexts to define the dominant valuepatterns in these governance contexts. This resulted in a valuebased leadershipstyle of entrepreneurial and risk taking on the one hand and a social and public drive and passion on the other. It was defined as a ‘breed of their own’, because overall their valuepattern differed from the dominant value patterns in their respective governance contexts. One of the striking results from this study was the experience they all had with convincing the public opinion and political circles that they were, although in a new and deviant way, aiming at the ‘common good’ and the results had public value. In almost all cases there was a battle about definitions and perspectives on public value. That also showed and challenged their leadership.

The added methods under this book were strategic analyses like literature and executive interviews on disruption, technologies, marketstrategies and their results, democracy, civil society and citizen organization, including their impact on public services. The resulting hypotheses about ‘harnessing the disruptive power of citizens’ and ‘civil leadership’ were tested in more than 100 lectures for an executive audience from all segements of the public sector (esp. health care, energy, housing and infrastructure and political leaders on local and national levels) in many countries in Europe. The book has an extensive ‘Notes’ segment with references to researched literature and to the current academic discussions on many of the issues, that are also on the agenda in the PUPOL conference.

The main questions for discussion in the paper session are:

  • Are these results and analyses applicable and recognizable for other countries outside Europe? Do you see the same kinds of strategic changes and succesful strategies appear?
  • Do you see in your context or country the same leadership, civil leadership, as a succesful answer to these new strategic context? Have you got examples of civil leaders, that can be the basis for (my) further research?

Download Dr. de Waal’s presentation here

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