Leadership Styles in Government Institutions


The competitiveness and effectiveness of an organization is influenced by the kind of leadership put in place. In government institutions, the issue of management has not been taken seriously over the past few decades. This is has been the case because many civil servants and leaders have failed to exhibit adequate competencies and skills that can drive performance. Without effective managerial practices, the right values, motivation levels, and culture are disoriented. The targeted employees become less empowered, thereby being unable to deliver positive results in their respective firms. In the recent past, many theorists, scholars, and scientists have presented evidence-based concepts for transforming the way government institutions are managed. This has been the case because leadership has become a powerful concept for promoting the success and performance of different organizations. This research paper digs deeper in order to understand the issues and leadership styles implemented in government institutions. The study goes further to offer meaningful insights and recommendations for improving managerial practices in such organizations and driving performance.

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Background Information

Mittal acknowledges that leadership is a powerful practice that is capable of dictating the performance and success of an organization (29). Proficient managers engage their followers, communicate the right vision, change the level of tolerance, and create the most appropriate culture that resonates with the changing needs of different stakeholders. Efficient leadership has emerged as an effective model for empowering employees and ensuring that existing challenges are addressed. Over the years, organizational leadership in government institutions has been hierarchical in nature (Sparks et al. 311). This means that topmost managers make decisions and dictate the behaviors and practices of different workers.

The inclusion of boards of directors or governors is an idea that has influenced the manner in which such institutions are managed or led (Mittal 29). This kind of approach determines how missions are formulated and executed. Those in leadership positions offer incentivizes to dictate how resources are allocated to deliver positive results. Mittal goes further to acknowledge that an autocratic system of leadership has been observed in many government institutions over the years (30). With appointments being made depending on aspects such as loyalty, there have been increased chances of having incompetent persons undertaking such roles. This practice has made it impossible for many it impossible for many government organizations to achieve their potential.

Numerous studies focusing on the ineffectiveness of leadership in different institutions have revealed that incompetent individuals are usually identified to dictate and influence the performance of different followers. For instance, Mittal observed that many managers in such organizations were incapable of developing the right vision and sharing it with their followers (29). Consequently, the level of motivation was affected significantly. The concept of success has not been taken seriously by many leaders in such organizations. This is a challenge that has been catalyzed by the absence of adequate measures to gauge or monitor the effectiveness of such institutions.

In both the developing and developed worlds, government institutions have continued to suffer due to the inability of their leaders to remain accountable and establish powerful personal codes of ethics. This malpractice has created a situation whereby different leaders tend to be influenced or bribed by cartels and other parties with specific interests (Sparks et al. 313). With profitability being not a priority, the concept of management in such facilities becomes ineffective. More often than not, most of the leaders tend to focus on their personal gains without addressing the unique needs of different beneficiaries.

Attributes such as creativity, innovation, and commitment have been lacking in many government institutions. The reason for this is because many managers embrace the power of autocratic leadership in an attempt to achieve their potential (Mittal 30). Many scholars have acknowledged that the absence of proper monitoring systems to hold different managers into account is something that makes such institutions less profitable or effective. This issue makes it impossible for many people and citizens to receive timely and superior services from such organizations. With this kind of poor leadership, many government institutions in different nations have been unable to record positive results.

Matei and Drumasu goes further to argue that the recent past has been characterized by new changes in the field of leadership in an attempt to redefine or support the effectiveness of government institutions (499). Mittal indicates that many established or emerging democracies have managed to formulate new policies to ensure that more citizens have access to quality and efficient services from the government (31). Leadership in such organizations has been improved whereby the idea of power of exchange has been taken seriously (Mittal 32). This means that managers can develop superior competencies and apply them accordingly in an attempt to secure positive outcomes. The need to hire or identify individuals with adequate personalities and values is being taken seriously than ever before. This initiative has continued to transform the effectiveness and performance of different institutions in the world.

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Concepts of Leadership: Applicability in Government Institutions

A study conducted by Sparks et al. revealed that different supervisors and managers in government agencies and institutions were employing diverse leadership styles (314). This practice was informed by numerous forces such as the cultural attributes experienced in different societies, transparency levels, democratic processes, and personality traits of specific individuals. Despite such observations, it was revealed that a sense of convergence was experienced in different countries due to the theoretical concepts and ideas supplied by organizational theorists. The fact that many organizations in both the developing and developed economies were performing poorly compelled different individuals to focus on the most appropriate approaches for leading them. This knowledge has led to various concepts and ideas that have the potential to transform the performance of many government-sponsored institutions.

To begin with, motivation theory is one of the models that have revolutionized the way different institutions are currently being managed (Matei and Drumasu 501). This concept indicates that human behaviors, demands, and values work synergistically to promote performance. With proper motivation, this model asserts that leaders can engage their followers and make it easier for them to deliver positive results. The most important thing, according to this theory, is to focus on the best approaches to motivate employees, address the issues affecting them, and eventually deliver positive results.

Situational and behavioral concepts have also been embraced in different organizations depending on the cultural forces existing in the targeted societies (Wilson et al. 47). For example, cultural norms such power distance, masculinity, collectivism, and uncertainty avoidance are some of the issues that are dictating the leadership models exhibited in government institutions across the globe to empower or guide different followers. Situational attributes make it easier for leaders to address emerging issues, empower their employees, and ensure that the targeted results are realized in a timely manner.

Another study by Matei and Drumasu presented meaningful insights regarding the nature of management in different government-sponsored organizations (502). On one side, some institutions aimed at delivering services to different clients have been characterized by authentic leadership. According to this model, individuals or followers are encouraged and guided to take personal responsibilities and pursue actions that can deliver positive results. Those who embrace this model tend to be transformational. They go further to motivate their employees and encourage them to address the challenges facing their clients. On the other side, destructive leadership has been applied or exhibited in a number of government institutions. Those who embrace this approach tend to portray inappropriate behaviors that are capable of sabotaging the performance of the targeted organization. The model is also associated with the loss of public resources and the inability to provide adequate services to different beneficiaries.

From the 1970s, the idea of charisma began to capture the attention of many scholars and managers in different fields. This concept was expanded and revisited in an attempt to inform organizational leadership. By 1990, the attribute had become a superior quality for dictating the way different followers were led or empowered. Charismatic leadership revolves around the possession of self-confidence and the ability to engage others (Carreira et al. 42). Ethical managers embrace this attribute in an attempt to engage and empower others and make superior decisions. Decisions are made efficiently, thereby delivering positive results. This managerial approach became common in large organizations in the early 2000s. Government institutions led by individuals exhibiting this style tend to record positive results. Mittal acknowledges that this leadership style is founded on the notion of personality (30). Managers who embrace this model will eliminate specific personalities or attributes that can disorient organizational performance.

In the recent past, situational theory has emerged in management circles to dictate how leaders can adapt by embracing specific styles depending on the existing situations or issues. This model asserts that skilled leaders will be able to examine the challenges and issues facing a given organization and empower individuals depending on their demands. Experienced managers can use this concept to identify and implement the best strategy to deliver positive results. Carreira et al. indicate that situational leadership has been effective for individuals in government institutions who are forced to operate in different environments whereby diverse cultural norms and elements are exhibited (47). Proficient managers will go further to identify the most appropriate style and apply it accordingly. Government institutions managed by such individuals will record positive results much faster.

Another powerful concept of leadership that has become common in different government organizations is that the transactional model. According to this theory, managers interact, empower, and guide those who follow them (Carreira et al. 42). Within the public sector, some leaders focus on the most appropriate models to empower their followers using a number of initiatives such as promotions, expanded responsibilities, and positive performance appraisals. Unfortunately, the utilization of this model in different government institutions has been observed to deliver negative results. For instance, the theory focuses mainly on expectations or results. This means that employees who are not in need of any form of compensation or reward might not achieve positive gains. However, the model can be effective if leaders go a step further to consider various practices such as work-life balances to motivate their followers.

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Transformational leadership is another powerful approach that is taken seriously by organizational managers. These leaders use their expertise and knowledge to create and communicate the right vision to those around them. This approach is essential since it empowers employees and makes it easier for them to implement desirable change depending on the targeted goals. The targeted followers receive adequate and timely resources in order to develop their competencies and philosophies. The concept of evolution emerges, thereby minimizing most of the challenges that have the potential to affect performance (Amanchukwu et al. 9). The model has been supported by different scholars because it creates the best environment for addressing conflicts and ensuring that the diverse needs or expectations of different stakeholders are met. Emerging challenges are identified and solved using appropriate change processes.

On top of the above leadership styles, the possession of adequate competencies or characteristics is something that can dictate a person’s effectiveness in a managerial capacity. The first attribute referenced by different analysts and organizational theorists is that of charisma. Amanchukwu et al. state that charisma is a powerful concept that dictates the performance and effectiveness of an individual (11). It has been expanded to become a style that can be embraced by leaders in an attempt to achieve their potential, influence others, and promote organizational performance. Being an amoral theory, charismatic leadership is believed to be an efficient and strong value for delivering positive results.

Mittal believes that successful managers in government institutions strive to develop various attributes such as justice, integrity, and professionalism (29). This idea is supported by the skill-based model of leadership. According to this theory, individuals who want to take up leadership positions must possess human, conceptual, and technical competencies. This means that they will be able to complete their roles efficiently, lead others in a positive manner, and develop appropriate strategies and approaches to ensure that every outlined objective is realized.

Successful managers apply their technical and human competencies to create the best environment for empowering others. This is the reason why executive coaching stands out as a powerful attribute that should be taken seriously by leaders in government institutions. This attribute is appropriate since it empowers managers to lead, empower, and guide all followers until the intended objectives are realized (Mittal 30). This means that leaders should be keen to develop superior competencies that resonate with the needs of their followers. They should be aware of the missing gaps and action plans that are needed to drive organizational performance.

Another powerful skill that has become common in a number of government institutions is that of emotional intelligence. Amanchukwu et al. define “emotional intelligence” as a set of traits or abilities that guide individuals to guide their behaviors and cognitions (9). Those who possess these concepts will be able to think efficiently and manage their emotions. The possession of such attributes can make it easier for different individuals to achieve their potential. Emotional management, understanding, facilitation, and perception have been observed to emerge when leaders embrace this skill. Managers who focus on this concept will be in a position to address the issues affecting them and their followers.

Strengths and Gaps

The above discussion has revealed that many leaders in government institutions have been keen to identify and utilize diverse styles to empower and guide their followers. It is evident that the application of diverse models is an approach that has led to both positive and negative outcomes. On one side, many leaders embracing powerful styles such as charismatic, transactional, transformational, authentic, and ethical approaches have been able to achieve their potential (Alford and Greve 37). Institutions that are governed using these styles find it easier to deal with the challenges and needs of their clients. This is the case because such leaders engage their followers, provide adequate incentives, and provide timely insights depending on the expectations of different stakeholders.

Empowered employees in government institutions focus on the most appropriate initiatives and action plans to drive organizational performance. Leaders who have vision and understand their mandate use appropriate incentives, resources, and strategies to ensure that the targeted goals are realized (Alford and Greve 37). Continuous mentoring and empowerment are taken seriously by leaders who are embracing these new approaches to organizational management.

On the other hand, many government institutions have failed due to the ineffectiveness of the leadership approaches embraced by their managers. For instance, the appointment of managers based on political affiliations or loyalty to the elites is something that has underestimated the idea of leadership in such organizations (Alford and Greve 38). This means that most of the appointees might not possess the right competencies or skills that can make them proficient leaders. Consequently, every government institution faced by this predicament finds it hard to deliver positive results or meet the needs of different citizens.

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Some managers have been observed to embrace the power of inefficient leadership models such as disruptive and autocratic styles. These approaches create a system whereby followers are unable to question any form of decision or authority. The affected employees become less empowered and unwilling to improve the quality of services available to different customers or citizens. Without proper regulatory and monitoring methods to compel different leaders to deliver positive results, many government institutions have failed to address the changing needs of different customers. Disruptive leadership creates a favorable environment for squandering or misusing public resources (Alford and Greve 37). Without the presence of efficient management processes, it becomes impossible for different employees to focus on the existing organizational mission or vision. This gap has continued to affect the welfare of many citizens who are entitled to superior services from different government institutions.


This research paper has shown that the nature of management in government organizations is an area that has received adequate attention from different theorists and scholars. As a result, it has been revealed that many institutions have managed to improve the experiences of different citizens. However, some have been unable to achieve their potential due to the problem of management. With this kind of knowledge, there is need for organizational managers in government institutions to be appointed using a transparent approach (Sparks et al. 320). This move will ensure that every successful candidate exhibits superior traits such as charisma, intelligence, professionalism, and ethics. Such attributes will dictate the performance of such leaders and eventually drive performance.

The concept of personality should also be taken seriously by managers of such organizations. This is critical since a positive personality dictates aspects such as emotional intelligence and open-mindedness. Such attributes will be communicated to different followers. This approach will result in a positive working environment (Sparks et al. 321). Additionally, leaders in such organizations must be keen to develop appropriate styles and proficiencies that resonate with their goals. For instance, they can develop transactional or transformational leadership attributes in order to empower others and record positive results.

The cultural attributes of the employees and the targeted citizens should be taken seriously by leaders. This approach will make it easier for them to design superior models for empowering and guiding different workers. They will also be ready to address emerging conflicts and make superior decisions that can ensure that needs of more clients are met (Wilson et al. 62). The government must develop a plan for auditing and gauging the effectiveness of the leaders in different institutions. This initiative will compel more managers to embrace or exhibit superior traits and styles that can make every organization successful. The concept of lifelong learning should also be pursued by different managers or leaders. This move will make it easier for them to acquire new concepts and attributes to continue empowering their followers.


The nature of management in government institutions has been characterized by failures and successes. The above discussion has revealed that leaders in such organizations can embrace transformational, authentic, transactional, and charismatic styles to empower their followers. Since not all managers exhibit desirable attributes, governments should implement powerful policies to audit and hold different individuals to account. The ultimate goal must be to ensure that every government institution is in a position to offer superior services to the greatest number of citizens.

Works Cited

Alford, John, and Carsten Greve. “Strategy in the Public and Private Sectors: Similarities, Differences and Changes.” Administrative Sciences, vol. 7, no. 4, 2017, pp. 35-41.

Amanchukwu, Rose N., et al. “A Review of Leadership Theories, Principles and Styles and Their Relevance to Educational Management.” Management, vol. 5, no. 1, 2015, pp. 6-14.

Carreira, Vanda, et al. “Engaging Citizen Participation-A Result of Trusting Governmental Institutions and Politicians in the Portuguese Democracy.” Social Sciences, vol. 5, no. 3. 2016, pp. 40-50.

Matei, Ani, and Ciprian Drumasu. “Corporate Governance and Public Sector Entities.” Procedia Economics and Finance, vol. 26, no. 1, 2015, pp. 495-504.

Mittal, Rakesh. “Charismatic and Transformational Leadership Styles: A Cross-Cultural Perspective.” International Journal of Business and Management, vol. 10, no. 3, 2015, pp. 26-33.

Sparks, George, et al. “Destructive Leadership: The Hatfield and McCoy Feud.” American Journal of Business Education, vol. 8, no. 4, 2015, pp. 307-326.

Wilson, James Q., et al. American Government: Institutions and Policies. 4th ed., Cengage Learning, 2016.

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