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Public Managers’ Leadership Identity

Effective leadership provides organizations with high performance, so the availability of scientific research in this area is essential. The research in the article “Is leadership in the eye of the beholder? A study of intended and perceived leadership practices and organizational performance” is based on a theoretical background regarding two types of leadership (Jacobsen & Andersen, 2015). There is also a practical part, which includes the study of Danish public schools and constitutes a significant part of the article. The work aims to ensure that the employee-perceived transformational and transactional leadership positively influences organizational performance.

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The authors investigate leadership as a set of observable actions and as a phenomenon perceived by employees. Jacobsen and Andersen’s research (2015) is based on two types of leadership: transformational and transactional. Transformational leadership appeals to the value of mutual or organizational results to motivate their workers to alter their values, assumptions, and behaviors. Transactional leaders concentrate on their employees’ self-interest by offering rewards. When Jacobsen and Andersen created this writing, there was not enough research on the topic under consideration. The quality of the existing research was low; this determined the need to make such a work.

To begin with, it should be noted that the title of the article fully reflects its content. The introduction to the work clearly indicates the purpose of the study. The argumentation of the article’s authors can be considered convincing for several reasons. In the theoretical part of the study, the authors reveal in detail the content of all terms used, which ensures the clarity of the text. For example, the authors explain the meaning of opposite terms such as “self-rating” and “other-rating” (Jacobsen & Andersen, 2015, p. 830), “employee-perceived leadership,” and “leader-intended leadership” (Jacobsen & Andersen, 2015, p. 829). Links to the correct sources accompany the explanation of terms. Researchers compare old works on a topic with new ones, commenting on the small number of such studies, the usage of “subjectively measured performance data,” and the focus on “narrow aspects of objective performance” (Jacobsen & Andersen, 2015, p. 830). A critical approach to the predecessors’ work ensures that the indicated shortcomings in the authors’ work are avoided.

From the point of view of the practical part of the research, the work has both strengths and weaknesses. Although the authors discovered “the positive associations between transformational and transactional leadership and performance “(Jacobsen & Andersen, 2015, p. 837), it is not possible, based on the results obtained, to make specific recommendations to leaders in the public sector. This impossibility to implement the findings of scientists into the activities of public structures can be attributed to the shortcomings of the work. The authors acknowledge that additional research is required to formulate appropriate recommendations. This article, as the authors suggested, served as the basis for a number of other studies (Grøn et al., 2019; Schwarz et al., 2020). The movement method from the particular to the general used by the authors can be considered successful. The chosen object of research – Danish schools, corresponds to the purposes of the study and provides the necessary objective data. Thus, although the work contains weaknesses, these weaknesses are compensated by the possibility of further research.

In the theoretical part of the work, it was not possible to identify any aspects affecting the quality of the study. Accuracy of terminology and logical narration ensured the ease of perception of the text. The authors were able to fulfill the stated objectives of the study using reliable data. Taken together, the authors’ objective views on the problem under consideration and the use of verified and trustworthy sources make it possible to consider this work as the basis for the subsequent research.


Grøn, C., & Bro, L., & Andersen, L. (2019). Public managers’ leadership identity: Concept, causes, and consequences. Public Management Review, 22, 1-21. Web.

Jacobsen, C. B., & Andersen, L. B. (2015). Is leadership in the eye of the beholder? A study of intended and perceived leadership practices and organizational performance. Public Administration Review, 75(6), 829–841. Web.

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Schwarz, G. & Eva N., & Newman, A. (2020). Can public leadership increase public service motivation and job performance? Public Administration Review, 80 (4), 543–554. Web.

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