Effective leadership is the main driving force in every successful private or public organization (Freeman & Siegfried 2015). To become a competent leader, a manager should possess adequate skills and encourage his or her followers to focus on the targeted vision. Leadership is therefore defined as the ability to lead others by example, communicating goals adequately, and mobilizing resources to ensure positive results are realized promptly (Koryak et al. 2015). Entrepreneurship leadership has emerged as a new model that guides managers in different organizations to mentor others in an attempt to deliver the intended objectives. Ward (2017) believes that entrepreneurship leadership is the act of “organizing people to achieve a specified goal using various entrepreneurial strategies” (p. 75). Some of these approaches include change management, innovation, risk optimization, and inclusivity. When such attributes are taken seriously, an organization will find it easier to achieve its goals. Unfortunately, the application of entrepreneurship leadership by managers has not delivered desirable results in many organizations in the public sector. Focusing on the unique attributes and concepts of entrepreneurial leadership, this paper explores why managers often fail to implement meaningful changes in the public sector. The discussion goes further to describe how entrepreneurship can be used to implement change in a government organization.
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Leadership in the Public Sector
Many theorists have presented various models to describe how a change in a public firm can be managed. It should also be observed that some of the presented theories offer conflicting ideas regarding the issue of change management. However, the models appear to present remarkable concepts and initiatives that can be applied successfully in public organizations that want to realize their goals much faster (Koryak et al. 2015). Organizational managers are equipped with adequate competencies that can be applied to effect change. The manager will be required to go a step further to ensure the intended change process is implemented successfully.
Freeman and Siegfried (2015) assert that a change model is critical whenever planning to initiate a new idea in an organization. Kurt Lewin’s change model has gained popularity within the past few decades because of its ability to deliver positive results. The theory encourages leaders to follow three distinctive steps to ensure the targeted change is managed successfully. These stages include “unfreeze, change, and refreeze” (Ward 2017, p. 52). An entrepreneurial leader who applies this change model will realize the intended goals. Throughout the change process, leaders must communicate effectively with their followers. This can be realized through the use of oral or written communication mechanisms. Employees and stakeholders should be encouraged to become active participants.
Experts in organizational management and leadership argue that a successful change should be informed by a clearly defined need (Freeman & Siegfried 2015). This means that the targeted change will be aimed at transforming a given situation. It can also be initiated whenever planning to create a new culture. Ward (2017) goes further to indicate that the effectiveness of a given change will always be dictated by the aptitudes of the managers. The top leaders should be able to disseminate the required information, entice their followers, create the best environment, and remain supportive throughout the process. Skilled entrepreneurial leaders have been observed to go a step further to apply adequate strategies that are dictated by the uniqueness of their respective organizations.
Several propositions capable of changing organizations in the public sector have been identified by researchers. To begin with, leaders should come up with a clear need for the intended change. As indicated earlier, the level of persuasion will increase significantly if the followers appreciate the proposed change (Ward 2017). The move will ensure everyone is aware of the change and its direction. The leader must go a step further to design a workable strategy for supporting and implementing the change. A vision is needed to ensure every follower understands his or her role throughout the process (Koryak et al. 2015). Resistance will always be encountered whenever planning to implement a new change. With effective teamwork and internal support, a leader will reduce this kind of resistance and eventually record positive results. The workers in the firm will be willing to be part of the targeted change.
The role played by the top management will dictate the success of any proposed change within the public sector. The managers will use their dexterities to promote positive behaviors, foster communication, and encourage every employee to support the change. External players and stakeholders are usually involved in an attempt to deliver positive outcomes. This approach is critical because many public organizations tend to have political architects and participants pursuing specific objectives (Koryak et al. 2015). The provision of resources is another critical factor that can determine the success of change implementation within the public sector. Managers should monitor scarce resources, train their workers, and present new activities depending on the nature of the change (Downe, Cowell & Morgan 2016). New departments can also be created to ensure every activity runs smoothly. These attributes should be supported using an effective change model. This strategy will ensure every obstacle or challenge is addressed before it affects the effectiveness of the process.
Why Leaders Often Fail to Change a Public Sector Organization
The above discussion shows conclusively that government organizations managed by competent entrepreneurship leaders can benefit from effective change processes. Such firms will eventually offer desirable services to the targeted beneficiaries. Theorists in leadership have presented convincing factors and models to support change in every public sector organization. Unfortunately, researchers have observed that many public organizations have been mismanaged by their leaders thus finding it hard to meet the needs of the targeted people (Ward 2017). It is also acknowledgeable that some leaders in such organizations apply their skill sets to implement change successfully. This fascinating scenario has encouraged more scholars to examine why many leaders have been finding it hard to change such public organizations.
Within the past three decades, many private organizations have been observed to deliver quality services and products to their respective clients. This has not been the case for many public organizations or agencies. Despite such observations, most of these organizations tend to have reasonable goals, effective processes, carefully designed policies, and accountable leaders (Freeman & Siegfried 2015). This scenario has encouraged analysts to examine some of these organizations in an attempt to come up with convincing arguments. A proper understanding of the obstacles making it hard for leaders to implement change in public organizations can be used to come up with appropriate solutions.
The first reason why leaders often fail to support sustainable change in the public sector is that they are appointed based on their political connections or technical skills (Koryak et al. 2015). This means that such managers might have unquestionable skills in change management but lack the expertise in sustaining the process. Ward (2017) indicates clearly that the inability of many public agencies to implement successful changes is caused by ineffective leadership. A manager who has the required technical expertise might not possess adequate skills in change management. This fact explains why a leader who has managed change successfully elsewhere should be recruited to support the performance of a public sector agency. It would also be appropriate for recruiters to focus on individuals who have managed to sustain meaningful changes in various organizations. By so doing, more firms in the public sector will promote new changes and eventually support the changing demands of every citizen.
Most of the leaders in different public organizations lack sufficient time to implement meaningful changes. The recruitment process for a person to head a public sector organization has always been rigorous (Freeman & Siegfried 2015). More often than not, the process takes several months due to the bureaucracies involved. It is also notable that most of the leaders are political appointees. The individuals must be vetted by different committees before assuming power. Any regime change will also result in transfers, reappointments, or policy implementations. These aspects explain why many leaders in public agencies focus on policy issues and reforms because they can be realized much faster (Ward 2017). Consequently, many leaders acknowledge that the process of implementing changes in such agencies can be time-consuming. They might also be unavailable to manage and support the change until it is completed successfully.
The public sector is governed by strict rules to ensure public resources, assets, and funds are not misappropriated. This means that issues such as budgeting, hiring, procurement, and recruitment must be done by specified laws. Leaders in public organizations are not allowed to change certain procedures, processes, or functions without being permitted by specific stakeholders (Freeman & Siegfried 2015). These attributes have led to workplaces that are inflexible when it comes to change implementation. Legal requirements and doctrines should also be followed to ensure the powers of different leaders are trimmed. Any malpractice or disobedience can attract huge penalties. That being the case, every leader in a public organization will be keen whenever planning to implement a specific change.
Public agencies are usually established to meet the needs of different people. In every democratic society, public organizations should take into consideration the rights of its citizens. Different constituencies such as parliamentarians, politicians, cabinet secretaries, watchdog groups, non-governmental institutions, and public officers must be allowed to present their viewpoints. A change process that fails to satisfy one of these stakeholders might be extremely hard to implement (Freeman & Siegfried 2015). Leaders in such agencies should consult widely and bring onboard different players to ensure the suggested change is supported. Failure to consider these issues will make it impossible for any change to be concluded successfully.
The unique forces affecting every public organization can be used to explain why some leaders often fail to manage sustainable change processes. Fortunately, many agencies have managed to overcome these hurdles by focusing on the best practices that can result in improved performance (Freeman & Siegfried 2015). Some leaders have known how to consult different players and encourage them to offer meaningful incentives that can deliver desirable outcomes. Freeman and Siegfried (2015) indicate that leaders should use their expertise to minimize crises, bring followers together, and communicate clear objectives that must be realized promptly.
Entrepreneurship Leadership in Public Organizations: Recommendations for Implementing Change
Managers in public organizations can benefit significantly from the core attributes of entrepreneurship leadership. Agency leaders should understand that most of the obstacles affecting public organizations might not go away any time soon (Ward 2017). They should go further to implement powerful initiatives that can minimize the level of resistance and encourage more participants to focus on the targeted outcomes. A competent entrepreneurship leader understands clearly that he or she should incessantly acquire new skills. Proper knowledge of the issues affecting the organization is also critical to come up with a proper change model.
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An entrepreneurship leader planning to implement a specific change in an agency should possess certain key qualities. The first critical feature is being able to articulate a proper vision. The manager should be aware of how the intended functions should be completed. The steps or phases to be followed throughout the change process are also necessary (Ward 2017). The major areas causing dissatisfaction in the public organization can be used to come up with the best vision (Freeman & Siegfried 2015). The approach can guide the leader to focus on specific issues affecting the targeted population.
The second issue to consider is communication (Ward 2017). As a leader, it is necessary to share information with different stakeholders, clients, and followers. An informed team will be willing to be part of an agenda aimed at improving performance. Problems or challenges affecting the organization should be understood by every player. An entrepreneurial leader understands clearly that his or her followers can offer valuable ideas to make things much better (Koryak et al. 2015). Constant communication makes it possible for leaders to analyze emerging issues, address every challenge, and minimize conflicts. The concept of teamwork emerges thereby making it easier for the leader to support the implemented change.
Another powerful dexterity associated with entrepreneurship leaders is the ability to retain talent. Ward (2017) believes strongly that successful leaders always surround themselves with courageous, competent, and courageous followers. An entrepreneurship leader identifies individuals who possess specific competencies and encourages them to join his or her team. Proper training is emphasized by such leaders to foster continuous improvement. New resources are usually introduced to support the performance of every employee. Individuals who portray adequate competencies can be selected to mentor and guide others. The created team will then work hard to ensure the intended change is implemented and sustained successfully.
Leaders in public organizations must learn how to lead others by example (Koryak et al. 2015). To achieve this goal, the leader must exhibit appropriate values and ethical practices that can be emulated by others. Every follower will be willing to learn new behaviors and apply them accordingly to support the goals of the agency. The leader should promote collaboration throughout the change implementation process. The use of an appropriate change model will eventually support the process. The ability to empower others and equip them with desirable competencies is another meaningful attribute of entrepreneurial leadership (Ward 2017). Leaders should use their skills to transfer apt ideas and knowledge to their followers. A new culture capable of promoting performance will eventually emerge in the targeted government organization. Consequently, the agency will be in a position to ensure quality services are available to every person.
Entrepreneurship leaders are characterized by persistence. To execute the intended change, and entrepreneurship leader should use a strong vision and apply adequate strategies. Such a leader will go further to seek advice from experts and professionals in the public sector. This approach is necessary because no one knows everything especially in the field of organizational management. The inclusion of different professionals, legal experts, and specialists in the respective sector will make it possible for the leader to implement new changes (Ward 2017). The involvement of every stakeholder in the government organization will create the best environment capable of supporting the change process.
Throughout the change implementation period, entrepreneurship leaders should be keen to monitor the efforts put in place (Freeman & Siegfried 2015). Constant monitoring is used to reveal the major achievements and challenges associated with the process. Short-term initiatives can be implemented during the process to deal with every emerging issue. Additionally, political issues must be considered since they have the potential to affect the performance of a given public organization. New ideas in the field of management should be embraced by organizational leaders who want to implement changes successfully.
Entrepreneurship leadership is a complex approach that can be managers to support change in public agencies. Although many leaders in public organizations encounter several challenges whenever planning to implement deep changes, the model can be applied to deliver positive outcomes (Koryak et al. 2015). An entrepreneurship leader can begin by figuring out how to attract key stakeholders and encourage them to support the intended change. The leader can go further to empower and mentor every employee. The leader must communicate the mission of the change process to every participant. By so doing, the individuals will collaborate in an attempt to deliver meaningful results. Inputs from different stakeholders should be taken seriously by leaders throughout the change process. Such ideas can be used to promote desirable practices and initiatives that have the potential to add value to the organization.
Since leadership is a public organization that can change hands any time, managers should ensure the right groundwork is in place after implementing a new change. This approach will ensure every leader is capable of following every step. The provision of adequate resources and skills to the major players will support the process. As mentioned earlier, continuous learning is a powerful concept that can empower both the leader and his or her followers. The approach will create a positive organizational culture whereby new ideas are exchanged by different stakeholders (Ward 2017). When every person has managed adequately, the outlined vision will become the best guiding principle that promotes new changes in the targeted government agency. In conclusion, a leader who plans to change a public sector organization can learn a lot from the unique attributes of entrepreneurship leadership.
Downe, J, Cowell, R & Morgan, K 2016, ‘What determines ethical behavior in public organizations: is it rules or leadership?’, Public Administration Review, vol. 76, no. 6, pp. 898-909.
Freeman, D & Siegfried, R 2015, ‘Entrepreneurial leadership in the context of company start-up and growth’, Journal of Leadership Studies, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 35-39.
Koryak, O, Mole, K, Lockett, A, Hayton, J, Ucbasaran, D & Hodgkinson, G 2015, ‘Entrepreneurial leadership, capabilities and firm growth’, International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 1-14.
Ward, J 2017, Leadership and change in public sector organizations: beyond reform, Taylor & Francis, New York.