Explicating Values as the Epicentre of Public Sector Leadership for New Times: Putting the ‘V’ Factor back into the Australian Public Service Values Framework

By Deborah Lea Nanschild.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Research literature suggests that individuals are happier and more productive when their values strongly align with those of their organisation and when the aligned values espoused by their organisation are lived.

Senior executives in the Australian Public Service were the research participants of this study and the Hall-Tonna Values Framework was chosen as the research instrument. The study found that research subjects moved from an implicit values (‘values silent’) or unaligned values position to values-led leadership practice during the course of this study. They found, once explicated, that their own core values were fundamental to their management effectiveness. Whilst supportive of the tenet of the Australian Public Service (APS) values, they found the practicality of implementing the current APS values framework extremely difficult. This study recommends that the APS values framework be synthesised for simplicity and resonance. Values language and interpretation were also found to be critical underpinnings for gaining commitment and understanding in the workplace.

The findings also recommend that those in leadership positions need to be explicitly aware of and decide upon the value priorities that will drive their behaviour. True leaders create vision through articulating future values, then motivate, coach, inspire and align individuals to that vision. The APS values framework is currently missing this ‘V’ factor essence. In the ‘new’ public sector, inspiring people is a decisive leadership challenge essential to attracting and retaining the right people and the provision of a meaningful organisational values framework will be central in achieving this goal.

Keywords: Values, Leadership, Public Sector

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp.131-140. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 653.370KB).

Deborah Lea Nanschild

Principal Consultant, Deborah Nanschild & Associates, School of Leadership Training, Deakin University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Deborah Nanschild is a Leadership, Management and Education Consultant with 30 years experience in private enterprise, universities and the public sector. She is highly innovative and creative with an extraordinary breadth of life experience who can focus on the possibilities that lie ahead for organisations and their people. Her commitment to lifelong learning and leadership that accelerates human potential underlies her outstanding ability to motivate people and her capacity to implement theory into best practice, which she does with individuals, teams and organisations. She has received numerous awards for her work, including an Australian Prime Minister’s Award of Merit. Deborah has a background in teaching with recent business experience in personal development, organisational change, workplace learning and executive leadership development. This experience led her to investigate through a research doctorate the impact of values-based approaches to leadership development and the consequent effect on an organisation’s ability to change. With the changing demographics of Australian society and its workforce, Deborah has further enquired into the notion that values-based approaches to management and leadership might play a significant role towards retaining and nurturing the workforce of the future. She is the Executive Director of the Centre for Leadership Excellence in Australia (www.leadershipexcellence.com.au).

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