n Journal of Public Administration - Perceptions of leadership effectiveness in the public sector : an empirical study

Volume 45, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The public sector work environment needs leaders who are able to drive transformation, while managing the performance of their work units effectively. Since leadership effectiveness represents the standards by which leaders are judged, a crucial aspect of leadership effectiveness relates to the perceptions of those who are being led. The aim of this research was to obtain the perceptions of followers and leaders regarding leadership effectiveness within a public sector institution in South Africa, by utilising the South African developed Leadership Behavioural Inventory (LBI). The LBI was developed by Spangenberg and Theron (2002), and is based on transformational and transactional managerial elements needed by leaders to lead successfully within the unique South African context.

The sample consisted of 570 participants, including 114 middle-level leaders and their subordinates. Overall, the results showed that the sample obtained scores much lower in comparison to those of other South African organisational leaders within various industries. Further, it seemed that the sample of public sector leaders in this institution focuses significantly more on people- and performance-related issues, than on external and internal institutional environmental issues, including pro-activity and challenging the status quo.

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