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Public and Third Sector Leadership, Experience Speaks

Public and Third Sector Leadership, Experience Speaks.


Brian Howieson, University of Dundee
Julie Hodges, Durham University


For those bold enough to lead in this age of austerity, the challenges are immense. Seismic shifts have taken place in the public and third sectors. Political, economic, technological, and social change is driving profound transformation of organizational models, making predictability and stability elusive. The combined effects of the economic downturn and cutbacks in spending are hitting leaders in the public and third sectors hard. This book presents the views, in their own words, of leaders in these sectors. The book is unique in that it provides an opportunity for the voices of individuals to be heard, who are in leadership positions in sectors, which are rarely considered in the literature. Each leader has contributed their personal reflections of what leadership means to them and their experience of it. They also reflect on the complex challenges which they are facing as they grapple with profound changes in the economy, polity and society.

In this volume, we provide an overview of the themes in the literature on leadership and we offer our views on what is relevant. We, then, provide an analysis of the research in the public and third sectors and the reflections written by each leader, and highlight the key themes from each sector. Finally, the implications for leadership in the public and third sector are drawn out in the conclusion. This is a unique opportunity to hear from the men and women who have demanding leadership positions in the public and third sectors in the UK today.

This book is unique in a number of aspects. First, leaders in the public and third sectors do not usually write about leadership. The literature on leadership is dominated by CEOs from the corporate sector. The world seldom hears from contemporary practitioners - the chief doers and shapers of leadership in the public and third sectors. Read the full list of contributors and their short autobiographies.

Second, the book is co-edited by two academics, who between them have over 40 years experience of working in the business world, in the public, third or private sectors, prior to joining academia.

Third, this book is written by leaders for leaders and aspiring leaders.


  • Public and Third Sector Leadership (PTSL) offers readers a unique opportunity to hear from the men and women who have demanding leadership positions in the public and third sectors.
  • This is not just a theory/teaching book, PTSL provides practical insights from leaders currently working in the public/3rd sector.
  • Effectively crosses the academic/practitioner divide
  • The Editors open with an introductory chapter, providing an overview of current leadership thinking - key research for leadership scholar
  • The aim of PTSL is to increase awareness of the leadership challenges in the public/3rd sector in the UK and Europe and how to address them.

Read the full Table of Contents

Read a sample chapter: Chapter One - Introduction


Leaders and managers in the public or third sector, whether new or experienced, will find the book stimulating and useful for their own understanding and development.

The book also offers insights for human resource professionals, organizational consultants, and organizational development practitioners who seek to work with and develop leaders.

Academics and researchers who study and teach subjects in business and management, such as organizational behaviour, leadership, as well as change will also find the book a rich source of data for future inquiry, as well as, perhaps a confirmation or challenge to their own speculations about leadership.

The book will also be of value to students studying business whether on an MBA programme or other business degree, as it will provide them with first hand accounts of leadership and how they link with theoretical models and frameworks.

Book Information

ISBN Print: 9781783504923
ISBN Electronic: 9781783504916
Publication Date: 24 July 2014
Format print: Hardback
Page count: 220
Dimensions: 165 x 240

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Now Available in Paperback

Paperback ISBN: 9781786352163
Paperback prices: GBP £25 EUR €35 USD $40
Publication Date: April 2016
Page count: 220

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