Coproduction of Public Leadership: The Engagement of Mayors With Citizens, Managers and Politicians

Sancino, Alessandro; Carli, Giacomo; Giacomini, Davide and Pagani, Michela (2019). Coproduction of Public Leadership: The Engagement of Mayors With Citizens, Managers and Politicians. In: Academy of Management Proceedings, Academy of Management, 2019(1), article no. 12372abstract.




This paper studies how mayors engage with citizens, managers and politicians to coproduce public leadership in the pursuit of several local governance processes: agenda setting; institutional decision making; public services design and delivery. We draw on an extensive survey with answers from 1,119 Italian directly elected Mayors. Using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis and then clustering, we shed a light on the existence of four different clusters of engagement who coproduce different types of public leadership: political managerialism oriented leadership; multi-actor and participatory leadership; centralised leadership; conventional leadership. Our findings show that centralised leadership is the most popular cluster among the four; female mayors tend to enact a more multi-actor and participatory type of leadership; leadership in rural areas is more conventional. Interestingly, some mayors prefer to engage with politicians for issues related to public service design and delivery rather than with managers. We discuss how our findings advance public administration theory, specifically the literatures on public leadership and on the relationship between politics and administration.

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