Motivation and learning is key to leadership for executive management in the public service

Year: 2012

Author: Maria, Joce Santa, Craven, Rhonda, Dadich, Ann

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


In review of the public service and the government's need to demonstrate they are performing well, they are continually seeking ways to increase value from their executive management - their leaders. They see these assets as a source of implementing efficiencies and optimising business performance. The Public Service views this particular group of human capital as being a critical value add service (Wright, 2007). This presentation offers a review of key constructs in educational psychology research (e.g., self-concept, motivation, engagement, resilience) that have the potential to facilitate leadership skills and enhance employee engagement (Horton, 2006).
Key constructs will be identified based upon a synthesis of the findings of published articles in psychological, educational, and management journals reviewed from key organisations (e.g., Australian Institute of Management, Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management, Institute of Management Consultants, Department of Education, Board of Studies). Attention will also be placed on international research focussing on the World Bank and United Nations research publications.
Leadership human capital has a price on any organisation and subsequently has a major emphasis on sustainability as leaders may leave and transfer their value to a competitor (Trkman, 2010). Educating leaders to enhance employees' psycho-social constructs such as self-concept and motivation has the potential to facilitate important outcomes in the context of the work environment.
Psychological factors provide insight to explain when an organisation seeks to find out why desired expectations of efficiency are not being met and why people are demoralised (Schein, 2004). Frequently the answer can be found in team's attitudes towards the degree of support that each perceives should be importantly taught or transformed to other members within the public service as an educational experience (Demetriou, Papasolomou, & Vrontis, 2010). Education and psychology have considerable power to influence levels of employee engagement and the performance of leaders within the public service.