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Title: Are directly elected mayors better facilitative leaders than indirectly elected leaders?
Author: Saminaden , Michel Joseph Maurice
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 4887
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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The role of local political leadership has featured highly in the government modernisation agenda for the past 15 years. Both the previous Labour government and the current Coalition government have emphasised that strong local councillors are at the heart of our democracy. Their focus has evolved from the traditional style of collective leadership to a more individualistic style, in the form of directly elected mayors. The aim of this research is to attempt to identify whether directly elected mayors of local authorities are better "facilitative leaders" than indirectly elected leaders. Facilitative leadership has been identified in many different accounts as a more effective style for leading our modern media-savvy and technology enabled communities and provides the basis for testing the merits of different leadership models. The research reviews the literatures on political and public leadership, governance and local government modernisation. A qualitative method is adopted using in-depth interviews with 25 respondents from four different local authorities to create four mini "case studies". The authorities chosen reflect the different leadership models under investigation, as well as other important demographic differences such as the urbanlrural mix, party political control/independent control, unitary/two tier structures, to enable a broad comparison to be made. The Mayors, Leaders, Chief Executives and other stakeholders were interviewed as they are key participants within the two leadership models. The study concludes that mayors are better facilitative leaders than indirectly elected leaders by several measures. In four of the eight elements studied, mayors were clearly identified as being more effective, and in the other four elements, the two models were shown to be equally effective. Several reasons for these differences are put forward, but the single most important one appears to be the higher visibility and profile of mayors at both election time and during their term of office. This. research contributes to the growing literature on local governance and leadership. It also signals to governments that despite the finding that mayors are better facilitative leaders, they do not appear to have generated the ultimate goal of increasing public confidence, participation and voter turnout. Other measures will be needed to increase public engagement in local government.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available