Enabling leadership in practice: examining the case of ICT development in public healthcare settings

ML Rhodes, J Murphy, F Armendáriz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A review of current literature on leadership and public administration quickly identifies an unease with present models of leadership and how appropriate they are in an increasingly complex public sector environment (McKelvey and Lichtenstein, 2007). Recent research has identified a number of significant enabling leadership dualisms in project implementation in complex urban regeneration environments (Murphy, Rhodes, Meek & Denyer, 2017). This paper draws on that research and the theoretical model developed within it and explores the utility of that model within a different type of complex environment: that of ICT projects in healthcare organisations.By exploring how leadership is enacted through the implementation of an Information & Communication Technology (ICT) project within a healthcare setting, the paper deepens our understanding of leadership in the public sector generally and in the public health setting in particular. The paper examines the robustness of the dualisms model presented by Murphy, Rhodes, Meek & Denyer (2017) and extends it to draw some tentative conclusions around intra-organizational leadership dynamics. Specifically, the analysis shows that: 1) the complexity leadership model of administrative, enabling and adaptive practices stands up to second application by an extended research team and in a new leadership context; and 2) intra-organisational settings have similar ebb and flow of leadership practices to the inter-organisational settings examined previously, albeit with some minor modifications. The analysis also suggests that enabling ‘dualisms’ are present to a significant extent in ICT projects and are even more tightly coupled than was observed in the urban regeneration projects. We conclude with recommendations for further research to extend and test the leadership dualisms model in complex public management contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2017
Event21st International Research Society on Public Management Conference - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 19 Apr 201721 Apr 2017


Conference21st International Research Society on Public Management Conference
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Enabling leadership in practice: examining the case of ICT development in public healthcare settings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this