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  • Report
  • 29th Oct 2018

Evidence Report: Literature review and semi-structured interviews to support the establishment of the Centre for Public Services Leadership

Key findings

  • Effective public service leaders are associated with improved organisational productivity and employee wellbeing.
  • Effective public service leaders drive performance, set clear expectations of their team, establish a shared vision for the organisation, work collaboratively internally and across the community, embody integrity and authenticity and create a culture that sustains productivity and wellbeing.
  • Interventions to develop leaders can work but they must account for context, offer practical insights and focus on behaviour change. They should also be evaluated to make sure they work in the context of the UK public service.
  • Public service leaders want the Centre for Public Service Leadership to act as a central hub for evidence on best-practice leadership and involve peer learning alongside training and development.
  • Our review of the evidence and 50 interviews suggests a gap for a programme of cross-service, evidence-based and rigorously evaluated interventions to develop public service leaders.

In Autumn 2017, the Government announced the creation of a Taskforce to advise on the role, remit and responsibilities of a new Centre for Public Service Leadership. The Centre will aim to further develop leadership in UK public services. The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) was commissioned to conduct a rapid literature review and 50 interviews with public service leadersĀ on effective leaders.

The literature and interviews led to five conclusions listed above.

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