George L. Hanbury Nova Southeastern University Alka Sapat Florida Atlantic University Charles W. Washington Clark Atlanta University Know Yourself...
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1) Please analyze the article below in terms of this week's unit.

2) Make sure you draw connections to the lecture notes and support your argument using examples (Your assignment is automatically submitted to TurnItIn with your submission to check for plagiarism) Analyze the following article: Hanbury, G., Sapat, A., & Washington, C. (2004). Know yourself and take charge of your own destiny: The “Fit Model” of leadership. Public Administration Review, 64, 566-576. Assignment Guideline: Post your paper as an attached Word file. It should be 750 words single-space pages in length (Times New Roman, 12 font), not including quotations, lists, or the reference list. Parenthetic citations and the reference list will be in APA format. Your name and the week of the assignment should be at the top of the paper and your last name should be at the beginning of the title of the electronic file.

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566 Public Administration Review • September/October 2004, Vol. 64, No. 5 George L. Hanbury Nova Southeastern University Alka Sapat Florida Atlantic University Charles W. Washington Clark Atlanta University Know Yourself and Take Charge of Your Own Destiny: The “Fit Model” of Leadership Leadership scholars have theorized that leaders of an organization must have an appropriate “fit” with those they lead and with their environment. Yet, there is no empirical research to date that has explored this belief. We develop a theoretical model to determine the factors influencing the fit of a city manager, indicated by his or her tenure. We argue that six sets of explanations may help determine the fit of the city manager: the manager’s leadership style, his or her personality type, the city manager’s perception about fit, the perceptions of city councils, the demographics of the city managers, and the demographics of the cities where they work. Based on a rigorous nation- wide study of city managers, the study shows that the fit of city managers is significantly influenced by two of the six sets of explanations. Implications for scholars, city managers, and practitioners are drawn from the study’s analysis and findings. Many scholars and popular authors in leadership today lament that before one may lead others, one first must un- derstand oneself—a psychology of leadership. However, there has not been much understanding of leadership pro- vided at the local level by city managers. The chief execu- tive officer of municipalities in the council-manager form of government—the city manager—has become, for the most part, an itinerant leader looking for the elusive city with the appropriate “fit.” According to the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the “mean length of service (for a city manager) is 6.4 years and the median length is five years, so the majority of city manag- ers (responding to the ICMA survey) have served their cit- ies for under six years (Wheeland 1995, 14). Five to six years is a short time frame, even in times of term limits for elected officials, for any chief executive to stabilize an or- ganization and carry out an agenda established by the city council. Simply put, the problem is the short-term employ- ment relationship between professional city managers and the city councils the managers work for, thus preventing sustained and effective managerial leadership. Yet, no study to date has analyzed this problem. To investigate this important but neglected issue, this study develops a unique theoretical model to analyze the factors affecting the fit of city managers with the council George L. Hanbury (PhD, Florida Atlantic University) is the executive vice president for administration at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and former city manager of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Portsmouth and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Dr. Hanbury also teaches courses in policy analysis, leadership, economics, and finance at NSU. He serves as a volunteer “Range Rider” for the International City/County Management Association, promoting the coun- cil-manager form of government and professionalism in local governments. E-mail: [email protected] . Alka Sapat (PhD, SUNY–Stony Brook) is an associate professor of public administration at Florida Atlantic University and coordinator of the doctoral program. She teaches courses in public policy, public governance and privatization, methodology, and disaster management. Her research focuses on disaster management, environmental policy, deregulation, and environ- mental justice. Recently, Dr. Sapat received funding from the National Sci- ence Foundation to research best practices in state homeland security and the adoption of disaster-mitigation policies. E-mail: [email protected] . Charles W. Washington (PhD, Syracuse University) is the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Clark Atlanta University and former professor and coordinator of graduate programs of public administration at Florida At- lantic University. Dr. Washington also served as chair of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University, where his main in- terests were (and continue to be) public administration, metropolitan stud- ies, intergovernmental relations, organizational theory, public policy for- mulation and implementation, and public budgeting and finance. E-mail: [email protected] .
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Know Yourself and Take Charge of Your Own Destiny 567 members for whom they work. “Fit,” for the purposes of this study, is the dependent variable, and it is measured by years of service or tenure. We argue that fit is affected by six sets of factors: the city manager’s leadership style, his or her personality, the perceptions of the city man- ager, the perceptions of the city council, the demograph- ics of the managers, and the demographics of the cities where they work. The theoretical model developed in this study has con- siderable support in the literature. For instance, Waller, Huber, and Glick (1995) chronicle the effect of “executive perception” on organizational effectiveness, which also ap- plies to the success of the leader. Chattopadhyay et al. re- port that executive beliefs or perceptions affect their “so- cial influences processes,” and not necessarily the “straightforward model of the relationship between func- tional conditioning and executive beliefs” (1999, 784). Past research on leadership has also emphasized the importance of fit. Several scholars have theorized whether leaders of organizations must have an appropriate fit with those they lead and with their environment (Chemers 1997; Bennis and Townsend 1995; Badaracco and Ellsworth 1989; Fiedler 1964, 1966, 1967; Aldrich and Pfeiffer 1976; Hannan and Freeman 1977; Aldrich 1979; Carroll 1988; McKelvey and Aldrich 1983). Organizational scholars have also surmised for years that personality is an important dimension of leadership and can play an important role in determining the fit of the leader/manager within an orga- nization (Chemers 1997, 131). Leadership, Personality, and Fit The basis of the conceptual framework for this study is leadership. The study is rooted in theories that explain the emergence of effective leadership, and specifically, theo- ries that consider a dimension of leadership that has a domi- nant presence—personality type. To demonstrate this point, a model of city manager lead- ership that is unique to the council-manager form of gov- ernment is developed. It is labeled the “fit model.” The model, shown in figure 1, graphically depicts the delicate balance or pivotal point, the city manager. Functioning as the chief executive officer, the city manager occupies a spot between the demand for responsiveness from a demo- cratically elected legislative body that has the ability to hire or fire at will, and the expectations of a complex pro- fessional organization awaiting leadership and vision. “Fit,” the dependent variable in this study, is measured by years of service or tenure. 1 Viewed from this pivotal point, the city manager is the essence of Terry’s (1995) “administrative conservator.” Exercising the appropriate fit, the city manager sustains institutional integrity and exercises strong leadership in order to continue serving in this vital capacity. Terry rightly points out that such administrative conservators do not pose a threat to their elected leaders or to democracy. “When guided by constitutional principles, they help maintain sta- bility of the American regime by preserving the integrity of public bureaucracies and, in turn, constitutional pro- cesses, values, and beliefs” (171). To understand the factors affecting the manager’s fit to his or her position, we investigate six factors posited to determine the manager’s fit: the city manager’s leadership style, the manager’s personality traits, the manager’s per- ceptions, the perceptions of the city council, the demo- graphics of the managers, and the demographics of the cit- ies where they work. Figure 1 “Fit Model” Corporate Organization Vision of President as CEO Vision of City Council Vision of City Manager as CEO Council-Manager Organization Leader (president) or chief executive officer in a private or not-for-profit organization exhibits certain traits (attention to the needs of other people, or production and output, sensitivity to diversity, etc.). In addition, the leader is in the center of the organization, thereby leading and creating the vision for the organization as the essential ingredient to move the organization forward. Leader (city manager), in the council manager form of government, exhibits the same traits as a chief executive officer, working inside the organization with professional administrators. However, the leader serves at the pleasure of an elected city council. Therefore, the city manager shares leadership and vision with the city council as the “administrative conservator.” The compatibility of this vision, or fit, determines tenure of the manager and may allow the city to move forward.
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