Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Taking a Different Look at Public Leadership

'How can public leadership contribute sustainably to solving societal problems?'

Vision on leadership

During the past year, the researchers at the Leiden Leadership Centre have continued working vigorously on the topic of public leadership. Prof. Sandra Groeneveld, dr. Ben Kuipers and dr. Joris van der Voet worked on the study ‘Vision on Leadership’ (commissioned by the Office for the Senior Civil Service). Earlier within this research project both a literature review and an empirical study have been conducted and it has now resulted in the publication of an academic essay titled Taking a different look at public leadership’ (Dutch).

The essay ‘Taking a different look at public leadership’ is part of the research trajectory ‘Vision on Leadership’ in collaboration with the Office for the Senior Civil Service and the Leiden Leadership Centre in order to develop a new leadership vision. In this new vision, public leadership is seen as making a sustainable contribution to solving societal problems.


The publication of this essay and the findings from the ‘Vision on Leadership’ study were officially shared for the first time on Friday January 28th with several representatives of the partner organisations and the experts involved. During this meeting, prof. Sandra Groeneveld, dr. Ben Kuipers and dr. Joris van der Voet discussed leadership based on the content of the academic essay. In addition, the various needs surrounding leadership development were touched upon. How can you lead leadership? Where does the civil servant’s task begin and end, and where does the political task begin? And what expertise should we be looking for in leaders?

Public leadership

Public leadership is about interactions with diverse actors, who each give their own meaning to the societal task at hand and that also take their own interests and values ​​into account. Being able to switch between those actors and their contexts and to connect them is a daily task for every manager.

An essential component of public leadership is stimulating and facilitating the process of creating common views on societal challenges in situations involving diverging interests and public values.

The three directions of public leadership – inward, upward, and outward – are linked to the various roles of civil servants: as a supervisor, political adviser, and societal partner.

For more information, please have a look at the research page of this project.

This website uses cookies.  More information.