Universiteit Leiden

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Ben Kuipers new Chair in Public Leadership

Ben Kuipers has been appointed Professor of Public Leadership at FGGA. The Chair in Public Leadership (0.2 FTE for a period of four years) is funded externally by the VPL (Furthering Leadership) partnership and is embedded in the Leiden Leadership Centre (LLC). With the chair, Kuipers aims to contribute to expanding the impact of the research and findings of the VPL programme and further developing the field of public leadership.

Ben Kuipers

Developing Public Leadership as a contribution to society is central to three of the VPL programme’s lines of research: shared leadership in teams, connecting leadership in networks, and change leadership at all levels in an organisation. Kuipers: 'Together with our partners, we’ll assess the possible perspectives and relevant cases for each issue. We’ll include the (often unruly) practice from start to finish in the research and in the feedback on our results. What’s unique is that we entered into this agreement with seven partners and, as such, the chair can truly be seen as the crowning glory. Unusual for the university and for our partners. Co-creation and shared leadership at its finest. And something I’m very happy to be able to continue working on.'
Kuipers on the chair: 'My assignment consists of a few parts. First, I want to ensure that the research results from the VPL programme find their way into practice, so that we make optimal use of the knowledge developed in the programme. My second mission is to further strengthen the position of the Leiden Leadership Centre as a centre of expertise. This means even more collaborations within the university, with other faculties and institutes, in education and research. Finally, I intend to improve our international network.'

Anyone can demonstrate leadership behaviour

Kuipers did not hesitate to apply when he saw the vacancy. 'This chair offers me the opportunity to contribute even more to the knowledge and practice of public leadership. It’s still a relatively new field, it’s still evolving. I hope to be able to contribute to this, especially by bringing together views on public leadership from different disciplines. It’s about contributing to society, solving complex social issues. Not only within public organisations, but more broadly. And I plan to focus on leadership, with particular emphasis on behaviour. The process, the interaction of leadership, unrelated to hierarchical positions of people in the organisation.' 

Kuipers has a background in Business Administration and has always been interested in the question of how to give people more autonomy and ownership in their work so that they are able come up with better solutions through collaborating. Improving your work or your organisation and making it more enjoyable. 'Since working in Public Administration, I try to link this to societal issues. That's where my interests and expertise lie. I hope to be able to show people that they themselves are part of leadership. They can demonstrate leadership behaviour and develop themselves and thus contribute to the big issues.' 

Text: Margriet van der Zee

Translation: Marleen van Koetsveld

Furthering Public Leadership

The chair and the Furthering Leadership programme are funded by a partnership between the Ministry of Justice and Security with the Judicial Institutions Department (DJI) and the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), National Police, Social Insurance Bank, Municipality of The Hague, Municipality of Leiden, Tax and Customs Administration, General Administration Service (ABD) of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the Leiden Leadership Centre.

Furthering Public Leadership
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