Public sector leaders and institutional change: a study of the antecedents of leaders´ adaptive behaviour in Dutch arts and cultural education
Harten, E.J. van
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Despite the increasing awareness that leadership behaviour is not only influenced by leaders’ personal characteristics but also by contextual influences, empirical evidence on this topic stays behind (Yukl, 2010; Silvia and McGuire, 2010; Currie et al, 2009; Porter and McLaughlin, 2006). This article fills this contextual gap by looking at the factors influencing the way in which public sector leaders adapt to the changing institutional environment. Since the environment of public sector leaders is often very uncertain and ever-changing, it is interesting to study the leaders’ adaptive behaviour toward environmental demands and constraints. Following several authors (Pulakos et al, 2002), this study sees adaptive behaviour as a multidimensional concept and therefore operationalized it into adaptive behaviour on an interpersonal and on a functional level. In this study, leaders in the Dutch arts and cultural education sector are examined. Regression analyses show that the more self-efficacious and motivated to change leaders are, the more they behave adaptively on an interpersonal level. Experience with changing institutional demands and the perceived degree of constraints coming from the institutional environment appear to influence adaptive behaviour on a functional level.