New Life for Old Ideas: Explaining the Widespread Adoption of a Weberian-inspired Leadership Model in Danish Municipalities

Sarah Maria Lysdal Krøtel, Kasper Trolle Elmholdt, Jeppe Agger Nielsen

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaper uden forlag/tidsskriftForskningpeer review


Within the last decades, there has been an increased interest in the importance of management and leadership in public sector organizations. With these new emerging management regimes old ideas such as hierarchical management and formal organization would seem to be obsolete. Yet, we see how “old” managerial ideas keep proliferating in the public sector (Grinsven, 2017: Agger and Dahl, 2015: Rosenberg Hansen and Ferlie, 2016). In this paper we engage this puzzle by investigating how and why seemingly “old school” management and leadership models are adopted by contemporary public sector organizations. In particular, we strive to explain why the hierarchical, Weberian-inspired leadership model Leadership Pipeline (Charan, Drotter & Noel, 2001), which was originally developed in the 1970´s and 1980´s, got a fast and widespread diffusion across the Danish municipalities from 2010 until 2017. Utilizing a strong mixed-methods design our findings suggest that the hierarchical leadership model gained acceptance, not only by being translated into a Danish text version and through a strong alliance between public sector managers, academia and management consultants, as shown elsewhere (Nielsen, Wæraas, & Dahl, 2019) but the political context or public sector reforms was crucial in advancing the concept.
StatusUdgivet - 2019
BegivenhedPublic Management Research Conference (PMRC) - University of North Carolina, USA
Varighed: 11 jun. 201914 jun. 2019


KonferencePublic Management Research Conference (PMRC)
LokationUniversity of North Carolina

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