Debunking public sector stereotypes

2007

Anyone living in Europe can probably tell you any number of public sector horror stories – whether it be from a client or an inside point-of-view. And it seems that managers in the public sector have heard those stories as well, because a recent study from the The Work Foundation suggests that these folks have an underwhelming level of self-confidence.

What's really interesting about the results of the study, though, is that the public sector workers interviewed didn't buy in to the same stereotypes. Public sector managers, sit up and take note, because here's what your subordinates really think of you:

  • Public sector managers take responsibility for their team and themselves.
  • They don't unfairly take credit for others' success.
  • They develop positive relationships within the workplace

All very commendable. However the survey also found that public sector managers could do a bit better at being inspirational when it comes to future projects and delegation. Also, guys, the ladies bested you in 36 of 42 leadership categories, so there's still some work to be done

This study has provided some interesting feedback that debunks a number of widely-held myths about the public sector workplace. Kudos to the respondents for not playing to stereotypes and giving honest opinions about their bosses.

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