March 28, 2008

Effective Leaders Protect Ombuds

In an editorial in the Christian Science Monitor, Harvard professor Joseph S. Nye Jr. compares transformational leaders (who provide an inspiring vision of goals that can help overcome self-interest and narrow factionalism) and transactional leaders (who (lead by using a normal range of rewards and punishments rather than inspiration). Nye asserts that transactional leadership may be better than transformational leadership when a group cannot agree on its ultimate goals, but may be able to agree on means that create diversity and pluralism.

With respect to Ombuds, Nye says:

On an everyday level, whistle-blowers can play a disruptive but useful role in large bureaucracies, and a smart leader will find ways to protect them or channel their information into institutions such as through ombudspersons.

(Christian Science Monitor.)

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