Perceptions Of Executive Government Leadership In The Age Of Engagement and Community Based Decision Making

Monday, July 14, 2014: 4:00 PM
Room: Booth 65
Distributed Paper
Andrew LEADER , Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
Exploring implications for accountability and democracy related to devolving responsibility for identifying, defining and resolving problems to the community level.

In response to significant policy challenges, such as climate change, health care demands and water availability facing decision makers and the community today new approaches that place the community at the heart of the solution are increasingly being adopted. The consequences of these new approaches and their impact on established governance structures will be a key determinant to their longevity as drivers of public policy solutions.

The research will focus on the three primary subgroups involved in the community engagement process, the community (citizens), senior government decision makers (executive level public servants), and political executive government (politicians, political elite and influencers).

What do different stakeholders (community, senior government decision makers and political executive government) perceive to be the reasons for undertaking community engagement?

What do different stakeholders perceive to be the fundamental outcomes that community engagement can be expected to deliver?

Do stakeholder’s perceptions of the outcomes of community engagement match with the perceptions of engagement’s success? 

Are there differences between perceptions of desired outcomes and perceptions of success between stakeholder groups?

The emerging trend to engage with stakeholders to identify issues and collectively decide on action has the potential to significantly impact on perceptions of executive government leadership.

The perception of leadership has the potential to significantly impact upon accountability and democracy as the legitimacy of governments are strongly rooted – at least in part – through the delivery of policies and services. The increased adoption of engagement and community based decision making may devolve responsibility for decision making to a point where the perceptions of governments’ leadership and accountability reaches a critically low point.