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The public sector plays a vital role in socioeconomic development, and leaders in government agencies must take adequate steps to increase efficiency and effectiveness of governance. As part of initiatives to help member countries improve public-sector productivity, the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) is conducting a multicountry observational study mission on Public-sector Productivity for High-level Officials organized jointly with the China Productivity Centre (CPC), 22–26 May 2017, in Taipei, the Republic of China.
CPC President Dr. Pao-Cheng Chang gave the opening remarks, which emphasized the importance of achieving higher productivity in the public sector to boost overall national competitiveness. The mission will examine models for governments of the future and compatible leadership styles. Seventeen officials from 11 member countries will have opportunities to observe and understand the impact of leadership on performance and overall productivity improvement in public-sector organizations.
The focus is on the knowledge, capabilities, skills, and behaviors that senior managers and leaders must exhibit to support successful public-sector productivity improvement initiatives. The study mission is structured to allow participants to explore and discuss the potential advantages of adopting smart technology initiatives to enhance productivity and how leadership practices can impact the performance of public-sector organizations.
In addition, the study mission will assist participants in developing fixed-term leadership development plans at organizational level. Those plans will allow the APO to track the outcomes and impacts of the mission.
Due to its complexity and ambiguities, leadership in the public sector must address efficiency and effectiveness more clearly than private-sector counterparts. Leadership itself is a key factor in all successful performance management systems, affecting organizational ability to deliver responsive, innovative, efficient services to customers. Responsiveness, the ability to innovate, and efficiency are the building blocks of productivity, requiring public-sector organizations to develop effective leadership models for continuous delivery of improvements in the long term.
Ongoing, unprecedented changes in the external environment, including aging populations, rising demand for and expectations of better public services from citizens, income inequalities, and rapidly changing technologies, are putting enormous pressure on governments to do more with less through constant innovation. Without appropriate leadership, public-sector organizations will find it difficult to respond to current challenges, let alone anticipate those in the future.
Innovative leadership, leading for excellence, and strategic governance planning, as well as topics such as open-source government, stakeholder analysis, crowdsourcing, and soliciting citizen participation through the use of technology are core topics of the study mission, which is facilitated by three international experts: Associate Professor Dr. Tim A. Mau, Department of Political Sciences, University of Guleph (Canada); Assistant Professor Dr. Helen K. Liu, Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Hong Kong; and Dr. John Antony Xavier, Principal Fellow (Professor of Practice) and Head, Strategic Centre for Public Policy, Universiti Kebangasaan Malaysia Graduate School of Business.