Facilitative Leadership Revisited – The Case of Norway

  • Hilde Bjørnå University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway, Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, Department of Sociology, Political Science & Community Planning, Postboks 6050 Langnes, N-9037 Tromsø
  • Knut Mikalsen Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, Department of Sociology, Political Science & Community Planning, Postboks 6050 Langnes, N-9037 Tromsø
Keywords: political leadership, mayor, local government, facilitative, Norway

Abstract

Facilitative leadership has long been a catchword in studies of mayoral leadership. Emphasizing cooperation, consensus-building and the empowerment of others, the facilitative model is said to be typical of council-manager systems of local government. Drawing on a study of long-serving mayors in Norway, the paper assesses the accuracy of the facilitative approach in a typical council-manager system. What does it entail as an ideal type and to what extent does it catch the essence of mayoral leadership as practiced in Norwegian local government? We argue that there are conspicuous and interesting examples of Norwegian mayors exercising strong, strategic, and visionary leadership within a ‘facilitative frame’, and that the facilitative model does not preclude a broader and more ‘expansive’ and ‘entrepreneurial’ approach to mayoral leadership.

Author Biographies

Hilde Bjørnå, University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway, Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, Department of Sociology, Political Science & Community Planning, Postboks 6050 Langnes, N-9037 Tromsø
Professor
Knut Mikalsen, Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, Department of Sociology, Political Science & Community Planning, Postboks 6050 Langnes, N-9037 Tromsø
Professor

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Published
2015-09-03
Section
Articles