In Australia the role of management in global competitiveness became a significant public policy issue during the labor government on the background of extensive reform (Rozario & Hampson 2005, p.2). In the 1990s this agenda was expanded to include management owing to the poor performance of businesses. It was apparently essential to develop leadership skills not only for entrepreneurs in the private sector, but also for managers in public institutions.
Because of its nature, leadership in most times is perceived as a way to attain outcomes. However, it also refers to the development of issues outside the common concerns and knowledge. Leaders in the private or public sector face a necessary challenge to remain relevant and meet public interests. It involves giving of priority to competing needs. Leaders ought to be motivated to realize and build up cooperation. Leaders should nurture development and responsibility. In the last two decades the Australian economy has significantly changed. Consecutive governments have initiated economic reforms for instance phasing out financial deregulation, tariffs and airfreight reform (Edwards, O’Reilly & Schuwwalow 1997, par. 5). Resultantly organizations in Australia faced a new form of competition as indigenous industries were exposed to a free market. This called for a change in approach by workers and companies. This report can be an important source of information on management systems drawn from Australian managers in developing appropriate organizational practices (Kendal 2003, p. 49)
Importance of Leadership
In Australia there has been a large focus on examining the competencies of leaders. According to the national Training Board Policy and guidelines (1992, p10), competence comprises the specification and knowledge and skill and the application of that knowledge and skill to the standard of performance required in an organization. Leadership is multifaceted and subject to many variations making it difficult to explain it using a limited set of existing theories. A classical approach to management points out some common roles and this are planning, coordinating, controlling and organizing (Fayol 1949, p 23). In Australia regardless of the inadequacies in formulating policies to sustain leadership at the community and organizational level, there came up a need to convince managers in organizations and leaders in the larger community, that good leadership is crucial for effective management. Meager leadership leads to frustration of objectives and bad results (Working futures 2005, p4).
According to Holden (2006, par 1): “It is no exaggeration to use the word crisis in relationship to leadership. We seem to be getting certain things wrong on an enormous scale. So, let us try to think what it might be”.
Leadership Roles, Skills and abilities
Australia has enjoyed a steady economic growth in the last two decades and has the most resilient financial system in the world (Paul 2006, p6). Its...