Being able to use a style of management that suits an individual’s personality and the situation in which they manage is a core skill for managers.
No particular style of management is prescribed for the Victorian public sector. The different working environments1 and cultures2 mean that different management approaches will be more or less effective in different management roles.
However, the Victorian public sector values3 and employment principles4 make certain approaches more appropriate than others.
The development emphasis here is not on learning a definitive management approach. Rather, the focus is on building a manager’s capacity to identify and adopt a management approach that is appropriate for the people they are managing, the situation in which they are managing, their own personality and the Victorian public sector values and employment principles.
An additional focus is on the ability to change a management approach to suit a particular situation or over time, and to be able to adopt different management styles concurrently for different staff or tasks.
Underpinning the selection of preferred and alternative management approaches is a sophisticated ability to read a situation, including both the environment and the people within it. This is also covered in the following topic outline.
An understanding of the managers’ personal style is not covered in this development area, as it is covered separately (see Development Guide 1 – Understanding and Developing Yourself). However, good self-knowledge is a prerequisite for selecting and developing effective management styles.
What should a development activity cover?
The checklist that follows outlines the core content that development activities focusing on this subject area ought to cover in order to build the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for success in any Victorian public sector management role.
Accompanying the checklist is a list of resources. Use of these resources in the design and delivery of a development activity will help build knowledge, skills and behaviours that are of immediate and clear value in any management role in the Victorian public sector.
Some of these resources describe specific knowledge, skills or behaviours, while others provide information about the context in which Victorian public sector managers operate. In most cases, the resources do not address the topic in full. Additional material will still be required to provide comprehensive development in the relevant content area. Most resources listed are freely available as downloads from the websites indicated.
1. For example, frontline service delivery, regulatory activities or policy development.
2. For example, science- or humanities-based backgrounds.
3. Section 7 of the Public Administration Act 2004 outlines the Victorian public sector values. These can be summarised as: responsiveness, integrity, impartiality, accountability, respect, leadership and human rights.
4. Section 8 of the Public Administration Act 2004 requires public sector body heads to establish employment processes which will ensure that:
- employment decisions are based on merit
- public sector employees are treated fairly and reasonably
- equal employment opportunity is provided
- human rights as set out in the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities be upheld
- public sector employees have a reasonable avenue of redress against unfair or unreasonable treatment
- in the case of the public service bodies, the development of a career public service is fostered.
Core Content / Resources
Establishing the Context
Understanding the importance of being able to adapt management approaches for different situations, especially in the context of the changing and complex environment in which the Victorian public sector operates and the composition of the public sector workforce
Reading a Situation
Understanding and applying common theories about:
- Different personality types
- Emotional intelligence
- Organisational culture
- Environmental or cultural intelligence.
Understanding Different Management Styles
Understanding different management styles commonly used in contemporary Australia.
Understanding the Victorian public sector values and employment principles and their impact on management approaches.
Applying Preferred and Alternative Management Approaches
Techniques for identifying a management approach in line with personal preferences, the Victorian public sector values and the work context.
- Identifying alternative management approaches for use in different situations
- Identifying situations in which a preferred management approach is likely to be ineffective and an alternative one is needed
- Switching between management approaches or maintaining different styles concurrently for different staff or tasks.
Understanding when and how to seek support to assist with selecting and adapting appropriate management approaches.
- For example, frontline service delivery, regulatory activities or policy development.
- For example, science- or humanities-based backgrounds.
- Section 7 of the Public Administration Act 2004 outlines the Victorian public sector values. These can be summarised as: responsiveness, integrity, impartiality, accountability, respect, leadership and human rights.
- Section 8 of the Public Administration Act 2004 requires public sector body heads to establish employment processes which will ensure that:
— employment decisions are based on merit;
— public sector employees are treated fairly and reasonably;
— equal employment opportunity is provided;
— human rights as set out in the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities be upheld;
— public sector employees have a reasonable avenue of redress against unfair or
unreasonable treatment; and
— in the case of the public service bodies, the
development of a career public service is fostered.