Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Mark Gordon


Senior officials in the public service in Barbados, who are charged with the responsibility of leading and managing government ministries and departments, play a critical role in fostering reform initiatives. Few empirical studies have examined specific leadership behaviors in the context of managing change in Barbados. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify the specific leadership behaviors of senior officials in public service and to explore the use of transformative leadership by public sector administrators to effect reform initiatives. With Bass and Avolio's full-range leadership theory (FRLT) as the theoretical framework, the research question for this study was used to examine how public sector leaders in Barbados applied transformational leadership to transform the public sector. Fourteen permanent secretaries were initially sampled using the multifactor leadership questionnaire; criterion sampling was then used to identify 7 of these leaders for interviews. The data were analyzed by the researcher for the identification of themes. The results revealed 4 main findings that highlighted the importance of leadership in the reform process and in the specific leadership behaviors used by transformational public servants. Mentorship, team building, and the use of individualized approaches were being used by these leaders to manage change and reduce resistance. In conclusion, while the leaders used the full-range of leadership behaviors in the FRLT, transformational leadership practices were highly effective in managing change. The findings may help public leaders design processes to encourage change in the Barbados public sector.