Leadership roles of NGO managers in post social welfare subvention reform in Hong Kong
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New Public Management has been a worldwide phenomenon heralding many changes in the way public sectors and public services are led and managed. One such change is radical and as such is a worthwhile focus of study. Accordingly, this study investigates a change initiative, Social Welfare Subvention Reform in Hong Kong. Key respondents were NGO leadership and managers. Insights into the challenges and leadership roles after the introduction of Social Welfare Subvention Reform in Hong Kong were gathered. A constructivist ontology, interpretive epistemology and qualitative methodology were adopted. Theoretical perspectives included both symbolic interactionism (the search for meaning) and phenomenology (experiential accounts) and these were reflected in the data collection.Grounded Theory was adopted for its qualities of emergence and systematic procedures. Data collection was by semistructured interviews. Data were analysed using content analysis with utterances as the unit of analysis. Invivo coding and constant comparisons were used to develop core constructs. Findings showed that NGO managers were facing a wide range of challenges and they changed their leadership roles in the process of organizational changes. From those identified leadership roles emerged the overarching core leadership role that was NGO Leadership. Based on the identified leadership roles, and given the exploratory nature of the study a tentative model is presented – Three-Levels Leadership Model. It demonstrated how the NGO managers perform their leadership roles in an NGO setting when they are facing the changes.
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