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IU Kokomo professor presents leadership research at conference

April 28, 2014
KOKOMO, Ind. — What motivates leaders of public sector organizations to stay in those jobs, rather than take lucrative private sector positions?

Todd BradleyTodd Bradley

An Indiana University Kokomo professor answers that question, in research he presented at the annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference in Chicago.

Todd Bradley, associate professor of political science, received a New Frontiers Exploratory Travel Fellowship from IU to attend the conference, where he was elected to a three-year term on the association's council.

"I appreciate having this support, which allowed me to delve into an area that can enhance my primary research interest," said Bradley.

His research is part of a book about executive leadership. He compares and contrasts succession planning in public sector jobs, such as governmental and not-for-profit organizations, with private sector jobs.

Bradley interviewed several mayors, CEOs, elected officials, and other public and private sector leaders, to find out what motivated them to stay in their jobs, and how they motivate future leaders. In the public sector, he also asked about how they retain good people in jobs that typically do not pay as much as those in privately owned businesses.

"I was not surprised to learn that money is not a motivating factor that keeps people in public leadership positions," he said. "I also found that future leaders are groomed differently in these jobs. Private businesses focus more on training for the executive job, while public sector organizations tend to give their future leaders much more varied or diverse jobs than the private sector would give."

Presenting at the conference allows him to get feedback on the research, so he can rewrite or edit sections of his chapter before submitting it for publication. Bradley expects to have it ready for publication by the end of 2014.

Scott Jones, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, noted that Bradley is an active, nationally recognized scholar, with approximately 40 publications and presentations in his career.

"We are proud of the excellent research Dr. Bradley performs, and that IU supported sharing one of his projects at the Midwest Political Science Association annual conference," he said.

The New Frontiers Exploratory Travel Fellowships provide up to $3,000 to support national and international travel for faculty pursuing new and innovative research projects.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 09/16/2014