Studies in Leadership: Leadership and Democratic Action

By Alvin W. Gouldner | Go to book overview

Dilemmas of Leadership and Doctrine in Democratic Planning1

BY PHILIP SELZNICK

As WE COME to face concretely and responsibly the problems of democratic planning, new dimensions of leadership confront us. Among these is the uneasy but indispensable union of statesman and administrator. In the process of creating and maintaining new instruments of control within the framework of democracy, the managerial expert is thrust upward to new and dangerous heights. The classic separation of administration and policy--perhaps never really meaningful--is now being speedily erased. New responsibilities, not always clearly defined, are generated by the ramifying consequences of decisions the administrator is called upon to make. He must increasingly take account of cultural values, of the distribution of power in the community, of public opinion--in short, he must share the primary qualities (and pitfalls) of statesmanship.

This coalescence of administrative and political leadership is not bought for nothing. We pay a price, measured in new sources of frustration. For the problem is not simply one of "educating the administrator to his new responsibilities," useful as such efforts may be; it is rather one of recognizing the special predicaments which accompany the emergence of the planner as leader. These predicaments become especially clear when the administrator identifies himself with an ideology.

In order to explore this problem as concretely as possible, we shall here focus attention upon one widely discussed instrument of demo-

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1
This is a previously unpublished paper.

-560-

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