Clear blue water flows over rocks in a long-exposure photograph of a New Zealand river.

Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership

The Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership at Victoria Business School works towards facilitating a transparent and ethically sound business sector.

Tēnā koe!

Today’s leaders face growing demands to address unruly global problems and achieve greater sustainability for people, the planet and future generations.This requires leadership that engages many stakeholders across sectors, countries and cultures in decision-making and action.

The alternative is that complex change fosters a continued and increasing rise of populist leaders who present ‘hero’ leadership options based on command and control ‘solutions’. The international context creates an extraordinary chance for researching public sector and political leadership.

The Public and Political Leadership (PUPOL) international academic network aims to contribute to solutions and help societies and their leaders address such challenges through research and scholarship focusing on the role of leaders and leadership in the public and political domains.

A different perspective on global leadership challenges

Bringing the PUPOL Conference to Wellington in 2019 offers the opportunity to reflect on global leadership challenges from the perspective of the world’s most recently settled and remote nation, New Zealand, in the South Pacific.

Settled by Māori from the tenth century and Europeans after 1800, New Zealand,with nearly 5 million people is also one of the world’s oldest continuous democracies and regularly rated among the world’s best for the transparency of its government systems and ease of doing business.

A coalition government led by Labour party Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, elected in October 2017, represents a generation change in New Zealand politics. It seeks significant change from the market-focused systems of New Public Management adopted in the 1980s- 1990s. The new government seeks to tackle climate change, child poverty, over-priced housing in major cities and to balance economic growth driven by dairying and tourism with stronger environmental protection.

PUPOL 2019, to be held at Victoria University of Wellington, will create momentum for its mostly northern hemisphere membership to debate public and political leadership from the perspective of distance in a country that is actively rethinking the roles of its public organisations and political leaders, and its interaction with other actors and sectors.

We hope you can join us in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand from 11-12 April 2019.

An overview from Dr Alessandro Sancino

In the video below, Dr Alessandro Sancino talks about PUPOL conferences.

The Public and Political Leadership (PUPOL) international academic network was founded in 2012 in the Netherlands, and from 2015 as an international network. Since its inception, PUPOL has grown into a vibrant network of over 75 scholars interested in and working on leadership in Public Administration, Public Management, Organization Studies and Political Science.

PUPOL was founded by Karin Lasthuizen and Sabina Stiller, and supported by the Netherlands Institute of Government (NIG) as a research colloquium. In time they were joined by Sandra Resodihardjo and Leonie Heres, and together this pioneering group developed PUPOL into an international network – with a Board of Directors and a Board of Executives.

PUPOL activities include an annual conference.  In 2019, the fourth international conference will be hosted by the Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership at Victoria Business School, Wellington.


Professor Karin Lasthuizen is the inaugural Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership, established in November 2016.

PUPOL Conference 2019

Academics with paper acceptances are invited to join us for the 4th international Public and Political Leadership (PUPOL) conference on 11 and 12 April 2019.


The Chair's research and consultancy work focuses on ethical leadership and ethics management in public and private sector organisations.


Professor Karin Lasthuizen co-authored the textbook Ethics and Management in the Public Sector and has written numerous publications.


The Chair in Ethical Leadership aims to share knowledge, best practice and global insights into ethical leadership.  

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