MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Lyons, Joseph

Geographical Areas

Toronto, Ontario


Leadership development is critical for the future of public sector organizations. Its impact on employee satisfaction, collaboration and organizational performance has been well documented. But how do we best develop leadership in the public sector? Trends in the literature call for a shift to more shared, distributed approaches which argue that leadership capacity is necessary at all organizational levels, regardless of positional authority. This study will examine the efficacy of a peer coaching model at imbedding leadership capacity throughout the layers of an organizational structure. Using a case study of leadership development in local public health, this study contributes to our understanding of the effects of peer coaching on the development of staff leadership capacity in a public sector environment. Results demonstrate that the Growing Leadership Program was beneficial for both coaches and participants, and present peer coaching as a low cost, practical way to increase staff leadership capacity. Program limitations and recommendations for future versions are discussed.