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Title: Exploring the links between leadership and improvement in the UK National Health Service
Author: Hardacre, Jeanne E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 1627
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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Whilst the need for leadership in healthcare is well-recognised, there is still a lack of understanding about how leadership contributes to improving healthcare services. The body of knowledge concerning improvement has grown significantly in recent years, but evidence about links between leadership and health services improvement remains poor, especially within the UK National Health Service. It remains unclear how and why leadership is important to service improvement. This thesis describes aspects of a broader study commissioned by The Health Foundation. Firstly, the work aimed to explore the extent to which different types of service improvement require different types of leadership behaviour. Secondly, it aimed to investigate the nature of any links between leadership behaviour and improving services. The work draws on theoretical models and concepts of leadership and improvement in the literature, as well as empirical research in these areas. A typology of healthcare improvement was developed in order to classify different types of improvement work. Data about leadership behaviours were derived from semistructured interviews and using Q-Sort methodology. The study provides insights into which aspects of leadership are used for different types of improvement work. It makes an original and NHS-specific contribution to the literature, providing empirical evidence of how NHS leadership is associated with service improvement. Results highlight the importance of the relational aspects of leadership behaviour in improving NHS services, reinforcing trends in the literature which promote shared and distributed leadership approaches. A model of improvement leadership is proposed, based on the concept of ‘interdependence’. This model could provide the basis for an alternative emphasis in developing leadership in healthcare organisations, away from teaching skills to individuals, towards a collective, team-based approach to leading services with a shared purpose.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: ORCNi Ltd.
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD28 Management. Industrial Management ; RA Public aspects of medicine