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Title: Contextual intelligence and chief executive strategic decision making in the NHS
Author: Koh, Yi Mien
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2012
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CEO competence and development is a continuing concern in the NHS. As a key feature of any CEO leadership role is responsibility for organisationally critical decisions, and there is an increasing recognition of the role context plays in effective leadership behaviour. This study examines the role of contextual intelligence in relation to PCT CEO decision making behaviour. To do this, the research addresses four questions: a) what does the literature say about CEO contextual intelligence? b) what factors do PCT CEOs say they take into account in different decision making contexts? c) what contextual factors do they actually take into account? and d) what impact do the contextual factors have on their decision making behaviour. A systematic literature review resulted in a model of CEO contextual intelligence for CEO decision making. Semi-structured interviews with 24 PCT CEOs in a NHS region about factors influencing their decisions on generic strategies, national policies, regional strategies and local plans revealed a hierarchy among contextual factors applying to different decision strata. Semi-structured interviews and analysis of CEO diaries two months later of the same focal decisions show the real critical factors to be:- national policies themselves, the Strategic Health Authority and the decision making process, for regional strategies; and Top Management Team and structure for local plans. Altogether, the research reveals that the PCT CEO’s decision making context is rationally bounded; the relevant contextual factors differed significantly from the literature derived model; the actual factors in practice differed from what were espoused; choice of factors vary depending on decision trigger strata which links to degrees of CEO autonomy; and macro level factors which were indicated as significant from the systematic review were in fact ignored in practice. A PCT CEO model of contextual intelligence is developed together with a two dimensional model of underlying structures guiding PCT CEO decision making behaviour. The findings have implications for governance structures in the NHS, CEO decision making and senior leader development in ii the NHS in the context of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. Areas for further research in public sector, NHS and contextual intelligence are also identified.
Supervisor: Bailey, Catherine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chief executive officers ; context ; contextual intelligence ; strategic decision making ; National Health Service