Advancing Healthcare Leadership: Physicians as Agents of Change

Advancing Healthcare Leadership: Physicians as Agents of Change

Valerie A. Storey (University of Central Florida, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7576-4.ch001
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As healthcare systems evolve and physicians face more administrative and regulatory burdens, it is imperative for them to build leadership competencies. In fact, there is a need for a pipeline to be created of emerging clinical leaders who have already mastered competencies and skills required of successful leaders. The heroic style of paternalistic leadership is less successful in an era of system complexity, quality control, and personnel diversity. A more preferable leadership style is that of shared leadership where a vision is created towards which team members are intrinsically driven to achieve. These factors have cumulatively contributed to the increasing cognizance that more training programs are needed to make comprehensive leadership development widely accessible to a greater number of potential clinical leaders. This chapter explores physicians and agents of change.
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Conceptualizing Leadership

For more than a century, scholars working to define the dimensions of leadership have been concerned with (amongst other topics) how leaders motivate and inspire, facilitate and elicit high performance, build quality relationships, manage individuals and teams, and assign rewards. In fact, over 65 classification systems have been developed (Northouse, 2016). Generally, these classifications can be placed into six different classification systems. First, leadership can be viewed as the focus of group processes. Suggesting that the leader is at the center of group change and activity (Bass, 1990). Second, leadership can be conceptualized from a personality perspective i.e. a mix of personal traits and characteristics, suggesting that these traits encourage others to accomplish tasks. Third, leadership can be defined as an act or behavior referring to what the leader actually does to bring about change. Fourth, some define leadership in terms of the power relationships, which exist between leaders and followers, and that change occurs due to compliance. Fifth, leadership can be viewed as a transformational process that moves followers to achieve more than is usually expected of them. Finally, leadership can be viewed through a capabilities lens i.e. knowledge and skills that makes effective leadership possible.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Physician Education: Varying routes to clinical leadership including MD/MBA and MBA programs to meet the needs of complex healthcare systems who require the dual skill sets of business-savvy and medical training from candidates seeking leadership positions in administration, policy, and industry positions.

Management: Organization and coordination of business activities in order to achieve defined strategic objectives.

Leadership Pipeline: A systematic, visible system of identifying employees for succession, combined with the processes for their development.

Team Leadership: Practices and values exhibited by leaders, governing a specific group of individuals who are working towards achieving a particular goal or objective.

System Complexity: Consist of numerous interacting and interwoven elements, parts, or agents defined by the structure of the system, the types of interactions between system elements, and the dynamics and patterns of the system that emerge from these interactions.

Shared Leadership: Empowers organizational employees to take leadership positions in their areas of expertise.

Leadership Competencies: Demonstrable skills and qualities most strongly associated with advanced levels of leadership and desired outcomes in an organization.

Heroic Leadership: A version of “Great Man” theories, which emphasize characteristics such as charisma, energy, dominance, and intelligence.

Leadership Style: Manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people.

Clinical Leadership: Individual skills, knowledge, and competencies required to effectively balance the needs of patients and team members within resource constraints and management.

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