Leadership Approaches and Models in Health Care
Leadership models and theories help define approaches for creating effective behaviors within specific situations or environments. Examine contemporary leadership models and theories and in a 1,000-1,250-word paper, explain why these models or theories are effective tools for leaders who serve in health care organizations. Include the following:
Discuss the correlation between effective leadership and organizational performance in health care.
Discuss why it is important for regulatory professionals to practice good leadership. Outline effective strategies for regulatory leadership and explain why these are essential in health care.
Describe how the concept of stewardship from servant leadership relates to a Christian worldview. Explain how stewardship relates to professional responsibility, how it can be applied in a health care setting that serves diverse populations, and the potential benefits for stakeholders and the organization overall.
Distinguish between informal and formal leadership. Explain how informal leaders influence others and how this impacts a health care organization.
Select one additional theory or model that you think would be effective for a health care leader to employ. Provide an overview of the model or theory and explain what aspects would be effective and why.
A minimum of three academic references from credible sources are required for this assignment.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
Leadership Approaches and Models in Health Care
Leadership in healthcare is fundamental since it defines an organization’s status at any one point. On the one hand, effective leadership results in growth for the institution, employees, clientele, and other stakeholders. Meanwhile, poor healthcare leadership results in suboptimal individual and organizational outcomes. The current paper explores the relationship between leadership and organizational performance the importance of regulatory professionals in leadership, stewardship, and formal and informal leadership. Lastly, the author suggests a leadership theory that considers all these aspects of leadership to facilitate the effective management of a healthcare institution.
Leadership and Organizational Performance
Organizational performance entails all the entities that an institution’s leaders, employees, and clients consider important. In healthcare, they include various aspects of employee satisfaction and care quality. Leadership can impact organizational performance and vice-versa. For instance, competent healthcare leaders are keen to reduce cases of clinical errors (Al-Habib, 2020). Thus, they will implement drug administration policies that lower the likelihood of a nurse giving a patient the wrong medication. They can also implement hiring strategies that create a culturally-diverse workforce, ensuring that patients from different ethnic backgrounds or with various social disabilities can access adequate care. In so doing, the leader enhances organizational performance through maintaining or improving care quality. The leaders can also enact policies that enhance job satisfaction. Hence, good leadership enhances organizational performance.
The reverse is also true, as well-performing institutions attract good leaders. Suppose an institution with a positive reputation in the community and professional circles wants to hire a new manager. The recruitment team will seek out individuals who have in the past demonstrated the diligence and commitment to quality that the facility embodies. Thus, they will eliminate incompetent leaders. It will be easier for them to find an effective leader to steer the institution into its next phase. However, good performance does not happen without effective leadership in the first place. Hence, the correlation is stronger where leadership influences organizational performance.
Regulatory Professionals in Leadership
Regulatory professionals include all personnel who ensure that an institution abides by the established legal and professional standards. In healthcare, these standards are diverse and include clinical excellence, cultural competency, and ethics. Some of an organization’s leaders should be regulatory professionals since they will ensure that new innovative ideas are legally and professionally permissible. Sometimes, the need to address a problem can cause caregivers to develop creative solutions. However, in their commitment to mitigate the issue, the change agents may have overlooked aspects that could derail the program and even present liability to them or the organization. Leaders with experience in regulatory matters can spot these shortcomings early enough, allowing the team to adjust its plan before implementing it (Schmitt, 2020). Thus, they provide legal and professional support to healthcare professionals involved in developing and implementing new ideas.
Regulatory leaders can employ various strategies to realize positive impacts. First, they can cultivate a culture of quality (Ajamil, 2020). The leaders can ensure that all employees understand the quality expectations. Training programs, recruitment, and dismissals (where necessary) will facilitate the shift in cultural outlook. Thus, the new quality culture will be essential to the organization’s long-term commitment to healthcare standards. Regulatory leaders can also run benchmark initiatives. They would facilitate a cross-organization program where the employees learn about ways to meet quality standards. Then, the leaders will help their staff adopt those methods and modify them where necessary. Thus, benchmarking would be essential since it would allow the employees to realize that there are better yet practical ways to maintain professional and legal standards.
Stewardship is a leadership concept where leaders recognize that their position is inferior to the organization’s long-term existence. Thus, the leadership role is temporary. This notion relates to the Christian worldview of leadership. Christianity advocates for leaders to be servants (Savel & Munro, 2017). Thus, like any servant, a leader is likely to change after a while. Moreover, they do what the master wishes them to do. In the case of healthcare leadership, the masters will be the clients and staff. Hence, the leader should serve both groups, enhancing their experience with the organization.
Stewardship promotes professional responsibility. One of the greatest pitfalls for leaders is ego. Some leaders use their positions to do what they believe will enhance their influence or reputation, even if it does not serve the organization’s needs. However, stewardship enhances humility. The stewardly leader will be willing to accept criticism and acknowledge their mistakes to promote the institution’s position. This attitude is critical when leading a facility that serves a culturally diverse group whose members have different perceptions of care. Steward leaders are quick to accommodate all divergent opinions instead of only serving the majority’s interest. Thus, all individuals will be satisfied with the nature and quality of services they receive. In so doing, the steward leader enhances the organization’s reputation in the community.
Formal and Informal Leadership
Formal leadership is the structured chain-of-authority in an organization. Formal leadership provides a defined hierarchy that the organizational members must observe in conducting their affairs. Examples of formal leaders include CEOs, human resource managers, departmental managers, and supervisors. Meanwhile, informal leadership refers to the influence some individuals have without holding an official position in an organization. Many organization members heed informal leaders’ advice and consider their opinions in performing their duties (Pan et al., 2018).). Additionally, informal leaders hold no real power over those who choose to follow them. Despite their unofficial positions, informal leaders influence others through their actions. Their diligence encourages others to do the same. Alternatively, informal leaders can influence others through their opinions. They have vast experience, which makes their perspectives important, including formal leaders. Hence, their outlook towards problems, proposed solutions, etc., is significant and could alter the organization’s plans and actions (Pan et al., 2018). Therefore, informal leadership helps healthcare organizations fill the experience and perception gaps within formal leadership.
The contingency theory stipulates that a leader’s behavior and style change depending on the specific circumstances. Thus, the leader must be willing and able to objectively assess the scenario and determine what response will generate the desired outcomes (Weiss et al., 2018). This theory is applicable to healthcare leadership since leaders face a vastly varying range of issues. Some require delicate responses, such as dealing with disgruntled employees, while others, such as workplace incivility, demand a firm and strict resolve. Thus, the essential aspects of this theory are understanding the problem and knowing oneself. The leader must comprehend the superficial and deeper elements of any issue they must address to determine the optimal outcomes. They must also determine which approach they can use to attain that result and, if necessary, who else they can involve. Hence, contingency theory is appropriate for healthcare leadership.
Effective leadership in healthcare often results in better organizational performance. Additionally, institutions that utilize regulatory leaders record better quality outcomes. However, even without being regulators, leaders can enhance their impact by embracing stewardship. It allows them to forego their ego and instead devote their efforts to serving the staff and clientele. Formal leaders can also rely on informal leaders for guidance since the latter have better relations and experience in the organization. Lastly, healthcare leaders should be flexible, per the provisions of the contingency theory, to allow them to deal with the diversity of challenges they face.
Ajamil, A. (2020). Regulatory Leadership for a Culture of Quality in the US Medical Device Industry. Regulatory Focus, 3(1), 60-66. https://assets.website-files.com/5a96ef02e365380001a82dd8/5e6bbfc8ec6e14768bffd311_2020-02-RF-Q1-Articles-Series_FINAL.pdf
Al-Habib, N. (2020). Leadership and organizational performance: Is it Essential in Healthcare Systems Improvement? A Review of Literature. Saudi Journal of Anesthesia, 14(1), 69–76. https://doi.org/10.4103/sja.SJA_288_19
Pan, J., Liu, S., Ma, B., & Qu, Z. (2018). How does Proactive Personality Promote Creativity? A Multilevel Examination of the Interplay between Formal and Informal Leadership. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 91(4), 852-874. https://doi.org/10.1111/joop.12221
Savel, R. H., & Munro, C. L. (2017). Servant Leadership: The Primacy of Service. American Journal of Critical Care, 26(2), 97–99. https://doi.org/10.4037/ajcc2017356
Schmitt, I. (2020). Why Understanding Regulatory Affairs is Important to Key Company Decision Makers. Regulatory Focus, 3(1), 16-22. https://assets.website-files.com/5a96ef02e365380001a82dd8/5e6bbfc8ec6e14768bffd311_2020-02-RF-Q1-Articles-Series_FINAL.pdf
Weiss, D., Tilin, F. J., & Morgan, M. J. (2018). The Interprofessional Health Care Team: Leadership and Development (2nd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.