Developing leadership skills in managers in an acute care hospital

Cynthia A. Gilmer

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The health care system in Ontario, Canada is focused on efficiency and accountability. In order to successfully navigate the current environment acute care hospitals require administrators with well-developed leadership skills. Given the shortage of external candidates, many organizations are seeking to develop these leaders from within. Action research provides an excellent vehicle for solving this type of challenge.This action research project was designed to help 10 Managers within one hospital identify the leadership attributes necessary to be successful in the Director role and to determine leadership development strategies that best suited them. The participants in this project used a concept analysis process to create a working definition of leadership as a basis for this work. Data identifying desired leadership attributes were collected from structured interviews, research diaries, and group session notes. The participants created a self-directed program for leadership development. Small group work and group reflection proved to be the most beneficial leadership development formats. Group reflection assisted the participants to identify their espoused values of leadership and in turn the discrepancies between these and their values-in-action. This led to feelings of anxiety, anger and frustration or moral distress over their inability to practice in a more leadership based way. Current moral distress literature focuses on experiences of front line staff. The results from this study suggest that this phenomenon can also affect managers when they are unable to practice leadership that reflects their values.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Health Science
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • O'Meara, Peter, Co-Supervisor
  • Ritchie, David, Co-Supervisor
Award date04 Sep 2012
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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