The influence of formal education on the leadership development of healthcare executive leaders in Queensland health

Hart, Stephen (2016) The influence of formal education on the leadership development of healthcare executive leaders in Queensland health. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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The need to develop the leadership capabilities of clinicians to bring about necessary improvements in health systems is confronted by a number of challenges, including the adequacy of healthcare leadership frameworks and the quality of healthcare leadership development programs. This study focuses on the influence that formal education, as one strategy of leadership development, has had on the leadership development of healthcare executives in Queensland Health.

A qualitative research methodology, positioned within an interpretivist paradigm and using an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis approach, was used to construct a conceptual model that explains how healthcare executive leaders develop leadership capability through formal education.

In the first instance, the nature of leadership was considered through a literature review before moving onto additional literature that explored existing leadership frameworks and leadership development. An interview survey was then used to discover healthcare executives within Queensland Health who could be identified as having specific leadership characteristics. These identified healthcare executive leaders became the participants for further enquiry.

Through two semi-structured interviews with each of five identified healthcare executive leaders, it was confirmed that leadership capability can be developed from insights gained through formal education experiences. These identified healthcare executive leaders reported that formal education experiences had the effect of raising their awareness that there were alternative ways of leading and operating. The formal educational experiences provided them with models of effective leadership and encouraged them to reflect upon and to compare these models to their current practice, leading to new understandings about themselves and their approaches to leadership. This personal insight motivated them to change their behaviour towards new practice. Based on these findings, a conceptual model that describes this relationship among leadership knowledge, educational process and leadership insight has been developed.

The significance of this study is that it provides evidence for the important role that formal education has as an effective strategy for the development of healthcare executives’ leadership capability.

This study contributes to leadership theory through an extension of the understanding of pedagogy as it applies to leadership capability development. This study also contributes to leadership capability development practice by encouraging the designers of formal education approaches to consider how their instructional design elements interact to build a more systemic approach to leadership development.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Education (EdD) thesis.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Supervisors: Trimmer, Karen
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2017 04:56
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2017 04:17
Uncontrolled Keywords: formal education; healthcare; executives; leaders; Queensland Health
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified

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