The modern healthcare environment is a challenging space for medical workers and requires them to employ strong leadership qualities to endure such ongoing professional and ethical concerns. A transformational leadership journey is an innovative, positive, and embracing approach to advanced patient care and health outcomes. Therefore, this paper discusses the formal theories and behaviors of healthcare leadership and its effectiveness in influencing the organization.
Discussing the Leadership Theories
The primary leadership theories imply behavioral and trait theories, worker style theories, leader trait theories, and situational and constituent interaction theories. The original theoretical framework and foundational approach for transformational leadership were developed by James MacGregor Burns in 1978 (Broome and Marshall, 2021). The following theoretical concepts and ideas were created by other leadership scholars that kept on expanding the principle. Early behavioral theories advocated linear thinking, categorization, functional work, process orientation, clear and fixed-job requirements, and predictable effects. Worker style theories shifted the focus from people (leaders) to the concept of leadership. Trait theories suggest that the target qualifications of successful leaders can be learned or developed. Finally, situational theories state that the leader adjusts behaviors according to work conditions, maturity, and motivation.
Compared to Leadership Behaviors
There is a fixed set of leadership behaviors associated with each theoretical framework according to its primary focus in the medical organization. According to Broome and Marshall (2021), behavioral and trait theories for leadership emphasize the leader’s intellectual, emotional, physical, and personal characteristics. This group of theories implies that a leader is a strong and authoritative guide of the organization who makes decisions, gives directions, and demands compliance. In the situational and constituent interaction leadership theories, a leader positions himself closer to the followers, their motives and needs, and eliminates the barriers in work relationships. Such leadership is facilitated through self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management and on the principles of partnership, accountability, equity, and ownership. However, the most crucial is the transformational leadership journey in healthcare settings, which focuses on healing, vision, and high integrity.
Effectiveness in Impacting the Organization
Strong leadership is inherent to high-capacity local health departments (LHDs) implementing administrative evidence-based practices (A-EBPs). Duggan, Aisaka, Tabak, Smith, Erwin, and Brownson (2015) argue that incorporating specific resources and assets across LHDs must be defined as an effective organizational strategy. The use of A-EBPs in LHDs is an essential practice to efficiently enhance the population’s corporate performance and improve health. Strengthened leadership implies competent leaders who effectively communicate missions and visions and recognize quality improvement, accreditation, national performance standards, decision-making, and non-hierarchical collaboration (Duggan et al., 2015). Tortorella, van Dun, and de Almeida (2019) state that effective leadership implementation involves both behavioral relations and task orientations, wherein a leader serves as a role model. In contrast, Xu (2017) asserted that leadership takes practice, and organizations should apply different leadership styles to various situations in order to be the most effective. The researchers claim that leaders at the high-capacity LHDs showed a higher degree of support towards EBPs and actively provided guidance and training for personnel for continuous growth and transformational change.
Healthcare leaders need to learn to transform the challenges they face into potential opportunities through foundational leadership theories, related behaviors, and a general leadership framework. It is crucial for the transformational leader in medical care to understand the historical, cultural, and theoretical language of science and practical leadership implementation in one’s career. Broome and Marshall (2021) significantly contributed to examining the leadership theories and behaviors in compliance with the unstable and changing healthcare environment and the new challenges it presents. The combination of the studies conducted by Duggan et al. (2015), Tortorella et al. (2019), and Xu (2017) demonstrated the effectiveness of the leading integration into the healthcare organizational practice from different perspectives.
Broome, M., & Marshall, E. S. (2021). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert clinician to influential leader (3rd ed.). Springer Publishing Company.
Duggan, K., Aisaka, K., Tabak, R. G., Smith, C., Erwin, P., & Brownson, R. C. (2015). Implementing administrative evidence-based practices: lessons from the field in six local health departments across the United States. BMC Health Services Research, 15(1), 221.
Tortorella, G., van Dun, D. H., & de Almeida, A. G. (2019). Leadership behaviors during lean healthcare implementation: a review and longitudinal study. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 31(1), 193–215.
Xu, J. H. (2017). Leadership theory in clinical practice. Chinese Nursing Research, 4(4), 155–157.