Exploration of a new conceptualisation of leadership, utilising an appreciative inquiry approach

JOHNSON, David (2015). Exploration of a new conceptualisation of leadership, utilising an appreciative inquiry approach. Doctoral, sheffield Hallam University.

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Abstract

Leadership is said to be pivotal to the future of health and social care organisations within the United Kingdom. Organisations across the sector face many challenges and there is an emerging recognition that these challenges are becoming increasingly complex with many problems perhaps being considered as wicked issues. To successfully address these difficult problems takes leadership. Defining this slippery concept has, however, proved problematic. Despite thousands of years of philosophical debate and over one hundred years of academic research, the concept of leadership still appears to defy definition. There are many theories, approaches and models of leadership, often with authentic evidence bases that tell prospective leaders how they should behave. There are often emerging fads or fashions in approaches to leadership. This isn't thought to be of great assistance to busy practitioner leaders working in complex environments. This qualitative study did not seek to identify a new model of leadership, it sought to explore literature in order to discover commonalities in leadership approaches, to develop a new conceptualisation of leadership and then, by utilising an Appreciative Inquiry methodology, explore the relevance of this approach to gain new insights into how leaders within health and social care communities consider that they will lead as they move into a difficult and uncertain future. The study utilised an approach to reviewing literature called Critical Interpretative Synthesis and explored commonalities across definitions of leadership regardless of fashion or fad. From this review four components were identified and called the leadership equation. The leadership equation was used a basis for appreciative inquiry, semi-structured interviews that asked twelve leaders working in health and social care organisations from a specified geographical area how they will lead in the future. The interviews produced data that was thematically analysed and three themes emerged, each supported by a number of sub-themes. In order to lead successfully into the future, leaders will need to consider how they behave in relation to the three themes labelled as Being Human, Being Tough, and Being Visionary. The study seeks to have relevance for practitioner leaders working in health and social care organisations within the United Kingdom. It also seeks to have relevance for academic leadership programme designers who might wish to consider these finding as they design the next generation of leadership development programmes.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Departments: Health and Well-being > Social Work, Social Care and Community Studies
Depositing User: David Johnson
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2018 13:44
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2018 18:16
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16946

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