Relational Leadership in the NHS: how healthcare leaders identify with public engagement

HAWLEY, Rachel (2021). Relational Leadership in the NHS: how healthcare leaders identify with public engagement. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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This qualitative study engaged 12 healthcare leaders, from a range of contexts, to explore how leaders identify with public engagement. The leaders reported how public engagement led to a level of collaboration and genuine relationship that has hitherto been under-reported and relational leadership is discussed as a perspective. This study contributes to knowledge about how leaders recognise the importance of public engagement. The study investigates how relational methods are used in public engagement and help leaders to understand themselves, and others, and how this improves the wider range of leadership relationships in their given context. Data was gathered using narrative interviews combined with participant selected artefacts. The artefacts formed a conduit for representing their sense of professional identity, in relation to their leadership, and were key to getting closer to participants construction of themselves in their current roles. Data was analysed using a variation of voice-centred relational analysis (Mauthner and Doucet, 2003). A secondary analysis was undertaken using Ganz (2010) model, which enriched the findings and led to a new ‘public story’. By recognising both the linguistic and nonlinguistic ways of identifying with public engagement this study provides new insights for building relational practices. The research identified what motivates leaders to be collaborative with the public, how leaders identify with public engagement and conditions needed to support collaborative practice. Findings demonstrate how leaders understand their identity is socially constructed, dynamic and changing over time; professional and personal experience being intrinsically linked. The concept of self-identity is offered as an example of reflexive bricolage; a process of re-visiting experiences through a variety of lenses to form holistic understanding of self in professional leadership and public engagement practice. Findings hold implications for healthcare leaders interested in collaborative relationships between public and the NHS, and between patients and staff. The study aligns to healthcare policy arising from Francis (2013). The policy focus on the importance of “fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging” and its encouragement to “work together differently to deliver patient care” (NHS, 2020, p.6) chimes with findings on leaders’ sense of self, their relationships, and their context. It is relevant to health and social care leaders and public engagement practitioners as well as policy makers and education providers. The research may also be relevant to the growing community of ‘patient leaders’ in the NHS but further research is needed to understand the public perspective about relating to leaders.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Marshall, Patrick
Thesis advisor - Nightingale, Julie
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr. Patrick Marshall / Supervisor: Prof. Julie Nightingale "No PQ harvesting"
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
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Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2022 15:31
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2023 01:19

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