• Archives of Healthcare
Review Article

The New Leadership in Health Care Teams: Progress Report of Development on a Promising Measure

Archives of Healthcare [2019; 1(1):20-26]
Received: 08 November 2019, Accepted: 10 December 2019, Published: 16 December 2019

Traditionally leadership roles in health care are those individuals who have a formal title. With this title their responsibilities include hiring, monitoring and evaluating those under their direct supervision. Theories of leadership have conformed with this perception and ascribed a leader as an individual who has some characteristics that are associated with one who leads or who has skills to guide others. More recently, leadership scholars have challenged this view in light of the shifting trends towards team based practice in organizations, and in particular health care settings [1-4] (Raelin, 2017; Pearce, 2004). Raelin advocates for a view of leadership as a practice (2009) while Pearce believes that leadership comprises both the traditional vertical leader as well as those teams who work cooperatively together to achieve the intended goals (2002). Others have explored the application of shared leadership as a means to address the leadership existing within teams [2, 3]. Edmonstone also discussed the importance of focusing on clinical leadership as a part of sharing the leading with health providers in direct care, but no framework for this form of practice was presented (2009). Shared leadership as an approach to leadership has arisen from education. It is applied more frequently in an action learning context where a problem is brought forward and a group works together to explore and evaluate strategies that can address the same. In healthcare the need for both accountability and responsibility for care provided by each health professional in a team must be based on a shared and focused goal for specific patient care. This shifts the need from a collaborative exploration of shared interests to the need to address varying issues associated with each patient they provide care for. Thus, the term collaborative leadership has been identified as fitting more appropriately within healthcare to reflect a constant changing of the strategies needed to be implemented for each patient.

The implementation of the Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative's Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Framework (CIHC) in 2010 [5] identified collaborative leadership as a competency for health providers who share the leader role as collaborators within their teams. In the competency framework collaborative leadership was identified as a competency domain and described as: “learners/practitioners work[ing] together with all participants including patients/clients/families, to formulate, implement and evaluate care/services to enhance health outcomes” (CIHC, 2010, p. 15). The purpose of this report is to present the evolution of and initial testing of an instrument to capture collaborative leadership perceptions by healthcare team members.

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