“Not all leadership is about changing or challenging people’s vision of the future” (Stanley, 2011, p. 57). The term leadership can be applied to varying positions within healthcare, from management to the clinical setting. However, while those in a management position may wear the title of “leader”, this type of leadership can be far removed from that of a clinical leader. I believe that the above quote by Stanley (2011) is true from the perspective that not all styles of leadership are instrumental in the changing or challenging of people’s vision of the future. This essay shall explore in closer detail the debate between management and leadership, in particular styles of leadership identified within the management and clinical setting, and provide a discussion supporting my belief that the quote by Stanley (2011) is indeed correct.
Leadership and Management in Healthcare
Within healthcare, the role of the manager versus the role of the leader is one of great debate and discussion with each having its own recognised traits and characteristics (Yoder-Wise, 2011, p. 56). The term management refers to a position of authority ultimately responsible for the effective and efficient distribution of allocated resources to reach and maintain specific goals (Stanley, 2011). The term leadership, however, refers to an attribute that enables an individual to influence the behaviour and values of others for the purpose of accomplishing a common goal (Ellis & Abbott, 2013). The values, goals and objectives of each of these roles are dependent on the area of practical application (Kouzes & Posner, 2007).
The processes within management as outlined by Stanley (2011), involves planning, organising, directing, staffing and controlling. By directly controlling the distributing of allocated resources and following pre-established policies and processes the manager is able to address and resolve complex issues while ensuring organisational objectives remain attainable and sustainable (Yoder-Wise, 2011; Stanley, 2011). Like management, the process of leadership is also multi-layered. A leader clearly communicates a goal, provides direction and expectations, and offers necessary support to ensure the goal is achieved (Davidson, 2010).
Despite these defining differences, literature comparing management in healthcare to leadership in healthcare also supports the general belief that a good manager will integrate and demonstrate some of the traits of an effective leader and, likewise, a good leader will integrate and demonstrate some of the traits of an effective manager (Marquis & Houston, 2012; Ellis & Abbott, 2013; Yoder-Wise, 2011). Taking this argument into consideration, I believe that while the management and clinical settings within healthcare are clearly two different areas of practice, leadership is essential in both. However, different leadership theories influence the ways in which leadership in management and clinical leadership is approached (Ellis & Abbott, 2013). Furthermore, Davidson (2010) proposes that all leaders require the ability to fluctuate between different styles and theories of leadership and management depending on the circumstances, environment and required outcomes.
Accordingly, many different leadership theories have been developed and discussed through the years. These theories include, but are not limited to, those of congruent, situational and contingency, interactional, transactional and transformational leadership (Stanley, 2011; Marquis & Houston, 2012). For the purpose of this discussion, I shall be focusing on transactional leadership and transformational leadership and the roles both these theories play in leadership in the management and clinical settings. Leadership theorist Burns (2003) identifies these approaches as being at either end of the leadership scale with transformational leadership linked to clinical roles and transactional leadership...
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