Leadership in health care has changed dramatically since the 1950s. In 1970, the book Future Shock by A. Toffler, warned that organizations would change to more open systems composed of many work groups. In reaction to some of the projected changes, leadership executives across the nation created a new leadership direction and terminology. They identified that the wave of the future included a need for adaptability and the ability to create rapid institutional change.
Future leadership trends are both stimulating and challenging to the current leadership in traditional health care systems. One challenge for leadership is attaining the conceptual understanding of the new terms such as integrity, balance, diversity, community, adhocracy, resource reallocation, conservation, and responsibility for future. Leadership faces another challenge in adapting their styles to the new directions of the future. They are challenged to use their skills and talent to implement changes such as shared governance, differentiated practice, participatory management, decentralization, and flattened fluid organizations.
It is important to clarify terms before learning about leadership. Leadership and management are two key terms that require definitions. Leadership and management are distinct concepts but are often lumped together as a single term. Management is defined as the “ability to forecast, plan, organize, coordinate, and control the plan of action” (Swansburg, 1996). According to Roach & Behling (1984), leadership’s most popular definition is “the process of influencing an organized group toward accomplishing goals” (Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy, 2002).A leader uses interpersonal skills to influence others to accomplish specific goals and a manager is responsible for efficiently accomplishing the goals of the organization (Sullivan & Decker, 2005).
Many theorists have researched leadership principles over the decades. According to Sullivan & Decker (2005),... [continues]
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