The influence of work experience on leadership styles: a grounded theory study of managers in the NHS

Stephenson, Michael (2020) The influence of work experience on leadership styles: a grounded theory study of managers in the NHS. Masters thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Master of Philosophy Thesis)
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Leadership is essential to the continued transformation of the NHS, but for middle managers leadership is challenging at a time of increasing pressure and complexity in NHS England. There is a lack of evidence to understand the impact of previous work experience on the leadership development of managers recruited from diverse employment pathways. This thesis investigated how previous work experience influenced the leadership style of NHS managers.

A grounded theory constructivist and interpretivist perspective was used to investigate leadership in NHS managers. The sample comprised of 12 Band 8 Agenda for Change (AfC) Managers recruited with diverse previous work experience. Participants included, nurses, midwives, dieticians, audiologists, managers lacking a health care professional background, and a chaplain. Interviews were used to generate data, and the cyclical approach of the constant comparative analysis and theoretical sampling ensured theoretical saturation of the emerging categories was achieved.

The categories generated recognise uncertainty and role conflict in managerial staff, a result of role identity, a preferred image, and frustrations within participants’ roles. The importance of transferable skills from previous roles to build managerial capabilities, and the changes in participants approach to leadership indicate that previous work experience in an organisation lacking a clear managerial identity leads to managerial uncertainty.

The knowledge generated recognises the importance of previous roles, to complement a focus on future development. The theory of a unified management approach provides a structure to inform the development of NHS managers, regardless of previous roles and experience. The theory combines core aspects of a leadership and management training framework, with an informal managerial forum to support managers, regardless of previous roles and experience to construct one managerial identity.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Role identity, Recruitment and Retention, Presenteeism, Resilience through education, Social worlds
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
N200 Management studies
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
University Services > Graduate School > Master of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 26 May 2021 08:01
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2022 10:45

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