ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:: In response to increasing recognition of the importance of quality health care work environments, the Alberta Cancer Board initiated a province-wide leadership development program to plan for organizational change through a series of stages. In 2004, the Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) was implemented to facilitate organizational learning using a cohort-based leadership intervention based on a communities of practice framework. PURPOSES:: The aim of the Worklife Improvement and Leadership Development study was to examine both the outcomes and experiences of participants of the LDI program to better understand leadership development, implementation, and its impact on worklife quality among 5 cohorts of health care managers and staff at the Alberta Cancer Board. METHODOLOGY/APPROACH:: This study used both structured survey and interview methods, using a pretest-intervention-posttest quasi-experiment without a control group design, to assess the effects of LDI on worklife of leaders and staff. Surveys included the Leadership Practices Inventory and Areas of Worklife Scale, which looked at meaningfulness of work and organizational engagement. Interviews and focus group data provided a more detailed description of the experience of leadership development and perceptions of organizational worklife. FINDINGS:: The study revealed layers of information about the complexity of individual and collective leadership in a cohort-based design, perceptions of leadership initiatives, organizational worklife, and planned organizational change. Our findings suggest that early changes in how leaders reflected on their own skills and practices (Leading Self) were positive; however, growing disengagement as the LDI continued was evident in the focus group data, particularly when change in behavior of others was not perceived to be evident. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:: To support the effectiveness and success of a leadership initiative, managers and administrators need to implement strategies designed to help leaders grow and cope with ongoing flux of organizational change and stagnation.
Health care management review 01/2012; · 1.30 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To examine the effects of a Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) on the emotional health and well-being among five levels of healthcare managers.
Increasingly dynamic, demanding healthcare environments result in highly stressful work atmospheres.
Using quasi-experimental and mixed methods, we used regression on pre- and post-LDI survey data with 86 managers, and individual/focus group interview data for focused ethnographic analysis.
An increasing trend was observed in self-assessed leadership practices after the LDI with a significant increase in 'inspiring a shared vision' (P<0.01). However, a non-significant decreasing trend in areas of work life and a non-significant increase in cynicism (P=0.14) was observed. Before the LDI, participants' self-assessment of their practice to 'enable others to act' was negatively related to emotional exhaustion (P<0.01). Both before and after the LDI, 'modelling the way' was significantly related to professional efficacy (P<0.01 pre; P<0.05 post). Post-LDI, 'inspiring a shared vision' was negatively (P<0.01) and 'enabling others to act' was positively (P<0.05) related to cynicism.
The LDI provided opportunities for healthcare managers to connect, strengthen leadership and social support networks and manage burnout.
Transformational leadership practices may influence managers' emotional health. Senior administrative support and communicating the structure and vision of developmental initiatives may help to achieve realistic expectations.
Journal of Nursing Management 11/2010; 18(8):1027-39. · 1.18 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: In 2004, a provincial cancer agency in Canada developed and implemented a provincewide Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) to enhance organizational leadership and relationships. Research using a quasi-experimental survey design determined whether LDI implementation influenced the emotional health and leadership practices of LDI participants. An ethnographic approach (18 focus groups and 13 individual interviews) explored participants' perceptions of the LDI. This article presents qualitative findings that contribute to understanding the statistically significant findings of increasing levels of cynicism, emotional exhaustion, and burnout for most LDI participants. The LDI was regarded as a critical strategy for helping leaders grow and cope with change and help in changing organizational leadership culture to be more collaborative and inclusive. However, an organizational history of short-lived, flavor-of-the-month development initiatives and growing skepticism and disengagement by leaders represented in the themes of Catch-22 and “there is no going back” contributes to understanding why these quantitative measures increased. Few studies have explored the hypothesis that real organizational development happens through a series of planned stages. In this study, leaders experienced escalating frustration because change was not seen to occur fast enough in “others” and reported that this was necessary before they would alter their own behavior. Leadership development programs in general need to reflect the reality that it takes considerable time, patience, and effort to effect fundamental change in leadership culture.
Journal of Leadership Studies 05/2010; 4(1):6 - 19.