Leadership and management development within the NHS: a phenomenological and critical account

Gallagher-Read, Mark John (2019) Leadership and management development within the NHS: a phenomenological and critical account. DPM thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Regarding the failures of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2009, Sir Robert Francis QC commented to the then Secretary of State for Health ‘that above all, it failed to tackle an insidious negative culture involving a tolerance of poor standards and a disengagement of managerial and leadership responsibilities’ (The Francis Report, 2013, p. 9). This was a criticism directly laid at the feet of those NHS leaders and managers who were charged with caring for vulnerable families and friends during that time. Understanding how leaders and managers are developed within the NHS is of a notable concern, especially if we wish not to see the likes of what occurred at Stafford Hospital again. Even after significant investment in NHS management training, Lake (2016) of the NHS Leadership Academy suggests that there are still vague barriers which prevent a culture of effective leadership development from embedding itself within the NHS workforce. This view is supported by others including Ahmed et al. (2015), West et al. (2015) and Tull (2018). It can be reasonably asserted that this unclear picture starts with a need to explore the recent experiences of NHS staff who have been participants on NHS leadership and management development (LMD) trainings.

The primary aims of this thesis were 1) to explore how NHS LMD training participants experience their training and 2) to examine potential barriers which impacted upon the LMD participant's learning within their NHS workplace. With a focus on the need to understand the experiences of NHS LMD participants, a qualitative methodology was proposed as a suitable research method (Creswell, 2017). Thus, a retrospective, cohort sample of nine recent (within the past 10 years) NHS LMD participants partook in nine; 40-60-minute individually recorded then transcribed, semi-structured interviews. Recognising Alvesson and Deetz (2000) concept of 'interpretative repertoire’ (2000, p. 166) and Mabey’s (2013) recognition of the neglected organisational and leadership development discourses; an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) (Smith et al. 2009) and a modified Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) (Fairclough, 2003; 2013) were chosen as multi-methods of analysis to be applied to the same nine transcribed interview transcripts.

Findings revealed 1) some LMD interventions and participant opinions regarding LMD's role within the NHS workplace are more appreciated and supported in the literature then others 2) NHS LMD as a discourse and social practice is inherently vulnerable to manipulation and the agendas of others due to a range of influences and vested interests involved within the field 3) overall NHS LMD trainings are well liked and appreciated by participants.

This thesis concludes with a series of recommendations, which can be summarised as 1) that increased integration, collaboration and closer working relationships between the NHS LMD training providers, the NHS LMD participant and the NHS workplace may enhance the LMD experience for all involved 2) the use of both IPA and CDA in exploring organisational and LMD related issues is a novel and informative approach, which should be encouraged to address a notable deficit of research approaches and practices within this field.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DPM)
Supervisors: Shaw, Ian
Crompton, Amanda J.
Keywords: Leadership; management development; NHS
Subjects: H Social sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Sociology and Social Policy
Item ID: 56631
Depositing User: Gallagher-Read, Mark
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2019 08:49
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 10:18
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/56631

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