Table of Contents

The Innovation Imperative in Health Care Organisations

The Innovation Imperative in Health Care Organisations

Critical Role of Human Resource Management in the Cost, Quality and Productivity Equation

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Peter Spurgeon, Ronald J. Burke and Cary L. Cooper

Health systems in the western world face increasingly intense pressure to contain or reduce costs, while countries such as China and India move towards universal coverage. The contributors illustrate that radical gains in efficiency and innovative practice are required internationally in health care systems. They argue that the high proportion of health care system costs invested in staffing place the human resource function at the forefront of meeting this challenge. Sustained system change and productivity gains, more effective management of staff and work climate are essential elements of reform and are all covered in this book.

Chapter 12: Leadership across complex systems and boundaries

Jean Hartley

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour, economics and finance, health policy and economics, social policy and sociology, health policy and economics


Leadership research has traditionally focused on social influence within specified organisational boundaries, for example, by a leader over a defined group such as a team or an organisation and has also tended to focus on conventional, hierarchical organisations.This chapter examines leadership from a perspective which is gaining greater scholarly and practitioner interest: leadership across complex systems (e.g. Avolio et al., 2009; Gardner et al., 2010; Marion and Uhl-Bien, 2001; Uhl-Bien and Marion, 2009; Benington and Hartley, 2009; Schneider and Somers, 2006).This involves examining leadership where it is exercised across institutional boundaries (for example, across professional, organisational, sectoral, and governmental boundaries) and considering the implications of those contexts for the purposes, or challenges, of effective leadership in such contexts, and the capabilities which indicate effective leadership in such situations. Thus, the three concepts of context, challenge and capability in leadership arenas form the weft of the cloth about leadership across complex systems and boundaries in this chapter.

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