Transformational physician leaders: The relationship between transformational leadership and transformative learning

by Carter, Sandra K., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2010, 347 pages; 3427049


Over the last several decades, healthcare organizations have experienced chaos due to ever-changing and complex delivery systems. No one has been affected more than the physician. Physicians care for the most vulnerable segment of our population, the sick and the dying, but are often perceived by a weary public as having shifted from a position of healer to that of warrior, as physicians seek to find their way in new and unfamiliar environments that are demanding more from them, but valuing them less. For healthcare reform to be successful, physicians must hold a central leadership position with transformational behaviors and characteristics. However, physicians have not been trained to be, nor historically have they made, good leaders. According to the literature, to develop into transformational leaders physicians must undergo a deep change process; acquire business education and pursue leadership development. In this qualitative, multiple case study, 18 transformational physician leaders were interviewed to obtain an understanding of the antecedents of transformational physician leadership as it relates to the transition from clinical relationships to administrative practices. Participants shared their stories and observations about the conditions that promoted transformative learning, a deep and significant learning process that enhanced transformational leadership behaviors and characteristics. Additionally, they discussed the ways business education and leadership development supported their transitions. The results of this study describe how the participants perceived the impact of transformative learning experiences on their transformational leadership behaviors and characteristics. Transformative learning experiences related to the development of transformational leadership behaviors (communication, creditable and caring leadership) and transformational leadership characteristics (confidence and follower-centered leadership). The conclusions from this research consider how fundamental shifts in perspective not only produced results identified in the literature, but also built awareness related to outcomes that facilitate development of a leadership frame of reference for transformational physician leaders.

AdviserCyd Strickland
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Health care management
Publication Number3427049

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