crisis of leadership


The current crisis within healthcare is a crisis of leadership: Discuss (UK)

There are no right or wrong answers to this questions. This means you need to demonstrate your ability to discuss/reflect and critique and process skills of structuring, discussing and reflection.


• Introduction: use to grab your reader’s attention….. Be neutral at the beginning-not strong debate in the intro
– Define key terms (in this case 1. Key crisis, 2. Healthcare, 3.crisis of leadership, 4.crisis of leadership in the healthcare)
– Provide some context
– Explain how you have interpreted the question and why the question matters
– Explain what the structure will be

• Main body

– Have a strong and logical argument, debate
– Know what you want your reader to think at the end and take them there
– make good link of theory and practice.
– Make it clear how ideas relate to each other
– Make clear links between paragraphs
– Keep one idea per paragraph
– Be sure to use examples and sources

Conclusions -nothing new, put everything together, summarize.


Critical thinking
• The main differentiating factor between good and excellent assignments.
• Being an active learner: approaching ideas with scepticism/questioning as opposed to blind acceptance.
• Question whether evidence you present can be viewed from a different perspective. Does it present only part of the picture?

Guide to critical thinking
• Identify what is important
– What are key ideas, arguments, problems, findings?
– What is the evidence? Remember to triangulate where possible eg your experience/journal; journal articles; other texts. – Provide examples.
• Evaluate what you find – is the evidence convincing?

Look beyond what you are reading
– question, question, question!
– What other viewpoints, interpretations, perspectives exist?
– How does your prior knowledge and understanding relate to these ideas/findings/observations?
– What are the implications of what you have read/encountered for the subject?


Please use these readings and your own as well

1.Kings Fund: No more heroes
2.Literature relating to values, resources, challenges
3. The NHS Leadership model
4. Literature about medical leadership, social movements
5. The dark side of transformational leadership

Very relevant:

Some more links:

Recommended reading

Alimo-Metcalfe, B and Alban-Metcalfe J (2005) Leadership: Time for a New Direction?, Leadership, 1(1), pp.51-71

Brookes, S and Grint, K (2010) The New Public Leadership Challenge Palgrave Macmillan

Grint, K (2010) Leadership: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press
Hartley, J; Martin, J and Bennington, J (2008) Leadership in Healthcare: A review of the literature

Henry, J. (2006) Creative Management and Development: Third Edition. 3rd edn. United Kingdom: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Northouse, P. G. (2013) Leadership: Theory and Practice, 6th edn. United States: SAGE Publications Inc.

Redelmeier, D.A., and Cialdini, R.B. (2002) Problems for clinical judgement: Principles of influence in medical practice, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 166(13):1680-4
Storey, J. and Holti, R. ( 2013)Towards a New Model of Leadership for the NHS,NHS Leadership Academy.

The Kings Fund(2011)The Future of Leadership and Management in the NHS: No More Heroes . United Kingdom: King’s Fund.

NHS Leadership Model found at
accessed 19/02/2015

Walshe, K. and Smith, J. (2011) Healthcare management.2nd edn. United Kingdom: Open University Press, McGraw-Hill.

Yukl, G. (2005) Leadership in organizations. United Kingdom: Upper Saddle River, NJ : Pearson/Prentice Hall, c2006.

Further help for answering the question

This claim arises a lot in the context of Mid Staffordshire NHS trust and the associated scandal.
Is it a crisis of leadership or a crisis of…..?
This question lends itself well to discussion, as it requires a for and against.
If it is a crisis of leadership, does that depend on how you define leadership? Eg which of Grints definitions you view leadership through?

Some Arguments that might help

• Mid Staffordshire
• Leadership no longer fit for purpose
• Outdated approach and definition
• Leaders from the private sector have infiltrated healthcare, introduction of the market and associated focus on finance, not care!
• Lack of trust
• Lack of values
• Politics and emotions – healthcare is rife with.
• Not a crisis of leadership but of leaders (wrong individuals)?

• Too simple
• Not one crisis, but several crises
• Crisis is one of lack of support and resilience?
• Crisis is one of power : in appropriate use of/abuse of?
• Crisis is one of marketisation of healthcare?
• Crisis is a moral crisis?
• Crisis is one of lack of resources?
• Crisis is one of the ‘goodness of fit’ between type of leadership/context