Leadership Manifestations in Care for Older Adults: A Qualitative Study in a Care Innovation Program
BACKGROUND. Leadership is considered to be a necessary condition to successful care innovation. Most research on leadership in nursing care focuses on hospital settings, whereas little is known how leadership works in practice of care for older people. This study focused on leadership (styles and context) in care for older people as this setting is in need of quality improvement. The aim of this study was to gain insight into leadership manifestations within a care innovation program in organizations providing care for older people. Design. Multicase study. METHODS. Data collection involved semistructured interviews with 4 innovation project managers and 5 project team members; observations of daily activities of 3 project managers and 4 care innovation meetings in 3 nursing homes and 1 hospital ward. Framework analysis was used for the analysis of interviews and observations. RESULTS. The themes of leadership, subdivided in aspects, involved the following: 1) leadership and leadership factors addressing implicit and explicit leadership styles, leading position, role model behavior, and self-assurance; 2) individual leadership characteristics addressing personal ambition, self-reflection, care background, and gender; and 3) the contextual aspects of leadership addressing accessibility, presence on a ward, and match between organizational and personal views and ambitions. CONCLUSIONS. Leadership in care innovation in care for older people shows salient aspects such as accessibility, role model behavior, care background, and presence on a ward that may be unique to this setting. These aspects might be specific to leadership in care for older people and thus worthwhile carrying out a further study.
Correspondence to M. Span Centre of Expertise in Health Care and Social Work, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Campus 206, F119, Postal code 10090, 8000 GB Zwolle, the Netherlands. firstname.lastname@example.org