My research interest explores contemporary leadership in Welsh and English NHS surgical teams. I am particularly interested in whether this is hierarchical, non-hierarchical or a mix of leadership types.
Successive studies of performance failings in UK hospitals identify shortcomings in approaches to leadership. Traditional, hierarchical leadership may stifle raising of concerns about performance, including patient safety. The doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who work in surgical teams have traditionally operated under such a hierarchical form of leadership.
However, legal restrictions on the working hours of junior doctors, and changes in medical training practices may have altered this form, but there are very few details that have been published about these possible changes in leadership. The main goal of my research is to develop a framework to explore emergent leadership models and to carry out empirical research. This provides an avenue to explain how leadership is experienced in today's surgical teams.
Thesis Title: Leadership in NHS surgical teams: a Leadership-As-Practice exploratory study
My ESRC funded research aims to explore what is causing leadership in surgical teams and who is leading them. This alternative leadership approach may provide new perspectives, on which to address shortcomings related to hierarchical leadership, which have been identified in successive studies of performance failings in NHS hospitals.
The research will use a ‘leadership-as-practice’ approach, to explore the span of leadership activities before, during and after surgical interventions.
1st Supervisor: Martin Kitchener
2nd Supervisors: Robin Burrow, Ceri Jones