The University of Southampton

HMPR3002 Leadership and its Application to Health Care

Module Overview

This module is concerned with the application of leadership to improve health care delivery systems, both large and small. Rather that examining leadership in vacuum, we will instead critically evaluate what leadership is and how it is applied. We will begin the module with a discussion and analysis of concepts, theories, characteristics, tools, and practices of leadership. From there, we will examine and critically evaluate both the role and practice of leadership in four domains: (i) Improving the organizational performance of health care institutions, including hospitals, GP practices, and community health centres, (ii) Improving the safety, quality and experience of health care, enhancing access, and reducing disparities, (iii) Influencing local, regional and national health policy from the bottom-up, and (iv) Influencing public health policies relating to disease prevention, prevention of violence, and reduction of drug use. Much of the class time will be spent in critical discussions and analyses of case studies that illustrate the application of leadership in the four central domains of the module.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the politics and governance of health care
  • Critically analyse leadership characteristics, theories and concepts
  • Evaluate leadership tools and practices in different contexts
  • Demonstrate awareness of metrics and methods used to measure and evaluate service improvement
  • Understand relevant policy and how it is shaped and influenced


CONCEPTUAL FOUNDATIONS • Conceptual foundation or organisations: Structure and Culture • The Health Care Landscape: Structures and Governance • Leadership Theories, Tools, Practices. o Self-Leadership o Leading Others o Leading the Organization APPLICATIONS OF LEADERSHIP (CASE STUDIES) • Improving, measuring, and evaluating o Organizational performance o Innovation o Equity and access • Influencing health care policy • Influencing public health policy

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The conduct of the module is informed by the following principles: • The case study/problem based approach to learning supports critical thinking and reflective judgement • Learning should be relevant to real world settings and work environments • Learning should be supported and informed by theory and research • Examples of errors and failures are as important as examples of success • As much information transfer as practical should be done outside the classroom In practice, this means that we will keep lectures to an absolute minimum, and instead focus classroom time around discussion, analysis, and case-based and problem-based activities. We expect that students will have read relevant work on BlackBoard prior to class meetings, and are able to discuss, analyse and challenge the readings in the classroom. Lectures will be limited to introducing new ideas and theories, and giving some background, structure and scaffolding to the readings and other learning materials. Generally speaking, we anticipate three types of activities during face-to-face time: • Lectures that introduce and scaffold new ideas and concepts, • Class discussions and analyses of assigned case studies relevant to leadership and its application to health care, and • Assigned scenarios where students have to make leadership decisions and defend them (this represents the element of problem-based learning). We anticipate that students typically will work in groups in the classroom.

Wider reading or practice30
Preparation for scheduled sessions50
Completion of assessment task50.5
Follow-up work30
Total study time187.5

Resources & Reading list

Commission on leadership and management in the NHS (2011). The Future of Leadership and Management in the NHS: No more heroes. 

Wenger, E. (2002) McDermott, Richard; Snyder, William M. (2002). Cultivating Communities of Practice. 

Kotter, J.P. (1990). What leaders really do. Harvard Business Review. ,May-June , pp. 37-60.

Avolio, B.J., Gardner, W.L. (2005). Leadership Quarterly. Authentic leadership development: Getting to the root of positive forms of leadership. ,16(3) , pp. 315-338.

Avolio, B.J., Walumbwa, F.O., Weber, T.J. (2009). Annual Review of Psychology. Leadership: Current theories, research, and future directions. ,60: , pp. 421-339.

Commission on leadership and management in the NHS (2011). The Future of Leadership and Management in the NHS: No more heroes. 

Northhouse. P, (2010). Leadership: Theory and Practice. 

Van Maanen, J. (1991). The smile factory, in P.Frost, et al. Reframing Organizational Culture. ,0 , pp. 58-76.

Ancona, D., Malone, T., Orlikowski, W., Senge, P. (2007). Harvard Business Review. In praise of the incomplete. ,85(2) , pp. 92+.

Vera, D., Crossman, M. (2004). Strategic leadership and organizational learning. Academy of Management Review. ,29(2): , pp. 222-240.

Allwood, C.M. & Salo, I. (2012). International Journal of Stress Management. Decision-Making styles and stress. ,19(1) , pp. 34-47.

George, W.G. (2003). Authentic Leadership. 

Lave, J., Wenger, E. (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. 

Carmeli, A. (2003). Journal of Managerial Psychology. The Relationship between emotional intelligence and work attitudes, behaviour and outcomes: An examination among senior managers. ,18: , pp. 788-813.

Kouzes and Posner (1998). Encouraging the heart. 

Caldwell, C. (2009). Journal of Business Ethics. Identity, Self-Awareness, and Self-deception: Ethical Implications for Leaders and Organizations. ,90(3): , pp. 393-406.


Assessment Strategy

Position paper 2500 word essay Referral Method Student must achieve a mean module pass rate. If this is not achieved the student will be required to repeat the failed assignment/s


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 80%
Position Paper 20%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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