alexa Abstract | Group Dynamics in Organisations: A Core Literacy for Innovation Leaders in the NHS

Journal of Health & Medical Economics
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Individuals attempting to lead change in the NHS are often thwarted in their efforts by complex and powerful group dynamics, many of which operate seemingly unpredictably, actively resisting any alteration to the status quo. If clinicians are to succeed as innovation leaders, therefore, they need a basic literacy with which to navigate these powerful group dynamics. Developing this literacy of group dynamics is a basic building block for all clinical leaders, and without it they are set up to fail as change agents.
We outline two theories of latent group processes that we have used to help over 120 junior doctors, participating in a postgraduate module, to understand and navigate service change successfully: Bion’s theory of group mentality and analysis of organisational role.
Developing a basic literacy of group dynamics enables clinicians to engage constructively with other healthcare workers and thereby to undertake service improvement projects with more confidence and  uccess.
The value in this work is that it shows that if leadership programmes are to be successful, they need to prepare doctors to understand their role as change agents within an organisation, and how to work effectively with both the surface and latent dynamics of groups to bring about change. This model of leadership development challenges the current dominant model in the UK which emphasises preparation of individuals, without equivalent attention to the leaders as members of groups.  

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Author(s): Clare Penlington and Patrick Marshall


Clinical leadership, Change agency, Service improvement, NHS, Group dynamics, Behavioral Economics, Burden of Disease, Cost Benefits, Demand and Supply, Disease Management, Health Consumerism, Health Crisis, Health Economics, Health insurance, Medical Debt, Pharmacoeconomics, Prescription Costs, Pharmacoepidemiology, Outcomes and Clinical Trials Data, Cost Minimization, Modelling Studies, Pharmaceutical Products, Financial Information

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