Distributed leadership has emerged as a viable alternative to this traditional top-down structure. Effective leaders continue to have a powerful influence on organisational performance but are not always in positions of authority. Alternatively, those who do occupy positions of authority have the potential to create problems, engage in counterproductive behaviour and damage their organisations.
With Distributed leadership, traditional assumptions and hierarchy are disconnected from formal organisations roles. The action and influence of people at all levels is reconceptualised as being vital to shaping the direction and functioning of health organisations. This shifts the focus of applied and developmental activity from executive skill-building to nurturing, supporting and enabling 'ordinary leadership' interventions from wider communities of health professionals
Distributed Leadership in Nursing and Healthcare, as first of its kind text, aims to ensure that health professionals are better placed and equipped to enact distributed leadership, resulting in securing lasting improvements in care and job quality through more effective forms of collaborative clinical teamwork. The logic and interest in relation to health professionals and related support agencies are detailed, capturing contrasting and complimentary views while addressing practical concerns to demonstrate how it works within specific contexts and work settings.
The work will mark a contrast with both established academic writing on leadership and prescriptive consultancy work in this area. Combining analysis with advocacy and a practical concern to encourage leadership reform in healthcare in ways that widen leadership responsibilities and support collective initiatives to deliver service improvements.
Distributed Leadership in Nursing and Healthcare will be unique in that it will provide genuinely challenging thinking about effective ways of running health organisations, garnered from applied research on leadership. It will combine critical appreciations of theory and evidence with innovative reflections about developmental initiatives and everyday practical insights that can help health professionals to make more of distributed leadership tendencies within their own organizations.