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Bridging worldviews

Toward a common model of leadership across the health professions

Garman, Andrew N.; Standish, Melanie P.; Wainio, Joyce Anne

doi: 10.1097/HMR.0000000000000243
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Background As the pace of health sector transformation accelerates, the importance of leadership continues to grow across all health professions. Advances in a variety of disciplines can inform effective leadership development. However, at present, most health sector leadership competency models do not incorporate these advances and are instead developed using consensus-based methods within specific professions. An interprofessional approach to leadership competencies could help incorporate these advances and support better interdisciplinary leadership development.

Purpose This study was pursued to revise and revalidate a widely used health sector leadership competency model and assess its potential for providing greater interoperability across the professions.

Methodology/Approach Using the National Center for Healthcare Leadership’s interprofessional competency model Version 2.1 as the starting point, we developed a revised and revalidated model in four phases: (a) we completed a future scan using methods described in Garman et al. [Garman, A. N., Johnson, T. J., & Royer, T. (2011). The future of healthcare: Global trends worth watching. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.]; (b) we collected behavioral event interview data from pairs of leaders representing different organizational and performance levels, using methods developed by Boyatzis [Boyatzis, R. E. (1982). The competent manager: A model for effective performance. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.]; (c) we conducted a validity study via electronic survey of 145 working managers and calculated content validity ratios using methods described by Lawshe [Lawshe, C. H. (1975). A quantitative approach to content validity. Personnel Psychology, 38(4), 563–575.]; and (d) we used natural language processing to assess the extent to which existing leadership models in the health professions will crosswalk to the new model.

Findings All competencies in the revised model successfully met criteria for validity. The revised model also successfully crosswalked against, on average, 85% of the competencies in the other five health professions leadership models.

Practice Implications Based on the results of this research, we conclude the revised model can provide a “common language” framework in support of interdisciplinary leadership development. The availability of such a model may also assist human resource and development executives in better aligning learning resources with organizational goals.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

Andrew N. Garman, PsyD, MS, is Professor, Department of Health Systems Management, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois. E-mail:

Melanie P. Standish, BS, is Project Coordinator, Leadership Competencies Research, HSM Leadership Center, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois.

Joyce Anne Wainio, MHA, is Vice President of Operations, National Center for Healthcare Leadership, Chicago, Illinois.

This study was supported by departmental funding from Rush University.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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