University of Tasmania

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Attributes of effective managers in the public health sector

posted on 2023-05-27, 07:39 authored by Wallace, G
This research consisted of three projects. The first study identified 10 attributes of an effective manager within the public health sector. While much has been written about the attributes of effective managers, little is known about how these attributes fit in the public sector, or in the public health sector more specifically. The participants in the first study were all NSW Health employees. Participants were surveyed, and the results identified 10 attributes of an effective manager from a list of over 630 possible attributes. They were encouraging, transforming, efficient, (not) insecure, (not) evasive, courageous, (not) expedient, reasonable and trustworthy. These 10 attributes were then used in the second study designed to ascertain the prevalence of these attributes among staff at an exemplar health care facility (Canterbury Hospital). Around 3% of staff were identified by other staff as displaying these characteristics much more than the average person. Interestingly, these qualities were not associated with whether or not the employee was already a manager of some type. These ratings were also examined for possible bias. While staff could be overly kind or harsh in their ratings of others (which could be corrected for with the methods developed in this research), no bias was evident based on the gender or relative seniority of the person doing the rating or being rated. The third study was a focus group, which consisted of senior executive staff of Sydney Local Health District (SLHD). The participants of the focus group were asked to identify any barriers that were associated with the recommendations from the second study and the potential use of the tool used in the second study. Barriers that were identified included concerns in relation to rating other staff and issues that could affect the use of the tool. The focus group participants also suggested changes that could be made to the tool and identified potential uses of the tool. These results can potentially be used to identify management talent of the future, further develop existing management, and distinguish the management needs of the public health sector from the general management literature.


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