Drivers and barriers in the practice of health-specific leadership: A qualitative study in healthcare

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BACKGROUND: Managers have a significant impact on the health and well-being of employees, particularly when the managers lead in a health-specific way and intentionally foster their employees' health. However, the data on contextual and individual factors influencing the practice of health-specific leadership is at present limited. OBJECTIVE: To survey the experiences of healthcare managers with health-specific leadership skills and identify the drivers and barriers in the practice of health-specific leadership. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 51 managers from 18 geriatric-care facilities in Germany, between November 2014 and February 2015. The interviews were analysed through qualitative content analysis. RESULTS: In their reports, managers mentioned several drivers and barriers in the practice of health-specific leadership. These drivers and barriers were found at the leader level, the employee level, and the organizational level. The factors identified relate to the theoretical aspects of health-specific leadership: health value, health awareness, health behaviour, and role modelling. CONCLUSION: For successful practice of health-specific leadership, the findings suggest a more holistic approach for worksite health promotion. Managers should promote personal initiative that benefit employee health, encourage their employees to exhibit healthy behaviour themselves, address organizational resources and restrictions, and gain competencies in change management.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWork (Reading, Mass.)
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)311-321
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 30.10.2019

    Research areas

  • context, facilitators, inhibitors, Nurses, well-being
  • Health sciences