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Developing a public health leadership graduate program responsive to a global perspective

Kenneth Zakariasen (School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada)
Kristin Zakariasen Victoroff (Department of Community Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)
Gerald Karegyeya (School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 3 October 2008




The purpose of this paper is to describe a new public health leadership graduate program, and the incorporation of a practical global perspective to health leadership education using contemporary organization development inquiry methods to develop a case‐based learning strategy using graduate student‐authored cases.


Case‐based curricula have been designed for the leadership and organizational change courses in the Public Health Leadership MPH Program that promote a global orientation and relevancy by having graduate students individually develop cases based on their experiences and observations in their own health care and social systems. They develop these cases using an extensive series of Appreciative Inquiry questions that focus on successful leadership practices, and the key stages involved in leading successful sustainable change. This method gives the students a framework to analyze leadership and leading change cases from the perspective of what the leaders they have observed did well and what they could have changed to have been more effective.


The student‐authored leadership and leading change case‐studies, based on an Appreciative Inquiry question strategy, indicate that this approach is indeed helpful in meeting the adopted mandate of making the leadership training curriculum relevant not only to Canadians, but also to those international graduate students who come from widely differing health and social systems.

Practical implications

The design of this leadership program appears to have real potential in facilitating graduate students to understand how leadership practices and leading change processes are applicable both within the context of their own health care and social systems, and through encouraging a class‐wide global perspective by learning from each other's unique case studies.


This paper illustrates how principles from organization development inquiry methods can be used to customize case‐study learning to bring global perspective to health leadership education.



Zakariasen, K., Zakariasen Victoroff, K. and Karegyeya, G. (2008), "Developing a public health leadership graduate program responsive to a global perspective", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 267-277.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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