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Obamacare: an ethical analysis of his leadership and the health reform initiative

Lamar Odom (School of Business and Leadership, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas, USA, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado, USA, and Capital University Law School, Columbus, Ohio, USA)
Richard Owen (School of Leadership Studies, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas, USA)
Amina Valley (School of Leadership Studies, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas, USA)
Phillip Burrell (School of Business, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 4 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore President Obama's leadership style during passage of this major and controversial piece of legislation. Specifically it addresses the historical development of healthcare reform in the USA, and provides an ethical analysis of President Obama's leadership in pursuing the health reform initiative.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a review of the literature, speeches, and application of leadership and ethical theory, an analysis was done of President Obama's leadership and ethical approach to healthcare reform.

Findings

This analysis revealed that Obama's behavior was consistent with the full‐range leadership model articulated by Bass and Avolio. Moreover, his personal and strategic ethical approach to promulgating healthcare reform incorporated both deontological and teleological ethical principles.

Originality/value

This paper provides a current look at President Obama's leadership style and demonstrates how incorporating different ethical theories can result in the same outcome.

Keywords

Citation

Odom, L., Owen, R., Valley, A. and Burrell, P. (2011), "Obamacare: an ethical analysis of his leadership and the health reform initiative", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 325-336. https://doi.org/10.1108/17511871111172367

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited