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TQM implementation for the healthcare sector: The relevance of leadership and possible causes of lack of leadership

Andrea Chiarini (Department of Economics and Management, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy)
Emidia Vagnoni (Department of Economics and Management, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 3 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to enlarge the debate on total quality management (TQM) implementation in the healthcare sector and to evaluate how and whether leadership can affect TQM implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on findings from a literature review of TQM and leadership. The authors analysed these findings to categorise causes of a lack of leadership in TQM programme implementations.

Findings

The authors propose three categories of causes of a lack of leadership in TQM programme implementation. The first cause is well-known: a lack of senior managers’ involvement and commitment. The second category is the “combined leadership” that occurs in large healthcare organisations; and the third category is the influence of an external “political leadership” on public healthcare.

Research limitations/implications

This paper presents researchers with three categories of causes of failure of leadership in TQM implementation that can be investigated. It also encourages reflections from practitioners concerning TQM leadership in the healthcare sector.

Practical implications

The authors request that practitioners reflect on ways to create or sustain a “monolithic” leadership, especially in large organisations, to ensure a common vision, values and attitude for unitary TQM governance.

Originality/value

In an original way, this paper analyses and proposes three categories of causes linked to a lack of TQM leadership in the healthcare sector.

Keywords

Citation

Chiarini, A. and Vagnoni, E. (2017), "TQM implementation for the healthcare sector: The relevance of leadership and possible causes of lack of leadership", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 210-216. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHS-02-2017-0004

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited