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An integrative discourse perspective on positive leadership in public health care

Ville Pietiläinen (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland)
Ilkka Salmi (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 6 February 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to take a discursive view on positive leadership (PL). A positive approach has gained momentum in recent years as appropriate leadership practices are implemented in organizations. Despite the turn toward discursive approaches in organization studies, there is insufficient evidence supporting PL as a socially constructed experience.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study addresses an integrative discourse perspective for capturing the PL concept as a social process within the public health-care context.

Findings

Four meanings of PL are highlighted: role-taking, servicing, balancing and deciphering.

Research limitations/implications

The meanings shift the emphasis of certain PL definitions to a contextual interpretation. For scholars, the perspective demonstrates a multidimensional process approach in the desired organizational context as a counterbalance to one unanimously agreed-upon PL definition.

Practical implications

For leaders, an integrative discourse perspective offers tools for comprehending PL as a process: how to identify, negotiate and reconcile various PL meanings.

Originality/value

An integrative discourse perspective provides a novel perspective capturing the PL concept within the public health-care field.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Finnish Work Environment Fund for providing financial support for this paper as part of the Humanly Effective Leadership research project.

Citation

Pietiläinen, V. and Salmi, I. (2017), "An integrative discourse perspective on positive leadership in public health care", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 44-58. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHS-04-2016-0016

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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