The purpose of this paper is to report a scoping review of reviews which investigated HLDP evaluations to determine: how the conceptualisation of leadership development programmes (HLDPs), and despite growing calls for robust evaluations of their pedagogic design, delivery and effectiveness, there are concerns regarding the quality of data associated with their evaluation. This scoping review of reviews investigated the reporting of HLDP evaluations to determine: how the conceptualisation of leadership underpinning HLDPs influence their evaluation; how the pedagogical approaches within HLDPs influence their evaluation; and the evaluation designs and measures used to assess HLDPs.
The scoping review was conducted on reviews of HLDPs. Searches were performed on four databases and on the grey literature. Data were extracted and a narrative synthesis was developed.
Thirty-one papers were included in the scoping review of reviews. A great deal of heterogeneity in HLDPs was identified. Evaluations of HLDPs were affected by poor data quality, and there were limitations in the evidence about “what works”. Leadership was conceptualised in different ways across HLDPs, and consequently, there was a lack of consistency as to what is being evaluated and the methods used to assess HLDPs.
This review of reviews summarises the current evidence on the evaluation of HLDPs. Evaluations of HLDPs need to explicitly account for the complexity of health systems, how this complexity impacts on the development and articulation of leadership practice, and how the underlying conceptualisation of leadership and the associated theory of change articulate a set of assumptions about how HLDPs support leaders to affect change within complex systems.
The authors wish to thank Rachel Posaner for guidance on the search strategy and Katherine Perryman for ongoing feedback as the review developed.
Burn, E. and Waring, J. (2022), "The evaluation of health care leadership development programmes: a scoping review of reviews", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHS-05-2022-0056
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