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Knowing, relating and the absence of conflict: relational leadership processes between hospital boards and chairs of nurse councils

Arjan Verhoeven (Department of ORL and Head and Neck Surgery, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Erik Van de Loo (Department of Organisational Behaviour, INSEAD Asia Campus, Singapore, Singapore)
Henri Marres (Department of ORL and Head and Neck Surgery, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Pieterbas Lalleman (Department of Person-centredness in an Ageing Society, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Eindhoven, The Netherlands)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 11 November 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to enhance understanding of the collaboration between chairs of nurse councils (CNCs) and members of executive hospital boards (BM) from a relational leadership perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a qualitative and interpretive methodology. The authors study the daily interactions of BM and CNCs of seven Dutch hospitals through a relational leadership lens. The authors used a combination of observations, interviews and document analysis. The author’s qualitative analysis was used to grasp the process of collaborating between BM and CNCs.

Findings

Knowing each other, relating with and relating to are distinct but intertwined processes that influence the collaboration between BM and CNC. The absence of conflict is also regarded as a finding in this paper. Combined together, they show the importance of a relational process perspective to understand the complexity of collaboration in hospitals.

Originality/value

Collaboration between professional groups in hospitals is becoming more important due to increasing interdependence. This is a consequence of the complexity in organizing qualitative care. Nevertheless, research on the process of collaborating between nurse councils (NCs) and executive hospital boards is scarce. Furthermore, the understanding of the workings of boards, in general, is limited. The relational process perspective and the combination of observations, interviewing and document analysis proved valuable in this study and is underrepresented in leadership research. This process perspective is a valuable addition to skills- and competencies-focused leadership literature.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Janique Kraan for her help in the early stage of the data collection.

Citation

Verhoeven, A., Van de Loo, E., Marres, H. and Lalleman, P. (2022), "Knowing, relating and the absence of conflict: relational leadership processes between hospital boards and chairs of nurse councils", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHS-06-2022-0067

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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