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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Kjeld Harald Aij and Maurits Teunissen

Emphasis on quality and reducing costs has led many health-care organizations to reconfigure their management, process, and quality control infrastructures. Many are lean, a…

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Abstract

Purpose

Emphasis on quality and reducing costs has led many health-care organizations to reconfigure their management, process, and quality control infrastructures. Many are lean, a management philosophy with roots in manufacturing industries that emphasizes elimination of waste. Successful lean implementation requires systemic change and strong leadership. Despite the importance of leadership to successful lean implementation, few researchers have probed the question of ideal leadership attributes to achieve lean thinking in health care. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into applicable attributes for lean leaders in health care.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors systematically reviewed the literature on principles of leadership and, using Dombrowski and Mielke’s (2013) conceptual model of lean leadership, developed a parallel theoretical model for lean leadership in health care.

Findings

This work contributes to the development of a new framework for describing leadership attributes within lean management of health care.

Originality/value

The summary of attributes can provide a model for health-care leaders to apply lean in their organizations.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 31 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Kjeld Harald Aij, Merel Visse and Guy A.M. Widdershoven

The purpose of this study is to provide a critical analysis of contemporary Lean leadership in the context of a healthcare practice. The Lean leadership model supports…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to provide a critical analysis of contemporary Lean leadership in the context of a healthcare practice. The Lean leadership model supports professionals with a leading role in implementing Lean. This article presents a case study focusing specifically on leadership behaviours and issues that were experienced, observed and reported in a Dutch university medical centre.

Design/methodology/approach

This ethnographic case study provides auto-ethnographic accounts based on experiences, participant observation, interviews and document analysis.

Findings

Characteristics of Lean leadership were identified to establish an understanding of how to achieve successful Lean transformation. This study emphasizes the importance for Lean leaders to go to the gemba, to see the situation for one’s own self, empower health-care employees and be modest. All of these are critical attributes in defining the Lean leadership mindset.

Originality/value

In this case study, Lean leadership is specifically related to healthcare, but certain common leadership characteristics are relevant across all fields. This article shows the value of an auto-ethnographic view on management learning for the analysis of Lean leadership. The knowledge acquired through this research is based on the first author’s experiences in fulfilling his role as a health-care leader. This may help the reader examining his/her own role and reflecting on what matters most in the field of Lean leadership.

Details

Leadership in Health Services, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1879

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Kjeld Harald Aij, René L.M.C. Aernoudts and Gepke Joosten

This paper aims to assess the impact of the leadership traits of chief executive officers (CEOs) on hospital performance in the USA. The effectiveness and efficiency of the CEO is…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the impact of the leadership traits of chief executive officers (CEOs) on hospital performance in the USA. The effectiveness and efficiency of the CEO is of critical importance to the performance of any organization, including hospitals. Management systems and manager behaviours (traits) are of crucial importance to any organization because of their connection with organizational performance. To identify key factors associated with the quality of care delivered by hospitals, the authors gathered perceptions of manager traits from chief executive officers (CEOs) and followers in three groups of US hospitals delivering different levels of quality of care performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Three high- and three low-performing hospitals were selected from the top and bottom 20th percentiles, respectively, using a national hospital ranking system based on standard quality of care performance measures. Three lean hospitals delivering intermediate performance were also selected. A survey was used to gather perceptions of manager traits (providing a modern or lean management system inclination) from CEOs and their followers in the three groups, which were compared.

Findings

Four traits were found to be significantly different (alpha < 0.05) between lean (intermediate-) and low-performing hospitals. The different perceptions between these two hospital groups were all held by followers in the low-performing hospitals and not the CEOs, and all had a modern management inclination. No differences were found between lean (intermediate-) and high-performing hospitals, or between high- and low-performing hospitals.

Originality/value

These findings support a need for hospital managers to acquire appropriate traits to achieve lean transformation, support a benefit of measuring manager traits to assess progress towards lean transformation and lend weight to improved quality of care that can be delivered by hospitals adopting a lean system of management.

Details

Leadership in Health Services, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1879

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Lisa van Rossum, Kjeld Harald Aij, Frederique Elisabeth Simons, Niels van der Eng and Wouter Dirk ten Have

Lean healthcare is used in a growing number of hospitals to increase efficiency and quality of care. However, healthcare organizations encounter problems with the implementation…

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Abstract

Purpose

Lean healthcare is used in a growing number of hospitals to increase efficiency and quality of care. However, healthcare organizations encounter problems with the implementation of change initiatives due to an implementation gap: the gap between strategy and execution. From a change management perspective, the purpose of this paper is to increase scientific knowledge regarding factors that diminish the implementation gap and make the transition from the “toolbox lean” toward an actual transformation to lean healthcare.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional study was executed in an operating theatre of a Dutch University Medical Centre. Transformational leadership was expected to ensure the required top-down commitment, whereas team leadership creates the required active, bottom-up behavior of employees. Furthermore, professional and functional silos and a hierarchical structure were expected to impede the workforce flexibility in adapting organizational elements and optimize the entire process flow.

Findings

The correlation and regression analyses showed positive relations between the transformational leadership and team leadership styles and lean healthcare implementation. The results also indicated a strong relation between workforce flexibility and the implementation of lean healthcare.

Originality/value

With the use of a recently developed change management model, the Change Competence Model, the authors suggest leadership and workforce flexibility to be part of an organization’s change capacity as crucial success factor for a sustainable transformation to lean healthcare.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

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