Navigating Leadership Approaches in Public Health

While it comes to health promotion, public health professionals must choose an effective and best-suited leadership approach for communicating the goals, resources, process and expected outcomes of a health promotion program (Bhimani et al. 2020). Public health professionals need to have good knowledge on different types of leadership approaches and their application in the healthcare context for cultivating a productive and supportive work place by inspiring all the health and social care employees to work on the common healthcare goals. This essay will critically compare the two leadership models, the Kotter’s eight-stage model and Lewis’s three-step model. Moreover, this essay will also discuss the roles of public health professionals in implementing effective leadership approach into practices to lead the entire workforce towards promoting positive health and wellbeing at the community level by conducting the community-based health promotion program.


Definition and concept of leadership go through several changes throughout its journey from the early 18th century to the 21st century. There is no universal definition of leadership. It is defined bey many theorists differently (Dhatt et al. 2017). Based in some theorists an effectives leadership is associated with the personal quality and abilities of the organisational leaders in relation to lead the entire team. This theory visualises the organisational leaders as the heroes who perform the extraordinary activities for the sake of community wellbeing (Eriksson et al. 2017). This concept of leadership used to be applied in the 18th century and had bed criticised by many theorists. Modern theorist view leadership as the skill of organisational leaders that assist them to encourages the entire workforce to take the effectives and best-suited strategies for meeting the common organisation goals thereby improving the organisational productivity. On the contrary Hoert et al. (2018) argued that, leadership is not just something that is associated with improving organisational productivity and meeting common organisation goals, rather it is associated with the ability of organisation leaders to analyse organisational resources, develop synergistic environment the workplace, improve skills and abilities of the employees and prepare the entire organisation to deal with any challenges and difficulties. On supporting this viewpoint Lichtenthaler and Fischbach (2018)) mentioned that, leadership of change is highly applicable in different healthcare context, which enables the public health professionals to use innovative as well as modern healthcare techniques for improving the overall care delivery system and productivity of the healthcare team. In this context, some theorists argued that, the effectiveness of a healthcare leadership styles can not only be judged by the ability of healthcare leaders to enhance the employability and skill of healthcare staffs to meet the health promotion goals rather effective leadership can be judged based on the skill of healthcare professionals to improve the sense of the ethical and moral values inside the health and social care staffs thereby promoting the community wellbeing (Lopez‐Dicastillo et al. 2020). In modern healthcare context the concept of change leadership is widely appalled by many organisation leaders. Many theorists view an effective leadership as the change leadership in which organisational leaders bring about effective transformation within the workplace that promote the organisation benefits.

Lewin’s Three Stage Model is the change leadership model that presents the importance of bringing about effectives changes in the processes of an organisational environment for improving the productivity of the entire workforces as well as of the entire organisation. This model had been developed by a famous social psychologist, Kurt Lewin (McCleary et al. 2017). This model described the systemic process of changes that the organisational leaders need to follow to improve the work process. Lewin presented three stages of changes in this model such as the unfreezing, the change process and refreezing (Robbins. and Davidhizar, 2020). In the first stage, organiser leaders need to determine what changes needed to be done to achieve the desired goals. In the first stages organisational leaders play crucial roles in communicating the needed resources, setting goals, developing strategies for achieving these goals and developing strong management and leadership in the workplace. In the second stage, organisation leaders communicate clearly and widely with employees, empower and promote actions and involves the stakeholders to develop effective action to meet the goals (Sarmiento, 2017). The third stage is about to maintain the sustainability of the charges that are implemented in the workplace. Kotter’s eight-stage model is another important and widely used model in the healthcare for developing effective changes in the workplace. This model was developed by John Kotler for assisting the change leaders to use eight stages of the change management for developing and implementing changes in the organisational environment for promoting organisational and employee benefits (Silva et al. 2018). This model represents the eight stages as create, build, form, enlist, enable, generate, sustain and institute. Based on this theory, organisational leaders need to follow all these eight stages for involving all the stakeholders to implement the effective action and strategies for making positive transformation in work environment.

In m modern healthcare context, public health professionals must use the best-suited change leadership approach for using innovative as well as modern healthcare technologies and care processes for promoting the positive health and wellbeing at the community level (Stolp et al. 2017). In this context, the application of the Lewin’s Three stages model can enables the pubic health professionals to follow the systematic process of chance leadership for implementing and sustaining effective changes in the healthcare framework. The strength of this leadership approach in healthcare is that it enables the public health professionals to brings about the positive changes in the organisational culture, develop innovative ways to manage and prevent health issues in the services users and offer support, communication and training to health and social care staffs thereby improving their skill to meet health needs of services users (Van den Broucke, 2020). Another important benefit of this leadership approach is that is enables the public health professionals to promote effective changes in the healthcare processes such as improve the information delivery system, pain management system, communication process and adherence to the health care policies mad practices by making effective transformation of skill and professional standard of healthcare employees. On the contrary Weist et al. (2017) argued that although the application of Lewin’s three stages model is helpful for health professionals to improve workforce skill and ability, this model is irrelevant to the modern context of the healthcare where health professionals need to go through the consistent changes in the healthcare strategies to meet patient’s needs. Lewin’s “freezing’ concept presents the sustainability of changes into workplace which is not possible in the modern health promotion context, because public health professionals need to make continuous changes in the care delivery and the disease prevention and management process for improving the care experiences of service users

Unlike Lewin’s three stage model which empathizes on driving the forces that can guide the activities and behaviour of health staffs to implement sustainable charges, Kottler’s eight stage model is based on involvement of stakeholders in healthcare organisation to implement these changes in heartcare framework (Stolp et al. 2017). As compared to the Lewin ‘s three stage model, the Kottler’s eight stage model is more applicable and effective while it comes to community-based health promotion. This is because, the Kottler’s model enables public health professionals to create an urgency of changes in the workplaces and involves all the internal statehooders in to considers the needed resources for implementing these changes into healthcare practice to promote positive mental and physical health in the community. As mentioned by (), Kottler’s eight stage model provides an effective check list to the public health professionals that they can use to involve the entre health care workforce to develop the effective changes and generate needed action for working on these strategies and institute the changes. Unlike the Lewin’s model, the Kottler’s Eight Stages Model assists public health professionals to do not confine to some sustainable chances rather emphasize on continuous transformation of the healthcare process and policies to ensure the consistent improvement of the entire healthcare framework. As argued by Robbins. and Davidhizar (2020), although the Kottler’s model is highly effective in modern healthcare context to ensure effectives community health promotion, there are some limitations of modern health professionals must consider. One limitation of this model is that, while applying this model majority of the health professionals emphasize on creating the urgency of changes into the workplace and set strategies to implement these changes without analysing whether the healthcare employees are ready to deal with these changes (Weist et al. 2017). Another limitation is that, Kottler model is generally applicable in case of some big healthcare project which is associated with changing health care system and the healthcare processes at national level, but it cannot be that much relevant to promote the health and wellbeing of a particular community, such as the South Asian community in England, cause in that case the applicable of this model can raise the cost of the process of change leadership.

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From the above-mentioned discussion it can be summarised that, the leadership can be defined by many authors in different ways. There is no clear-cut definition for leadership, In general sense, the effective leadership can be defined as the skill of leaders which enables them to cultivate a positive, synergistic and supportive work environment and make suitable transformation in the skill and knowledge of employees to meet the common organisational goals. In terms of promoting the positive health and wellbeing at community level, public health professionals must choose change leadership approach which will enable them to make effective charges in healthcare processes for improving care delivery process. Through using Lewin three stage model and Kottler Eight stage model, public health professionals can bring about effective changes in the healthcare policies, practices and techniques that will improves the skill and professional standard of health care employees to provide high standard care to service users.

Reference list:

Bhimani, H., Roitenberg, J. and Suarly, M., 2020. Promising Practices: Triple M—A Coaching and Mentorship Program for Public Health Leadership Development. Health Promotion Practice, p.1524839920940707.

Dhatt, R., Theobald, S., Buzuzi, S., Ros, B., Vong, S., Muraya, K., Molyneux, S., Hawkins, K., González-Beiras, C., Ronsin, K. and Lichtenstein, D., 2017. The role of women's leadership and gender equity in leadership and health system strengthening. Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics, 2.

Eriksson, A., Orvik, A., Strandmark, M., Nordsteien, A. and Torp, S., 2017. Management and leadership approaches to health promotion and sustainable workplaces: A scoping review. Societies, 7(2), p.14.

Hoert, J., Herd, A.M. and Hambrick, M., 2018. The role of leadership support for health promotion in employee wellness program participation, perceived job stress, and health behaviors. American Journal of Health Promotion, 32(4), pp.1054-1061.

Lichtenthaler, P.W. and Fischbach, A., 2018. Leadership, job crafting, and employee health and performance. Leadership & Organization Development Journal.

Lopez‐Dicastillo, O., Zabaleta‐del‐Olmo, E., Mujika, A., Antoñanzas‐Baztán, E., Hernantes, N. and Pumar‐Méndez, M.J., 2020. “Missed nursing care” in health promotion: Raising awareness. Journal of nursing management, 28(8), pp.1997-2000.

McCleary, K., Goetzel, R.Z., Roemer, E.C., Berko, J., Kent, K. and De La Torre, H., 2017. Employer and employee opinions about workplace health promotion (wellness) programs: results of the 2015 Harris Poll Nielsen Survey. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 59(3), pp.256-263.

Robbins, B. and Davidhizar, R., 2020. Transformational leadership in health care today. The Health Care Manager, 39(3), pp.117-121.

Sarmiento, J.P., 2017. Healthy universities: mapping health-promotion interventions. Health Education.

Silva, K.V.L.G.D., Gonçalves, G.A.A., Santos, S.B.D., Machado, M.D.F.A.S., Rebouças, C.B.D.A., Silva, V.M.D. and Ximenes, L.B., 2018. Training of adolescent multipliers from the perspective of health promotion core competencies. Revista brasileira de enfermagem, 71(1), pp.89-96.

Stolp, S., Bottorff, J.L., Seaton, C.L., Jones-Bricker, M., Oliffe, J.L., Johnson, S.T., Errey, S., Medhurst, K. and Lamont, S., 2017. Measurement and evaluation practices of factors that contribute to effective health promotion collaboration functioning: A scoping review. Evaluation and Program Planning, 61, pp.38-44.

Van den Broucke, S., 2020. Why health promotion matters to the COVID-19 pandemic, and vice versa.

Weist, M.D., Bruns, E.J., Whitaker, K., Wei, Y., Kutcher, S., Larsen, T., Holsen, I., Cooper, J.L., Geroski, A. and Short, K.H., 2017. School mental health promotion and intervention: Experiences from four nations. School Psychology International, 38(4), pp.343-362.

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