Classroom coproduction of a leadership model

Gurbutt, R, Gurbutt, Dawne and Boland, A (2017) Classroom coproduction of a leadership model. In: INTED 2017. International Academy of Technology, Education and Development (IATED). ISBN 978-84-617-8491-2

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This paper reports on the co-production of a healthcare leadership model that was generated through in-class qualitative inductive analysis and subsequently critiqued in relation to real world value for local healthcare practice. Healthcare leadership is informed by various theoretical models and associated competencies (e.g. The National Health Service UK Healthcare leadership Model 2016) [1] and when teaching post graduate students there is a need to go beyond merely adopting an 'off the shelf model' and to critically examine what leadership is and how it can be understood in relation to local healthcare culture and practices. Previous work on creative education (Gurbutt & Gurbutt 2015) [2] and collaborative practice for public health (Gurbutt 2016) [3] informed a desire to enhance the students' experience of creative collaboration.

The aim was to develop students' critical thinking about real world value of leadership models through a co-production activity to enhance engagement and the student learning experience. The participants were a post graduate cohort of NHS employees in Greater Manchester UK studying a leadership module at the University of Bolton, UK.

A qualitative inductive analysis methodology was used to produce a descriptive leadership model. The methods included a series of steps initially to generate data using a 'post-it' note exercise exploring local leadership and leading in healthcare. Students sorted the data and developed categories and then through discussion refined them. These were developed into themes that were subsequently represented visually on a sketch-board. This process enhanced students' experiential learning about experience aspects of research methodology that linked to a future research module in their programme. A further step involved discussion about the themes and their possible relationships and facilitation of several iterations of an agreed class diagrammatic model comprising four themes (Support, traits, process, direction) around a core focus (patients). Following this the model was verbally critiqued in relation to informing competency identification in relation to real world healthcare leadership practice as well as reflexivity in terms of participants' awareness of their interpretive standpoint.

Learning occurred through the process and about it. Students provided written feedback on their own learning (on the process and the model) as well as how to relate the model to practice. Students reported liking being able to share perspectives and practice putting new ideas forward as well as considering what would operationalise its four main themes. An academic colleague provided in class peer review feedback on tutor facilitation of the co-production activity to inform how to develop this activity further. An employer partner who funded students to undertake leadership modules also provided feedback in terms of partnership collaboration and adding value to the workforce. Overall the aims were met and value was added to co-production through reflective co-learning in this case about developing healthcare leaders.

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